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I’ve been maintaining my DotNetNuke Visual Studio project templates for a number of years now, one of the things they have sorely been lacking is the ability to “customize” the templates without having to crack open the full source code of the VSIX project, making changes, and then recompiling everything. There are 5 specific strings/values that were ripe for customization, but simply were not easily accessible.

  • Root NameSpace – The Namespace for the project, all of the files were populated with this namespace.
  • Owner Name – A DNN Manifest property that is used to provide information on who either developed the module, or commissioned the module development. This also gets used in all of the Copyright statements built into the templates.
  • Owner Email – Another DNN Manifest property, used to provide an Email address for contacting the owner/developer of a module.
  • Owner Website – The URL of the package’s owner, for further contact and information.
  • Local DEV URL – The URL of your local development environment.

Of all of those items, the one that has likely caused the most headache over the years is the Local DEV URL property, that was set at DNNDEV.ME, which if you followed along with my various tutorials, was the URL I always use for local development, that domain name points to This actually works out great, but some people choose not to follow my tutorials or already have existing development environments configured, yet still want to use my templates. You could still use them, but you had to make some modifications to the PROJ files after creation in order to get things working.

With the latest release of the templates, when you create a project using one of the 6 included templates, you will then be prompted with a Wizard interface (single step) that will allow you to customize these fields.


As always, you can download the latest “release” of the templates from the DNN Store, or from the Visual Studio Online Gallery if you want to get creative, you can check out the Repo on GitHub

Chris Hammond
With the release of DNN Platform 8 last week it is now possible to develop modules using SPA and MVC patterns within the DNN platform. As Part of the buildup of the DNN 8 release, Will Strohl provided a Pull request to my DNN Extension Project Templates project to help clean up some of the basic module templates to work better on Windows Azure environments, and to prep them for inclusion of new DNN 8 specific templates for SPA and MVC modules. Early in the fall Joe Brinkman provided a partial SPA project, with the intention of it becoming a project template. I had a little time when it was initially submitted to work on it, but wasn’t able to get everything squared away on the template until early December. It wasn’t until last week that I got additional time to do further testing on the template and fix a few issues that occurred during the conversion to a project template.
Chris Hammond
A few months ago I released V4 of my DNN Development templates, which included a new project template for Themes (skins). This weekend I was working on a new theme (skin) for a customer project and came across a few changes I needed/wanted to make to the Theme project template, so you get to benefit from those changes as I have put a new release out of the project templates.
Chris Hammond

For years I have maintained a set of Visual Studio project templates that are used by thousands of people to quickly and easily create Modules for the DotNetNuke Content Management System, and for years, I have had people request that I create a project template for creating a DNN Skin (now known as Themes).

This weekend I finally took the time to do just that. With the latest release of my Visual Studio project templates, you can now create a Theme for DNN. When doing so, you will be presented with a basic skin, using Bootstrap v3.1.1, based on my HammerFlex theme for DotNetNuke.

Chris Hammond
If you’ve recently upgraded to DotNetNuke 7.3, you might not have noticed that your scheduled tasks aren’t running. How do you know if your tasks are running or not? Follow these steps
Chris Hammond

With the release of DNN 7.3.0 this week, it was time for me to get my sites upgraded. I upgraded most of the sites without any issues, but wanted to point out a few errors that I received on sites, and how I resolved them.

The very first upgrade I did started out bad, it was for this site, and while the upgrade was 100% successful, as soon as I tried to load the site I got a generic 500 error. Accessing the site from the webserver gave me a little more information, seen below, but not much.

Chris Hammond
One of the things I’ve failed to do with my latest free open source skin, HammerFlex, for DNN is provide a good overview of how to utilize the skin. To really understand a skin, one must know the layout, and the thought process behind the layout (panes).
Chris Hammond
A month or so ago I released a new open source skin for DotNetNuke (DNN), called HammerFlex. One of the cool things about the HammerFlex skin is the implementation of Bootstrap, and specifically the Carousel feature that allows you to add a carousel/slider to your site. The skin is designed to use the carousel at the top of a page, I haven’t tried it elsewhere, though it might be possible to use in other Panes in the DNN Skin.
Chris Hammond
I decided recently it was time to upgrade the look of my various websites, and while I originally considered modifying my MultiFunction skin for DNN, ultimately I decided to start from the ground up and create a new Skin for DNN using Bootstrap (http://getbootstrap.com), I’ve decided to call it HammerFlex.
Chris Hammond

My website was due for an overhauled design, somehow a full year came and went and I hadn't done any major updates to the website. I guess that is what happens when you, move, change jobs, and have a second child in on year, time sort of magically goes away.

A couple of weeks ago I started working on a new DNN skin, to replace my MultiFunction skin that I've had in use here on ChrisHammond.com for a number of years now. Initially I was going to work on upgrading MF, but after giving it some thought, I felt like I wanted to start over, and this time around I wasn't sure that I was going to create an open source skin, most likely just something that I would use for my own websites, of which I have plenty to spread the skin around on.

Chris Hammond

Earlier in 2013 I started working on a new round of DNN Module Development tutorials. For a few months now I've been promising that I would finish up that series, but at this point I am going to announce that the series is on hiatus. 

There are a number of reasons for this, the primary of which is that I am simply too busy. My work role at ClubReady, Inc. has changed over the past month, was promoted to the Director of Customer Experience leading a team of 14 other folks, including developers and customer service staff.

Chris Hammond

In October, the SignalR project had their first official 2.0.0 release, and with that comes a number of changes to make your modules work with SignalR. You can upgrade your SignalR package via Nuget.

