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DotNetNuke Tutorial - Easy to Use Bootstrap 3 in A DNN Skin

clock Augustus 23, 2018 12:25 by author Kenny

I decided to use the popular Bootstrap framework to handle all the messy layout and mobile aspects of the site.  This post doesn’t teach you Bootstrap or DNN Skinning. It just covers a few of the steps I needed to get everything to work.

1. Including the Bootstrap goods

The easiest way to include Bootstrap in your template is to include that from the Bootstrap CDN.  You will want to use DNN’s Client Resource Management controls to include your CSS and JS.  To include those controls, you will want to include the following at the top of your skin .ascx file:

<%@ Register TagPrefix="dnn" TagName="STYLES" Src="~/Admin/Skins/Styles.ascx" %>
<%@ Register TagPrefix="dnn" Namespace="DotNetNuke.Web.Client.ClientResourceManagement" Assembly="DotNetNuke.Web.Client" %>

Next you will include the .css and .js into your skin.  To include the CSS you will use the following at the top of your skin ascx file:

http://netdna.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.0.3/css/bootstrap.min.css" UseSkinPath="false" />

To include the .js, you will use the following at the bottom of your file:

http://netdna.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.0.3/js/bootstrap.min.js" />

2. Skin.css – don’t use it

Typically for a DNN skin you will use the skin.css file to define the css elements for your skin.  Since you are using the Bootstrap grid system, chances are a lot of the CSS in your skin.css will be deleted.  So carefully clean it up.

Also in your skin.css you will define styles for the Bootstrap nav bar.  This is one of the area’s of bootstrap that you will override the css in the default bootstrap CSS file.  So to do this, your skin.css file needs to appear AFTER the bootstrap css file on your webpage so it will override.

The problem here is that skin.css which is automatically included by DNN will always be included before the Bootstrap css file.

An easy solution is to rename your skin.css to style.css.  Since there is no skin.css, DNN will not try to include it.  Then just add another control to include your style.css file:

3. Navigation Menus – Mobile friendly

The other change I made was a difficult decision.  Bootstrap navigation does not support hovering.  In DNN when you hover over a navigation menu item, the child items appear for selection.  That’s hard to do on a mobile device.  The Bootstrap framework has opted for a click being required to drop down the child items in a navigation menu.  This means that any top level menus with content had to be moved to a child page and the parent needed disabled.  For example I used to have:

  • About Us
    • Partners

I had to change it to the following:

  • Company – This is a DNN disabled page
    • About Us
    • Partners

At first I did modify Bootstrap to drop down the child menus on hover.  To do this, you simply need to use the Bootstrap Hover Plugin.  However I decided to keep things less complicated and use the Bootstrap standard for the navigation menu. 

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DotNetNuke Tutorial - How to Enable and Disable Popup in Dotnetnuke

clock Augustus 16, 2018 09:26 by author Kenny

Some users like the functionality in DotNetNuke that allows the login module and editing of modules to occur in a modal popup, some websites and modules don't function well with this feature, in this tutorial I show you how to disable popups within the UI for DotNetNuke.

1. Login as Administrator Account

2. On the menu bar go to Admin -> Site settings

3. Go to Advanced Settings tab -> Expand Usability Setting -> Uncheck Enable Pop-ups

4. Click Update

To test Pop-ups effect. You Logout and click Login

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DotNetNuke Tutorial - How and Why to Implement IPortable in a Module?

clock Augustus 15, 2018 09:41 by author Kenny

The DotNetNuke framework provides many different interfaces that module developers can implement to allow modules to provide common functionality. IActionable is used for adding items to the action menu; ISearchable is used to provide content to the search indexer system. These two interfaces are pretty well known by developers as they are much needed items to create functional modules. IPortable is one additional interface that many developers overlook, however, from an end users perspective it is a very needed piece of functionality allowing them to manage their content.

Why Implement IPortable?

Implementing IPortable is a simple process and involves adding two simple methods to your Business Controller class, so it is not something that will cost you a large amount of time to implement. However, the user benefits in most cases are great. If a module implements IPortable uses with edit permissions will see the following two actions in the action menu for your module.

 

These options give your users the ability to import/export content using a familiar interface. This might help someone that tests your module on a different environment than their production environment and wants to move the content from one server to the other. It also helps when users create Site Templates, if a module supports IPortable they can include the content as well as the actual module instance.

How Does it Work (User Experience)?

The user experience when working with modules that implement IPortable is very easy. To export content the user simply selects “Export Content” from the action menu, they are presented with the following page.

