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DotNetNuke Settings Section in DNN Modules

DotNetNuke Settings Section in DNN Modules

DotNetNuke (DNN) offers developers the ability of building modular extensions, which enhances web application customization and flexibility. The Settings area is a crucial component of DNN modules, allowing users the ability to customize module functionality. The goal of this essay is to thoroughly examine the Settings section of DNN modules, as well as its significance, configuration options, and optimal implementation techniques.

What is DotNetNuke Module Settings

The DotNetNuke Module settings section empowers admin users with permissions to configure module functionalities. Developers define the settings to govern the behaviors of the module within this section. The DNN Extension or Module accounts for the configured variables or settings specific to the DNN Module Instance or TabModule. If the module's parameters rely on choices by administrators, developers can specify the input control within the DNN module's settings. Leveraging the DNN Framework, the settings section enables saving configurations in DNN tables designated for ModuleSettings or TabModuleSettings, offering developers a structured storage solution for these settings.

Why required Settings section in DNN Module

DotNetNuke Modules often incorporate a settings section to offer configurable options that allow administrators or users with appropriate permissions to tailor the behavior and functionalities of the module. There are several reasons why the settings section is essential:

  • Customization: Different instances of a module might require specific configurations to meet unique requirements. The settings section allows for this customization without needing to modify the module's code.
  • User Flexibility: Administrators or users with permissions can tweak the module's behavior without the need for technical knowledge or altering the codebase, enhancing user flexibility.
  • Adaptability: Settings sections enable modules to adapt to various scenarios, making them more versatile and suitable for diverse use cases.
  • Dynamic Functionality: By allowing settings to be adjustable, the module's functionalities can be changed or refined dynamically, aligning with the evolving needs of the website or application.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Separating configuration settings from the module's core functionality simplifies maintenance and updates, as changes can be made without altering the codebase.
  • Scalability: Settings sections facilitate scalability by enabling configurations that accommodate future expansions or changes in the application's requirements.
  • Consistency and Standardization: They provide a standardized interface for configuring modules, ensuring consistency across the platform and facilitating user adoption and understanding.

The settings section in DotNetNuke Modules is crucial for providing a user-friendly, adaptable, and configurable interface, allowing users to fine-tune module behavior without needing to delve into the technical complexities of the codebase.

How it Configuring Settings in DNN Modules

Developing the settings section for a DotNetNuke (DNN) custom module involves several steps to create a dynamic and user-friendly configuration interface. Below is a step-by-step technical process to guide you through developing the settings section for a DNN custom module:

  • Step 1: Module Definition in DNN:

1.1. Begin by creating a new DNN module project in Visual Studio using the DotNetNuke Module Development templates.

1.2. Define the module's basic properties, such as name, description, version, and other metadata, in the manifest file (DNNManifest.dnn).

  • Step 2: Define Settings in Module's Business Logic:

2.1. In the module's business logic, create properties or variables to represent the settings you want to configure.


public class MyModuleController : PortalModuleBase


    public string MySetting1 { get; set; }

    public int MySetting2 { get; set; }

    // ... other settings



  • Step 3: Create Settings.ascx User Control:

3.1. Add a new ASCX user control (Settings.ascx) to the module's project.

3.2. Design the user interface for the settings, including input controls (textboxes, dropdowns, etc.) and labels.

3.3. Bind the user interface elements to the corresponding properties in the module's business logic.


<asp:TextBox ID="txtMySetting1" runat="server" Text='<%# ModuleConfiguration.MySetting1 %>' />

<asp:DropDownList ID="ddlMySetting2" runat="server" SelectedValue='<%# ModuleConfiguration.MySetting2 %>' />


  • Step 4: Save Settings on Apply Button Click:

4.1. Handle the Apply button click event in the code-behind file (Settings.ascx.cs).

4.2. Retrieve the values from the input controls and update the corresponding properties in the module's business logic.


protected void btnApply_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


    ModuleConfiguration.MySetting1 = txtMySetting1.Text;

    ModuleConfiguration.MySetting2 = Convert.ToInt32(ddlMySetting2.SelectedValue);

    // ... update other settings




  • Step 5: Display Settings in the Module:

5.1. In the module's view, retrieve the settings values and use them to control the module's behavior.


public class ViewModule : PortalModuleBase


    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)


        var mySetting1 = ModuleConfiguration.MySetting1;

        var mySetting2 = ModuleConfiguration.MySetting2;

        // ... use other settings




  • Step 6: Localization (Optional):

6.1. If your module supports multiple languages, add localization resources for the settings labels and messages.

6.2. Use DNN localization methods to display labels in the user's preferred language.

  • Step 7: Testing:

7.1. Test the settings section thoroughly to ensure that values are saved correctly, and the module behaves as expected based on the configured settings.

  • Step 8: Documentation:

8.1. Provide documentation for users/administrators on how to use the settings section and the impact of different configurations.

