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Announcing Url Master 2.5: The Next Generation in DotNetNuke Urls

by Bruce Chapman on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 11:50 AM

I’m pleased to announce the release of the next version of the Url Master module.  This is a major step forward for the DotNetNuke platform in the way Urls can be managed.

The major feature in Url Master 2.5 is the inclusion of Custom Module Url Providers.

A Custom Module Provider is a compiled DotNetNuke Extension that works with the Url Master module to allow modules to use entirely unique and custom designed Url schemes.  This means that any module can completely break free of the imposed DotNetNuke Url pattern and use whatever format of Url the module developer wishes.

That’s right – not only do you no longer need the TabId of a DotNetNuke page in the Url, you don’t need the Page name (or path) either.  Not only do you not need the /default.aspx at the end of a Url, you don’t need to have any specific type of extension at all.

What’s more, you can mix and match module providers within your installation, and each provider can have different settings for each different portal in your installation.

Finally module developers who want to be at the forefront of Url design for both SEO and Human Friendly purposes are no longer constrained by the in-built DotNetNuke Url structure.

Custom Module Providers are first-class DotNetNuke Extensions that install via the normal Extension Installation process.  They integrate fully with the Url Master module and are controlled through the Url Master User Interface.  As a fully compiled solution you can build your own database access, caching, regex or other algorithms and routines in order to deliver best practice Urls to your visitors and customers.  You can build a one-off for a custom site, or you can build an add-on for a specific module, and then sell your own version in the marketplace.  It not only creates a new way of handling Urls for modules, it creates an entire new market niche within DotNetNuke.

If you think this has been a long time coming, you’re right.  I’ve been working on this type of functionality for 3 years before finally settling on this design as the best way forwards.  After extensive consultation and experience with some of the best and brightest people in the DNN community, this is the result.

How does it work? Just look at the Url for this blog post and you’ll see!

Read more in this post about the Blog Module Friendly Url Provider.

Find out how you can build your own custom Module Friendly Url Provider in this post which links to source code and example install package.

Integrated Mobile Browser Detection features

I hope you’re intrigued so far.  However, there’s more to come!

Url Master 2.5 also includes advanced capabilities to detect and direct behaviour based on whether a mobile browser or regular browser is visiting your site.

There’s two main features – First, the module can detect and redirect to a specific named domain name (portal alias) when a mobile browser is used.  This is done seamlessly so the mobile browser doesn’t even realise they are seeing an optimised site version.  This means you can use www.example.com and mobile.example.com for your site.   Second, you can associate a different skin with a specific domain name.  So you can serve up a mobile-optimised skin on any page that is requested with mobile.example.com, all while serving up your regular skin to regular browsers.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Of course many people use page-specific skins for different pages in their site.  You can also associate a mobile-specific skin for individual pages in your site.  Again, the module will detect the browser automatically and adjust the skin accordingly.  The Url Master module will also add a context-stored value so you can alter your custom module code for mobile specific operations.

This gives you the power to deliver the same portal optimised to different browsers without having to run a separate site.  Best of all, it’s all done in a way that ensures that the mobile version doesn’t cross-pollinate into the normal browsers and hamper your SEO efforts with duplicated content.

Note : this feature was developed prior to the release of the DotNetNuke 6.1 Beta, which also includes specific options for mobile browsers.  This feature will be integrated with the upcoming 6.1 features when they are released.  Url Master 2.5 allows detection and use of mobile browsers for all supported DotNetNuke versions.

Azure Compatibility

This version is fully compatible and tested with Microsoft Azure installed on DotNetNuke.  You can now run the Url Master module on a DotNetNuke installation running on Microsoft Azure.

Still more!

This new version adds on a couple of features that people have been asking for.   You can now define your own list of custom character replacements for DotNetNuke page names.   This gives you the flexibility to override the standard ASCII-replacement routines and define your own.  Now you can replace non-ASCII characters with whatever you need.  This provides the ability to replace the ß character with an equivalent like ss or the æ character with ae.  Of course these are just an example – you can do whatever you like as it is a character-by-character find/replace function.

Plus, with this version you still get the usual array of bug fixes and minor enhancements to keep the module going strong and compatible with the very latest DotNetNuke releases.

What are you waiting for?  Download it now!

The module is available right now.  Just go to the Url Master downloads page and download and install it.

Upgrading from prior versions

Url Master 2.5 will be a free upgrade from anyone running Url Master 2.0.

An upgrade from any 1.x version of Url Master can be purchased through the Url Master Version Upgrade page.

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Bruce Chapman

The craft of writing code. The outcomes from being crafty with code. Crafty Code is tales from the coding bench.

2 comment(s) so far...

Anonymous 2/18/2012

Any status on version 2.5 yet? We are anxious to see an alternative to MobiNuke related to browser detection and redirection to alternate skins. That is the feature we are absolutely excited about. We are in the process of rolling out a new site and need to include this functionality. Hopefully you recognize iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and other top mobile browsers. We will implement the version the very first day you release it.<br /><br />Let us know!<br /><br />Christian

Bruce Chapman 2/18/2012

@christian - the module is released - you can download it now. Just follow the download links and you can install it and try it out.

Bruce Chapman
Hi, I'm Bruce Chapman, and this is my blog. You'll find lots of information here - my thoughts about business and the internet, technical information, things I'm working on and the odd strange post or two.
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