Integrating your own login system into a pre-built forum

(I hope this is the right place to ask this question, but no forum seemed to suit the question particularly well.)

I want to know how people handle forum and other login systems on their site. My site is not just a forum, and has its own login, profile, password changing, validation, and so on mechanisms. But most forums come with this as well. I don’t want a user to have to create two accounts to use my website fully. Any ideas on how to go about handling this problem?

(in particular, I am thinking about vbulletin here, but other forum software would be good to consider)

It’s usually called a bridge, but for a completely custom webapp, you would have to write it yourself.

You could also look into integrating OpenID, google, or a facebook login.

Yeah, a bridge pretty well describes what you’ll need to come up with. It depends on what CMS you’re using. I’ve never done it myself but I have read about it being done with Drupal (vBulletin + Drupal) so it stands to reason that it has also been done with other CMS packages as well.

I don’t mind writing something myself, so thanks for pointing out the concept of bridge to me. But can you explain what it does a little more or suggest a resource for describing bridges at a high level? Do I basically need to integrate the two databases, or make one programs database relate to another, or are there other methods?

What is your CMS or web system right now… is it something you’ve developed or are you using something else like a WordPress, Expression Engine, Drupal, Joomla?

I developed it. It’s a custom login system I designed (pretty basic) and associated database, along with registered users information (also stored in the database - mysql).

What I would do is find out what type of variable vBulletin is setting to determin whether you are logged in or not. Simple systems just use a session cookie of some sort, others might use a temporary database table and a mac address or something. If you can find out what vBulletin uses then you should be able to use it in place (or in conjunction) of the variable that is being used to determine login/logout status in your CMS. There might be an include file of some sort that vBulletin uses to manage their security functions or object. If the CMS and vBulletin are on the same server, you should be able to include and share it once you are familiar with how it works.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll see what I can do.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.