DotNetNuke Modules – Benefits of Architecture

Now that we have something running, it’s time to take a look at the various parts of the DotNetNuke framework.  But before we do, we need the all-important question, “Why do we care?”

From an end user’s perspective, DotNetNuke is a content management system.  What the end user ends up seeing is an environment that allows him to add content easily.  A user interface that is consistent.  Functionality that works the same across multiple pages.While all of this can be achieved when building our own web applications, we all know that there are times where duplicate code creeps in for whatever reason and consistency is lost.  This becomes more true the larger the project is.

Once you start programming, you find that DotNetNuke is also a programming framework with a very well thought out architecture.  Having an architecture to code against is important for any programming you might do.  Having the architecture helps provide consistency that the end user expects.Unfortunately, many small shops don’t have anyone on staff with the experience to put one together for any given project.  By adopting DotNetNuke as the architecture for your web development, you not only gain the benefits of having an architecture: consistent code, ease of maintenance, etc.,  but you also gain the ability to use modules that have been developed by others.At a macro level, you see architectural benefit in the modular nature of DotNetNuke.  And by modular, I am not only referring to the fact that we can plug modules into the CMS to make it do different things–even the GUI is modular.  Instead of having just a skin, or theme, as many other CMS systems have, DotNetNuke allows us to control the look of each individual module we place on the screen.  So, we have Skins and Containers.

Within a module, we have stock DotNetNuke controls that we use to ensure consistency in how a module is displayed relative to other modules.  Within a skin we have a stock set of controls that can be used for displaying menus, search boxes, login links, etc.This entire modular approach FORCES the programmer to think modularly.  And, by thinking modularly, we are more likely to come up with solutions that are consistent from one page to the other, or even one web application to another.


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