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Types of DNN modules

Types of DNN modules - DNN is the most widely used content management system for building dynamic web sites and web applications. There are several easy to use features and functionalities of Dotnetnuke that has made it a leading choice for designing and developing of web portals. DotNetNuke was written in VB.NET, though the DNN developers have shifted to C# since version 6.0.

There are several types of DNN modules that are available through several sources. Modules impart functionality to your website. Different types of modules display different types of content. In the earlier DNN versions like DNN 5.6, the Module drop-down list displayed every module available to that user – in some sites the list could be huge, making it difficult to find modules. In the later version like DNN 6.0 and above, drop-down filter is applied on the drop-down list that makes it easy to search for any module. Some of the popular DNN modules include announcements, blog, chat, contacts, documents, events, FAQs, forum, gallery, links, map, media and news module.

There are mainly three types of DNN modules:

Default Modules: DNN provides a certain set of library of default modules, e.g. HTML module, Google Analytics etc. The Text/HTML Module provides for the input of simple or HTML-formatted text. Simple text is input in a standard text box and a filter converts carriage returns (paragraph breaks) to HTML breaks. HTML-formatted text can be input directly or generated by an alternate rich text input utility that provides a number of advanced WYSIWYG features as well as a gallery of all uploaded images. The figure 1 shows the location of default module in a DNN website.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 1

Installable package: Developed as the custom modules, the main advantage of an installable package is its reusability feature. These can be used to do installations in any website. Installable package is the package of some specific file. The installable package if placed from the admin side of the website after creating the zip file of these specific files.

Steps to creating an installable module:

Note: We are assuming that the user has the prerequisites programs installed before starting. This include DNN 5 or higher version running on IIS, Visual Studio 2008 Professional, SQL Server (SQL Server Express will work just as well) and DNN Visual Studio Starter Kit.

Step 1. Open the Microsoft Visual Studio

Step 2. Go to the File->New->Project

DNN-MODULE

Figure 2

Step 3. Select Project Type "Web" and "DotNetNuke Compiled Module" from My Template.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 3

Step 4. Edit the Module Name in "Name" option. And set the save location of the module by clicking on "Browse" button. Then Click "OK" button. The Installable Module is created as displayed in figure 4.

Note: We are assuming "Employee" as the module name for your reference.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 4

Step 5. Click on OK to create the project "Employee".

DNN-MODULE

Figure 5

Step 6. In the upper-right corner of the screen is the Solution Explorer, find Employee icon, and then right click on it to display the pop-up menu.

Step 7. Select Properties from the pop-up menu.

Step 8. Blank the field called Root namespace.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 6

Deploying a module as a standalone package

How to do it...

1. Click Start menu open My Documents and find the folder where you saved the Employee project files. The folder should look like this:

DNN-MODULE

Figure 7

Step 2. Select the following files from this folder:

  • EditEmployee.ascx:- In edit file of the module, all the admin manageable tasks are defined and implemented, e.g. employee/user management from admin etc.
  • Settings.ascx:- In this file, all the module related custom settings are defined.
  • ViewEmployee.ascx:- In view file of the module, all the front end perspective tasks are defined and implemented.
  • Employee.dnn:- This is the manifest file used to set the settings of the installable package, which are used for installation.
  • 01.00.00. SqlDataProvider: - All the DB related scripts are included in this file.
  • Employee.SqlDataProvider
  • Uninstall.SqlDataProvider:- All the scripts for un-installing the database objects are defined in this file.

Step 3. Right-click on these selected files and select Send To | Compressed (zipped) Folder. This will create a new ZIP file.

Step 4. Rename the new file Employee_01.00.00_Install.zip.

Step 5. Open the ZIP file and select the folder App_LocalResources. Click and drag these three files into the open ZIP file.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 8

Step 6. Select the file \obj\Debug\Employee.dll (or \obj\Release\Employee.dll if you're not debugging) and add it to the ZIP file. The ZIP file should now contain the following:

DNN-MODULE

Figure 9

Steps in installing an installable package in a DNN website

Step 1. Login into your host user, and make sure you are in Edit mode.

Step 2. Look under the host menu and select Extensions.

Step 3. Select Install Extension Wizard from the Manage menu as displayed in figure 5. The wizard will prompt for the ZIP file or the extension package.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 10

Step 4. Click on the Browse button and select the file DemoInstallableMod.zip. Click Open, then Next.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 11

Step 5. The wizard will display your module information. Click on Next.

Step 6. Now the install script will run, creating the table and the stored procedures for the module. At the end you should see the message "Installation successful".

Step to Adding Your Module on a DNN Website Page

Step 7. Click on Module and then click add new module as displayed in figure 7.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 12

Step 8. Select "All Categories" from Category DropDown List and then Select your Module From Module DropDown List.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 13

Step 9. Set the "Module Location" by setting "Pane" and "Insert". Suppose we insert the module on the top of the ContentPane. Set Pane- ContentPane, Insert- Top.

Step 10. Finally, Click On Add Button. The DNN module is installed into your website and you will get the welcome screen as displayed in figure 9.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 14

Desktop Modules: These are the custom modules developed for the website. One of the significant advantages of using DNN technology is the ability to append new functionality. Through the use of custom modules, this ability has encouraged thousands of developers to create their own modules and offer these for use.

Steps to creating the Desktop Module

Step 1. In the solution explorer, add any folder in the desktop modules as displayed in figure 15.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 15

Note: We have created mod folder in the desktop module for your reference.

Step 2. Next, you add control .ascxfile in this folder, so that you can customize the module as you want.

Step 3. Your module is created.

Steps in installing a desktop module in a DNN website

Step 1. login into your host user, and make sure you are in Edit mode.

Step 2. Look under the Host menu and select Extensions.

Step 3. Select Create New Module from the Manage menu as displayed in figure 16.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 16

Step 4. Select the module folder mod that you had created earlier, and then add the module name as displayed in figure 17.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 17

Adding the module to the website page

Step 1. Go to the page of the DNN Website where you intend to add the desktop module.

Step 2. Click on Module and then click add new module as displayed in figure 18.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 18

Step 3. Select "All Categories" from Category DropDown List and then Select your Module From Module DropDown List.

Step 4. Set the "Module Location" by setting "Pane" and "Insert". Suppose we insert the module on the top of the ContentPane. Set Pane- ContentPane, Insert- Top.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 19

Step 5. Finally, Click On Add Button. The DNN module is installed into your website and you will get the welcome screen as displayed in figure 20.

DNN-MODULE

Figure 20

Note: This desktop module can be added to any number of DNN website pages as you require.

Incase you need more information or help on how to decide on the selection from the types of DNN modules available, do contact us.

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