Forum software question.


Senior Member
Our group at work (23 of us) were thinking about setting up a small forum within out group to use as an exchange mechanism. I guess I'm looking for free if it exists forum software that I could run on a windows box. Does such an animal exist?
Thanks Dan,
I should of also stated that it would be nice if it were asp based but I know so little at this point that that may not matter. I happened on to snitz. A couple of newbie questions. Do the PHP based forums need an apache web server and does one like snitz use IIS? Or am I way off in the way that these work. Can you give me a really high level overview of how these work. Where are the messages stored in access for an asp based BB? Thanks as usual for your help.
If your company is running Exchange server, you could set up a Public Folder to post to. It's free if you already use Exchange! ;)


MS has two options. They have Sharepoint portal server (which cost money) and then they have Sharepoint team services which I think is free w/XP professional. Both can be used to for a forum and shared work space.

If you need any other info on these products, I can get one of my developers to help you.

- Mike
I use MaxWebPortal for my site,

I have been pleased with it. My site experiences 20-30K page hits per month.

The software is free and available from

The old version is in the process of being revamped and will hopefully be released shortly. The version I run (1.35) is still available if you search. BTW, it is based on the snitz forums code.

Rupp, both Perl and PHP will work with IIS, but most of these forum packages need a db backend, such as MySQL or MSSQL. YaBB used to be text file based, which makes it very portable, but I am not sure if that is the case.
Rupp, you might be less concerned about secuirty if the entire thing is behind a firewall and isn't being made available across the Internet. Then again, sometimes you want the security from the other employees...

I have successfully installed and used phpBB and similar varieties on IIS 5.0 with PHP and a MySQL back end. The forum software and MySQL are both inexpensive or free, and can co-exist on an IIS server mostly without problems. Once in a while you run into slight differences with support libraries that may make some functions work differently, but the authors usually make those differences pretty transparent with special platform-specific files that you load depending on your platform.

Typically the database resides on the machine that hosts it - in this case the web server - so that all info is local and network permissions aren't needed (which keeps from exposing the data to possible interception on the network, etc.). Some will use ODBC connections to the back end db, and will work with Access, but be aware that Access is not a multiuser db and multiple copies of a forum package running from multiple simultaneous sessions could cause it problems. Best to stick with some form of SQL.

The Exchange public folders is also an excellent idea, and can even be tied to the NNTP news protocol running on Exchange. It's all included in Exchange.
I think you can use a Yahoo group for free. Make it join by moderator and that keeps it private. That way you don't have to run any software and it's accessable from anywhere on the web.
The last link that E posted:

Is a FANTASTIC service! It is very similar to this and the HomeSeer message boards. You have full admin control, set your topics, allow/disallow attatchments, setting permissions per user group/individual user, and anything else you could possibly think of. Best of all it is totally FREE.

Check out their site and see for yourself.