View Full Version : phpbb3 to VB5 Migration

24 Jan 2016, 14:05
I am in the planning stages of migrating our site from phpbb3 to VB5. Has Impex been updated to to migrate straight to VB5, or do I have to first import to VB4? Also, does Impex work with PHP version 5.4.45?

24 Jan 2016, 14:54
No, you need to import to vBulletin 4.

Impex should be fine with php 5.4.

24 Jan 2016, 15:51
Thanks for the response. Will add that extra step into my migration plan.

28 Feb 2016, 21:47
OK so I finally got around to getting vb4 installed and ran impex. Was able to run impex with little trouble. However, when I try to view the site none of the existing threads show up. It's almost like i am viewing a empty database. What could be going on here?

28 Apr 2017, 19:53
Ok rant coming!

I'm in the process of trying to migrate from phpbb 3.1.10 to VBulletin and running into problems.

Given that I am getting no help from anyone on either Vbulletin.com or over here on Vbulletin.org I thought I would share this little bit of info for anyone searching the threads hoping to get some help.

First you have to understand that impex is ancient. It's not supported by anyone other than one guy who as far as I can tell hasn't done anything with it for the last 12 months and even then most of the import scripts are so out of date you would need to be running a really old board for the import to go without problems.

Also no one seems to mention that you must use VB v4.22 and no higher to import into because impex was not written to support any higher version. You can of course then update to VB5 if your import goes ok.

Specifically for those looking to import from phpbb 3.1 you WILL have problems. Most notably all your user post counts will be set to zero and the 'latest reply' for every forum will just show a date sometime around 1970. You "cannot" fix this within VB. The problem lays in impex because it only supports importing from phpbb 3.0.3 but the move to 3.1 changed the way post counts and last post times are handled. They now sit in their own table but impex doesn't know about it so doesn't import it.

Your attachments will not come across even though it may look as though they have.

Your members, moderators and admins will all be set to the same level of 'junior member'

...and you will get no help whatsoever from Vbulletin support who will simply tell you to come here at which point you will be pointed toward Zachary who is the guy now giving his time to maintaining impex over at Github, only he seems to have gone quiet over the last 12 months so good luck with getting assistance there...he's not paid by the way so that is not a dig at him, he does what he can when he can but of course that doesn't help if your stuck with a completely useless forum and can't move forward.

I think the best thing you can do if your currently running phpbb 3.1 or above is to forget VBulletin and find something else or stick with what you have. At least you will get decent support from the phpbb community which considering phpbb is completely free and so is the support that's quite something. Paid isn't always better :(

28 Apr 2017, 20:54
I understand your frustration but I'm afraid the amount of work to keep an import system up to date is significant, especially when it has to support multiple forum systems.

28 Apr 2017, 21:14
I totally accept that Dave. In fact impex is an incredible piece of work. If only it wasn't completely out of date. Also there are no other importers available. I wish I had known this before I laid out the cash for VB5. I did ask in the pre-sales forum over at vbulletin.com. I explained exactly what I wanted to do and was told it would work fine and now of course I find that not to be the case which even if they don't support impex is a little unfair.

I know vbulletin themselves cannot guarantee anything as regards importing from another forum but a bit of clarity would help. I'm sure I am not the first person to ask if phpbb 3.1 can successfully be imported to VB and likewise I now know I am not the first person to report exactly the same issues so a sticky on the forum or a warning might not go amiss.

I can see reading through various posts that a couple of people do seem to have fixed the problem but they don't say how, which again I find slightly odd. If the same happened with phpbb the solution would be on the forum for everyone to use.

If I were a MySQL guru I would fix it myself and then post the solution. Unfortunately I am not so right now I have spent 234 on a forum I cannot use and I have 10,000 members expecting to very soon be using VBulletin. Not a happy situation to be in.

What I really don't understand is why, given we pay for VBulletin, they have not produced their own import script? Nearly all the free forums I know of have import scripts available so if those free services can do it why can't VBulletin? Surely they have the resources, certainly they should have more than the producers of all the free forums out there? Where does all the cash go?

Anyway this isn't helping anyone and I really don't like moaning like this but I'm stuck so I can't think of anything else to do right now :(

28 Apr 2017, 21:41
I assume other people hired someone with MySQL/PHP knowledge to create custom SQL queries to move data properly between the old and new forum. It shouldn't be too hard, you just have to figure out what has to move to the new location.

Maybe one day when I have time I'll look into updating the importer.

22 May 2017, 16:53
I posted this on GitHub, but realistically I don't have time to maintain impex on my own without anyone contributing.

I haven't had anyone push any pull requests to GitHub either.

Anyone is capable of forking my branch, or making pull requests, I'm happy to spend time merging that stuff and doing my best to test it.

Sorry, my day to day job has taken me far away from communities directly in general.

Paul M
22 May 2017, 17:55
Slightly on a tangent, but Git just confuses me. :(

22 May 2017, 18:53
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

I just realised though that post counts and last post are the least of my problems. The biggest issue is that attachments don't come across. They "appear" to during the import but they are simply not there!

My forum members make great use of attachments to post photos to threads and have put a lot of work into that over the years. I can't imagine a situation where I have to tell them it's all gone!

Looks Like VB was a waste of money for me as it has no doubt been for others in my situation :(