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Help for setting up a forum on Intranet

  1. Mar 17, 2006 #1
    Hi all,

    At work we are looking in to the idea of setting up a forum much like this one on our intranet to share information amongst our co-workers. I have no idea how much is involved or where to begin.

    -Is there software that can be purchased?
    -Can it be done on intranet for only certain people on the LAN?
    -Is it hard to get a forum that has similar thread organization and search tools as this one?
    -Have you heard of any other industry doing this?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2006 #2
    To have it for your intranet only i guess you would have to run it on the intranet's server.

    Most of the forums are very simple to install as the often come with an installation script, that asks for information such as db host, pass, etc. It is usually for setting up the database and the initial configurations, like allowing guest posts, etc.

    This site uses vbulleting but there are many free, opensource ones like PunBB.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2006 #3

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    You'll need a server machine inside your LAN. There are many ways you can do this for free, most (all even) the software is free.
    Number one you'll need some machine to run as server, any machine will do, the faster the better of course. You'll need Web Server software such as:
    Apache (free) http://httpd.apache.org/
    Microsoft Internet Information Service (IIS). A free copy comes in your windows CD, not installed by default, you can install it by going to control Add/Remove Programs, WIndows Components and selecting IIS. The versions of IIS that come with non server Windows Operating Systems are usually limited in the number of connections to, i think, about 10, which might be too little.

    Unless a computer in your LAN is running Windows 2003 Server i would go with Apache, otherwise i would go with IIS.
    Some forum software:
    http://www.phpbb.com/downloads.php (free)
    http://www.vbulletin.com/ (free to try)
    Both of these forums run on PHP, and MYSQL. PHP is server-side language, so in order to run these forums your Web Server (whichever you pick) will need to be configured to run PHP. PHP is free:
    http://www.php.net/
    Finally, you'll also need MYSQL, a free database server so that your forums can store all of the posts and all the user information. Check whether your forum installation comes with a copy of MySQL, otherwise go to:
    http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/

    You should know that there are alternatives to PHP, like ASP/ASP.NET and JSP. If you find forum software that runs in JSP, PHP or CGI, then install the correct server extension. Windows likes ASP/ASP.NET obviously, and if you have the .NET framework, which you likely do if you ever updated Windows recently, then your IIS can easily run ASP/ASP.NET.
    But, from what i've seen, the PHP forums are the most popular, and for good reasons, they're the best i've seen by far.

    It's also very easy to password protect the forum if needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  5. Apr 1, 2006 #4
    Thanks a lot for the details
     
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