I'm trying to find forum software that easily allows for integration into an existing web site. I want users to be able to log in to the web site and then use the discussion forum without logging in again. In addition, I need the software to have most of the advanced forum features, including file attachments, pictures, private groups, etc.). Finally, I'd like the software to be well supported and have a large user community. I don't want to have something that is going to disappear next year.
I am in the process of going through the list provided in the sticky at the top of this forum (which is awesome, by the way) but I haven't found anything yet that meets my needs.
I think vBulletin would be the clear choice. It's not free, but it can do most of the things that you request. Coupled with a third-party extension called VB advanced (which is free), you can combine the main site login and forum login (as we do on this very site).
Yeah, the bulletin board looks good. The question is, can I insert it into an existing site with existing login functionality. Ideally, I could just edit the main page of the forum to read in session variables and login automatically. Is that what you are doing, or is the vBulletin software managing all of the login functionality?
vBulletin is handling the login. The extension I mentioned before allows you to customize a front page, or pages, and include a login that goes through vBulletin. Integrating an existing login and database with a forum, any forum, is a huge undertaking and one I recommend you don't attempt.The problem is not logging in, the problem is having 2 databases and 2 user accounts. It's always trouble.
I'm in the same position of trying to find a message board solution to integrate into my website. I only need to create a couple of forums, but must have anti-spam robot code entry facility for non registered users to post messages.