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vB4 Migration

#1
Ive been a vBulletin admin for probably 10 years but the time has come for a major site upgrade and I’m eying up the alternatives to vBulletin 5

I’ve been testing alternatives and had a bad experience with bbPress which very helpfully emailed every user an email every time their name was mentioned in a post. Pretty embarrassing.

So firstly my question is can I safely import my vB database without notifying users?

Can I import my vB database for testing and update it at the time of switching?

What features of vB4 are not available in XF (apart from CMS)?

Which settings are not ported? Eg permissions, user groups etc.

Im also looking at bridging to Wordpress 4.9. Is there anything special I should know about XF plug-ins vs. vBulletin?

Thanks for any answers you can offer.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#2
There is not an official vB5 importer, though an unofficial one exists:
https://xenforo.com/community/resources/vbulletin-5-to-xenforo-importer.5462/

Although it's unofficial, it does appear to be well maintained.

I'll try and answer the questions generally, though there may be some which might be specific to the unofficial importer which I can't answer (I haven't personally tested it).

So firstly my question is can I safely import my vB database without notifying users?
There's nothing within XF that actually emails users when they are mentioned in a post. They just get an alert, instead. e.g. @Cadellin. Even so, I wouldn't expect an import process (and certainly the official ones don't) to trigger alerts/emails for anything like this.

Can I import my vB database for testing and update it at the time of switching?
This might be one to ask of the author of the vB5 importer, but generally you would do the import for testing, then do it again when it's time to go live. Our official importers, for example, don't offer an incremental import.

What features of vB4 are not available in XF (apart from CMS)?
Hard to say, exactly (been a while since I used vB4). Perhaps Albums might be one. I know that's built in with vB, but we have a separate Gallery add-on. I think vB also has an attachment manager (for users). There's an attachment browser in the Admin CP for admins. If there's particular functionality you need to make sure you have, let us know and we'll let you know if we have it or not or if there's another solution for it.

Which settings are not ported? Eg permissions, user groups etc.
Anything we don't support in the software won't be imported, e.g. CMS, blogs, albums etc. In terms of albums it should be possible to import them into our Gallery add-on, but it's not compatible with vB5. Everything else, permissions, groups, users, posts, threads etc. should come across (again the specifics may depend on the importer itself). @Necrophyte might have more info.

Im also looking at bridging to Wordpress 4.9. Is there anything special I should know about XF plug-ins vs. vBulletin?
There is a third party WordPress integration, @LPH may be able to provide more insight.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#3
Sorry, I saw the mention of vBulletin 5 in the message and ignored the title. So some of what I said was wrong.

  • We do have an importer for vB4 and that covers albums if you also have our Gallery addon.
  • We don’t support incremental imports but there is a third party importer and some service providers use this for bigger imports. That covers you to be able to do multiple test imports with a final import of what has changed since.
Hope that clarifies a few things.
 
#4
Ive been a vBulletin admin for probably 10 years but the time has come for a major site upgrade and I’m eying up the alternatives to vBulletin 5

I’ve been testing alternatives and had a bad experience with bbPress which very helpfully emailed every user an email every time their name was mentioned in a post. Pretty embarrassing.

So firstly my question is can I safely import my vB database without notifying users?

Can I import my vB database for testing and update it at the time of switching?

What features of vB4 are not available in XF (apart from CMS)?

Which settings are not ported? Eg permissions, user groups etc.

Im also looking at bridging to Wordpress 4.9. Is there anything special I should know about XF plug-ins vs. vBulletin?

Thanks for any answers you can offer.
Hi, I'm not sure if you need some professional help with doing an import from vB4 to XF, but if you do I'd recommend @Slavik as he did a great job for me when I moved from vB4 to XF. Just thought I'd mention him if you were needing help as it can be quite intimidating to try to take on a task like that. At least that is how I felt.

I'm using Wordpress 4.9 as well. I don't know how to bridge WP4.9 and Xenforo, so I will be interested in hearing if anyone else knows of ways it can be done. I have thought it would be nice to show some forum stats on my WP4.9 homepage. I know that you can use the RSS feeds in some widgets to show current threads, etc. on Wordpress. :)

Good luck with moving to XF if you decide to do that. I think this is a great community here and people seem very genuine in offering help and coming together as a community. :)
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#7
Yes:
Sorry, I saw the mention of vBulletin 5 in the message and ignored the title. So some of what I said was wrong.

  • We do have an importer for vB4 and that covers albums if you also have our Gallery addon.
  • We don’t support incremental imports but there is a third party importer and some service providers use this for bigger imports. That covers you to be able to do multiple test imports with a final import of what has changed since.
Hope that clarifies a few things.
 
#8
Not to worry. Thanks for the clarification.

Final question - does XF2 have a stable importer? At this stage might as well skin the latest and greatest than have to remake a skin post XF2 launch.
 
#9
Not to worry. Thanks for the clarification.

Final question - does XF2 have a stable importer? At this stage might as well skin the latest and greatest than have to remake a skin post XF2 launch.
No it's not stable yet recommend path upgrade to 1.5 then upgrade to 2.0
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#10
This is true. There is a beta version of the vB4 importer built into XF2 Release Candidate 3 right now. It has some known bugs and won't have been "road tested" much when XF2 becomes stable. The vB4 importer will be marked as a "Beta" for some time.

That said, it can only get better if people are brave enough to give it a go. So please do feel free to give it a try (in test conditions) and let us know if you encounter any issues.

Otherwise, indeed, it's recommended to import into a plain XF 1.5 install and then upgrade to XF 2.0.
 
#11
I have imported many vb4 sites to XF1.5 with no problems at all it doesn't delete any info from your vb installation so set up a test site and do the import first just to be sure that the end product is what you want it to be anyways.Always better to test first before you commit to a final solution
 
#12
Thanks for the answers folks. My plan is as follows

1. Import vB4 into XF1.5
2. Using seperate XF2 test site create the custom skin we'd need (password protected from public etc).
3. Do an incremental import from vB4 to XF1.5 using a third-party plugin so the XF forum is bang up to date.
4. Upgrade XF1.5 => XF2
5. Apply XF2 skin
6. Launch
 
#13
This is true. There is a beta version of the vB4 importer built into XF2 Release Candidate 3 right now. It has some known bugs and won't have been "road tested" much when XF2 becomes stable. The vB4 importer will be marked as a "Beta" for some time.

That said, it can only get better if people are brave enough to give it a go. So please do feel free to give it a try (in test conditions) and let us know if you encounter any issues.

Otherwise, indeed, it's recommended to import into a plain XF 1.5 install and then upgrade to XF 2.0.
I am about a month away from moving a large vb4 forum (3m post) to XF2. Do you have a list of known bugs?
 

Kier

XenForo Developer
Staff member
#16
How do you do the incremental import?
I'm not sure there's a need to do that any more - the XF2 versions of the importers are pretty much ready for the prime time, so you should be able to import directly into XF2 without having to worry about an XF1.5 step in the middle.
 
#18
I'm not sure there's a need to do that any more - the XF2 versions of the importers are pretty much ready for the prime time, so you should be able to import directly into XF2 without having to worry about an XF1.5 step in the middle.
Jumping into this thread - are the built-in importers in XF2 suitable for large boards (>5M posts)?