I recently purchased an already-established vBulletin 4 forum after being part of the forum staff for a few years. But after reading up on some horror stories of vB security vulnerabilities, dealing with the horrible mobile UI, and having an absolute nightmare fixing out-dated plugins that were broken with the previous owners, we (the staff) decided to investigate migrating to other forum software.
I’ve looked at the vB4-to-Discourse import script, and though I haven’t tried it yet, it seems pretty straightforward, and I hope to modify it a bit for my own needs to import some data from our existing vB plugins and remake them in Discourse (although my knowledge in Ruby is admittedly sparse at the moment, though I plan on changing that soon).
Here’s my question though: I was hoping that during the transition, we could have an instance of vB and an instance of Discourse running at the same time, with their databases somehow in sync. That way, users can take some time to adjust to the new UI and controls, but can still feel comfortable going back to the old site if there’s features they haven’t figured out yet (primarily since some of our members are, in their own words, “curmudgeony”, and may not appreciate the change at first). Any changes (posts, likes, profile updates) on one site would be reflected on the other. Then, after some set amount of time, we switch solely to Discourse.
Is something like this theoretically feasible? I know vB runs on MySQL and Discourse on PostgreSQL, but I found a few programs that should allow periodic syncing between the two, provided I know which fields and tables map to each other. Or (and I suppose this is an opinion-based question) is it even worth it - should I just rip the band-aid off instead of hassling with the transition period?
Thanks in advance!