Administration and Setup Manual for

Database, Rolling News, Search Engine, FormMagic and File Explorer Components



Posting Messages to AnyBoard Forums via E-mail
AnyBoard SQL Database Creation and Setup
AnyBoard Rolling news feature
AnyBoard Search Engine setup and usage
AnyBoard FormMagic setup and usage
AnyBoard Web Explorer Component

Convert from wwwboard to AnyBoard


Posting Messages to AnyBoard Forums via E-mail

With the Gold edition of AnyBoard, one can post messages by sending e-mails. Since AnyBoard can notify users of new posts via email, the posting by e-mail feature allows one to build a site with functionality similar to yahoo groups.

To setup posting by e-mail, you need to have a working POP3 e-mail account. You configure AnyBoard to retrieve e-mail messages from this account and post them into the forum. To do so, logon the forum admin panel, in the configuration section, select "Forum Mailbox" and click on the "Configure" button. You will be required to enter the following information:

With the above information, AnyBoard will be able to login the POP3 server using the user id and password, and download messages, post them into the forum and then delete them from the POP3 server. Attachments in the e-mail messages will be correctly extracted and show up like uploaded files in the forum. AnyBoard also uses the sender's email address to look up the corresponding forum user ID, so the messages are correctly attributed.


AnyBoard SQL Database Creation and Setup

By default, AnyBoard uses its built-in text based database to store data such as messages, user login and other information. This text based database uses file locking to ensure data integrity and is very fast, and you can manupilate the data without any special tools.

As of version 9.9, AnyBoard offers SQL database support as another option for storing the data. One major advantage of SQL DB is that updates are much faster, also, since the message data are stored in tables instead of files, fewer inodes are used. To enable SQL support, follow these procedures:

  1. Create a database to hold the AnyBoard tables if neccessary. For MySQL, it's a good idea to create a separate database. For Oracle 9i, there is only one database across the system, so this step is not needed.
  2. Create a user to access the database. For MySQL, this can be done using the grant command.
  3. Test the user account against the database, make sure it is working.
  4. Login the master admin panel, click on the link "Fix parameters and DB options"
  5. Scroll down, check the "use SQL DB" box, and enter the DBI DSN information and user login information. AnyBoard uses DBI to interface with an SQL database, DBI (DBD) modules are available for most databases. Please consult the relavent DBD documentation for the syntax of the DNS string. For example, for MySQL, the DSN string looks like "dbi:mysql:database=anyboard_db_name;host=mysql_server_host_name", for ODBC, the string is something like "dbi:odbc:dsn_name".
  6. Go back to the master admin panel, click on the link "Create AnyBoard SQL DB" lin, this will create the tables and indexes for AnyBoard.
  7. If successful, the SQL tables will be created. You may check the validity of the database tables and indexes.
  8. From now on, SQL database will be used to store the data.

For AnyBoard to work, the database must have good support of BLOB types to store large binary data. This means simple databases such as MS Access (via ODBC) won't work with AnyBoard.

Note: currently, AnyBoard does not have an utility to convert between text based DB and SQL DB, though this utility can be easily created if needed.

AnyBoard Rolling news feature

1) You can define categories of rolling news on the master admin panel's configure lead page form, for example:

A=Product News

2) Suppose you defined a news category with index "A". After you login the master admin panel, then go to the Edit message page, you will see a form to add the message to the rolling news with categrory A as a choice

3) Then you can use a Java(tm)Script to display the news somewhere else,

<script src="">

In the above, we show the news in two columns (col=2), the news category is "A" (cat=A), the maximum number of entries to display is 40 (max=40)


AnyBoard Search Engine setup and usage

1. Search engine setup step by step

a) login AnyBoard master admin panel via the link http://your-domain/your-cgi-dir/anyboard.cgi

b) click on the "Search engine setup" link

c) You will see the see search engine configuration form with several sections, you need to fill the form with the proper information, which includes the following

The first section (see picture below) is the indexing setting for the local site, which is the site on which the AnyBoard application is installed. In our example, the AnyBoard application is installed on the host Since the search engine is installed on the site (the site is local to the application), there are two available index scan method, one is HTTP spiding and the other is file scan. With HTTP spiding, the search engine works like a browser robot, it fetches the first web page, extract the links on the page and then fetches the linked pages, continuing these process until all pages are visited, or a user defined page limit is reached. With the file scan method, the search engine simply opens and reads the HTML files off the hard drive. Clearly, the file scan method is much faster, but the HTTP method is safer, because with HTTP, you can be sure that only those linked pages will be indexed.

In our example, we choose the File scan method, and we also specify the physical path of our web home directory, which is /home/www/netbula.The site refresh interval determines how often the site should be reindexed, here we set it to 72 hours. The maximum index path determines how deep the indexing process should go when chasing the links, 100 is probably more than enough.

The next section allows us to enter additional sites to be indexed. These sites may reside on remote servers. We can set their refresh interval separately, according to how frequent they are updated.

We can setup up to 4 remote sites with this version of AnyBoard.

The next section specifies the constraints of the indexing process.

1) Local file match pattern: this is a PERL regular expression that a local filename must match to be indexed. In this example, all files with extension htm, html, asp, txt, php, jhtml and shtml will be included.

2) URL skip pattern: if a URL matches this pattern, it will be excluded. In this example, all URLs which contains "/cgi-bin/" will be excluded. By using this, you can prevent certain parts of the site to be indexed.

3) Maximum number of files to scan: This is the maximum number of URLs the search engine will try to index. Here, we set it to 25600, if our site has 25601 pages, that last one page won't be indexed.

