DotNetNuke (DNN) is a robust and versatile content management system (CMS) that allows developers to create dynamic, feature-rich websites. One of the key elements that contributes to DNN's flexibility is its token system. In this article, we will delve into the world of DotNetNuke tokens and explain what they are, how they work, and most importantly, how you can effectively use them to improve the functionality of your DNN-based website. Find out how to use it.
Tokens are formatted text which are replaced by real time/dynamic information such as the site name or the date and time when rendered. For example: The token [DateTime:Now] displays the current date and time on your site. Tokens can be added to DNN skins, language files and the HTML module. Adding one or more of the below replacement tokens into content enables site or user data to be displayed to site users.
DotNetNuke tokens are placeholders used within the DotNetNuke platform to dynamically insert content or values at runtime. These tokens facilitate dynamic content updates, personalized user experiences, and flexible customization within DNN modules by allowing developers to declare and utilize them for various purposes.
What are DotNetNuke Tokens?
In DotNetNuke, tokens are placeholders that are dynamically replaced with specific content when the page is rendered. These tokens act as dynamic markers, allowing developers or web masters to insert dynamic content, user information, or system-generated values into different parts of the DNN website.
In the context of content management systems like DotNetNuke, the term "token" is often associated with placeholders that dynamically get replaced with actual content when a page is rendered. These tokens are typically used to inject dynamic information, such as user details or system-generated values, into different parts of a website.
Tokens were introduced in DotNetNuke starting from version 4.5, and today, numerous standard and commercial modules, including Html, Forms and List, Newsletter and others, support these dynamic placeholders. To implement tokens in modules, such as the Html module, users can refer to the specific module documentation to understand where tokens are supported and their impact on functionalities. For instance, in the Html module, users can activate tokens by accessing the settings window, navigating to Text/Html Settings at the end of the page, and selecting the Replace Tokens checkbox.
However, it's important to note that enabling tokens comes with a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, inline editing is disabled, though this feature is commonly turned off in many DNN portals due to associated issues. Secondly, module caching is disabled, and in certain cases, it needs to vary by user. Disabling caching may result in performance challenges for highly active sites, so caution is advised. With tools like My Tokens, users can mitigate these challenges by leveraging the Cache Time attribute for each token. This allows for efficient caching, particularly for time-consuming operations like connecting to a web service, ensuring optimal performance without sacrificing accuracy. Another notable feature in DotNetNuke is Output Caching, which significantly mitigates caching issues.
DotNetNuke comes with a set of predefined tokens that can be used out of the box. Some common tokens include:
[User:Username]: Represents the username of the currently logged-in user.
[User:Email]: Displays the email address of the logged-in user.
[Module:Title]: Fetches the title of the current module.
[Tab:Name]: Retrieves the name of the current tab.
More tokens mentioned at List of Replacement Tokens
list of available tokens : https://www.dnndeveloper.in/images/dnn-token.txt
- Understand DotNetNuke Tokens: Familiarize yourself with the types of tokens available in DotNetNuke, including default tokens like user-related tokens ([User:Username], [User:Email]), module-specific tokens ([Module:Title]), and page-related tokens ([Tab:Name]).
- Incorporate Tokens in Text/HTML Modules: Utilize tokens within Text/HTML modules to inject dynamic content into your web pages. For example, you can create personalized messages or display user-specific information using user-related tokens.
Welcome, [User:FirstName]! Your last login was on [User:LastLogin].
- Create Custom Tokens: If the default tokens don't cover your specific needs, consider creating custom tokens. This involves developing a provider that defines how the token should be replaced. Custom tokens can be useful for displaying dynamic data from databases or other sources.
Your shopping cart contains [Custom:CartItemCount] items.
- Utilize Tokens in Page URLs: Incorporate tokens into the URLs of DNN pages to create dynamic and SEO-friendly links. This can be particularly useful for generating links that lead to user-specific pages or content.
View [User:Username]'s Products
- Ensure Token Validation: When using user-related tokens, it's essential to validate that the user is authenticated to prevent displaying sensitive information to unauthorized users. Implement proper security measures to safeguard user data.
- Consider Performance Implications: While tokens provide dynamic content, be mindful of their impact on performance. Excessive use of tokens, especially in high-traffic scenarios, can affect page load times. Strike a balance between dynamic content and optimal performance.