By following these steps, you can successfully develop a settings section for your DotNetNuke custom module, allowing users to configure the module's behavior based on their specific requirements.

Best Practices for Setting Management

Developing the settings section for a DotNetNuke custom module requires attention to best practices to ensure a secure, user-friendly, and maintainable solution. Here are best practices for DotNetNuke custom module settings section development:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Clear Labels and Descriptions: Use descriptive labels and tooltips to explain each setting, making it easy for users to understand the purpose of each configuration.
  • Security Considerations: Authentication and Authorization: Implement proper authentication and authorization checks to ensure that only authorized users can access and modify settings. 

Input Validation: Validate user inputs rigorously to prevent security vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS).

Secure Storage: If dealing with sensitive information, employ secure storage practices such as encryption to protect against unauthorized access.

  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Leverage DotNetNuke's RBAC features to control access to different settings based on user roles. This ensures that only users with appropriate permissions can make critical changes.
  • Modularization: Break down complex settings into logical groups or tabs. This modular approach enhances the user experience by presenting a clear and organized interface.
  • Default Values and Reset Options: Provide default values for settings whenever applicable. Include an option to reset settings to their default values to simplify troubleshooting or reverting to a standard configuration.
  • Logging and Auditing: Implement logging mechanisms to track changes made to settings. This aids in auditing and troubleshooting, allowing administrators to trace modifications over time.
  • Localization Support: If your module is intended for a global audience, ensure that the settings section supports localization. Provide translations for labels and descriptions to accommodate users in different languages.
  • Consistent UI Design: Maintain a consistent user interface design across your module, adhering to DotNetNuke's design standards. Consistency enhances the user experience and makes the settings section more intuitive.
  • Documentation: Include comprehensive documentation for the settings section. Explain each setting, its impact on the module, and any dependencies or interactions with other settings.
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: Test the settings section in multiple browsers to ensure compatibility. DotNetNuke supports various browsers, and the settings section should function consistently across them.
  • Testing: Conduct thorough testing of the settings section under different scenarios and user roles. Verify that the settings persist correctly and the module behaves as expected based on the configured options.
  • Error Handling: Implement robust error-handling mechanisms to gracefully handle unexpected scenarios. Provide clear error messages to users if an issue arises during the settings configuration process.

By adhering to these best practices, you can develop a DotNetNuke custom module settings section that is not only functional but also secure, user-friendly, and easily maintainable.

Types of Module Settings

In DotNetNuke custom module development, ModuleSetting and TabModuleSetting play pivotal roles in facilitating dynamic and configurable module behavior. 

  • ModuleSetting: ModuleSetting refers to configurations specific to a particular instance of a module on a page. These settings can be customized by administrators or users with the necessary permissions, allowing for fine-tuning of the module's functionalities. ModuleSettings are instance-specific, meaning changes made to one instance of the module do not affect others on the same page. Developers leverage ModuleSetting to enhance the adaptability and personalization of the module, providing users with the flexibility to tailor its behavior based on individual preferences or contextual requirements.
  • TabModuleSetting: On the other hand, TabModuleSetting pertains to configurations associated with a specific module on a particular page (tab). These settings are shared across all instances of the module on that page. Unlike ModuleSetting, changes made to TabModuleSetting affect every instance of the module on the same tab. This global configuration capability is particularly useful when uniform settings are desired for all instances of the module on a specific page. Developers strategically utilize TabModuleSetting to ensure consistency and coherence in the behavior of the module across the entire page, streamlining the management and control of module configurations.

ModuleSetting and TabModuleSetting in DotNetNuke custom module development offer a robust mechanism for tailoring module behavior at both the instance and page levels. The distinction between these settings allows for a dynamic and versatile approach, empowering administrators and users to configure modules according to their specific needs while maintaining a consistent experience across the entire page.

Case Studies and Real-World Applications

The Settings section within DotNetNuke (DNN) modules plays a pivotal role in customizing and shaping module behavior. Well-configured settings can notably enhance user interaction, boost module flexibility, and overall operational efficiency. Acquiring a deep understanding of the intricacies and best practices in managing these module settings is fundamental for developers aiming to craft all-encompassing and user-friendly DNN modules.

At DnnDevelopers, our team excels in harnessing the robust features of the DotNetNuke (DNN) framework, honed over years of hands-on practice and dedication to meeting the highest industry standards. We deeply understand and actively employ the diverse capabilities of the DNN framework, ensuring our solutions are not only aligned with industry best practices but also tailored to meet and exceed the quality standards demanded by our clients. Our continuous practice and expertise in leveraging the full potential of DNN's functionalities enable us to create solutions that are innovative, reliable, and in sync with the evolving demands of the industry

The article explores the importance of the DotNetNuke (DNN) Settings section in DNN modules. It discusses how developers can utilize this feature to enhance user experience, manage configurations efficiently, and ensure seamless customization within the DNN framework for optimal module functionality.

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