SMF or Simple Machines Forum is an open source forums software that is written using the PHP scripting language and uses a MySQL database.
SMF has a flexible and extendable architecture thereby making it easy to customize the forum as per individual needs. Simple browser based interfaces are provided using which the forum administrators can setup and manage the discussion board. They can set the forum configuration parameters. Based on the configuration parameters set users can access the forum and post messages.
SMF can be used to run a stand alone discussion forum or can be integrated with other web applications/ third party tools in order to provide discussion forum functionalities.
Icreon provides custom developed Simple Machine Forums solutions to clients thereby enabling them to administer and manage discussion forums. The solutions are customized as per the requirements of individual clients. Our SMF solutions help clients in building and fostering online user communities.
SMF provides all the features and functionalities required to run an online discussion forum. Some of them include the following:
- Template Based: SMF has a template driven architecture containing a huge library of templates to choose from. Custom layouts can also be created and integrated with SMF.
- Languages: SMF provides support for over 20 languages including English, Spanish, Arabic, German, Russian, and Chinese among others.
- Posting Messages: Members can post messages to specific discussion topics. All topics that have been read by the user are tagged as ‘Read’.
- RSS Feeds: Discussions topics can be added to RSS feeds.
- Server Side Includes: The Server Side Includes feature of SMF enables the discussion forum to interact with the website with which it has been integrated.
- Search: Extensive search functionalities are provided with SMF enabling users to easily search for and browse through discussion topics.
- Phrase Manager: The Administrator can create a list of banned words, phrases. Users will not be allowed to enter the listed words or phrases in their posts.
- Personalization: Members can set their display and layout preferences for the discussion board. They can choose from the default themes available or can upload custom themes.
- Categorization: The discussion topics can be classified on the basis of various categories and sub categories.
- Member Registration: The forum administrator has the option to enable/disable member registration. In case the member registration has been disabled, any user can post messages. Members of the discussion forum can be categorized into groups. Rights and permissions within the discussion forum can be assigned to the member groups.
- Moderation: The option whether or not a discussion topic is to be moderated can be specified. Specific users can be assigned as moderators. Moderators are provided with various tools/features that enable easy moderation of messages.
- Reports: Detailed statistical reports can be generated enabling the administrator to track and monitor the performance of the discussion forum.
- Banning: The Administrator has the option to ban or block a user from participating in a discussion topic. The administrator can also define the banning parameters such as IP address, expiry date, ban reason etc.
- MODs: MODs or modifications are extensions available for SMF. MODs can be integrated with SMF to provide additional features not available with the basic SMF setup.
- Package Manager: The package manager available in SMF enables the administrator to install MODs and updates to SMF without the need to modify the underlying source code.
- WAP Compatible: SMF discussion forums can be accessed and viewed on WAP enabled mobile phones. It supports WAP, WAP2 and I-mode protocols.
- Tools: Tools such as spell check, smileys, avatars, signatures etc are provided to members of the discussion board.