DotNetNuke Modules – Install DNN into VS 2008

Today, we will install DotNetNuke into Visual Studio so that we can create our first module. So fire up Visual Studio, and let’s get going.

I’ll be using Visual Studio 2008 to walk you through this, but the instructions are very similar if you are still using Visual Studio 2005.

To install DotNetNuke, you can run the DotNetNuke Web Application framework project that you can find by selecting “File” > “New” > “Web Site…” from the menu. If you normally work in CSharp, you’ll need to switch the language to VB.NET before you see the project. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to develop your modules in CSharp, but DotNetNuke is a VB project so you’ll need to install it as a VB project.

When you develop web sites in Visual Studio, you always want to develop using IIS to run the web site. This will allow you to see any security errors that may develop while writing your code prior to putting the application into development. If you are not already in the practice of using IIS for your web development, now is a good time to start. Make sure the “Location” dropdown is set to HTTP.

Click the “OK” button to continue. After waiting a while, you will see a message asking if you want to run under ASP.NET 3.5 or 2.0. I personally prefer using 3.5, but this means that I have to upgrade my web.config file on the production server so that it will run 3.5. Most of the time, that just means copying the web.config from my development server over to the production server and making a few minor modifications.

Once the install has completed, you will see an HTML page with further instructions. Here are a few additional notes:

  • Setup your server for mixed mode authentication:
    If you installed SQL server express as part of your Visual Studio installation, Microsoft installed it to use Windows Authentication. The best way to fix this is to uninstall anything that says something about SQL 2005 and reinstall it manually. When you get to the dialog that ask if you want Windows authentication, or Mixed Mode authentication, select Mixed Mode and give a password you can remember.

    You can find the SQL Server Express on your Visual Studio CD at:

  • Create/Configure database:
    I’ve found it is best to configure the database as a named database off the server rather than attaching to a database that you might place in App_Data. I use SQL Server Enterprise Manager Express to manage my SQL Express databases. While you can run DotNetNuke from a database in app_data, you’ll want to be able to create tables and store procedures using SQL Server Enterprise Manager Express, which will be easier, but not impossible, if you are using a named database instead of a file attached database.

Finally, go ahead and run the project to install DNN on your server.


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