Starting DNN Development Again

March 26, 2007

So I’m taking this week off for vacation. But it’s not too much relaxation.

One thing that I finally got around to was getting my laptop configured to start developing for the WoW guild that I help webmaster for on the side. It’s something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but I’ve just not gotten around to doing. And the funny thing about developing for DotNetNuke is that it requires about 4-6 hours just to get things set up – it’s not for the faint of heart.

So what’s the wrinkle this time? I’m running on Vista – which means a lot of base assumptions are shot to hell. And I thought I would outline the lessons learned today here for those who are planning on doing the same:

Why install the WAPs? I’m going the WAP route because I want something that’s easier to deploy. I tried using the DNN Starter Kit path (which I guess is the officially recommended development method as suggested by Microsoft), but DNN is just too large, and I need to go back to the packaged zip file/manifest anyway, so it seemed like a large waste of time, to be honest.

I then went and created the projects for the existing code:

  • Created a solution in the root of my new IIS directory (per the Blank Module guidelines)
  • Created a new project in the ‘Desktop Modules’ folder and created an ‘App_Code’ and a ‘Desktop Modules’ subfolder in the directory. These subfolders contained all the same stuff the other folders did.
  • I then had to clean up the ascx files by ‘Convert[ing] to Web Application’, which creates the Designer code-behind. If you don’t do this, it will essentially toss an error for each and every declared item in the ascx file. [Tangent: The last time I played with a self-contained module, I spent 5 hours cleaning this up by declaring the variables in the ascx.cs code behind, only to find new issues when I moved it into the starter kit]
  • Add it in by hand and added in the database entries

Now I’m finally starting to look at working code again!

Cliff Simpkins