We always ensure we offer an easy upgrade path for customers using older versions of InstantForum. It's possible with InstantForum to upgrade from the very first release to the very latest release without losing any of your data stored within the InstantForum database.
To assist customers looking to upgrade from older versions to our latest version we've provided some basic high level guidance below on how you would typically upgrade from an existing InstantForum 4.1.4 installation to our InstantForum 2016 release.
The steps in this guide ensure your existing live InstantForum installation won't be impacted by testing the upgrade process. We never modify your existing files or database. Once your comfortable with the upgrade process and ensure everything will go smoothly we would suggest taking your existing installation offline when you perform the final migration to ensure no new data is added to the database.
Installing the latest files
1. Ensure your installation environment supports our InstantForum installation requirements.
2. Download the latest version of InstantForum from https://my.instantasp.co.uk/MyLicenses.aspx
3. Install the latest InstantForum files on your target web server. Our installation documentation may assist with this. If your upgrading on the same web server as your existing InstantForum files we would suggest installing the latest InstantForum files alongside your existing installation. DO NOT replace your existing InstantForum files. You should install alongside any existing files.
4. Ensure the folder containing your new InstantForum files is marked as a web application within IIS.
Upgrading your database
Now the latest InstantForum files are installed on the new server or alongside your existing web site it's time to upgrade your existing database to the latest InstantForum schema.
1. Take a back-up of your existing InstantForum database.
2. Restore this database back-up under a new name. For example "InstantForumXXXX" where XXXX is the version of InstantForum you are upgrading to. For example 2015, 2016, 2017 etc.
3. Now we have a copy of your database we can run the various database upgrade scripts against your restored database to upgrade the schema to the latest InstantForum version. These scripts will update all tables and stored procedures whilst keeping all your existing data. In this example we'll start from InstantForum 4.1.4 and will run each script up to InstantForum 2016-2.
You can find the various upgrade scripts within the "DatabaseScripts/UpgradeScripts" folder within your latest InstantForum download. We would suggest connecting to your restored database within SQL Server Management Studio. Ensure your restored database selected and execute the following scripts against your restored database in the following order one by one...
4. Now your restored database has been fully upgraded to the latest InstantForum schema you will need to jump back to your InstantForum files on the web server and modify the database connection string within the InstantForum web.config to point to your new restored database.
If your upgrading from an older version of InstantForum where your existing InstantForum web.config file does not have an application setting called "InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" you will need to ensure the InstantASP_CryptographyMethod application setting within the new InstantForum web.config has a value of "TripleDES". This will ensure existing user accounts are able to login after your upgrade.
<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" value="TripleDES"/>
Uploads & Images
To ensure all existing images embedded within posts and user signatures continue to work you should copy your "Uploads" folder from your existing InstantForum installation into the root of your new InstantForum installation. You will be prompted to replace the default "Uploads" folder provided with all version of InstantForum. If you don't replace the "Uploads" folder with your existing "Uploads" folder some user uploaded images may not load currently after your upgrade.
We hope this guide helps you upgrade from a older version of InstantForum. Of course if we can assist please don't hesitate to submit a support request or contact us.