DotNetNuke (DNN) Tips, Tricks and Advice

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Posted by: Dale Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Over the time I've used DNN I've found out a few things the hard way and made a point to keep a note of them for future reference. Here they are...

Database Correlation: Make sure that the database correlation is the same for you database as the default on the server. The reason being that tempdb will be in the correlation of the server default and there are some queries in DNN that make use of tempdb and which fail if the correlations are not the same. Last tested as a problem on version 4.3.7.

Directory Permissions: If you leave the database in the App_Data directory make sure that the user account that the web service runs under has 'write' rights to at least the App_Data directory. In fact it really needs 'write' rights to the entire directory because there are a few other log files etc which need to be written.

Password Settings: If you have come from an ASP.NET 2.0 background you might dive in there (like I did) and change the membership provider settings to suit. Best not as they won't work as you expect with DNN. At version 4.3.7 hashed passwords were not supported. Also the minimum password length had to stay at 4 until you've logged in and changed the default Admin & Host password - otherwise it fails to run at all. Again version 4.3.7.

DOCTYPE: Pre 4.4.0 you need to change the DOCTYPE of default.aspx to a valid DOCTYPE otherwise styles appear inconsistent across browsers because the default DOCTYPE triggers quirks mode. 4.40 and above you need to specify the DOCTYPE in an additional xml file per skin file. [Add reference later].

Solpart Menu JavaScript: As at 4.3.7 the menu JavaScript was wrong and needed to be updated with the following code: Solpart Menu Fix

Solpart Menu Styles: If you want to do anything clever, such as have transparent menus and/or fade in/fade out you may need to comment out all the solpart menu styles from default.css because some of the default styles cannot be negated once in place.

Portal Aliases: Make sure you add any aliases to your portal before you move it to a new domain - otherwise you can't access it.

IIS User Account: Remember that ASP.2.0 NET doesn't run under the account listed under security in IIS. Quite important for setting the directory permissions correctly. [Add how to find correct account here]

File Manager Alignment: If the items of the file manager are not lined up then add this style to your style sheet: .DNNTree {text-align:left;}

Newsletter module - Non Admin User: If you want users who do not have full admin permissions to be able to send newsletters then see the following hack: Non-Admin Newsletter

Multiple Portals - Same Username: You can create a user account which exists on multiple portals. To do this you have to create the user on each portal with identical information including the password. The user will then be able to login on either portal. Quite useful if you don't want to have 1 username per portal.

4.4.1 Upgrade Issues: The only issue I found when upgrading to 4.4.1 was that the event log stopped working but running the following SQL via the host soon sorted the problem: TRUNCATE TABLE EventLog

Module Development: I haven't developed a module yet, but my preliminary research threw up the following resources: Module Development Link 1 & Module Development Link 2

Site Backup: See the following link for a discussion on backing up the site and database: DotNetNuke Backup Discussion. In addition there is a very good module that takes care of all this for you: Evotica Backup

SiteLog Size: When configuring my host I'd always set the sitelog duration to 90 days. Then recently I came to move a site and found the database had grown to 300MB mostly due to the sitelog. It was then I discovered that the scheduled task which deletes the old entries in the sitelog table is not enabled by default. So if you do want to reduce the sitelog size you need to visit Host/Schedule and enable the DotNetNuke.Services.Log.SiteLog.PurgeSiteLog schedule.

Other similar sites: Venexus

Other sites of interest: http://sixxac.com/ccc/. http://www.snapsis.com/, http://www.ventrian.com/

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