Where IPB mercilessly manhandles its competitors is in the suite. Integrated blog, gallery, etc are way better than a forum with third part apps. Finally, IP.content is a fantastic application that nobody else offers. If you want a site that engages community around content then IPB is a no-brainer. If you just want a forum then I don't think it's going to matter much which one you choose between IPB and Xenforo.
I put a lot of work into creating plugins for Vanilla 2.1 because I thought a final 2.1 release was imminent. That was in the Fall of 2012. Vanilla 2.1 is still not final and there is no indication that it ever will be at this point. Myself and many of the serious devs that were working with Vanilla at the time have given up on the product. Point is that for customers and devs, communication about the progress of an upcoming product release is essential to keep people integrated into the community and process. Let's hope there is news soon.
I have a client on Vbulletin that I would like to move to IPB. I think the cloud product might be a good fit but wanted to clarify a few points:
1. I am under the assumption that the cloud product gets it's version updated automatically. Is this true?
2. If #1 is true, what happens to plugins and addons that don't work anymore once the core software is updated? It seems that automatic updates create a very difficult environment for supporting third party add-ons. How is this managed?
3, What would be the best approach to get my client on the cloud product with compatibility in mind for the update cycle? He needs the following functionality:
Third party addons (or maybe best in IPcontent?)
a. Link directory
b. portal page
c. banner ad management.
To summarize, the essence of my question is what is the best way get this site up and running with the cloud service so that it is compatible with the upgrade cycle?
4. What backups are available with the cloud product and how are they accessed?
I agree with everything that Kiwi said. In addition I want to be able to choose whether the original image is stored on the server in addition to the resized versions. The over-complicated watermarking/rewatermarking scheme that forces retention of the original image is never something I wanted (I simply asked for some basic improvements to the way watermarks were handled). I don't want my disk and network backup overhead increased by tens of gigabytes to store something I don't want or need.
Wow I can't believe they did that and called it a solution. Exasperating.
Can't we just get a gallery 4 that replicates the functionality of 3, fixing its bugs, and have all this "new and improved" nonsense be optional? That is how you introduce new product features while continuing to support the needs of your current customers.
I can't upgrade anything in the entire suite because I'd be stuck with this misguided gallery product. Very frustrating.
Well you targeted me for sarcasm but completely missed the point. I can't say i'm surprised. What I am referring to are actual usage paradigms and software features, not common uses of feature names "like" etc. Like is fine. I like it. What I don't like is that an enormous amount of time and resources are spent on very complicated notification systems and other bloated features while years go by without basic functionality like tags. And what I REALLY don't like is that the new gallery is created based on IPS staffs browsing preferences and experiences at sites like Facebook (yes this was publicly stated), completely removing backward compatibility for existing customers and forcing many new features on us that are absolutely not wanted.
I'd also like to point out that while you have labeled me as a complainer, targeted me for sarcasm, and responded to my requests with a friendly "shut it" via PM, that most of my issues have, over time, proven to be real issues that the community as a whole are starting to realize are real and legitimate issues. Just read back through my posts if you don't believe me. Here's a great example:
1. I try to get some information on an obvious inconsistency in the software.
2. Staff gives me a run around.
3. IPB fans tell me im a complainer
4. People realize that I was right in the beginning and wonder why nothing is being done about said issue
5. IPS staff never gives definitive answer. Likely conclusion is that this has never been fixed.
6. Conclusion: bug is never fixed, staff refuses to give an answer, i'm the jerk, issue still not resolved.
This has been the theme around here since I migrated from Vbulletin. And you wonder why I "complain"?
IMO IPcontent is the best part of the whole suite by far. I've worked with it a lot. However, the lack of documentation, and the lack of functionality in the area of just making the product easier to setup and integrate with the site are very real problems.
I only manage parts of my project and my developer does most of the coding but I believe this is true: with the current system to change the order of the main navigation items (gallery, forum etc), or to remove items from the nav is quite a bit more complicated than just editing the template. This alone would be enough reason for an improved, ACP based solution.