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Build 'Radioactive' Web Sites with DotNetNuke 2.0

Save hours of valuable development time when building corporate or departmental Web portals with DotNetNuke 2.0, the latest version of the free, ASP.NET-based, open source, extensible, content management portal.

irst let me start by saying I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the eagerly-awaited DNN 2.0 officially shipped at the VS-Live! Conference on March 23, 2004. Actually, that's not good news, that's great news. The bad news? There aren't enough hours in the day to work on all the Web sites I want to create with DNN 2.0!

DotNetNuke 2.0 is the latest version of the increasingly popular, open-source, content management portal. At the time of this writing, the current version of DNN is 2.0.4. It was originally released as an open source project on Dec 24, 2002. You can download the latest DotNetNuke code from the DotNetNuke Web site. In the past fifteen months it has grown to over 50,000 lines of managed code. One thing is for sure, you won't be alone using it! The DotNetNuke support forum is one of the most active and dynamic forums on the www.asp.net Web site. There are currently over 45,000 registered users on the official DotNetNuke Web site and membership continues to grow at an exponential rate.

For those of you unfamiliar with DNN, it provides an off-the-shelf, turn-key, Web portal application containing the key features and tools required to operate and maintain a dynamic and 100% interactive data-driven Web site. DNN provides features that make everyone happy, from the Web site administrator, to the content manager, to the Web site developer. Web site administrators get new features and tools for controlling user membership, security role management, banner advertising, affiliate relationship management, promotion and search engine optimization, and Web hosting. Content managers receive features and tools for content authoring and Web site management. For the Web site developer, DNN is highly extensible, has improved error handling capabilities, and allows them to develop custom modules built in your .NET language of choice. You can upload custom modules, in the form of a private assembly to the server where they are installed directly into the runtime portal environment and ready for use by the Web site administrator and/or content manager. I've included a complete step-by-step tutorial for developing custom modules at the end of this article.

Upgrading from DNN 1.0
DNN provides features that make everyone happy, from the Web site administrator, to the content manager, to the Web site developer.
Before you even think about upgrading, I strongly advise you to back up your database and Web site folders in case you run into issues with your site. The process of upgrading from DNN 1.0 is fairly straightforward. You simply copy the DNN 2.0 files over your DNN 1.0 files and compile. The upgrade process should work and your database will be automatically upgraded. Custom modules written for DNN 1.0 should work but they may not depending on how they were written.

Performing a Clean DNN 2.0 Install.
The steps to performing a clean install of DNN 2.0 are nearly identical to the steps to install a prior version (See March/April 2004 issue of CoDe Magazine for complete step-by-step instructions for installing DNN 1.0.10d). The Readme.txt file in the Documentation directory also contains the steps to perform a clean install.

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