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Active Forums 4.0 - Testing Review

17 Aug

I have recently been given the opportunity to preview the upcoming Active Forums 4.0 release.  In this starter review I will give my first opinions after working with the module for a short time and experimenting with the new features.  A full review of the module will come after it has been released and I am able to test/work with the full edition.

System Requirements

Right from the beginning I noticed when reading the warnings presented with my preview copy of Active Forums that it only supports SQL Server 2005 and higher. Although not an issue for most people, this is a very important element for individuals to keep in mind once the module has been released.

Enhanced Administration

As soon as I had the module installed and started working with the new control panel I was truly amazed. A unified control panel, with common navigation, and fully AJAX Enabled. Active Modules must have put a great amount of consideration into the creation of this new admin interface as the graphics and function far surpass what is typically found in a DotNetNuke module. The new "Dashboard" feature is also a helpful feature to give administrators a quick overview of their forum activity.

Points System

The new version of Active Forums also includes an enhanced points system, that allows individuals to get points for specific actions: creating a topic, replying to a topic, providing an answer, marking a post as answer, and moderating a post. This enhanced point system can really help to create a forum community that has true ratings based on the added value that a person provides to the community.

Email A Friend

Another nice value added feature is an "email a friend" link at the top of every thread, quickly allowing uses to share helpful content found on the site. This is a great way to help encourage others to drive traffic to your site.

Flood and Edit Intervals

The last new feature that I will discuss in this quick overview is the Flood and Edit Interval options. These options allow a site administrator to set a minimum time between posts, and to set the maximum time in minutes that a user can edit posts. These are two options that in my opinion are very good for site administrators.

Overall

Overall I'm incredibly impressed with what I have found thus far in reviewing the new version. I know that Will and the others at Active Modules are working hard to resolve a number of outstanding issues, and I can't wait to see what things are like once they get them resolved. The new features and new graphical elements provide what is shaping up to be a great new release to the already popular forum module. Keep tuned to this blog for an updated review closer to the actual release of the module where I will even be able to provide feedback on upgrades!

tags: DNN, Product Review
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