Skip to:

User table abstracted in future versions?

  • john_roberts


    We’re considering BBPress for user forums on our website. However, our website already has user registration (account system), and we will not have a separate registration for our forums.

    Therefore, a key question is how easy it will be to integrate BBPress into an existing user registration/authentication system. A colleague looked through the BBPress code, and came up with mostly good news (see bottom).

    The bad news, though, made me come here to see what the plans are for abstracting the user registration system in future versions. I imagine that our situation is quite common: no one wants multiple registration schemes on a single site (it’s bad enough how many we all have around the web!).

    Note: we’ve been very satisfied with WordPress on many fronts, although not for user contributions, so no WordPress integration questions at all. And, yes, we looked at


    The SQL queries that interact with the users table are interspersed across a dozen files or so. While this makes integration slightly more difficult, the real issue is that future updates to bbpress might become difficult if not impossible to merge. Given how forum packages are magnets for security

    vulnerabilities, this might become a critical issue.

    I don’t want to argue about security vulnerabilities; that’s not the issue. The point is: at what point will BBPress change how user information is distributed around the application and/or abstracted?

    I checked Trac to see if the Timeline or Roadmap had any hints, but didn’t see anything.

    Is this situation seen as a problem? Anyone else sharing the pain? Any insight?

    GOOD NEWS, SPECIFICS: (accounts = our site registration system)

    * The bbPress user table consists of 9 columns, 5 of which overlap with our generic user table, requiring only a ‘glue’ table to provide the extra columns

    * There are no SQL JOIN’s with the user table (that I could find), making integration easier.

    * Integration with accounts is possible and would take only a few hours.

    * Customizing the look and feel would be no more difficult than it was to customizing WordPress.

    * Disabling registrations is easy to do, which would force users to register via accounts.

    John Roberts


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • User authentication should be fully pluggable. All authentication is done by functions in bb-includes/pluggable.php which can all be overridden by a plugin.

    The only thing you have to worry about is giving the $bb_current_user a few properties (such as ID) since bbPress looks at those directly in many places (it should be better abstracted).

    You’ll definitely want to write some custom authentication functions that work of your current database.

    Grabbing user data from a custom database may a little more tricky as you imply since bbPress might not have all the hooks you’d need for convenient JOINs and things. (You might try and see how little you really need to do.)

    At the moment, the best option (off the top of my head) is probably to write a custom database class (of which $bbdb is an instantiation), to modify bbPress’ queries on the fly.

    That is not ideal, I understand.

    We’re certainly interested in making things easier. I’d love to hear suggestions or ideas. You should sign up on our development email list!



    Appreciate the reply. Discussing internally. More soon!

    Hi there,

    Is there any progress on bbpress integration? I would really like to use it with my current site. Also, my current site is using PostgreSQL for backend, would it make the integration more difficult?




    I never followed up, so I’ll do so now. We ended up choosing Vanilla ( for our forums at We continue to be thrilled with WordPress, but bbPress was too big an investment of time to integrate with our systems at the time we had to move.

    I’m sure if bbPress gets even 1/4 of the community attention that WP gets, it will be fantastic.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Skip to toolbar