Invision Power Board
|Developer(s)||Invision Power Services|
|Stable release||3.4.7 (October 16, 2014[±])|
|Platform||PHP / MySQL / Oracle9i / MSSQL|
Invision Power Board (abbreviated IPB, IP.Board or IP Board) is an Internet forum software produced by Invision Power Services, Inc. It is written in PHP and primarily uses MySQL as a database management system, although support for other database engines is available.
While Invision Power Board is a commercially sold product, there is a large modding community and many of these modifications are free. In addition, many groups offer the download or design of free and paid skins.
Invision Power Services (IPS) was created in 2002 by Charles Warner and Matt Mecham after they left Jarvis Entertainment Group, which had bought the forum software Ikonboard from Mecham. Their first product as IPS was the forum software Invision Power Board, which quickly gathered a community of former Ikonboard users.
The first releases of Invision Power Board were available as a download free of charge under a proprietary license. The last version released under these conditions was Invision Power Board 1.3. A minor update to 1.3 was released under a new license which allowed free of charge use for evaluation purposes only. Because of this, version 1.3 is commonly used on free forum hosts such as InvisionFree. Since its release, many exploits have been found, but many patches have been produced by the community that fix most of these issues.
2.0.0 was released under the same license as 1.3.1. Although the software developers originally maintained that it would remain a free package, in 2004 Invision Power Board ended its free releases for non-commercial uses. After the 2.0.1 update, the free downloads were replaced with a free demo with restrictions of 5000 posts, 1000 threads, 200 members and other restrictions, thus ending its claims that Invision Power Board would be free forever.
Many users were upset with this, and some attacked Mecham, making allegations of copyright infringement. On July 1, 2005, IPS changed the demo time frame from 15 days to 5 days, and a few months later, it was again reduced to 24 hours, and again to 8 hours for private use. Later, it was increased to 48 hours, and recently it was increased again to 5 days.
Invision Power Board 2.1 was released on September 13, 2005. The administrator's control panel was completely redesigned, and the posting options were renovated to feature viewable text properties (Rich Text Editor), such as bold, italics, underline, etc. The viewing styles were also redone, and a number of various other changes were made including the use of Ajax in many new features.
Invision Power Board 2.2 included many improvements, new features, and security fixes. It was the first version to undergo a security audit by a company named Gulftech to find any security holes missed by the IPS development team as part of their ongoing effort to keep IPB as secure as possible. The new version also includes minor changes to the Administration Control Panel, and also an entirely redesigned profile system. The Invision's team also continues to employ Ajax in its software.
In version 2.3, the product shipped with 2 skins, the classic light blue skin and a new default darker skin. The release is mainly to assist in forums that have larger traffic and include advanced integration with other IPS product lines. IPS also implemented a new ACP Help System which has made it easier to navigate around the Administrator's Control Panel, along with an ACP "Dashboard" page, showing an overview of the system. This page replaced the "Admin" tab as the default page in the Admin Panel.
Version 3.0 was initially released on Tuesday, June 23, 2009. The official announcement of the new release was on June 25, 2009. This version is the next major release milestone of the Forum Software. It includes many promised features such as a new overall design and optimization of the software, a reputation type feature where users can rate individual posts, the PM (Personal Message) system becoming a conversation styled feature (as Google has done with Gmail), friendly URLs, and many more enhancements.
Version 3.1.0 was released on June 1, 2010, just under a year after the release of 3.0.0. This was followed by the releases of 3.1.1 and 3.1.2, each bringing a number of bug fixes and feature enhancements to the table. A major part of the 3.1.x series is Search Engine Optimization, with a lot of the changes focusing in this area. Other new features include a brand new Mobile skin, integration to many social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and even more developer tools to create software modifications. Version 3.1.3 was released with a bug fixes and a number of code changes for imminent updates to the official addon applications. Version 3.1.4 was another maintenance release.
Version 3.2.0 was released on July 25, 2011. Available at the IPS Community Forums or as a download for active license holders. 3.2.0 includes a new default, streamlined skin design, a content tagging system and a brand new "Visual Skin Editor". Versions 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 were maintenance releases.
Version 3.3.0 was released on March 20, 2012. Available at the IPS Community Forums or as a download for active license holders. Updates include security patches, improved moderation, and performance improvements. More Information
Version 3.4.0 was released on November 27, 2012. Version 3.4.1, a maintenance release to address minor bugs, was released on December 12, 2012. Version 3.4.2, a maintenance release to address more bugs and to improve the text editor, was released on January 23, 2013. More Information. Version 3.4.3, a maintenance release, was released on February 26, 2013. Version 3.4.4, a maintenance release, was released on April 9, 2013. Version 3.4.5, a maintenance release, was released on May 30, 2013. Version 3.4.6, a maintenance release, was released on October 29, 2013. Version 3.4.7, yet another maintenance release, was released on October 16, 2014. This is the final release of the 3.x.x product line.
IP.Board 4.0 was announced in this blog entry on May 23, 2012. Version 4.0 is a complete ground-up rewrite of Invision Power Board. 4.0 contains a large number of new features that have been suggested by users and aims to completely overhaul how IP.Board functions on both the user-side and administrator-side. There is no set release date for 4.0, although it is set to be released Q2 2014. Please see this announcement for information on IP.Board 4.0.
On November 12, 2014 the invisionpower community began an update of their main site to IP.Board 4.0. The conversion took longer than expected and the site was offline overnight. The invisionpower community site returned November 13, 2014 running the most recent beta version of IP.Board 4.0. Although running beta software on a live site is not advised by the IP company, they are violating this guideline in order to pressure test their newest software. They are hoping this will enable further refinement and development before the final release of IP 4.0 is made available to the public.
With the release of IP.Board 4.0, IPS has decided to no longer honor the perpetual lifetime licenses they have sold earlier. As a compensation for legacy customers with a lifetime license a standard license, which does not include free upgrades, is offered.
- Bes Zain (Oct 29, 2002). "Interview -- Matt Mecham of Ibforums". SitePoint. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- "CEO Invision Power Board, Matt Mecham Is a Liar, Thief!". Webhostingtalk.com. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- IPB License Explanation 1.3, 1.3.1, 2.0, and 2.1
- Security Fixes, Updates And Enhancements For IPB 1.3.1[dead link]
- "New Demo Accounts - Invision Power Services". Forums.invisionpower.com. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "New Default Skin". Forums.invisionpower.com. 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "Invision Power Board 3.0.0 and Applications Released". Forums.invisionpower.com. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "Perpetual licenses being done away with.". Forums.invisionpower.com. 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
- Invision Power Board - Product Page - Information and details about Invision Power Board.
- Invision Power Services - Community Forums - Invision Power Services (IPS) Community forums running the latest version of IP.Board.
- IPS Marketplace (formerly known as IPS Resources and IPS Beyond) - The official IPS resource area for IP.Board and other IPS products for active customers only.