Thursday, May 29, 2008

Update After Long Time, No Post

I haven't been doing anything new in terms of programming, either in ASP or otherwise, hence the lack of posts.

My biggest project has been migrating SFReader to the DotNetNuke platform.

SFReader was the first site I ever did, and the site I used to teach myself ASP. It's been online for 7 years and has become pretty popular in the speculative fiction community. As members have asked for things, I've sort of tacked them in in a haphazard way: forum, member pages, chat.... what I wanted was a full-fledged CMS/portal systems that could give me all the goodies popular community site have these days. And I didn't want to pay much (if anything) for it. SFReader might be seeing 3,000+ visitors a day, but it oftentimes doesn't even make enough to pay for its hosting!

So I tried Joomla (hated it), Drupal (hated it), Wordpress (not powerful for a portal , great for a blog), and ended up at DotNetNuke.

DNN has been around a while. I remember, faintly, tinkering with it, but it was took complex to get going. Or I was too lazy. IN any case, I was reading good things about 4.8, so I downloaded it and set up a test site on my server.

Install and set up could have been easier. If about 20 minutes I had a base install DNN portal set up and running. I played with it for a few days, then decided I'd use it for SFReader.

Install and set up was again cake. I did have to buy some custom modules to do everything I needed SFReader to do, mainly interface with the existing review database and easily display articles and interviews. It took me quite a couple of weeks to get all the content ported over and to custom write some T-SQL stored procedures to work with the reporting module I'd had to buy.

I officially announced the new site as live about two weeks ago, and except for a few minor hiccups, it's been smooth sailing.

So now SFReader is on an enterprise class CMS/portal management system. Hopefully the new features will promote even more growth in the site and the enjoyment of the community..

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