- Document Custom Tokens: If you create custom tokens, thoroughly document their usage, instructions, and any dependencies. This ensures seamless collaboration with other developers and promotes the maintainability of your DNN website.
- Test and Debug: Before deploying changes to a live environment, thoroughly test and debug your implementation. This ensures that tokens are working as intended and that there are no unexpected issues with the dynamic content.
These tokens provide a glimpse into the diverse range of information that can be dynamically inserted into a DNN website.
Utilizing DNN Tokens
To leverage tokens on your DotNetNuke (DNN) website, you should first familiarize yourself with the different standard tokens available, including: B. Related to users, modules, and pages. Integrate tokens with text/HTML modules to seamlessly incorporate dynamic content and deliver personalized messages and user-specific information. For more specific needs, consider developing a provider that defines how to replace these tokens to create custom tokens and allow you to display dynamic data from a variety of sources. Additionally, leverage the power of page URL tokens to create dynamic, SEO-friendly links and improve the overall user experience. Ensure token validation, especially for user-related tokens, to ensure security and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. When implementing tokens, consider performance and ensure a balance between dynamic content and optimal page load times. Finally, we thoroughly document custom tokens to foster collaboration and ensure maintainability of the DotNetNuke website.
- Token Validation: When using user-related tokens, it is important to ensure that the user is authenticated to prevent sensitive information from being viewed by unauthorized users.
- Performance Considerations: Tokens are powerful, but overusing them can impact performance, especially in high-traffic scenarios. Assess the balance between dynamic content and page load times.
- Customization and extensibility: Leverage the extensibility of DNNs by creating custom tokens for your specific needs. This allows for a more personalized and efficient development process.
- Documentation: Thoroughly document the custom tokens you create, including usage instructions and dependencies. This ensures seamless collaboration with other developers and improves maintainability.
Once the setup is complete, and tokens are supported and activated for the current module, incorporating tokens becomes a straightforward process. Tokens follow a specific format: [DataSource:TokenName]. In this structure, the DataSource acts as a collection of tokens, each accessible by its unique TokenName. In the case of core tokens, this collection typically signifies a data source, such as the User Object or Module Info. For custom tokens, the data source serves as a namespace, essentially a method to categorize tokens based on criteria like topics or audience. This grouping allows for a systematic organization of tokens, facilitating efficient management and utilization in diverse contexts.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can declare and utilize tokens in custom module/extension development in DotNetNuke:
Create a DNN Module
- Create a new DNN module by following the DNN module development guidelines.
- This typically involves creating a folder structure, defining module components, and implementing the required business logic.
- Decide which dynamic values you want to make tokenizable in your module.
- In your module code, declare tokens by creating a class that implements the ITokenProvider interface. This interface includes methods for token resolution.
public class MyTokenProvider : ITokenProvider
public string Name => "MyModuleTokens";
public string Description => "Custom tokens for MyModule";
public string GetTokenValue(TokenReplacementEventArgs args)
// Implement logic to return the actual value for the specified token
if (args.TokenName == "CustomToken")
// Return the dynamic value for CustomToken
// If the token is not recognized, return an empty string or null
- Register your custom token provider during the module initialization.
- You can do this in the Initialize method of your module controller.
public class MyModuleController : IUpgradeable
public string UpgradeModule(string version)
// Upgrade logic
public void Initialize()
// Register custom token provider
- In your module views (ASCX or Razor views), use the tokens by referencing them in the format [MyModuleTokens:CustomToken].
Welcome to [MyModuleTokens:CustomToken]!
- At runtime, DNN will replace [MyModuleTokens:CustomToken] with the actual value returned by your GetTokenValue method.
- Install and deploy your module to a DNN instance.
- Test the token functionality by verifying that the dynamic values are correctly replaced in the module views.
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DotNetNuke tokens provide a dynamic and powerful way to improve the content and functionality of your website. By understanding the basics of DNN tokens and effectively integrating them into your development process, you can create personalized, dynamic, and engaging web experiences for your users. Whether you're an experienced DNN developer or a beginner, exploring the potential of tokens opens up new opportunities for creativity and innovation in your web projects.