DotNetNuke is a widely popular content management system that has earned a reputation as an easy-to-use platform for website development and extending functionalities with extensions. It is based on Microsoft .NET Framework and offers many features for creating scalable and interactive websites. One of the main features that sets DotNetNuke apart from its competitors is the possibility of module development that can help improve and enhance functionality and usability.
Modules or Extensions are essential components that add functionality to a DNN website. These can be custom modules you create yourself or third-party modules installed on a DotNetNuke website. Module or Extension development in DotNetNuke is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the platform and its technical architecture. Modules extend the functionality of the DNN framework. Since DNN is modular, the term "modules" makes sense because a module represents a set of reusable code or functionality that can be plugged into any DNN site or removed when no more needed.
What are DNN Modules or Extensions?
DNN modules are self-contained units of functionality that can be easily added to a website. They allow users to add specific functionality to their DNN Portal without having to change the core code of the DNN platform. DNN modules can be installed, configured, and managed through the platform's administration interface, making them easy to use for both developers and end users.
DotNetNuke module development involves the creation of custom modules tailored to the specific needs of a website. The process involves several steps, including planning, design, development, testing, and deployment. Developers must have a good knowledge of the DNN platform as well as programming languages such as C# and ASP.NET.
How to Develop DNN Module or Extension?
Developing a DotNetNuke module involves several steps, including designing the module, creating the required files, and deploying the module to the DNN website. Here is a general overview of the process:
Requirements for Module: Before you start developing your module, you need to determine what functionality you need. Consider what features would be beneficial for your website and how your module can improve the user experience. This phase involves creating a detailed design of the module's interface and functionality along with layout and stylesheets, it’s better to have complete requirements documented like which fields and controls will be available, what layout validation messages, configurations settings effects animation or styles, database or third party trip establishment will perform by the extension. This includes wireframes, mockups, and design specifications.
Project Template in Visual Studio: Once the planning and design phase is complete, developers can begin building the module. This includes writing code in C# and ASP.NET, the main programming languages used in DNN module development. Developers must also ensure that the module adheres to DNN programming standards and conventions. Framework like SPA, MVC, and WebForm To create a custom DNN module, you must use Microsoft Visual Studio. Create a new project and select the DotNetNuke module template with predefined naming conventions and terms for namespaces and assembly names, file names, and structures. It’s recommended to use automated tools like database schema generators, an abstract class with methods to make database or API trips, global and local namespaces, and branding per project decided and applied to customized project template so every module extension has the same naming convention, terms, and architecture or methodology get followed.
Module Properties: Configure the module properties, such as the name, description, and version of the module. Add controls to the module such as buttons, text boxes, drop-down menus, and ascx which are the collection or section on the page. All the settings or configurations for the module will be defined as a separate user control. Resources and language-related content are stored in the language-specific resx files. Class library, DNN Interface coupling, featured, database interactions, common interfaces, and base class libraries with utilities or core functionality get inherited.
The Functionality: Add the code that implements the functionality of your module. This is where your technical knowledge comes into play because you need to use the DotNetNuke framework to create the functionality you want. It involves best practices to use programming standards and conventions and utilize the base features DNN Framework offers. An experienced developer can write optimized, secure and flexible code to implement the functionality.
Installable Zip: once your module is ready, it must be thoroughly tested to ensure that it functions as intended and is needed to create and deploy it to your DNN site. It involves testing the extensions' functionality, performance, and compatibility with different browsers and devices with proper declarations of assumptions and dependencies on the release note. This is done using the DotNetNuke module packaging wizard or can be done manually or with the use of the nuGet Package. The extension should not have any hardcode all the configurations should be available in the settings section where the administrator can define the variables.
DotNetNuke module development offers several advantages, First, custom modules can be created to meet a site's specific needs and ensure that the site has the exact features and functionality required. This can help improve the user experience and the overall performance of the website.
Second, custom modules can be used to extend the functionality of a website without changing the core code of the platform. This can help improve the stability and security of the website and reduce the risk of errors and conflicts that can occur when the core code is modified.
Finally, custom modules can be developed by third-party developers and shared with the DNN community. This can help improve the overall quality of the platform and provide users with a wider range of options to extend the functionality of their websites.
Different types of extensions like Authentication Systems, Providers, Modules, Skins and Containers, SkinObject, etc can be developed and implemented to the DotNetNuke, below are the type of DNN Extension files.
Module Definition File (.dnn): This file contains information about the module, such as name, version, description, and dependencies. When the Extension gets installed, this file gets read by DNN Framework and deployed according to defined variables at the .DNN XML file.
Module Control File (.ascx): This file defines the user interface (UI) for the module, including any controls or views that the module uses to interact with the user. ASP.Net allows binding the controls with data and code behind files to define the events and life-cycle of the user control.
Code Behind File (.vb or .cs): The file contains the code that defines the behavior and functionality of the module. It handles any data processing, calculations, or business rules that the module requires. It involves programming, accessing API, Services, or third-party functionality.
Resource File (.resx): This file contains any text strings or messages and it’s basically an XML file that DNN Framework shows for the selected cultured language. Different languages can have just different versions of content.
Installation Script File (.sql): This file contains the SQL commands or scripts required to install the module in the DNN database, including the creation of tables, views, stored procedures, settings, etc.
Executables: dll files are the business logic in a compiled formatted file, functionality logic stored at the Dynamic Link Library which is the binary format of .VB or .CS file.
Resource files: Client-side script libraries or CSS Style frameworks like bootstrap, jquery, etc can be provided with the DNN Extension.
Documents: Release Note text file appears every time when module getting installed in the DNN Portal, It has all the declarations like dependencies and versions of functionalities like a bug fixed, enhancements, etc. The license file contains terms to use the extension and legal declarations, rules, or liabilities to use the modules. The documentation file can be the user guide to the end user and opens when the user clicks on the help option item of the module if .DNN file has configured it.
Since 2006, we Dnn Developers have been actively involved in developing custom DNN applications. As a full-service web development and software development agency, we have extensive experience managing DNN projects ranging from entry-level websites to enterprise-level implementations.
If you are considering developing DotNetNuke modules for your website, it is important to work with experienced developers who understand the platform and its programming languages. Some SEO keywords to keep in mind when looking for a developer are:
DNN Developers Offer the below Services
- DotNetNuke Module Development Services
- Custom DNN Extension Development
- Third-party Module Integration for DotNetNuke
- DotNetNuke Module consulting
- DotNetNuke Extension Implementing
- DotNetNuke Module Deployment or Installation or Configurations
- DotNetNuke Module Support and Maintenance
- Scalable DotNetNuke Extension Development
- DotNetNuke Module Upgrades and Migration
- Professional DotNetNuke Module development
- DotNetNuke Module Performance Optimization
- Responsive DotNetNuke Module Design or Template Changes
We Dnn Developers continuously enhanced our skills and knowledge, dedicated to DNN Framework specializing in entry-level to enterprise-level custom development projects. We have a bunch of our DNN Extension Products @ https://store.dnnsoftware.com/dnndeveloperin and @ https://modules.dnndeveloper.in As DNN Advanced developers, we possess unparalleled expertise and focus on the DNN Platform, community, and clients.