ForteAgent/Outlook/XML to phpBB 3.2

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ForteAgent/Outlook/XML to phpBB 3.2

Post by Xymox2017 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:13 pm


I have recently created a phpBB 3.2 forum, works perfectly.
In the past I used a newsgroup forum which contains tons of nice messages.
Unfortunately this newsgroup is closed many years ago, but I have a "copy" of the forum.

I would like to know if there are ways to import the old forum into phpBB 3.2.

I have seen a generic XML message to phpBB tool here:


I'm able to save the old forum into XML/text files.
I'm also able (I think) to create a tool to convert those files into the needed format as described in the link.

But does this work for 3.2? Probably the layout of the DB has changed.

So, does anyone have suggestions for this? is there a generic way to import XML into the latest phpBB?
Does anyone converted Outlook or similar newsgroup clients?

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: ForteAgent/Outlook/XML to phpBB 3.2

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:26 pm

would be best to do all of this on your computer using xamp or something similar.

get a copy of phpbb 3.0 install it . run your convertor on that and then when it is working upgrade from phpbb 3.0 to 3.2 following these instructions.

Upgrading from phpbb 3.0.x to phpbb 3.2.x
  • Your server must be running at least PHP 5.4
  • MODs for 3.0.x are incompatible with 3.2.x and their functionality will be removed in the update process.
  • Styles for 3.0.x cannot be installed or used on 3.2.x.
  1. Backup up your board's files and database
  2. Download the Support Toolkit. Install it and run the database cleaner to remove all old MODs from the database.
  3. Deactivate all styles except for prosilver
  4. Ensure that the activated spambot countermeasure is one of the standard phpBB plugins (Simple image, GD image, GD 3D image, Q&A, reCaptacha).
  5. Set British English as the only language pack
  6. Delete all of your phpBB 3.0.x files EXCEPT for the following:
    • The config.php file
    • The /images/ directory
    • The /files/ directory
  7. Download the 3.2.x Full Package to your computer and unzip it.
  8. Delete the blank config.php file from it. (Note: you don't want to overwrite your original config.php file)
  9. Upload all the remaining files/folders to your server where your old board was.
  10. Browse to then click the update tab. Click update database only. This could take a long time on a large board, maybe hours.
  11. Delete the folder named /install/
  12. Hold one foot in the air and spin around in a circle three times saying "I am a phpbb guru".
I'm baaaaaccckkkk. still doing work on donation basis. PM your needs.

Premium phpBB 3.2 Styles by

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, does it make a sound?

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Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:06 pm

Re: ForteAgent/Outlook/XML to phpBB 3.2

Post by Xymox2017 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:45 am

Thanks for the tip.

So I started. Created a local phpbb 3.0 using XAMPP.
Running fine.

I could install the import messages mod and tested a simple XML file, works perfectly.
I created a small tool to convert a text file (the export from the newsreader client) to the needed XML format for import messages mod.

This works also perfectly.

But now. Before I import all messages and convert phpbb3.0 to 3.2:
In the end I have a local phpbb 3.2 haviung all the messages.
How do I get this into my running phpbb 3.2 which is already in use and having many posts?
Is there a way to export the messages and import them into the running one?

Another option could be to adapt the message import mod so it runs on phpbb 3.2.
Testing it on a local server and when ok, import the messages straight into the running forum.

Any tips on this?

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Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:06 pm

Re: ForteAgent/Outlook/XML to phpBB 3.2

Post by Xymox2017 » Mon May 15, 2017 1:00 pm

So I finished this task and eventually I got 120.000 posts from the newsgroups to phpBB 3.2.

It was not easy, but now knowing all the steps it is not that hard in retrospect.

So, for anyone thinking about doing the same, here the steps I take.

Import posts coming from any source which are initially on disk as txt or xml files.

1) Exported all newsgroup messages as text files to local disk. In this case the newsreader was AgentForte.
2) The exported files (txt) contain username, posttime, subject and body text. Attachments are indicated in body texts as links to local files.
3) I created a tool which parses the text files and creates the needed XML files for the message import tool.
The XML files are conform the needed structure.
I decided not to create separate users (original posters) but create only one phpBB user which will act as a parent user. The body text will contain a bbCode having the username of the original poster and will be displayed as first line in the body text.
Attachments the same: a bbCode linking to the attachment file which will be present as a file on the phpBB server subfolder.
The forum to import into
4) Created a local phpBB 3.0 installation using XAMPP
All forums are created in front.
5) Installed the text import tool on phpBB 3.0
6) Imported the XML files

So then the local phpBB 3.0 installation contained all posts.

7) Upgraded phpBB 3.0 to 3.2
8) Run re-code of the body texts so they are in XML format internally
9) Exported using phpAdmin the post,topic and forum tables into SQL export files
10) Imported these SQL files on the server

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