The next two entries can be used to specify word delimiters for non-western languages.

The "Search result page configuration" is used to set the look of the search result page, such as number of results to display per page, page header and footer.

Finally, there is a check box under the section titled "Index creation confirmation"

If you don't check this box, AnyBoard will save your settings only, it won't index the pages. If this box is checked, AnyBoard will save the configuration AND start walking through the pages and create the index database.

When you submit the form with the index confirmation box checked, AnyBoard will start creating the index database, the process may take a while, depending on the size of your web sites. After that, you can search the web sites.


2. Copy the search box HTML to your site
The default URL of the search form is

This link is listed on the master admin panel. You may want to copy the HTML code for the search box and put it on your web pages. You can also use an HTML editor to change the looks of the search box.

The search result looks like the following. You may search for a single word, or search for words with AND/OR conditions.


AnyBoard FormMagic setup and usage

With AnyBoard's FormMagic component, you can create simple and complex web forms with ease, basically, you specify which fields are needed and immediately you have a fully functional web form with functions to submit, view and search the data.

To start using FormMagic, login the admin panel of a forum, near the bottom, there is a button for database management,

clicking on it brings you to the FormMagic admin panel.

When you logon the FormMagic admin panel, it shows various commands at the top navigation and the list of available forms below the top bar. In our case, we have not created any forms yet. Let's create a form and go through the steps.

A) Create a form

Click on the "Create a new form" link, the following page shows up, enter the form ID "AddressBook". This id must start with letters and must consists of letters, underscore and digits.

Click on the submit button, AnyBoard creates the new form (with no user defined fields yet) and brings you to the form management page. It shows the three steps to get a form to run.
1. Define form elements. You add elements and define their properties in this step.
2. Configure the form. You add access constraints, layouts, e-mail settings to the form, and many more advanced settings, such as adding a form to the AnyBoard message posting.
3. Publish the form. This is the instructions on how to copy & paste or link the form from another page.


B) Let's follow the instruction and add some elements.

For simplicity, we just add 3 fields, name, address and photo. Photo is a file upload field, so the users of the form can upload pictures. To save time, the add element page allows you to add multiple elements at once.

If you plan to use an external SQL database instead of AnyBoard's built-in database, you need to supply the SQL type for the field. This information will be used by AnyBoard to generate the CREATE TABLE statement for the form database.



Upon submission of the above information, you will be returned to the form definition page. As you can see you can delete or modify the added fields.


If you wanted to use an external SQL database to store form data, you need to click on the "Show table SQL" link, then click on the "Create SQL table" link on the page. (Note: SQL support may not be available in lower editions of AnyBoard)

Now that the fields are added, we can start using the form already!

Click on the "Form Submission" link, we will see the following form, put some data in, click submit.

Yes, it worked. AnyBoard thanks you for the using the form. Now, let's check the submitted data. To do so, click on the "Data Index" link.

We see one data entry submitted. You can now view, delete or modify the data. You can also search the data. Try these by yourself.

So AnyBoard's FormMagic component is surprisingly simple, just add some fields, and you have a fully operational form. But, we still need improve the new form a bit. For example, on the data index page, only a date is shown, we need to see the names and possibly other information. We may want an e-mail to be sent to some mail box. We may also want to change the looks of the form...

You can do these in the next step: form configuration.

C) Configure the Form

Click on the 'Configure Form' link. You will see a lengthy form with multiple sections.

There are many properties and their meaning should be rather obvious.


Okay, so many properties to set. Let's just ignore most of them, until we need them some time later.

As a final exercise, let's play with the form and data view layout. As you can see the form fields are expressed as {field_name} in the layout template.

Now, click on the "Form Submission" link, we will see this look instead of the default one:

The form data index now looks like this:

You see the name field is now displayed in the data index, because we have added that field to the index in our configuration.

Click on the data link, we see this, exactly we defined in the data view layout. Of course, you can make it look much nicer.


D) Publish the form

This is really easy. Go back to the define form page, click on the publish form link. The next page shows various links and HTML that you can copy & paste to publish the form. Furthermore, there is navigation bat macro DBLNK which is the Database and Forms link pointing to the list of available forms.

Please note, the view of the pages might be different to each user depending on their identity and the access control settings of the forms.


AnyBoard Web Explorer Component

You can access the File Explorer via the "Server File Explorer" link on the master admin panel, or through the "Manage files" button on the forum admin panel. The difference is, when you access the AnyBoard File Explorer via the forum admin panel, the top most folder is set to the forum folder and you cannot go up any further. Careful programming is used to prevent a forum admin to navigate above the forum. From the explorer link on the master admin panel, one can access all files under the server's web root folder.

The File Explorer interface looks like this:

Note: the single dot (with an open folder icon) is the current folder. The one with two dots is one level up.

The links have expected functions:

Click on the "Upload files" link, we have this window pop up. You can upload multiple files to the current folder.


The AnyBoard File Explorer gives you the power to manage files on your server from anywhere via a web browser.


Convert from WWWBoard to AnyBoard

To convert a wwwboard to an AnyBoard forum, follow these procedures.
  1. Create a new AnyBoard forum
  2. Login the admin panel of the forum, scroll down to find the Convert from wwwboard command in the message management section
  3. Enter the $basedir setting of the wwwboard.
  4. click the convert button
Now the wwwboard forum will be imported. The existing wwwboard forum is not changed or deleted. Make sure everything is all right.

Copyright (C), Netbula LLC, 2002, All rights reserved
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