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Use Vanilla for a community with thousands of forums?

edited January 2011 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8

We're in the process of setting up something we call a Knowledge Community. The plan is to have hundreds (eventually thousands) of discussion forums on a wide range of different topics, e.g. Bonsai Trees, Ferrari Cars, PHP programming, etc.

Each Knowledge Community (focusing on a specific topic) will have an Open forum where anyone can read/write, and a Private forum to which only invited topic Experts will have access.

I've been researching various forums lately and the more I look, the more I like the nice feel of Vanilla. However, I'm a little unsure if it's possible to configure it to do what we need.

In short, here are our requirements:

* Single Sign On with our existing user database -- the ProxyConnect plugin will (hopefully) do the trick.

* Create hundreds (thousands) of Open forums (i.e. categories in Vanilla speak) that anyone can access.

* Listing all Open categories to all users does not seem feasible, hence we need to let the users somehow search the existing categories (as well as search all posts in all categories). Is there a plugin for this?

* Create hundreds (thousands) of Private categories (one for each equivalent Open category). Each category can only be accessed by invited members. For everyone else the category needs to be hidden from all lists and searches.

* View one Category at a time. We want to avoid getting a visitor spammed with messages from all the categories.

I assume we can do most of what we need with Categories and Roles, basically creating a new role for every category. But how can we sort and view the thousands of categories in a way that will look good for the users?

I hope that the above makes sense. Any suggestions and thoughts are much appreciated!

// Martin
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