You can find a guide to upgrading your projects at http://www.asp.net/signalr/overview/signalr-20/getting-started-with-signalr-20/upgrading-signalr-1x-projects-to-20

Chris Hammond

In a previous blog post I talked about what you can do to get DNN 7.1 working if you previously had Xepient's Open Search installed. One thing I failed to cover though, was what happens after you disable open search? You likely no longer have the DNN Search Results module on a page, and after upgrading to DNN 7.1.2 (I didn't notice this in 7.1.0) you may find that the "Preview" search results in the Search SkinObject no longer work.

You may not actually notice, but if you try to "search" and you just get redirected back to the page you were on when you searched, you likely are running into the problem I have a fix for below.

Chris Hammond Google+

I upgraded a number of websites to DNN 7.1.2 tonight, and I ran into two different problems, this blog post will hopefully help you address the issues that I ran into, if you happen to run into them as well.

Disclaimer: Always backup your website/database before making any changes or running any SQL scripts you got off the web. I don't take any responsibility for damage you cause to your own website, but if you need consulting help with your DNN site, I am available.

Chris Hammond Google+

In a previous blog post I talked about how to use SignalR with your DotNetNuke modules, well, if you are using DNN 7.1 and the "Advanced" URLFormat option (upgrades won't use this by default, new installs will) then the SignalR/Hubs route will no longer work, DNN will return a 404 for that path.

What you need to do is "override" the URL settings in DNN. In the DNN Platform, you have to do this manually, via the database, I believe the EVOQ ($paid$) versions have a UI for this, but for those of us who focus specifically on the open source platform, you need to make manually update database entries to customize the URL handling in 7.1+.

Chris Hammond Google+

I was upgrading a customer's website this evening, in a test environment thankfully, and ran into a problem. The upgrade appeared to run successfully, minus one little issue with a primary key (in the 6.0.0 script).

But after running the upgrade, the website wouldn't load. I kept getting an error in Chrome, and then finally started getting 503 errors as the server shut down the application pool completely.

Chris Hammond
I started this list a while back, and decided I would go ahead and finish it, and post it online. Thanks to Oliver Hine for #9 As someone who runs, edits or develops for a DotNetNuke website, these are 10 things you should always stick to.
Chris Hammond
I have released version 2.2 of my open source DotNetNuke Module Development Templates. Version 2.2 is really just a minor update for the release, with a couple of fixes, one big, and the rest fairly small.
Chris Hammond

I’ll start this post off by stating a few things. One, I don’t work for DotNetNuke Corporation anymore, but I still love this project and will continue to work with it for the foreseeable future. That being said, expect tough love from me going forward.

The messaging feature was added in DotNetNuke 6.2, and since then it might have seen a bug fix or two, but it like most other features added to DotNetNuke over the past 4 years, has remained stagnant and seen no additional enhancements.

Now, how can you go about trying to improve the Messaging in DotNetNuke right now?

One of the biggest problems with the messaging module is the message that actually gets sent to the email address of the person receiving the message. It contains absolutely NO information on WHERE the message came from, other than the username of the person who sent it, in the SUBJECT of the email.

Chris Hammond

This post will provide you with a basic tutorial for utilizing SignalR with custom DotNetNuke Modules. If you want to bypass the blog post go check out the source on GitHub, you can Fork my Repository. The module created here will be very simple, if you want a full blown module with more features be sure to check out the open source DotNetNuke Module SignalRChat, and see it in action at http://dnnCHAT.com/

SignalR is an ASP.NET library for using websockets and long polling in your applications. Basically what this means, is that you can have your web pages (or apps) maintain an open connection with a webserver, passing data back and forth, without having to do standard posts and gets for the content and functions. SignalR is a free library that you can get from www.signalr.net and you can DL from nuget.org right into your Visual Studio projects.

Chris Hammond Google+

imageJust because I don’t work for DotNetNuke anymore, doesn’t mean I am done with this fabulous platform. For my new gig at ClubReady (, I started this past Monday) I am not doing DotNetNuke related work, but I am still working on the web. I was doing some research and testing with SignalR, if you want to find out what it is, click on the link there and check it out. In short, it allows for webpages and apps to have an open pipe between the client and the server, allowing you to send information back and forth with ease.

Chris Hammond
If you’re a developer who frequently creates DotNetNuke Module Projects, than you likely realize DNN is far easier to work with when you run Visual Studio as an Administrator. Why? Because DNN, and the method of module development that I preach, requires your environment to use IIS locally, not with dynamically assigned ports and such that IIS Express will use.
Chris Hammond
It is with a bit of sadness, and a bit of excitement that I put together this blog post. After February 15th I will no longer be an employee of DotNetNuke. I’ve been with the company almost 3 years (March 1st would have been my anniversary), and I’ve been working with the project for the past 10+ years and worked for one of DotNetNuke’s leading partners, Engage Software, for almost 6 years before starting with DNNCorp.
Chris Hammond Google+

This blog post is no longer being maintained, visit the Christoc.com Tutorial for customizing the module development templates.

With the 2.0 release of my module development project templates last week I’ve had a few inquiries into how to customize the templates. You can download the templates from http://christoctemplate.codeplex.com/

Why Modify the Templates?

First, why might you want to modify the custom templates? The main reason is that these templates are defined using a specific namespace, DotNetNuke.Modules.*, which is fine in most cases, but what if you want to use your own namespace? Well you have to create a project, then search/replace all instances of that namespace, while not removing any DNN references at the same time. Customizing the project templates will allow you to define your own company namespace, email address, website, and even copyright information, in the template so that you do not have to search/replace every time you create a new project.

Chris Hammond Google+

imageWith the release of DotNetNuke 7.0 (and now the more recent 7.0.2), it was time to update my module development project templates. If you have worked with my module development templates before, here are the major changes for this release. If you haven’t worked with them before please read this whole blog post as I discuss how to get up and running with the templates.


Chris Hammond is

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at http://www.christoc.com/

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