Evaluating xenforo for a photography community



I'm currently deciding between IPB and xenforo as a new bulletin board solution for a photographers community.

I haven't followed the bulletin board-market for 5 or 6 years and I'm kind of amused to see everything is still as in early 2000. Sadly no revolution there. For example, @mentions are only plugins and xen seems to be the first platform to adopt facebook-like notifications. sort of.

Rant aside, currently we're running phpBB with heavy modifications. I was trying to search for similar xenforo plugins, but wasn't successful, that's why I'm posting here.

We need:
  • Login / Session API: the frontpage is based on Zend Framework, but we want to use the user login and session of the forum. Is there a clean API to achieve this? It's available for IPB and seems to be perfectly implemented there.
  • User application process: we are a closed community. Photographers have to apply with a portfolio and a small group of people decides whether they are approved as a member. This can be achieved with a plugin in IPB
  • Attachment previews in thread overview: you could call it an awkward form of a gallery ;)
  • Responsive design
Apart from the price, the missing notifications are the only thing that keep me from purchasing IPB. So, can this be achieved with xenforo?
Thanks in advance


Thanks for your answers.

The template wrapper that you suggested as an alternative for a single-sign-on API is no option sadly.

And the image-preview is meant to be displaying in the thread list of a forum view, not the thread view. Sorry for my inaccurate description.

So, any other ideas? Without APIs I'm going IPB.

Is there a roadmap for future features and release dates?