I’m really in doubt about the whole forumthing regarding our http://www.bryllup.dk ???
I really like the idea of the forum being integrated properly – real integration as in “native joomla forum” like Joomlaboard so we have 100% integration, back end etc.
We do, though, have a forum that is much too big (250.000+ posts) for Joomlaboard. We tried that before christmas and we REALLY had bad experience with it.
If we change the looks of our Invisionboard, the users won’t have a new userinterface but they will have a more similar look and therefor not have the experience, that the site is split into two ("the main site" and "the seperate forum"). This way, it’s “semi-integrated” without the hassle for both us and the users in terms of changing board/database. But.......still two user-log-ins/user databases etc.
It just seems to me, that “every serious” Joomlasite uses SMF, which can be integrated almost completely (userdatabase, layout etc.) except for back end.
What would YOU do, if you had such a huge forum that was running like a “seperat half” of the main site?
I can see where you are sitting ... and I'm in a similar situation with one of my sites where I have a large standalone phpBB forum installed. I really would like for our forum users to be registered at the Joomla site too.
Since the forum has been the heart of the community for several years now (actually it has been in existence longer than the Joomla site), and due to a lot of knowledge in there, is heavily indexed by search engines, that alone rules out converting to some other software such as SMF, or the phpBB component by joomlastuff.org, because I don't want the URLs to change.
I also took a quick look at Simpleboard/Joomlaboard once but as I see it, it's not capable of running a larger community at all.
Another reason for not using the phpBB component is that it is not 'standard' - i.e. I'd be asking for trouble with some of the modifications I use. Also, sometimes it is necessary to upgrade immediately for security reasons. For that I don't want to have to rely on a 3rd party programmer to update his component when he finds the time.
Converting to SMF is not an option. Besides the necessity of keeping my URLs, SMF is not something I'd want to confront my (non-geek) users with. So, all of that makes me keep sticking to phpBB.
At this time, there is no functional user bridge between Joomla and standalone phpBB that I am aware of. So I'm still running them in a completely separated way.
My roadmap for the site in question looks like this:
1. A new template is due some time soon. When I do this, I'll also adapt the phpBB header and footer to the look and feel of the Joomla site to get at least a visual integration.
2. With Joomla 1.1, according to the roadmap, user plugins will allow connecting authentication to external applications. There should be such a plugin for phpBB from Adam, the joomlastuff.org guy. So with 1.1 I'll hopefully be able to use the phpBB user base for the main site as well.
These are some of my concerns. As for your installation of Invisionboard, I remember there is a relatively active thread on forum.joomla.org about user integration. If you search for "Invision" there you'll probably find it quickly. If the integration method described there is capable of bridging your users, then you'd be all set. And with a few template changes in your board, you could get the visual part done.