Professional DotNetNuke 5: Open Source Web Application Framework for ASP.NET Paperback – Feb 24 2009
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From the Back Cover
DotNetNuke is a powerful open source framework for creating and deploying web sites with dynamic and interactive content. Written by the creator of DotNetNuke and a team of DotNetNuke community experts and ASP.NET programmers, this book provides you with the tools and insight you need to install, configure, and develop web applications with DotNetNuke 5.
After Shaun Walker's introduction to DotNetNuke and the business aspects of creating and nurturing the DotNetNuke community, product, and a new DotNetNuke corporation, the authors demonstrate how to manage and administer a DotNetNuke portal. They then show you how the application works through the DotNetNuke application architecture and its major application programming interfaces (APIs), which provide DotNetNuke's power.
You'll discover how to extend the portal framework by developing and distributing modules that plug into a DotNetNuke portal, and you'll examine the flexible skinning capabilities of DotNetNuke. This helpful exploration of the history, structure, and foundation of the DotNetNuke application affirms its place as an extremely extensible application framework.
What you will learn from this book
- The latest features and functionality of DotNetNuke 5 and the differences between DotNetNuke Community Edition and Professional Edition
The responsibilities of a host/administrator who is using DotNetNuke as a web portal, such as the uploading of skins and modules
The core modules that are included with DotNetNuke and how to use them
Ways to integrate DotNetNuke into an existing membership structure
Techniques for replacing hard-coded text with dynamic strings
The new unified model for packaging extensions for distribution
Who this book is for
This book is for nondevelopers who are interested in exploring the DotNetNuke framework as well as experienced ASP.NET developers who want to build dynamic ASP.NET sites or create add-ins to DotNetNuke.
Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I didnt have this book when I was asked to create a DNN site with some custom content at work. I'd had no previous experience with DNN, but am an ASP.net developer with other portal app experience so was able to set up my dev DNN site pretty easily. I do wish I'd had a chance to glance over the chapters on intro/setup before doing so just because there are a few options that aren't quite intuitive. I also noticed a lot of questions asked in the forums are answered here.
The first chapter went into some background of DNN - very enjoyable for a technical book. I'm glad the authors didn't choose to put this as a foreword or I probably would have skipped over it. Reading how such an extensible open-source application came into existence is really neat. It also tells you about the decisions made along the way and why they were made.
After the intro, installation, and admin-type content, the book goes into more detail about the application design, the different provider models, APIs, etc. I really liked how the authors started out describing the chain of events that occur within the application when a web request is made (like how the friendly URLs are processed, for example). All of these more technical chapters are very clearly written and provide sufficient detail and examples.
As someone else mentioned in more detail, the start of the book is padded with largely irrelevant anecdotes about the history of dotnetnuke. Unfortunately, once you get into the meat of the book, it doesn't get any more useful. The most obvious steps are laboriously described (how to unzip a file) and the most obscure (creating a module with multiple views) are skipped over lightly with the apparent assumption that the reader is already familiar with the topic.
Specific examples, as is often the case in Wrox books, are given around a sample project; however, in the tasks described, it is rarely made clear what steps are taken exclusively in support of the specific sample case and which are the general steps necessary for any project.
The code listings in the book are lengthy but are not commented sufficiently to be useful.
Much is made of the fact that the authors are significant contributors to the DNN project, but that is actually a recommendation against the book when you consider that the help integral to the product itself is similarly poorly written... click the question mark tag next to "Module Culture" and you get the tautological "The culture for this module" instead of anything genuinely helpful. The entire book seems to follow this general premise that throwing a greater volume of words is sufficient explanation for concepts, as if the reader already knew everything the authors do but simply needed to have their memory jogged. As a tool for learning the concepts of developing for DNN, it's not particularly helpful.
While waiting for my plane to take off I made it through the first chapter of the book written by the father of DotNetNuke Shaun Walker. This chapter talks about the history of where DNN came from and trials and tribulations that Shaun and his team had giving birth to what we know today. I think that anyone that is interested in starting an open source product should spend a few minutes and learn from the lessons that Shaun learned in the creation of DNN, especially if you are trying to build an open source product that sits on the very not open source Windows platform.
The next few chapters of the book provide information on just about everything that administrator/end-user would need to know in order to go from an empty hosting account to having a DNN site. This includes installation, an overview of the modules and how to administer the lot. The next chunk of the book talks about the architecture of DNN. For years I have been telling developers looking for reference architectures to look at products like DNN. This set of chapters not only includes information on how the DNN team did what they did, but perhaps more importantly WHY they did it that way. For me knowing the why behind these types of decisions allows me to leverage the lessons learned by other developers and apply that to my applications, even non-DNN applications. The ability to learn from the experience/knowledge/mistakes of others makes us all better developers. The last chunk of the book is the how to information that you need to extend DNN. They cover modules, skinning, and distribution.
This book provides a good overview of all the major components in the DNN products. It covers the architecture of the DNN infrastructure and how to extend it with your own custom modules and skins. This book provides the developer and the administrator what they need to get their feet wet with DNN, and as an added bonus you get a great narrative on the birth of an open source software package.
Shawn Weisfed C# MVP
For someone who is trying to learn the technology as it exists today, this is trivia and a waste of valuable time. The one reason I bought the book was to learn how to compile custom modules in Visual Studio (which is advertises as explaining). In the 534 pages of piecemealed fragments of information and code, this was never explained. This book is a puzzle that you, the inexperienced DNN developer, have to piece together and hope for the best. Code examples supposedly downloadable from DNN's website were unavailable there. In a word - pathetic. Don't waste your money.