I was asked to develop a users support community forum for a small and young hi-tech company. This kind of forums is very popular with companies these days and is a great alternative to the official product support lines. An example of what we look for is the Analog Devices' Engineer Zone forums.
I am totally noob to this area so any advice will be appreciated - how to start developing such a site, what platforms are available (preferably open-source/free) and what are the advantages and disadvantages of these platforms.
Is a stackexchange style forum appropriate for such site?
* If you think there is a better SE site to post this question, please let me know.