Burning Board, WoltLab Community Framework, WoltLab Suite - an Overview for Newbies

WoltLab W-Logo-Symbol

Let's start from the very beginning: Burning Board was first released in 2001 - as a forum software which was free of charge. Version 2.0 in 2002 was the first version that was chargeable and was completely redeveloped. The acronym WBB (for WoltLab Burning Board) was never used officially by WoltLab but by users of Burning Board. In 2007 the acronym was officially used by WoltLab as a technical identifier.

In 2007 the WoltLab Community Framework (WCF) was released in version 1.0 being the technical base for Burning Board (version 3.0). Back then the Community Framework was the foundation for a more simple extension of the system. Before WCF you had to edit several php files and templates if you wanted to extend your system. But from WCF 1.0 on you could simply log in to your ACP in your browser and comfortably install a plugin or application.

In 2013 WCF 2.0 was released acompanied by WBB 4.0 - this version was the first to have the optional chargeable Filebase as a new application. The former plugins Calendar, Blog and Gallery (all chargeable) became applications, too.

Before the release of WCF 3.0 (today: WSC 3.0) there was again a discussion concerning the name "Community Framework" (in german) saying that the name framework would rather imply a technical framework like Symfony or Laravel than a complete base for a community including user management etc. Only difference: This time WoltLab did listen and rebranded the system to WoltLab Suite in 2017 (it was announced in 2016).

Until version 4.1 of Burning Board (version 2.1 of WCF) the WBB always dominated the perception of (new) customers when referring to versioning - no matter if talking about parts of WCF or WBB. Since WoltLab Suite 3.0 was released this changed and the WoltLab Suite dominates. And this may be caused, too, by the fact that the official name for WBB is now "WoltLab Suite Forum (Burning Board)". This and the fact that WoltLab didn't adjust the version numbers to WBB and still uses the same package identifiers, wcf and wbb, causes confusion every now and then because version 4.1 should be more current than 3.0.

So, following you'll se a table showing which name belongs to which version. Please note that WoltLab today calls the Community Framework version 1.x and 2.x WoltLab Suite* although initially released as WoltLab Community Framework. That's why I use this name, too.

*) You'll see this if you take a look at the forum names on WoltLab's support forums.

WoltLab Suite Version
Codename Year Version WoltLab Suite Forum (Burning Board)
- - 2001 1.x (free of charge)
- - 2002 2.x (chargeable)
- - 2004 lite 1.0 (free of charge)
1.0 (released as WCF)
Horizon 2007 3.0 (Codename: Sunrise) [chargeable]
lite 2.0 (Codename: Nova) [free of charge, released 2008]
1.1 (released as WCF) Tempest 2009 3.1 (Codename: Volcano) [chargeable]
lite 2.1 (Codename: Aurora) [free of charge, released 2010]
2.0 (released as WCF) Maelstrom 2013 4.0 (Codename: Dragon) [chargeable]
2.1 (released as WCF)
Typhoon 2015 4.1 (Codename: Meteor) [chargeable]
3.0 Vortex 2017 5.0 [chargeable]
3.1 Tornado 2018 5.1 [chargeable]
5.2 Hurricane 2019 5.2 [chargeable]
5.3 - 2020 5.3 [chargeable]
5.4 - 2021 5.4 [chargeable]

So, with this knowledge WoltLab Suite 3.0 is more current than Burning Board 4.1.

Please note that the WoltLab Suite versions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 each were completely redeveloped causing greater incompatiblities to their predecessors.

Product Current Name
Previous Name
Package Identifier
Identifier in Templates Functions
basic sytem
WoltLab Suite Core (WSC)
WoltLab Community Framework (WCF)
com.woltlab.wcf wcf CMS, Articles, style system, user management etc.
Forum WoltLab Suite Forum
(WoltLab) Burning Board (WBB)
com.woltlab.wbb wbb Forum
Calendar WoltLab Suite Calendar
WoltLab Community Calendar
com.woltlab.calendar calendar calendar
Blog WoltLab Suite Blog
WoltLab Community Blog
com.woltlab.blog blog user blogs and blog articles
Gallery WoltLab Suite Gallery
WoltLab Community Gallery
com.woltlab.gallery gallery gallery for images and since version 3.1 videos
Filebase WoltLab Suite Filebase
WoltLab Community Filebase
com.woltlab.filebase filebase filebase for digital downloads, like WoltLab Pluginstore

On Elevenfour I try to stick with the official names used by WoltLab to avoid causing more confusion. But in the end this is not successful since some content was before the rebranding which cannot be updated (in a comfortable way).

Contrary to others I basically use the acronym WS when referring to WoltLab Suite and not WSC. I only use WSC if referring to Core explicitly. Basically you install styles into Core but they are available to all applications so when released they're always labeled WS.