web application generator makes easy development of line-of-business applications.
Now you can build line-of-business web modules that are instantly ready for deployment
to your DotNetNuke web portal.
If you have experience with creating database web applications, then you’ve probably
considered using a dynamic portal to increase the flexibility of your web application.
One can easily picture a whole world built around a few business data enabled pages.
Users register using a portal, with the latest release notes and instructions posted
for their convenience. Add a quick online survey and a few blog posts to your web
application, without a fuss.
If you try building such a portal on your own, you will soon find that the task
is not that simple. While you may be the leading expert in web application design
with a database to prove it, web content delivery is another topic altogether. Content
management systems such as DotNetNuke
and Microsoft SharePoint
widely adopted by organizations and businesses of all sizes as repositories of knowledge
and web assets.
is a proven portal software built with ASP.NET, boasting countless
installations and a large dedicated user base. The easily available Community Edition
of this product makes it especially attractive for developers who need portal-style
functionality in their application at a low cost.
is exceptionally easy to install and maintain – done entirely
in a web browser. DotNetNuke
also has impressive extensibility. One popular
method of extending DotNetNuke
is module development. A “module” represents
an area on a portal page that is rendered by a custom application. For example,
a calendar of events or a survey can be implemented as a module and placed on any
You can also create a database application with complex data management features
and have it incorporated in a DotNetNuke
module. The development process
is somewhat complicated. Here is where Code On Time’s DotNetNuke Factory
comes to the rescue. DotNetNuke Factory
will aid you in building a dedicated
application packaged as a DotNetNuke
module. This module can be deployed
to the portal in seconds.
Many popular software titles, including DotNetNuke
, were developed for Microsoft
ASP.NET Web Platform
. Microsoft has created WebMatrix
, a vehicle to
allow simple download and installation of many popular open source web applications.
includes a lightweight version of Microsoft Internet Information
Services called IIS Express
. This web server makes it possible to run web
applications on virtually any type of operating system from Microsoft. You will
have to download WebMatrix
to proceed with this tutorial.
and create a new web site from the Web Gallery
and enter "MyDnn" in the Site Name
box at the bottom of
the screen. Click the Next
Accept the EULA
and wait for DotNetNuke
to download and install. The
new site will be opened in WebMatrix
when the download process has been completed
and the web site is ready for use. Click Run
button on the tool bar to start
the portal web site.
Your default web browser will display the DotNetNuke Installation Wizard
installation method and click Next
Make sure that your site passes the file permissions check and press Next
On the Configure Database Connection
page, select your database server type
and enter the database name. Enter "DNN" in the Object Qualifier
will add this prefix to the names of all database objects that
it needs to create, which will allow you to distinguish your own database tables
from those that belong to the portal.
and wait for the installation of the system scripts to finish.
If an error is displayed or “undefined…success” is looping, you have probably entered
incorrect connection settings. Click Next
when installation of database is
You will be prompted to enter the identities of two users – host
The first user “owns” the entire portal and can install any content including new
modules. The second user is allowed to perform various administrative functions.
We suggest that you enter passwords host123%
corresponding user identities for this tutorial. Leave the other settings as default.
Once complete, the portal home page will open and you will be automatically logged
in as host/host123%
We are now ready to create our first line-of-business application integrated with
portal. Start Code On Time
generator and select DotNetNuke
Enter MyFirstDnnApp in the project name and choose the implementation language for
your application (the project must have a different name from your DNN website).
The project wizard will show up.
