I took over the running of a RPG forum that runs on phpBB a while ago.
A few days ago, a friend who runs a different RPG forum, said he was thinking of shutting it down, because the activity has reduced.
It has been suggested (by a user who has accounts on both our sites) that his forum is merged into our forum. I don't think the user has any idea how complex merging two databases (without screwing them up) could be.
I think I have a general idea of what we need to do, but I believe it would be a lot of complex steps.
To make things more complex, my friend uses vBulletin, so I'm guessing that his board would need to be converted to phpBB, before a merger could be attempted. (And from this topic in the [3.3.x] Converters subforum, it looks like there isn't a vBulletin to phpBB converter that converts the latest version of vBulletin to a supported version of phpBB.)
So, I'm guessing that I would be looking at:
- Convert from vBulletin to phpBB (if possible),
- Upgrade from an out of date version of phpBB to the same version that the forum I'm looking after and
- Merge the two forums into a single database.
Are there any tools to do this, or would it require both forums to be locked down, and studied, so that things like user IDs, post IDs and forum IDs can be changed, so that nothing gets overwritten?
Should any of that research be done, with the vBulletin forum before it is translated into a phpBB forum, so that the in-use numbers at the forum I am running, can be reserved during the phpBB conversion process?
I have no idea how conversion works, so I don't know if it would be easier to shunt user IDs, forum IDs and post IDs along, before a merger.
One other potential issue I'm thinking of is the legal question. My friend wasn't planning to get his forum handed over to another group of RPG fans. So there has obviously never been permission requested to pass data to our group or anyone else. So, I'm not sure if I could legally take over the login details from my friend's forum.
I'm not expecting legal advice, but does anyone have any experience of dealing with that? Did you need to go to a lawyer? Or did you find a way to blank out data or hash the data, so that only the original users could see it?