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DNN Guide Environment Configuration

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DotNetNuke (DNN) An Exceptionally Favored Tool

Configuring Your DNN CMS Environment

DotNetNuke short for DNN is a robust content management system which can be very powerful if appropriately configured. To ensure optimization during DNN CMS set up, there are several requirements you need to satisfy. In this article, we will delve into these DNN system requirements as well as how a DNN developer can start configuring an environment.

Many DNN system requirements need to be in place before configuration can begin. As a DNN developer, you are required to have the following basic packages installed:

  • .Net 4.0
  • Visual Studio 2008, 2010 or 2012 versions
  • SQL Server 2008 or 2012 versions
  • IIS 7+ and ASP.NET extensions

Note the environment configuration expects that every part of the file system are well in place and working correctly. How you configure your DNN environment depends entirely on what you aim to achieve. If your goal is to develop a module for your personal use in your DNN environment, then you are free to skip some steps we will be outlining below.

But when you are building module for public usage or commercial purposes, then you will need to adhere strictly all the steps detailed below. These steps cover everything needed for installation on a wide range of DNN environments.

What puts SharePoint on the top of the list?

Picking A DNN Version

Your choice of an appropriate DNN version is one of the most important of all DNN system requirements, and should not be skipped. As a DNN developer trying to configure a DNN environment for yourself, you need to consider picking a particular DNN version before you start developing.

You only want to develop on your suitable version like what you have got in production which will enable you to know what DNN version you will need to configure as your development environment. Developing on a newer version than what you have currently can cause specific compatibility issues in the long run.

This rule is also applicable when configuring a DNN environment for commercial purposes. You should be able to strike a proper balance for your potential customers. From a developer’s view, you can decide to develop on newer versions, but in my informed opinion, it is advisable to create on older versions. This is because not everyone upgrades their DNN CMS as often as expected hence providing support for customers on all versions of DNN.

Another thing you may like to consider is feature updates. Some features may be made available only on newer updates of DNN, like workflow functionality which became a staple with DNN 5.1.

Providing support for this DNN version feature will inevitably leave older versions out of the loop which inherently would not be your fault.

This phase tends to be a tricky one. As part of the DNN system requirements, you will want to pick the “install” package over the “source” package. This choice is because you do not require the source package, although you can still use it if you wish.

Using source install makes thing a bit cumbersome, and since we won’t have to launch the DNN project, there is no need having the file settings sitting around without usage.

Step by Step Guide

Installation Process

Your installation process is one that requires close guidance every step of the way. Here are the steps to follow;

  • Downloading
    You will start by downloading the install package. You must remember to ensure that, it must be in the DNN version you decide to be as your development environment. After your download is complete, pay close attention to the following steps.
  • Extraction
    From the install package, rip the files unto the desired location. You will be directing your IIS to this location later on when configuring the website. You should also consider that some versions of Windows prohibit files in the DNN ZIP file, so if there is an unblock button in properties, go ahead and click it. Access to the “properties” option is by right-clicking the ZIP file.
  • Setting up IIS
    Next, you should proceed to set up the IIS to enable you to create a website. IIS usually comes on all Windows PCs. Note that windows version matters too as the development would not be possible on older versions of Windows such as XP. You may now create a website. Verification of ASP.NET 2.0 is necessary in the case where you are using IIS 5 or IIS 6. The website you create will be required to access http://dnndev.me/, which is needed in the development environment. Modification of host file is not necessary while using DNNDEV.ME
  • Set up a File Permission
    You can obtain file permission by right-clicking on the DNN install folder and select properties. Click on the Security tab (this may be absent if you are Windows XP if so go to the Tools/Options screen and deselect the Simple File Sharing option). You can now set up file Modify or Full permissions for whichever account your site is functioning. To grant permission to the account on the DNNDEV.ME folder you will have to set up permissions (Full or Modified).
  • Create a Database
    Set access privileges using SQL authentication. Always use a username and passcode that you can easily remember as you will require them later on.
  • Installation Wizard Access
    Now launch your site on a browser. An installation wizard will open up then select the “typical” option and walk through the entire installation process of DNN CMS. The last step as a DNN developer would be to modify the web.config file. This modification is, however, an optional DNN system requirement. You can do this by locating a setting named ShowMissingKeys.
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