Last post Dec 19, 2005 09:00 AM by djbaldwin
Dec 19, 2005 09:00 AM|djbaldwin|LINK
This portion was originally slotted for a completely different subject, but after moving a production DotNetNuke site from a shared server to a dedicated host last week, and reading the recent forums, I decided to sneak in an FAQ of sorts. Hopefully this
will fit seamlessly into my series of posts.
What can you expect from DotNetNuke?
The answer depends on what you already know about DotNetNuke. If you have read the website home page and only registered on the site to download the open source software; you are in for quite a surprise. If you have already unzipped it on a server – you
are guaranteed to be frustrated. Stop right now before you waste your time (and ours).
If you have read the installation instructions you are step ahead of the majority of posters who ask the same questions over and over again on the forums. If you took the time to read the additional documentation to get a better idea of how DotNetNuke works,
you will save yourself an order of magnitude of time and effort when you are ready to deploy the application framework.
Finally, spend an hour or two reading the forums to see the kinds of things that people are dealing with. It might not make sense at the time but it will definitely help you understand the basic concepts along with the lingo of the community.
So far we have covered DotNetNuke in general although it certainly does not cover the implementation details that make up a complete installation of version 4.x. Very few people have a background that encompasses all of the leading edge technology available
from Microsoft. We are talking about IIS (Internet Information Services) for managing websites, AD (Active Directory) for security, SQL Server (Structured Query Language) for database storage, and Visual Studio for an integrated development environment. And
don’t forget this all works under Microsoft’s .NET 2.0 platform.
Unless you subscribe to MSDN (MicroSoft Developer Network) you may or may not have even heard of these software programs or development tools. In fact, until November 7th, 2005, many programmers had not even touched Visual Studio 2005, installed SQL Server
2005, or configured a Windows server for web access.
If you have Windows XP on your home computer and plan to conquer the web hosting world using DotNetNuke with throttled upload speeds on DSL or cable; you might reconsider your plan immediately.
On the other hand, if you already have an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or a LAN and you already manage a website or more using Microsoft Windows Server technology then you are probably ready to experiment with a test environment.
DotNetNuke is designed to work with the Microsoft .NET platform. It is based on a sample application for .NET called IBuySpy written in Visual Basic and ASP.NET. There are many other servers, platforms, languages, databases and development environments available,
and over time they may or may not be tried with DotNetNuke. For the sake of this article, let us stick to what we know that works.
Let’s face it - there is a huge learning curve of the combined and bleeding edge technologies. You will not become a DotNetNuke master overnight, this week, or this month. Like every one of us, we all started as a grasshopper in this huge field of opportunity.
What does DotNetnuke do?
Using the default setup DotNetNuke creates a nice portal with a few related ads and supports login for two users. The home page displays the usernames and passwords along with instructions to login.
Some interesting facts:
….is an open source project with 180,000+ lines of code maintained by almost 40 volunteers and a community of 200,000+ registered users.
…is a pre-built CMS (Content Management System), a framework for multiple website portals with integrated security and presentation management.
…is used by thousands of publicly available Internet websites with untold installations as Intranet and Extranet portals used by individuals, corporations and governments alike.
…is extensible by adding modules. Some modules are free, open source, available for purchase or developed by programmers.
…is designed to handle low end to high volume website traffic with integrated caching and scheduling mechanisms dealing with an enterprise quality database backend.
Frequently Answered Questions
Q) Can DotNetNuke can be setup in 10 minutes?
A) Yes, only if you have installed DotNetNuke at least 10 times before. Installation time is inversely proportional to the number of times you have installed DotNetNuke. Those who rush their first installation often take 10 hours, and those who skip the instructions
may take up to 10 days to ultimately resolve their problem.
Note that the installation time does not include the associated software required by the DotNetNuke framework.
Q) I pay $5 per month for hosting. Why is my website slow?
A) Shared servers are generally slower than dedicated servers. You may have a few extremely popular neighbors or hundreds of sites hosted by the same server. Depending on your ISP, your site may be fast today and slow tomorrow.
Q) Does my ISP support DotNetNuke?
A) For $5 per month, a years worth of hosting will not even cover one hour of support. Most credible Microsoft ISPs will help install and support DotNetNuke for a higher monthly fee. Also, be very cautious with the cheapest package rates – it is doubtful that
they have a properly configured or licensed SQL server – one day they may disappear along with all of your work. As always, you get what you pay for.
Q) Can you find a free hosting provider with free SQL and free skins and free music?
A) All the sweetest things in life are free, including DotNetNuke, Visual Web Developer and SQL Express Edition.
Q) Can I host 10,000 portals from home using Windows XP and SQL Express?
A) Go ahead and try, and please let us know how you make out. Note that neither product was designed with the intention of that use.
Q) Is DotNetNuke complicated?
A) Actually once you are familiar with the framework is extremely easy to operate. Learn to search the forums for related information. Many threads are duplicated ad nauseam because people don’t take the time to look for an existing answer. Remember that your
learning curve involves much more than DotNetNuke; from installation of related software to explaining features to your potential customers.
Q) If I was upgrading and I had a problem…
A) You can restore your DotNetNuke system from the backup you made before the upgrade. You did make a backup?!?
Q) How am I going to fix this for my client demo in the morning?
A) You have no one to blame but yourself.
Did you ever notice that when you point your finger at someone else, you always have three fingers pointed at yourself? Try it!