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Full VB4 Suite Import

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Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#1
I am aware of Paul's, and used it for a basic, small board import that doesn't use blogs and cms data in abundance, though I would really like to see a full VB4 suite import script that:
  • Imports forum data and users correctly, all standard VB4 bbcode, attachments, etc.
  • Imports blog and blog comments as new threads and posts in an established forum for later movement / ongoing use as threads and posts, with attachments and bbcode.
  • Imports CMS data and comments in the same manner as blog, being a new thread with comments as replies, attachments, bbcode, etc.
  • Comes with ability to automatically redirect standard VB4 URL solutions to the new XF URL options.
I feel this would be quite sufficient if data is kept without loss during an import, so that the data can either be used immediately as normal forum content, upgraded manually to a third party CMS (joomla or wordpress), or kept hidden until an XF cms and blog type product is available to promote the content out of the forum and into other areas by username to rebuild existing user blogs.

If we're allowed to donate money towards it, then I would certainly be happy to throw a couple hundred towards this being a public build available here.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#6
I do agree, album data would be nice if it could be brought over and stored for later conversion into a gallery product... if the info isn't lost and assigned and stored to each user, that would be good... but I could do without the albums coming over personally... if no data itself is lost. I do understand though that albums are a huge part of some sites.
 

Paul M

Well-known member
#7
I am aware of Paul's, and used it for a basic, small board import that doesn't use blogs and cms data in abundance, though I would really like to see a full VB4 suite import script that:
  • Imports forum data and users correctly, all standard VB4 bbcode, attachments, etc.
  • Imports blog and blog comments as new threads and posts in an established forum for later movement / ongoing use as threads and posts, with attachments and bbcode.
  • Imports CMS data and comments in the same manner as blog, being a new thread with comments as replies, attachments, bbcode, etc.
  • Comes with ability to automatically redirect standard VB4 URL solutions to the new XF URL options.
Personally I have no objection to looking into these things in the vb4 importer I started - Its quite an interesting way to see how things work.

Some initial comments ;

* Please explain what you mean by "Imports forum data and users correctly" - in what way does it currently not import them correctly ?

* Blogs into new threads - I dont think this should present too much of an issue - Ive seen it suggested before and already considered it.

* CMS data - By this I assume you mean articles ? - I would guess that could be done in a similar manner - I havent actually delved into the CMS data set-up that mutch as i dont use vb4 other than for testing.

* Re-direct VB4 urls ? - You mean like the vb3 redirector thats available - Thats a bit more tricky, and not something an importer itself would handle anyway.

As I said, im quite willing to look into this as long as people have patience - I do have a busy life !

All this of course could be redundant - I have no idea if the XF team are developing their own VB4 importer - but there is litle point in duplicating effort if they are.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#8
All this of course could be redundant - I have no idea if the XF team are developing their own VB4 importer - but there is litle point in duplicating effort if they are.
Kier posted this on 21 September:
Let me just reiterate that while there is not a vB4 importer now, the differences in DB schema between vB3.8 and vB4.0 are negligible. The only really major change is in the way attachments are stored, so it's not going to be an insurmountable task to have a vB4 importer ready for the 1.0 release, if not the October beta.
 

Paul M

Well-known member
#9
Yeah, I know about that :) - but I rather get the impression that was for threads & posts only (and attachments, which are sorted) - since the db schema for anything else is clearly very different (since xf has no concept of blogs, articles etc).
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#10
I already told Anthony about this, but Brandon @ XenFans has created a Blog2Post importer, and might be doing a CMS importer (He's complaining about how bad and horribly done it is :p).
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#12
* Please explain what you mean by "Imports forum data and users correctly" - in what way does it currently not import them correctly?
I did a little playing around with importing some earlier versions of 4.x, and it didn't play nice with them, but then imported a 4.0.5 perfectly. It kept failing at importing the users for some reason. I switched over and tried the 3.x, and it worked perfectly, elbeit attachments. I found that a little weird and not sure if there are differences in table structure during the 4.x release that hindered this from working. May off simply been me, but I found it odd that the 3.x worked fine on earlier 4.x releases, but the 4.x you did didn't.

Blogs into new threads - I dont think this should present too much of an issue - Ive seen it suggested before and already considered it.
Nice. The one I read that brandon had done at xenfans, I actually wasn't impressed with the way it then took categories and created forums out of them. Blogs are typically a "per user" node as far as I'm concerned, and categories should not be used to create forums from, as each user can have their own category structure, and that to me would just be a chaotic mess when imported considering the amount of users that use the blogging on my site, let alone others.

I think it should be kept simple, so that each blog post just creates a new thread by that user, in a specific one forum that the importer creates, ie. Blogs or such, so it can be either hidden from public view or then have the content redistributed across the site into forums so it all just becomes forum content.

CMS data - By this I assume you mean articles ? - I would guess that could be done in a similar manner - I havent actually delved into the CMS data set-up that mutch as i dont use vb4 other than for testing.
Yep... same deal. Importer creates maybe one forum "Articles" then uses sections to create sub-forums, but leaves categories out of the equation, as they are search indicators, not true content categorisation like sections.

Each article is then bought over and placed under its appropriate forum heading (ex-section), with any comments becoming replies. This way an admin can either redistribute the content across forums or leave it as one big article repository in the board.

Re-direct VB4 urls ? - You mean like the vb3 redirector thats available - Thats a bit more tricky, and not something an importer itself would handle anyway.
Yer... it would be nice if it redirected standard URL options available in vb4 to the new URL. I guess we can all suck the lose of traffic up really knowing that a massive traffic lose will be incurred by moving forum software to begin with... I accept those risks, but would love to have a redirect if available.

As I said, im quite willing to look into this as long as people have patience - I do have a busy life !
Completely respect that... no immediate hurry, more something I would love to see here, supported, that really does an excellent job without data loss. If a true importer can store existing vb4 data, groups, albums, etc, for later recovery in the DB, that would be a pretty awesome tool to have so that it can be bought out later when XF release products such as gallery or such.

Again... also happy to donate a couple hundred towards this, and if others would want it, also encourage them to donate to the person who can achieve a true importer to make it happen.
 

Paul M

Well-known member
#13
I did a little playing around with importing some earlier versions of 4.x, and it didn't play nice with them, but then imported a 4.0.5 perfectly. It kept failing at importing the users for some reason. I switched over and tried the 3.x, and it worked perfectly, elbeit attachments. I found that a little weird and not sure if there are differences in table structure during the 4.x release that hindered this from working. May off simply been me, but I found it odd that the 3.x worked fine on earlier 4.x releases, but the 4.x you did didn't.
That makes no sense other then something locally acting up. There is no difference between the 3.x version and 4.x version (other than the field3 bug fixed in the 4.0 version) - they are the same code. There is also no difference in the table structure for users between 3.x and 4.x
 

Paul M

Well-known member
#16
I have Social Groups importing ok (at least from my test forum).

Obviously a better test would be a forum that uses them properly, if anyone would like to try it.

Moving on to Blogs next, and finally Articles - the principle is the same, just the database schemes are different, meaning the code can be largely copied/adapted.
 

Paul M

Well-known member
#18
I dont know anything about them, Im not sure they could even be transferred over. Its also probably not worth the effort either as few sites use them, and those that do probably only have 1 ro 2.
 

PVO_Dave

Active member
#19
We've got over 330 live subscriptions at the moment (had over 800+ in the time we've been using them), the prospect of transferring them all manually here isn't a great one :eek: - I think most of the club type forums will use them, thanks for reading anyway.

Dave.
 
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