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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.

DNN 7.1 and Url Master

by bchapman on Monday, July 22, 2013 6:01 PM
The release of DNN 7.1 brings about a major change in URL management within the DNN Platform. This is the version that incorporated much of the Url Master codebase, and introduced many new functions and features around URLs. These are all laid out as per the original iFinity Acquisition blog post that was written late last year.

This blog post is designed to provide a guide for those people who have been using the Url Master module and are now looking to upgrade their DNN site to DNN 7.1.

There are two choices for people in this category:

1. Continue to use the Url Master module to provide the URL functionality for their site

2. Switch over to using the new ‘Advanced’ URL functionality in the DNN Platform

The first thing to note is that a new version of Url Master has been released for using DNN 7.1. This is Url Master version 2.8. This contains important UI fixes related to the...

DotNetNuke Corp acquires iFinity Software

by bchapman on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:59 AM
It is with great pleasure that today I announce that DotNetNuke Corporation has acquired all of the assets of iFinity Software. In addition to this, I have joined DotNetNuke Corporation on a full-time basis to work on the Product Team, effective immediately.

The reason for this action has been to both provide DotNetNuke with tried-and-proven technology for greatly expanding the Url capabilities of the DotNetNuke platform, and to have access to my now extensive experience in dealing with all things related to Urls. Some of the regular readers of this blog will know what I am speaking of when I say I have dealt with numerous difficult situations related to the Urls of a DotNetNuke powered site, and managed to bring it all through. This opportunity allows me to take that hard-earned knowledge and experience to a much wider audience than the sizable but still relatively niche customers of mine.

The immediate plans for all the Url-related software are to integrate the codebase into DotNetNuke 7.1, a process...

Case Study : Multilanguage ecommerce with Url Master and Catalook

by bchapman on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 9:56 PM
Probably the most common request I get these days is a variation on ‘how can I modify this Url to be more friendly’.   The Url provided as an example is always a variation of a forum thread, blog post, event entry or e-commerce product.   It usually involves a Url that includes lots of ‘tabId’ and ‘productId’ values, and little or no keywords or contextual information about what is on the page itself.

In fact these types of requests have been coming through for nearly 5 years now, which is about how long ago I started writing the Url Master module from very humble beginnings of a hacked-up copy of the DNN Friendly Url provider.

It’s more than twelve months since I launched the concept of Custom Module Url Providers, which are small plug-ins which provide a connection between the Url generation and rewriting of DotNetNuke, and third party content modules installed in DotNetNuke.   When I launched this, I built a provider for the DotNetNuke Blog module (which is why you see the Urls you see on this...

DNN 7 is go!

by bchapman on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 5:58 PM
I just completed an upgrade of this site (and the url-master.com demo site) to DNN 7.0.    I have also upgraded this blog to use the new 5.0 DNN Blog, which brings with it the change to no more anonymous comments.  Sorry for those who don't like to sign in to comment, but the need for social interaction requires contributors to have an account!

The upgrade went smoothly and took about 5 minutes from starting backups to looking at the new site.  The skin on this site (yes, needs updating!) was designed for DNN 5, and never quite worked properly with DNN 6.  But I'm happy to say that everything looks great with DNN 7, and the new control bar really is a great thing.  

If you haven't yet upgraded to DNN 7, I would plan to do so.  Just remember you need to have IIS 7 and .NET 4 on your site before you set out, and always, always, always have a backup prior to starting.

DotNetNuke 7 and Url Master

by bchapman on Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:16 PM
It’s that time again, when a major new version of DotNetNuke is about to drop onto us, and that means lots of testing to make sure that things are going to work with the new version.    I’ve been doing testing and fixing and testing and checking with the Url Master module, and it’s ready for DNN 7.   But there’s a few things you need to know before you go and upgrade to DotNetNuke 7.

The first is that DotNetNuke 7 has a great new upgrade wizard.   It’s an order of magnitude better than the old one.

Unfortunately, the existing version of the Url Master module can break this wizard in certain configurations

So you will need an upgrade of the Url Master module before you upgrade your DotNetNuke installation.   This is necessary to be certain that the new upgrade wizard will work perfectly.   You also have the option of disabling the Url Master module prior to running the DotNetNuke upgrade.

The version of Url Master that is compatible with DotNetNuke 7 is Url Master 2.7.  This is now available...

