Setting up Community Server 2007

I picked up some excellent pointers from my hosting provider’s forums by someone who had has been working hard to set up his website: http://evilmidgetsocialclub.com There are some great pointers, so I thought I’d replicate the post here.

For those wondering what Community Server 2007 is … it’s a content management system (CMS) like Joomla, Mambo, Drupal, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server. CS2007 is specifically designed to build communities allowing users to easily (in theory) add their own content to the site. The nice thing about CS2007 is it has all of the basic stuff you want in a CMS like forums, photo gallery, blogs, articles, etc. without having to kludge up the system like Joomla/Mambo with plugins that barely work half the time.

Best of all for me is that it is written in C# so is cleaner and less Linux’y than all the php solutions. It is a commercial product but there is a personal edition that’s free: http://get.communityserver.org/Express.aspx

Here are some pointers for anyone else trying to install Community Server 2007:

1) Make sure your site is using .Net 2.0. After banging my head on the walls for an hour I realized I might have .Net 1.1 instead of 2.0. So, I made a simple .Net 2.0 webpage, published it, saw it fail, and knew I needed to have my site changed.

2) Set up your MSSQL database and db user and then give db_owner permissions to that user: https://www.servergrid.com/support/sqltools.aspx

3) Disable script debugging and error notification in your browser. Otherwise you’ll get popup errors every time the install page loads.

4) Don’t freak out that it takes 2-5 minutes to load each page of the CS2007 setup, it’s some bug in the setup process but your site will be fast once the install is done.

5) MAKE SURE YOU DON’T ENTER ANY FIELDS INCORRECTLY! For whatever reason if you make the smallest mistake when you try to do the final step the CS2007 setup shuts you down and doesn’t let you go back and fix your mistake.

6) If you do make a mistake and have to start over it’s easiest to just to delete the MSSQL database and recreate it. If you don’t you’ll just get another error after waiting 20 mins for all the setup pages to load. Oh, and make sure you give your database user db_owner or you’ll have to start over again.

7) Don’t run with scissors, you could put someones eye out.

Great advice mate, particularly the last one 😉

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