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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

Close to 200 registered for the Sunday DotNetNuke OpenForce 08  event today that took place in between the Tech Ed events held at the Orlando Convention Center.  Who ever said Geeks take Sunday off?

DotNetNukers came from all over including Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New York and as far as Pakistan to attend this FREE event hosted by the local Orlando DotNetNuke user group. What's even crazy is that these people who traveled this distance weren't going to TECH ED but just coming for the DotNetNuke track that was held as part of the InBetween Microsoft Community Event that was held this weekend.

Thanks go to Joe Healy for getting us the facility to use, Mike Webb for his support as a sponsor and for printing out professional colored programs with a section to take notes on. Brilliant!

Special thanks to the entire DotNetNuke core team for coming and making themselves available during the day to answer user questions and for staying in the end for the panel discussion. Finally to all the sponsors who helped pay for the event. I'm estimating that over $25,000 in prizes were given out at the end of the day. Don't you wish you were here?

The day started with my presentation on Best Resources to Learn DotNetNuke. Many people have this free open source web portal but need lots of help in getting started so I was able to give out resources that I have used to be successful at using DotNetNuke. I also gave a demo on using Open Smart Module from Xepient Solutions.

If  you have already built user controls that you now want to port to DNN, or if you simply do not want to deal with the intricacies of building a DNN module, Open-SmartModule will save you all the work.

Open-SmartModule is the equivalent of a SmartPart for Microsoft SharePoint, but built to be completely user friendly and shielding the user from having to do any manual actions.

Built following the latest DNN standards, Open-SmartModule features a wizard that allows you to install your control (and all related files), set the properties of your control and even execute your Sql Scripts without ever leaving the UI interface. In less than 2 minutes you could have your regular ASP.NET user control, work as a perfectly integrated DNN module.

Orlando DotNetNuke User Group member Will Strohl from was next and gave a great session on skinning a DotNetNuke site.

After Will, Raul Rodilla from Arrow Designs spoke about understanding and using settings in your custom modules.

In the afternoon, after lunch, Tracy Wittenkeller from T-Worx, Inc. spoke on the simple features and functions that many users don't use with DotNetNuke.

Darrell Hardy from Hardy Consulting Inc. did his presentation on securing your DotNetNuke data connection strings so that hackers can't get access to your site.

Next up Nik Kalyani from DotNetNuke Corp gave us a great demonstration on the next generation skins with DotNetNuke version 5.0 which is not quite available yet but soon to be released.

Some of the new features includes:


Rounded corners

Layout stylesheets

Super stylesheets

2 col

3 column

Wysiwyg design

Finally, the entire DotNetNuke team shared their vision of the direction that they were heading with the DotNetNuke product and the new features that will be in place with the new version. DotNetNuke Users had the opportunity to ask numerous questions and all were answered.

Keep an eye out for future DotNetNuke OpenForce events. It's well worth the time you spend, even if it's a Sunday.

ps all the slides will be on the DotNetNuke Open Force site and on the Orlando DotNetNuke User Group site.

Posted on Sunday, June 8, 2008 9:02 PM | Back to top

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