June 09, 2011

DotNetNuke WAP Project and TextEditor

Almost two years ago I blogged about How To Get Design-Time Support for DotNetNuke Controls, and back then the solution seemed to be the easiest, just change one setting in your project and everything was just fine.  Well, as the years have progressed and people have downloaded and worked with projects I've ran into a few issues with this route and now have a better solution for this.

Why An Issue

Before I show the new solution that I recommend for this type of situation I thought I would start by noting why I have an issue with the way that my previous recommendation worked.  There are a number of issues, but the primary issues are two fold.

First of all, using an IIS specific URL in the manner that is recommended in the older article you must always run Visual Studio 2010 as an Administrator.  This isn't necessarily a "big deal", but now that I don't have to do it for other things, it gets REALLY annoying when I have to restart VS due to not being in administrator mode.

Secondly and the most important reason is that when you go to work with the solution on another computer, or to share the code with someone else they must also have the exact same IIS URL configured that you did.  In my example all of my machines were using localhost/dnn, but not everyone else would use the same.

Now, the solution that is outlined is still 100% valid, and honestly is still the "easiest" method as there are no code changes needed to actually get it working, but for portability and ease of use this new solution is easier to work with.

The New Way

From an .ascx perspective, the process will be the same, you will register the use control with the reference to ~/Controls/TextEditor.ascx similar to the following (Normally on one line):

<%@ Register 
    TagPrefix="dnn" %>

Now, the rest of the process to declare the controls are the same simply declare them and give them the proper values for your desired configuration.  The difference comes in what you do AFTER you have completed adding the controls.

Open your .ascx.designer.cs (or .vb for those of you with VB) and find the declarations for your text editor controls and REMOVE them from this file.  Now, go to your .ascx.cs (or .vb) file and add declarations for each TextEditor control that you would like to have, as an example the following creates a declaration for a TextEditor called txtSummary.

protected DotNetNuke.UI.UserControls.TextEditor txtSummary;

Now, you have full ability to work with the text editor, no dependency on IIS or administrator permissions to your machine. Yes, you have to go in and edit the taboo designer file, but it does make development a lot better! Share any comments below!

A special thanks to Brian Dukes (@BrianDukes) for help getting this working correctly!

tags: DNN Development, Quick Tips
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