Working with DotNetNuke

Best Coding Practices Blog

Bluring the line between Web Application Programmer and Web Master


Date : 2012-05-17
I've been working with DotNetNuke a lot lately. I've always liked the speed of standard development with a CMS. Getting and average site up and running with a CMS like DotNetNuke is quick and painless. The extended programming, though, seems to be a little slower than average. I hadn't really noticed that until I found myself working with DotNetNuke full time but some aspects of it can be a real pain.

I think there are two issues. The first is the amount of time spent on the site logged in as Host just making changes to settings and dragging things around. I'm used to writing code, if something needs moved there is a number someplace that I need to change. Not a drop down selector with a "Move To" option. Still, I recognize that being able to work with Modules in a graphical environment is an improvement, it's just taking me a little while to catch up with that. To me, that kind of work on a site is what a Web Master is for, he pokes around in the settings and tweaks things that a programmer isn't needed for.

The second issue is the underlying data structure. I usually build my own internal data sharing class and I know exactly what is in it and how it got there. With DNN, because someone else wrote the core, I'm never positive what's in the User object or how it got there.

I guess I'm just used to having more control of the entire scope of the project. This feels like an issue that will be solved with a better understanding of the core structures so I keep reading everything I can find on it. For me the references work better than any long winded discussion of their use, I just need to see under the hood.

I understand the need for the ability to use something "black box" style, without knowing what's inside. Usually I develop the box myself and know what's in it originally but over time and use I forget about the specific steps and just remember how it's used. That isn't really the same as "black box" though.

Mostly DNN is great to work with though and I'm glad to have at least a basic understanding of it's core classes.

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