BuddyPress 1.1 introduces a new way of thinking about how forums function around a social setup. Instead of having a categorical, separated top-down list of forums, they are now fully integrated and attached to groups that can be created and controlled by any registered user. The included default theme shows all recent topics regardless of their group (public groups only).
With previous versions of BuddyPress, integrating bbPress often required special attention and little voo-doo magic. Even getting basic functions like shared logins and template styles working together on both sides was not an easy task. In BuddyPress 1.1 this all works with one click. Thanks to a robust set of classes and functions, BuddyPress controls your forums transparently, eliminating all previous integration pains. No more cookie headaches, no more “deep integration” because bbPress’s functions are available right within BuddyPress.
Another benefit of this approach is an integrated theme. There is no need to create a completely separate bbPress theme for your forums. Your existing BuddyPress enabled WordPress theme will control the design.
Extensions to bbPress and BuddyPress forum support can be added through WordPress plugins. Some existing bbPress plugins that do not require an admin interface can be added via the mu-plugins folder in WordPress MU. They can also be converted to a standard WordPress plugin.
If you’d prefer to use the previous integration method for your existing forum setup, this is still possible. In this scenario BuddyPress will use its own internal bbPress files for group forum support, while your existing external bbPress installation will continue to work as it did. Both sets of bbPress files will use the same existing database tables. However, you will need to go through the upgrade instructions below before BuddyPress group forums will work again.
Upgrading from 1.0 to 1.1
After upgrading BuddyPress to 1.1, head to the “WP-Admin ? BuddyPress ? Forum Setup” menu and a wizard will run you through the re-connection process. BuddyPress will create a bb-config.php file at the root of your WordPressMU installation. This file is automatically generated and will not require additional editing for your group forums to function.
Existing or New installation?
If you have an existing bbPress installation or a previously integrated BuddyPress1.0 setup, do not choose to create a new installation as this will break your existing group forums. Instead choose existing installation, so that your old bbPress database will be retained.
If you do not have an existing bbPress installation, select new installation and BuddyPress will take care of everything for you.
If you have an external bbPress database that does not use the same database as your WordPressMU installation, this is considered an atypical installation and is not currently supported by the BuddyPress1.1 upgrade process.
(1) Install bbPress within the wp-admin panel
In the wp-admin panel > BuddyPress > Forums Setup
(2) Each group now has access to enabling a forum. Go to Group Settings for each group Group > Admin > Edit Settings. There is a checkbox for enabling the forum. Once enabled then the link for a forum for that particular group becomes available