The user simply specifies the file name they wish to create, without an extension and they click “Export”. After clicking export they are redirected to the module page. If we look at the File Manager for the site you will see the newly created file, circled in red below.

This is important to note as DotNetNuke adds the content.. To the beginning of the users desired file name. This portion must NOT be removed as if it is, the user will NOT be able to import the content into the module.
Importing works in a very similar fashion the user is presented with a control allowing them to select the input file, once selected they can click “Import” and the records will be applied to the module.
Now that you know how it works from a user perspective, lets dig into the code.

How to Implement in Code?

You implement IPortable inside your modules BusinessControllerClass after modifying your controller class to implement the IPortable interface which is part of the DotNetNuke.Entities.Modules namespace you will need to implement the following two methods.

Export Module

We will start looking at the export module function first. DotNetNuke provides you on piece of information, the moduleId, and expects you to return a string value. The string value that you return must be a valid piece of XML as it is injected into the final XML document created by DotNetNuke that includes additional information. Typically a very simple process can be used to get all data elements from your module and loop through them formatting them in XML.

This is very simple code, obtaining a listing of all info objects for the current module, and a simple for each loop to write it in XML format using a string builder. Other methods could be used to create the XML structure, however, since a string is the desired end result, the use of a string builder is the most common practice.

After providing this information back to DotNetNuke when it creates the actual content file it will add information regarding the current version of the module which can be used later to ensure that your import process matches to the correct XML structure.

Import Module

The import module method is provided four pieces of input data; moduleid, content, version, and userid. You will use these methods to successfully import the content. The passed module id is the id of the module to which content should be inserted. Below is the ImportModule method from the Expandable Text/HTML module.

This code is another fairly simple piece, at the base of it you use .NET XML methods to work with the XML content to build your own information objects and insert the records using your standard controller class methods. The important item to note here is actually the first few lines of code. A version check is done to determine if the export is supposed to have a specific field. Using a technique similar to this you can handle imports from different versions of the module without incident if you add/remove items from the import process.

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DotNetNuke Tutorial - How to Use Gmail SMTP in DotNetNuke?

clock Augustus 9, 2018 12:03 by author Kenny

How to Use Gmail SMTP in DotNetNuke?

The server settings for sending mail over Gmail are required only when using Gmail through an email client program. You shouldn't ever need to manually enter them anywhere if you're using Gmail online through a browser, like through Gmail.com.

For example, if you need to use Gmail in Mozilla Thunderbird, you can manually enter the SMTP settings within Thunderbird's program options.

Since Gmail is so popular, some email programs might even provide these SMTP server details automatically while you're setting up your account.

If you want to use Gmail SMTP in your DNN website, this can be easily done by specifying the correct port 587 in the SMTP settings. Unfortunately, there is no port number field supplied in the SMTP settings form. So in order to include the port number, you just need to add the smtp.gmail.com:587 in the SMTP settings.

In order to set the SMTP settings, you will need to login as super host account. Note this is a super administrator account so the basic administrator account will not get the access to the host menu. Under the host settings in the advanced settings tab, you will see a section for SMTP settings. You just simply need to use the following settings. Just replace the email and password of your own.

 

Still Can't Send Mail Through Gmail?

Some email applications use older, less secure technologies to log you into your email account, and Google will block these requests by default.

If you can't send mail with your Gmail account for that reason, it's unlikely that you're entering the wrong SMTP settings. Instead, you'll get a message related to the security of the email client.

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DotNetNuke - The Social CMS for Business

clock Augustus 8, 2018 11:03 by author Kenny

In today’s internet driven world, websites are becoming a norm to every business’s growth or branding strategy. Owing to this, the CMS or Content Management System has now become a household name. Wait, aren’t you aware of the term? Well, for the start, CMS is a web-based software application that lets you create, edit and store web content in an organized and manageable way.

There are a number of such CMS, available today, to facilitate people who want websites for themselves. You may have heard of DNN, Wordpress, Magento, Drupal, etc. These are some of the big names among them.

Once you are familiar with the term, there arrives the confusion on which one to choose. Before choosing and investing in a CMS, one must always examine certain features. Likewise, it should feature an easy-to-use editor interface, intelligent search capabilities, etc. Besides these generic requirements, there are also certain characteristics that become imperative for all CMSs.

Now, let’s make a quick jump to ‘which is the best CMS for your website or enterprise web solution’. Our favorite is DNN and we can justify why we love it. Here’s why DNN aka DotNetNuke should b your content management framework:

Seamless Content & Document Maneuvers

DNN is absolutely simple and user-friendly to work with, for all kind of users. Be it, administrators, content managers, designers, and developers - anyone can maneuver it at ease. Hence, clients can create, supervise and publish content without prior technical or programming knowledge of DotNetNuke.

