If I understand you correct, you don't want to convert your database, but want NodeBB to work with users, that still will be in your existing database (MS-SQL).
It's possible, by creating your own database driver for NodeBB.
But, actually, it's not so easy. If you don't have high skill in programming, it's near to impossible.
has anyone run NodeBB using a custom SQL user database like this?
Maybe, but I never heard about it. You could try to wait for the NodeBB core developers. They, probably, know something, that may helps you.
I just did an install of NodeBB 0.8.2 and it installed nodebb-plugin-emailer-mandrill 0.3.1 with it which is only compatible with NodeBB 0.9.^. In addition to the declared version problem I was also getting a socket.io/helpers related error on NodeBB startup until I removed the mandrill plugin.
I worked around this problem by removing mandrill and then installing it like this:
npm install firstname.lastname@example.org
I poked around to see how nodebb installs nodebb-plugin-emailer-mandrill and it appears that this plugin is installed in a special way? It is not mentioned in the package.json requirements for nodebb.
I have an instance of nodebb running in a subfolder of another site that is served via https. I can view the forum site without any problems but cannot view or install plugins (its possible I cant do other things but this is the obvious problem at this point).
The error I get is the following:
Error parsing plugins : Hostname/IP doesn't match certificate's altnames: "Host: packages.nodebb.org. is not in the cert's altnames: DNS:[domain].com, DNS:www.[domain].com.
How can I overcome this problem?