Converting From CommunityServer to DotNetNuke Intro

So I have been trying to figure out how best to do this blog post for a while now, though I think I will be better off doing it as a series of blog posts rather than one individual one. So this post will be the starting point for the conversion. I will update it with links to the other blog posts in the series as they get created and added.

Background (all in my opinion and based on my memory, as inaccurate as that may be):

Back in the early days of ASP.NET there were a few projects that many developers tried to use. There was a forum project at the time managed by Rob Howard at Microsoft, the ASP.NET Forums. There was a blog project called .Text and a photo gallery called nGallery.

Ultimately Rob left Microsoft and formed a company called Telligent, he took the ASP.NET Forums, and worked with the owners of the nGallery and .Text to merge them all into a product from Telligent called CommunityServer. CommunityServer progressed over the years, and a number of websites have been built with it. I believe once ran on CommunityServer, and I had a number of websites of my own that ran on it at one time. I don’t believe still runs on it, at least 100% but some forms of CommunityServer are still in use as seen by visiting the blogs at including my own at

Initially CommunityServer was called “open source” and veiled under that banner, but over time that changed and it became what most would consider a very expensive piece of software. Over the past 6 months I have seen a lot of interest in converting off of CommunityServer

My history with CommunityServer

My background with CommunityServer begins before it started, I worked with the ASP.NET Forums project, and became (remain) good friends with one of the very first Telligent employees. I’ve had a number of websites that ran on .Text and CommunityServer throughout the years. My personal website ran on it, I had a few racing websites on it as well. As of late ran on it, though at the end of November 2010 I converted it over to DotNetNuke. This series of blog posts will document all that was necessary for that conversion.

I’ve been using DotNetNuke since it was known as IBuySpy Workshop. I work for the DotNetNuke Corporation now. So it made sense for me to convert from CommunityServer to DotNetNuke.

When I converted moved from CommunityServer 2.1 to DotNetNuke 5.6.0 and the DotNetNuke Forum Module version 5.0. I did make a few customizations to the Forum module and I will talk about those.

What’s Coming

Here are some of the things that need to be covered in the conversion. I will link these posts as they are written, and also add to the list as I find other info to be covered.

  • Installing DotNetNuke and background
  • Converting Users (hashed passwords)
  • Converting Forum Groups
  • Converting Forums
  • Converting Forum Threads
  • Converting Forum Replies
  • Implementing BB Code in DNN Forum Module
  • Customizing the DotNetNuke Banner SkinObject
  • Handling CommunityServer URLs and sending them to DotNetNuke

Series of Posts:
Part 1: An Introduction
Part 2: DotNetNuke Installation
Part 3: Converting users from CommunityServer to DotNetNuke
Part 4: Getting the conversion tables ready for CS  to DNN
Part 5: Moving Forum threads from CommunityServer to DotNetNuke
Part 6, Community Server to DotNetNuke Moving Forum replies and attachments
Part 7: CommunityServer to DotNetNuke handling URLs

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Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at