Security - The Substantial Entity

DNN has proven to provide exceptional security, with a built-in Security model in the CMS architecture. It sorts users into groups based on the type of operation and provides specific permissions. It also helps in validation, encryption and bug tracking to build secure websites.

And most importantly - all of this without needing to install a third party application! Yes, here all the content and configuration is stored in MS SQL database, run by windows and backed by Microsoft. It ensures a thorough security check, with timely scheduled security updates.

Refined Multi-User Management

DNN has a robust multi-user management system. The users of different groups can be assigned, custom roles and permissions. It also includes social features, such as photos and biographical information along with expanded user profiles. With DNN, one can easily set up Social Media communities for organizations. Hence, it eventually supports social media authentication, to let others sign into the site using their social media accounts’ credentials.

Support for Mobile Websites

DNN has unique utility known as the DNN Evoq that helps to design responsive websites using its wonderful mobile templates. A mobile preview reviewer takes up the guesswork, to experiment all possibilities, before going live. For optimal viewing experience, DNN Evoq content detects characters selectively from thousands of mobile devices to tailors the design and content. This content supports all mobile platforms.

Comprehensive Synergy with Social Networking Sites

DNN Evoq social improve collaborations by quickly building internal and external communities. Thereby, it increases employee productivity, subsequently. It lowers the support cost by turning the customers into advocates, by creating external communities. This increases revenue opportunities as well.

Extensive Customization Opportunities

With DNN, one can render tailor-made websites, using the same default template skins and models. The Visual design used by CSS and the services framework is based on the web API.

It has many free extensions, which are less redundant when compared to other CMSs. Moreover, paid extensions are also available at different price ranges. Though some of these extensions are on the expensive side, you can always manage to find something within your budget.

Built-in eCommerce Solution

DNN has a built-in eCommerce solution for good services, such as selling physical goods, digital downloads, events or even donations. DNN works seamlessly with common payment gateways, such as Paypal, SagePay, Google Checkout, Barclays, HSBC, and Authorize.Net.

High Performance & Stability

DNN ensures great user experience for site visitors by running and loading the websites very quickly. This is possible with performance improving features, such as web farms, page caching and module caching. It improves SEO as well, with the highest search ranking pages, based on the search engine factor speed.

Invariably Affordable

Irrespective of the DNN version, the chosen venture would always be cost-effective. Because, you’d know, the custom ones usually cost a fortune.

The Support you can Count on

DNN is an open source module and constitutes a team of developers that provide technical support from all over the world.  These dedicated team support applications of DNN blogs, online forums, online help and other various websites. So investing in DotNetNuke is a safe bet.

With all these said, one can easily understand that the DNN CMS holds an upper hand over almost all others. Hence, obviously, the CMS products have become a household name in the eCommerce world, lately. Its wide range of applications helps to sustain several business models. Above all, thousands of reputable organizations, such as NASA, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, USAA and several others, use DNN for many years.

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DotNetNuke Hosting Tutorial - How to Install Multiple DotNetNuke Modules Quickly

clock Augustus 2, 2018 12:16 by author Kenny

Once installed into DNN modules can easily be dragged and dropped to a page. You can also have multiple instances of the same module on one page. Modules can be shared across pages and, in the paid versions of DNN, even shared across multiple sites (via the Site Groups feature).

Imagine having a DNN site, but then having a need that is custom or specific to you or needing functionality that does not come with DNN out of the box. Let’s say for example you want to have a photo gallery on your site. A photo gallery module does not ship with DNN out of the box. These scenarios where you have a need for functionality that does not ship with DNN are prime scenarios for a custom module or 3rd party module.

A module’s settings also allows the site admins to easily control things like the module title, the start and end date and time (in case the site admin wants to schedule and expire content), the module’s container, and whether or not the module is indexed by search engines. 

Installing multiple modules through the DNN user interface is very time-consuming, but luckily there’s an easier and faster way of installing modules in DNN. So in order to do a batch installation of multiple modules just follow the steps outlined below.

1. Add your zipped modules to the “/Install/Module/” folder

Build your modules in release mode and drop the zipped modules into:

YourDnnFolder/Install/Module/

2. Navigate to “/install/install.aspx?mode=installresources”

Open up a browser window and navigate to the URL:

http://YourDnnSite.url/install/install.aspx?mode=installresources

… and all of the modules that you dropped into the module folder earlier will now be installed for you.

 

Best DotNetNuke Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides its customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. ASPHostPortal.com offers DotNetNuke hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable DotNetNuke Hosting, we should be your best choice.



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