Custom DNN Website and Module Development
DNN, being written on .NET, allows C# developers to write their own custom DNN modules and extensions. While at first glance this may seem easy, after 15 years, more than 1,000 DNN sites, and thousands of custom modules, we know that it is not.
There are numerous issues to consider when you undertake a custom DNN module. Here is a list of just a few:
- DNN versions — What happens to your module when DNN sites are upgraded? Do you have multiple DNN portals? How easy is it to fix DNN errors? Are they all the same version or are some still on DotNetNuke? Are you trying to sell or post your module for general availability? If you said yes to any of these, things just got a lot more complicated. You'll want to ensure that you've set up the different environments and tested your module across all platforms. Even the way DNN manages and updates DotNetNuke modules have changed many times over the years, and you'll need know-how beyond regular DNN forums to support the different scenarios.
- Localization — If you want to release your module available, many other companies may be running different localized content. Have you tested the module with special or double-byte characters? DNN Corp introduced localization support back in 2012, so it's been around for a long time. Here's a short video we've put together to discuss the four ways to build a multilingual DNN website.
- DNN website installation — A DNN platform can be installed in either the default root directory or sub-directory. If your custom module interacts with the DNN sub-system or file system, you'll need to be able to handle these custom installations for a DNN site.
- Multi-portal configuration — One great feature of the DNN ecosystem is the ability to have multiple portals, which are easily spun up from the core DNN platform installation. This multi-portal environment may pose interesting challenges for you. Most custom DNN modules installed into DNN are made available to all portals within the system. The issue is that not all the portals should or may not have access to the information in any of the other portals. You need to ensure that your module is multi-tenant (multi-portal) aware and secures the data to the local file directory that it's run on.
- MSSQL — Almost all installations of DNN are set up to use the Microsoft SQL database. We've configured it for others such as Oracle, Postgres, SQL Express, and the like—but 99% of the time it is Microsoft SQL. That said, there are some differences between the versions of SQL servers that you may need to be aware of. Test across as many versions as you can. Almost all versions (except SQL2000) usually run without much problem, and our clients have upgraded and not seen any real issues. You'll just want to make sure you've tested across the versions yourself.
- Custom DNN — (DotNetNuke Module Development) module development allows programmers like Clarity to extend and create any new functionality that the CMS doesn't provide. Clarity has developed more than 1,000 custom modules at a DNN Evoq price point our clients love, providing functionality for things like: AI-learning to serve up related content personalized for each visitor; SEO administration UI modules; custom CTA modules; advanced marketing analytics; custom locator maps; and many more.
- Testing, testing, testing — What happens if someone installs a new version of your module over the top of an old version? Does the CMS allow this, or will DNN errors show up? Can it be done manually? What happens when your module is uninstalled? Is it clean? Does it work across different versions of DNN software? Does your module get affected by other 3rd party modules, such as new skins? Clarity can address all these questions and fix any DNN errors that arise. If your module interacts with the UI, then you'll want to grab at least the most popular skins—such as Porto or EasyDNNThemes—and install them, switch between them, and test to see if it affects your module.
If you're still not sure which CMS you need or want more information on the DotNetNuke content management system, feel free to reach out to our DNN experts. We can talk about DNN Evoq price, we can talk features. We want to know what you need. If you need a partner who can design, build, launch, and support your DNN website, Clarity's team of DNN specialists can help.
What is DNN going to do for you? From simple marketing sites to custom portals, B2B eCommerce marketplaces, integrations to your back-office applications, SEO and CRO consulting, graphics, and video development, we have the experience to ensure your project gets done…and done right. No matter which CMS you decide to use, Clarity can help you customize any web software for the purpose your company needs.
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