Entries for 2012

December 31, 2012

2012 Year In Review

It is hard to believe that yet another year has passed and it is time for me to be writing another "Year in Review" post here on MitchelSellers.com.  It seems that each year the time goes by faster and faster.  2012 was most likely one of the fastest paced years for me professionally as there were a lot of changes and as such this blog has suffered a little bit.  As I look back at 2012 I will also share some important notes about 2013!
November 03, 2012

Using DotNetNuke Caching in Custom Modules

One of the biggest concerns for developers these days is how to increase the performance of delivered applications. User expectations have changed over the past few years and the expectations are very, very high in regards to page load times and how quickly information should be returned to the users. Thankfully, as part of DotNetNuke there are a number of different features that can help applications work quickly. Some of these features are known by everyone, things such as the DotNetNuke performance settings under "Host Settings", Cache Time settings on a module by module basis, and if on Professional Edition the built in page Output Cache Provider. However, one often overlooked API that is helpful for developers is the DataCache API. In this post I'll do a deep dive into why this API is so helpful and some scenarios where leveraging this API it can reduce page load times and system resources needed for each page request.

October 31, 2012

My Windows 8 Store Woes - Lesson's Learned

I have been debating for a while now on how much detail that I put out in this blog post.  However, today finally pushed the final button and I think it is important to share a bit of my experience and some of the key lessons that I have learned.  In doing this I hope that I can prevent others from going through such a horrible experience as what I have.  The story in this post is a bit trimmed down to make it easier to follow, but the key highlights are all here.  I will finish up with a few "Lessons Learned".

October 31, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 & Windows Phone 8 First Look

I am attending BUILD this week and trying to do my best to get blog posts out all week to help share information a bit faster than I might normally do.  One of the big things if you followed the event on Twitter or any other medium today and that is that attendees were given a few great goodies!  100Gb of SkyDrive Storage, a Surface RT, and a Lumia 920 phone!  Pretty great haul!  Tonight as soon as I got back to my hotel I jumped right in to the phone!

October 30, 2012

DotNetNuke World Review and MVP

So first of all, I'll admit I'm a bit late to the game here getting this post put together, as DotNetNuke World was almost three weeks ago.  Sadly combined with two major site launches, some travel and other things the blog just hasn't gotten the attention that it deserved.  But better late than never I thought so here it goes!
September 24, 2012

Creating Custom DotNetNuke Module Categories

As part of one of the recent overhauls of the DotNetNuke interface the control panel was updated to include a "Category" selection that allows modules to be grouped logically into categories.  Out of the box a total of two categories are created "Admin" and "Common" with only the Text/HTML module included in the "Common" category.  In this posting I'll take a deeper look into this functionality and how you can create your own categories, and how to move modules around between categories to make administration even easier!
September 05, 2012

My Favorite Visual Studio 2012 Breaking Change

It is not very often that you see the words "favorite" and "breaking change" within the same sentence.  However, I will say with VS 2012 and .NET 4.5 there happens to be one that I thought I would call special attention to here on my blog as I've talked about the old behavior many times in talks throughout the past few years. 

August 15, 2012

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

As I am working to get better about making presentation materials available here on this site I've created a new "Presentations" category, and will post slides/materials for each of the events there and very occasionally update messages like this one to note times where I have speaking engagements coming up.  The reason for this post is that I am speaking at three great events in the next 8 weeks or so that I wanted to make sure to bring everyone's attention to. 
August 15, 2012

.NET Gadgeteer First Round Examples and Thoughts

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at the St. Louis Day of .NET event focused on the use of .NET Gadgeteer.  In this blog posting I am going to share some of the information from that presentation, as well as the slide deck and sample code for everything discussed.  For those that were in attendance, I apologize for the delay in getting this information out here! 
July 06, 2012

Creating Simple Re-Usable Confirmations in DotNetNuke Skins

As part of the IowaComputerGurus site redesign that I just launched earlier this evening I was looking for a simple "no hassle" way to add a confirmation to a link before downloading. Historically I created a module to manage this and the module managed those links. However, I wanted to find something more flexible so that I can put my download links wherever I want, in any Text/HTML module, on any section of the site. Amazingly I was able to do this with two lines of JavaScript in my skin file!

July 05, 2012

Security Exceptions After Moving .NET 2.0 DNN Site?

Over the past few weeks it seems that I have been doing more DotNetNuke site shuffles than I have in a long time.  From local -> production, from hosting provider a -> hosting provider b, and any combination therein.  This process is practically second nature for me as I've done it so many times.  However I had two sties that proved to be really troublesome so I though I'd share the root causes here in hopes that it might help someone!
June 26, 2012

Taking Control of the DotNetNuke WYSIWYG Editor

DotNetNuke by default uses the Telerik RadEditor as the rich text editor. It is a truly amazing product and one of the better WYSIWYG editors. Just like any editor though it does have some mannerisms that are not so welcomed by users. A little known fact within DotNetNuke is that you have a number of configuration elements available to help not only make the editor easier to use by removing un-needed items, but you can drastically improve functionality for super-users if so inclined and prevent issues when staging content etc. In this post I'll dive into a few of the key configuration items that I make to all new sites.

