D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Community Server Thoughts

Monday, April 3, 2006 8:39 PM

I've been spending some time playing with Community Server over the last few weeks. I've gotta start off by saying that its a fantastic product! In the same vein as Dot Net Nuke, it presents another option for easy-setup applications for building community. Hosting providers (well, WebHost4LIfe at least) are even offering an auto install option for their customers. And in fact, installing the MSI-based package is very easy and the AJAX features are great.

But...(there's always a but)...it is a version 2.0 product, which means that there are still some things to work through. Mostly, these things come from a developer point of view and not an end user/quick install point of view.

Switching Themes = Renaming Folders
Although there is support for multiple themes, there's no easy way to set which theme you want to use. Well, there is...you need to rename the Theme folder you want to use 'default'. This is because the 'default' folder in the Theme directory is hard coded within a dependant assembly.

Lack of Documentation
Documentation on CS is pretty scarce from a developer point of view. You pretty much need to rely on forum support only (unless you purchase support from Telligent), but even then there's not alot. This has more to do with the lifecycle of the product though. The community around CS is still in its infancy, and in time and as more people begin to use it, there should be documentation all over the place. But in the meantime, those of us using the free express version of the product are left to relying on each other for support.

Weird Code Stuff
Looking through the code, there's just this feeling that the SDK version released is unfinished. For instance, you can find a region called 'Dozing Dogs additions'. One of the tool tips for a method I was looking at takes an ICQ number in as a parameter. There are comments about weird things happening but nothing really explaining what the fix would be...for instance, running the SDK from VS.NET 2005 requires you to run it once, which will fail...then run it again, where it'll run normally. This is documented in teh code...and there's a reference to using an overloaded method instead...but then why isn't that one used by default? And speaking of VS.NET 2005, you have to follow a set of steps to convert the web app portion of CS to an actual Web App project as opposed to the Assembly Project it defaults to. And my last issue...I can't get any of the controls to display in the designer...and there's alot of pages and user controls that don't have any code behind, just inline .NET code wrapped around <script> tags.

So look, CS is still a fantastic product, and the fact that Telligent is offering it for free in the express edition is awesome. The pricing for their standard, pro, and enterprise levels is very fair, and for a corporation that isn't planning on doing any surgery on the code, it'll meet many of your needs.

But for those of us that want to push teh envelope and play around with different looks (and not just a skin, but actually changing the layout of pages), adding custom components, and integrating with existing systems, there's still some work that needs to be done. They're already talking within the community about version 3.0, which is to be a true .NET 2.0 application which will take advantage of all the .NET 2.0 goodness that there is. I'll keep you posted on what else I find as I use the product.




# re: Community Server Thoughts

hi dear
please inform me for instal dot net nuke in local and translate and use .then upload in my host and use it.
i don't ahve any mony for peyment .
plz help me for god .!

mojtaba ahmadi
9/8/2007 6:59 AM | mojtaba ahmadi

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