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This is not a duplicate of Forum solution for ASP.NET MVC Application.

I've been searching for a (preferable) MVC.NET Forum Solution with the following requirements and found 2 "worth looking at" solutions : Yaf and NearForums.

Here are requirements :

It has to :

  • use .NET framework (very important) and be up to date
  • be SEO optimized
  • have a good support (free or not)
  • use the Board/Categories/Forums system
  • have an optimized database (we have more than 2.5Million users and counting)
  • support heavy loads
  • have a good level of security
  • Run on MS Server 2008 (at least), and use MSSQL

It's best if it:

  • is an integrable MVC application with source files we can work on without spending days on it to add functionalities, etc..

  • has Facebook/Twitter/Google account registration included

  • has a responsive design
  • has good administration/database tools

It has to avoid using Entity Framework (too slow for our future needs), and finally, price does not matter; it can be free or not.

So far I've looked at the latest version of Yaf (which we've been using since 2001, but never upgraded so I'm trying to upgrade it right now to version 2.1.1 but I'm having troubles since the DB has been modified a thousand times..), then found NearForums which I'm also looking at, but i wondered if there were any other solutions (free or not) that might do the job ?

We are really open to any .NET solution in general, that is of course up to date, and even if it doesn't fit all our requirements at a 100%, we can still take some time to work on it's development.

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I found this blog post: DigiOz Blog. It gave me a lot of information about recent forum solutions.

For our needs, as we are using an older version of yetAnotherForum, we decided to upgrade it to the latest version (free) as it would take us less time to migrate all the data.
Of course it has a responsive design and integregates many features such a load tests, maintenance tools, SQL query execution for host admins etc.
We still have to make some modifications since it isn't optimized for larger databases, like adding precalculated tables, optimizing stored procedures etc.

Other solutions:

JitBit and Ip.Board looked very interesting while not being free, but we didn't want to lose more time with data migration.

Both of them look customizable while JitBit provides their source code.

They are SEO optimized and have many features including spam check, logging with Facebook/Twitter, multi-language support etc.

Ip.Board supports cloud forums for those who are interested and has a reputation system. When buying a licence, a forum and ticket&peer to peer system support is provided.
There are other support plans also available, up to priority tickets and specialists support. In terms of costs, it starts at 175$ + 25$ renewal each year, and the support is free but can cost up to 500$ (500$ renewal) according to the plan you choose.

JitBit looks simpler but still seems pretty much optimized, while having a responsive design.
When buying a licence, a technical support is provided. It starts at 159$ for a single user, 299$ for a single developper (includes source codes), and 449$ for a company (includes SVN access to latest sources: useful?) per year.

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