June 23, 2012

Using radCaptcha Via DotNetNuke Wrappers

When putting a form that is public facing we often need to add a captcha to help prevent bots from submitting our forms.  Historically there has been a control available within DotNetNuke that worked for this, but admittedly it didn't have the best customization nor was it the most "pretty" of them out there.  Ever since DotNetNuke has had the Telerik Controls a new option has been available yet its usage isn't the most widely documented.  In this post I'll show you how to use RadCaptcha in your own custom modules.
June 21, 2012

jQuery and Clicking an ASP.NET Linkbutton

As a web developer one common request is to make sure that the interfaces we build out for users look the best that they can and also provide users with the best experience both via the keyboard and mouse.  As part of this we will often have areas of conflict.  This post is going to cover one common scenario that will impact users that might be using DotNetNuke common styles or working to create their own custom button styles.  With ASP.NET it is common for people to use "LinkButton" controls to trigger actions rather than your standard "Button" controls as they are easier to style.
June 15, 2012

Windows Azure 90 Day Free Trial - Buyer Beware!

This is just a quick public service announcement for those that might be looking at trying the new Windows Azure service for hosting a DotNetNuke site.  I have been working with a few people that have been wanting to try it out and overall the experience has been pretty good as the DNN install was successful and performed quite well.  However, the reason for this post is a warning to those of you that are working within the "free trial" period.
May 07, 2012

Development and Test DotNetNuke Installations and Search Engines

It is quite often that when working on a new version of a site that you will have a development, test, upgrade copy of the site that might be around for a while.  It is also possible that if you are working for a third-party that you might stage client sites on your server for a period of time before go-live.  At first glance this all seems common place and not something that you would be concerned about.  However, that is not the case.  Search engines have become overly aggressive in indexing sites, including those that have no direct back links but have been e-mailed to individuals or similar processes. In this post I'll discuss some important considerations when working with these "non-production" installations to help you ensure that search engines will NOT index the content and cause confusion.
May 04, 2012

DotNetNuke Login and Auto Complete - How to Cope

Recently I have been getting a lot of questions regarding the DotNetNuke login and why when you go to login that "auto complete" is disabled on the username/password fields.  The typical follow-up question to that is "how can I change that behavior".  So after answering this question individually around 5-6 times I though it would be best to get this out here, at least my opinion on the issue.
April 12, 2012

Windows Updates, Monitoring, and ASP.NET...Oops!

For those of you that are regular readers of this blog you will know that outages of the site are very, very rare with the past year showing almost 99.9% up time.  Well if you were around here this AM you will know that the record for up time was killed, with the sites being down almost 10 hours today.  In this post I'll talk a little about my experience with this as I know a number of other people across the world have experienced similar issues this morning based on my conversations with a few of them.
March 04, 2012

Replacing My iPad with a Windows 8 Slate How its Possible

For those of you that follow me on Twitter you might have found one of the tweets from earlier this week to spark your interest specifically "Its official with WIndows 8 my Samsung Slate replaces the iPad.".  As I promised in that tweet this is the blog posting that shows my justification behind the claim and why for at least my use this transition is not only possible, but beneficial to me.  Before I get too far into this though, I'll provide a bit of background on the basis/use scenarios that are important to me then I'll discuss the specifics.
February 29, 2012

Visual Studio 11 Caller Member Info Attributes

If you have been paying attention to what is going on in the Microsoft Community today you will notice is a big day.  Visual Studio 11 Beta as well as Windows 8 Consumer Preview were both released this morning, for those of us developers it means tons of new tools to try out and lots of new functionality that we can use in our applications as well as productivity and language improvements with.NET 4.5.  With this, I'm starting a new blog series highlighting some of the new items that I find helpful, cool, or otherwise interesting with VS 11 Development.  Today's installment talks about Caller Member Info Attributes.
January 23, 2012

Simple Zip Code to Zip Code Distance Calculations with SQL Server

Over the years I have implemented a number of various "near me" style searches using third-party zip code databases and a long, complicated formula to find the distance between two different latitudes and longitudes.  Well, starting with SQL Server 2008, it is possible to get the same result, with a lot less effort, following two simple steps.  In this post I will walk through things step by step.
January 22, 2012

DotNetNuke 6.x Text Editor Upgrade Issues

In the past 2-3 weeks I have been working on upgrading the DotNetNuke Installations on both this website and the IowaComputerGurus website and finally I can say I'm done with the upgrades.  These sites, although not that complex had a number of issues with the upgrades, some of which I have blogged about in the past, and then today a brand new oddity was discovered.  After upgrading the site everything was functional, however the text editors were behaving very unusually.  Clicking "Save" at times would not redirect you back to the page, but content would be saved.  Other times it would redirect you back to the page, but your changes were not saved.  I couldn't find any rhyme or reason behind it, so I started digging.
January 19, 2012

Improve Performance with Static File Caching

This post will be the first of what will be many posts with regards to application performance. After giving a number of presentations over the last 1-2 years, including one this evening in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I've decided that some of these tips/tricks that I have with regards to improving application performance should really get put out here so people can find them and make the improvements to their applications. Going forward all of these posts will be categorized with at least the "Performance" category and then others that identify what systems are benefited by the changes. The subject of this post is Static Content Caching.

January 08, 2012

2011 Year in Review and a look at 2012

Over the last few years I have been trying to keep a little bit better track of usage of the content here on MitchelSellers.com as well as just keeping track of other interactions that I have through User Groups, Open Source Projects, and the like. Each year around the end of the year I try to compile a few of these items, if not for everyone that is reading things here for myself to see how things progress year to year.

January 06, 2012

Upgrading MitchelSellers.com - A DotNetNuke Upgrade Retrospective

For those of you that are regular visitors to this site you most likely noticed a number of changes to the site over the past 24 hours, including a small amount of downtime.  This was caused by changes surrounding the upgrade of this site to DotNetNuke version 6.1.2.  Now, I have worked on a number of DotNetNuke upgrades over the years, and I lost count a few years back at about 300 upgrades.  This site was by-far one of the hardest upgrades that I have ever completed and in this post I will share a bit around the growing pains that were experiences throughout the process.

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