The Top 5 Things in DotNetNuke 7 that you will love

by bchapman on Monday, November 12, 2012 8:52 PM
The word on the internet is that DNN 7.0 is about to drop any day now.   I’ve been following this one quite closely since the DNN World conference (a month ago now, how time flies!) and I’ve been doing extensive compatibility testing with my software.

In that space of time and testing, there are some things about DNN 7 that I think hit the ‘hey, that’s neat’ gong quite loudly.  So that’s what this post is all about.    Just a highlights package from my point of view, if you haven’t managed to see it yet.

Thing 1 : The new install and upgrade wizards There was a time when everyone seemed to agree that installing DotNetNuke was a tough task fit only for the bravest of souls.  I didn’t ever really think that way, because the whole idea of a self-installing and self-upgrading web application was the stuff of fantasy not that long ago.   I mean, I can remember the day when you had to register COM components and restart IIS to get stuff to run.  I hope you, the reader, have no idea what I just said because...

Redirecting bad Urls in DotNetNuke

by bchapman on Monday, October 29, 2012 1:31 PM
Recently I delivered a talk at the Orlando DotNetNuke User Group (ODUG) – the topic was ‘Url Best Practice for DotNetNuke’.   I enjoyed giving a talk to an enthusiastic audience and fielded some great questions, anecdotes and was hopefully able to impart some valuable knowledge to the attendees.  I have learned a lot of lessons in the years that I have been working in the Url space and some of those lessons are learnt the hard way.

[The entire presentation was recorded and is available at ODUG Meeting October 2012)

One thing I raised in the talk was the ability to use the siteurls.config file in DotNetNuke to handle redirects.  While this is an old feature of DNN (it has been around for many versions) there were quite a few people in the room who weren’t aware of it.

Today I was trying to sort out a problem with this site, and while checking the event log, I noticed a pile of exceptions from...

DotNetNuke World Presentations

by bchapman on Sunday, October 14, 2012 11:25 PM
Well, the curtain has come down on yet another successful DotNetNuke conference, DotNetNuke World 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

This year I presented twice at the conference, participated in the new ‘Vendor Showcase’ and also presented at the Orlando DotNetNuke User Group the night prior to the conference starting.

I’d like to thank everyone who came to my sessions – it is gratifying to speak to a mostly-full room, and in the case of the ODUG meeting, a crowd that overfilled the room and spilled down the hallway.   I had a lot of good feedback from people and it was great to meet a lot of customers and colleagues, sometimes for the first time, sometimes to catch up again.

I'd also like to thank PowerDnn for a fantastic giveaway competition that really captured a lot of attention. It was the choice of a Lamborghini rental for the day, or $1000 in cash. Needless to say, I put my entry in. Well, I don't want to talk about the outcome too much more, but just wanted to post this photo:



Changing a Page Title with Javascript to update a Google SERP Entry

by bchapman on Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:58 PM
When it comes to SEO knowledge about what can and can not be done with Google, a basic rule of thumb is : beware of what you read and how old it is.  Once upon a time, it was regarded as common knowledge that Google can’t read querystrings on Urls – OK, I’m going back a way with that – but of course we all know that isn’t true nowadays.

Another common rule of thumb is that Google can’t read or execute javascript in a page.  Well, I’m here to tell you that Google can – and does – read and execute Javascript on a page.

The Problem I’ve done a few posts on setting up your DotNetNuke site with the new DotNetNuke social features, which includes configuring your DotNetNuke site to be a social network, and how to set up Vanity Urls for your DotNetNuke site using Url Master.


Upgrading a custom Sitemap provider to the new iFinity Sitemap Provider version 2.0

by bchapman on Friday, September 21, 2012 5:40 PM
When I decided to do a major upgrade of the now-ancient iFinity Google Sitemap Providers project, I was faced with a couple of sticky issues:

They’re no longer called ‘Google’ sitemaps.  It’s now an open standard located at http://sitemaps.org  - I wasn’t comfortable with the ‘Google’ moniker anymore. The base provider was designed on the underlying ASP.NET provider base, and not the DotNetNuke provider base.  This means it ‘lived’ outside of the DotNetNuke configuration, and wasn’t quite integrated into DotNetNuke as it should be I wanted to add a proper manifest file, and allow the extension(s) to be installed as first-class DotNetNuke extensions, which meant needing to bring all the settings into the configuration Normally, I’m the last person to want to break any backwards compatibility, but in this case, if I wanted to move the project forwards,...
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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