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How do I install DNN?

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So the time comes when you have played with the ASP.net, you need a content management system and you are interested in the DotNetNuke — the infamous ‘DNN’.
At Phi9, you can install DNN by one of the three methods. Either through WebMatrix, one-click installer or manually.
To demonstrate the full process, let’s go with the last method and install our DNN.

The steps involved are pretty simple.
– Configure databases
– Get special permissions setup
– Download latest installation package
– Upload the contents of package
– Complete the web based installation process

Details 

  1. Make sure that there are no remains of previous installations in your domain or databases. Delete everything in public_html of the domain and recreate your databases from control panel. If this is your first attempt of installation, then you don’t need to worry about this step.
  2. Now the second step is really important. You need “special” permissions for your DNN before you proceed with the installation. This can only be done from server side. Have a system engineer assign these permissions for your domain(s). Simply email support@phi9.com or ask through live chat.
  3. Login to your Windows control panel, go to your hosting space menu, choose Databases section and create an MSSQL database. You see the ‘Create database’ button in below screenshot, just click on it.
    create-db
  4.  Create create a database user and assign it to the database you just created. Do it as follows.
    create-db-user
  5. Go to DotNetNuke’s official website, click on Download link from top navigation and then download the “Install Package” shown here.
  6. Extract the zip package you just downloaded, login to your FTP account (through FileZilla) and upload the contents of zip package to public_html directory of your desired domain. You can see the login credentials in the account information email sent to you when you signed up.
  7. Now open web browser, go to yourdomain.com/install/, wait for a few moments before the DNN wizard starts up. Choose ‘Typical’ and hit the next button.
  8.  Click on ‘Next’ again.
  9.  Choose “SQL Server 2005 / 2008 Database”, enter SQL Server address (this is also sent you in account information email), enter your database name you created in step 3 above, uncheck “Integrated Security” check box, enter the db user name and password you created earlier and finally hit the button ‘Next’.
  10. The installation process will start. Hold your breath and make sure that you don’t get any errors.
  11. This is the final step of installation. Enter your user details and website information. You can then select the default template for your DNN. It can be either ‘Blank Website’ or ‘Default Website’. If this is a test deployment, you can choose the second option so you can play and learn.
  12. There you go. You brand new DNN blank website is ready.

Congratulations! You can now download DNN’s official beginners’ guide and start cooking the DNN.

Written by Phi 9 World

May 11th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

WebMatrix, permissions and DotNetNuke!

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WebMatrix has revolutionized the way the web applications are configured and deployed. But there still is a missing piece to the puzzle — ASP.net application pool identity permissions. Because the way ASP.net user trust level works in IIS, some ASP.net applications need special permission sets. Coupled with WebMatrix this can increase the confusion for users to have their applications deployed.

Before we begin troubleshooting, we need to understand how WebMatrix actually works (for those who don’t know it yet). The process includes

  • Uploading files to the virtual host
  • Setting application settings as defined in web.config
  • Restoring databases
  • Setting permissions for App_Data and virtual host root

The odd thing happens at the last step in this case. You get an “Error – Publish Failed!”. Unless you click on the Log, you won’t likely find out what caused it. The typical error looks like this

The error occurs right before setting up the permissions. Now, the way WebMatrix sets up permissions is very odd. The “setAcl” command you see above first resets the current permissions and then it applies the permissions defined in WebMatrix profile and application settings that you are trying to deploy (located in C:\Users\User\Documents\IISExpress\WebDeploy\Config\ProjectName). And for this reason the WebDeploy has come under heavy criticism in official community forums. Though one can see this issue is likely addressed in the recent release of WebDeploy 3.0 but it has a few more problems of its own.

Based on the server side rules, the domain’s application pool settings, you’ll need to have an admin set permissions on root of the domain. But that’s still not all. There’s one last thing you should worry about. If you see an error like below, the DotNetNuke’s installation simply will halt. And you’ll have to start over by recreating the database and reuploading the files, because of incomplete data in the database. It’s just the DotNetNuke’s installation process which is still very old fashioned.

For me, this is just paradigm of user interest and software conflict.
To sum up, one should:
a) Either have a system engineer look up WebDeploy, assign and fix necessary permissions and make sure they are inherited properly so WebMatrix won’t overwrite (a lengthy process itself)
b) Or tell WebMatrix to leave the permissins alone and then have a system engineer fix the issue
 msbuild.exe myproject.csproj /p:IncludeSetAclProviderOnDestination=False

Either way, it’s the user interest that wins!

Written by Phi 9 World

April 30th, 2012 at 8:05 am