User Account Integration

I have a website that has product search capabilities and online forums. The website is PHP/MySql based and the forum is phpBB based. For now I use two seperate user account sytems for product search and forums respectively. Users are complaining of the double work they have to do in registration and sign in. Is there a good way to combine them into one? My goal is that a user only needs to register once at a single place and will be able to log in to search for products and particapate forums.

Our contract developer tried to integrated the two account systems into one, but didn't make it. Saying that the phpBB user table is quite complicated, which makes it very very hard, if ever possible, to combine with the user accounts for product search, which only contains a limited few fields like username, password, email, and organization.

So we need some ideas that can point us to the right direction.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
>> Saying that the phpBB user table is quite complicated, which makes it very very hard,

It is possible, but it is also fairly hard to do.  It would be nearly impossible if the user details vary from one table to the next.  What you may have to do is have the developers create a system so that when a user registers on the main site, an identical account is created on the phpBB system.  When the user logs into the main site, a separate routine fires and logs them into the phpBB system automatically.  So from the user's perspective, one login accomplishes both tasks.  As previously mentioned, this does not help all that much if you have a ton of users pre-registered as you will have to match up those accounts manually.  It works for going forward only but requires a fair amount of developer time.

The best solution is (if possible) to completely re-do your site using a CMS framework that can handle both the search and forum under the CMS' user table.  Joomla should be able to do what you are asking with ease.

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nnrscAuthor Commented:
Okay, I will discuss with the developer about the two options. Presently, we don't have many registered users for the main site. Will check out the pros and cons for switching to Joomla.

Thanks for the advice.
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