In the last months, in the spare time, I started to study PHP in order to use it on a Windows + SQL Server box. Why you would do such thing you may be wondering. The point is that Wordpress is actually, IMHO, the state of the art of a free CMS that must be used as the backend for a community site: it’s feature-rich, it has a *lot* of plugins and themes, it can be used to host blogs and to empower a “thematic” website. In my case I’d like to refresh the engine used to publish the Italian SQL Server User Group website.
I’ve looked for a lot of alternatives in the .NET World, and I evaluated in the last year
- Community Server
For one reason or another, none of the mentioned platforms, which are great platforms BTW, was the right for us. We needed something
- Capable of managing a community portal with news, articles, events, calendars and so on
- Capable of managing the blogs of members, allowing the generation of new blog sub site on the fly
- Fully customizable with a minimum effort for the end user
- Enabled to use HTML5 and CSS3
- Stable and Mature, with a good documentation and/or forum support
- Easy to be extended/modified adapted to our needs
- Compatible with MSN Live Writer
- Compatible with SQL Server
- Capable of hosting forums or capable of be integrated with a 3rd party forum platform
And at the end the platform that suits all our need is…Wordpress!
Of course this decision bring some challenges in the game:
- I need to be sure that Wordpress can work *well* with SQL Server
- I need to integrate Wordpress with a forum software.
Luckily Microsoft has written a cool abstraction layer for Wordpress, that make it compatible with SQL Server. And, even more luckily, there is a mainstream forum solution, PHPBB, natively compatible with SQL Server.
Of course not everything is as smooth as one would like it to be, so there are some “attention point” that one need to take into account when going in this way. And since there isn’t a lot of documentation available on running Wordpress together with PHPBB on SQL Server, I though that writing some post can be helpful to the community. After all Wordpress and PHPBB are two *great* solution and having them available on SQL Server is something desirable in my opinion.
So, in the next months, I’ll write a series of four (maybe five) posts to describe how to have a Wordpress + PHPBB on IIS + SQL Server solution up and running.
Here’s the agenda of the next posts:
I’ll hope you’ll enjoy the topics!