Under DotNetNuke Location
, click on the “…” button on the right-hand side
of the Path to DotNetNuke Installation
field. Browse to "[My Documents]\My
Web Sites\MyDnn" and press OK
and you will arrive to the Database Connection
your application will share the database with DotNetNuke
, particularly if
you plan to sell or distribute your module to other owners of DotNetNuke
portals. If this is your situation, leave “Use connection string of the host application”
You can also use DotNetNuke
as a powerful front end for the Internet facing
portion of your web site and build an application with other types of backend database
servers such Oracle
. If this is the case then make sure
to uncheck “Use connection string of the host application” box and configure your
If you are creating your first app in a blank SQL Server
database then we
suggest populating this database with content. Click the “…” button next to Connection
Select "Northwind" under Sample Tables
and click Install
. Your database
will be populated with the contents of the sample Northwind
content now co-exists with DotNetNuke
database objects. Click OK
confirm successful installation and click OK
one more time to finish connection
button to proceed. Preserve the defaults on the Business Logic
page. Click Next
and enable dynamic and static reports. Click
and select Package Properties
. Enter "My First DNN App" as the
of our application. This will be used by DotNetNuke
to identify our application.
a few more times until you reach the summary of application data
controllers. Click Generate
to have the code generator produce the application
source code. Upon generation, a test web application login page will be displayed.
Sign in as admin/admin123%
You will have to select a logical page to display. Select Customers
to save the selection.
The logical page will be loaded in your browser.
The pages in the screen shots above are not a part of DotNetNuke
These pages simulate a hosting environment for your application. Your application
“lives” in the Preview
area of the main page of the host application. This
test web app is useful for making changes to the application and quickly previewing.
You can log out and try different identities and configure the host page to present
different logical pages of your applications.
Now it’s time to publish our application to DotNetNuke
portal. Bring up Code
generator and select the publish action next to your project.
The resource file used to distribute DotNetNuke
modules is created for your
application and presented in Windows Explorer
folder window. You can use
this file to install your application in a different portal. The code generator
will also copy this resource into the installation folder of the previously specified
instance. We can now continue installation from within our own
Bring up the browser window with DotNetNuke
portal. If you have lost the
window then start the application again using WebMatrix
. Login as host/host123%
as only host users are allowed to install new modules and other types of extensions.
Click on the Host
link at the top of the portal page.
option under Basic Features
Click on the Available Extensions
tab and expand the Modules
Find My First DNN App
and start installation. Make sure to check the box
titled “Ignore File Restrictions”. DotNetNuke
maintains a list of “approved”
applications. Ours is brand new and is not going to be on the list.
Click the Next
button a few times. Note that both release notes and license
can be changed if you open the application in Visual Studio
. Accept the license
and allow installation to finish. Press the Return
button once, and wait
for the page to refresh by itself while the application pool of the portal is restarted.
Our module is now installed and can be found (and uninstalled) on Installed Extensions
Navigate to the home page of your application. Add a new page titled Northwind
by moving your mouse over the word Pages
and enter page information under
Add New Page
section. Make sure the page is inserted after News & Promotions
The new page will be created and displayed as a Northwind
option on the menu.
Settings can be activated if you mouse over Pages
at the top and click Page
. Change page Permissions
to ensure that only registered
users can see the content.
Mouse over the transparent Manage
button displayed in the top left corner
of the "ENTER TITLE" content module. The button will become opaque and will show
you the menu of available options. Delete the content module from the Northwind
Mouse over Modules
link at the top of the page, select All Categories
, and choose "My First DNN App" option. Enter Northwind
in the module Title
, and press the Add Module
The module is instantiated and now requires logical page selection.
Mouse over the transparent Manage
button and select Settings
Select "My First DNN App Settings" tab and select Customers
Select Page Settings
tab and, under Basic Settings
, set Module Container
to "Host: DarkNight – Invisible". Update module settings by clicking on Update
button at the bottom of the screen. An application page similar to the one in the
picture will show up.
If you modify your web application in Code On Time Designer
, you can use
the test web application of the project to test the changes. Publish the project
when you are satisfied with your modifications. A resource file will always be created
upon publication. If the module has been installed, then the installed version will
be automatically updated to the latest version. Simply bring up the browser window
with the portal page and refresh the page to see the changes.
Implementation of line-of-business web applications integrated with DotNetNuke
portal is made easy with Code On Time Generator
and DotNetNuke Factory