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Using Sitefinity as a portal solution?

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. JNC
    JNC avatar
    4 posts
    Registered:
    31 Jan 2008
    08 Feb 2008
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    I've spent a couple days with Sitefinity and its documentation.  However, I still don't have a clear idea about how I can use it to solve my current problem.  Here is a brief description:

    I have a client (John) that in turn has many companies which use his services.  He wants to provide each of those companies with a portal/website where he can display pages and store files specific to the company.  The amount and type content for each company could vary widely.

    Out of my current understanding of Sitefinity, I came up with two solutions:

    Number 1:
    From what I understand, the upcoming Sitefinity 3.2 would allow me to create my own Site template.  From there, my client could "stamp out" a new Sitefinity project for each of his customers.  http://example.com/ABC_Company, http://example.com/XYZ_Inc, etc.

    However, with potentially dozens of these sites, if my client wanted to make a global change, wouldn't he have to do it several times?

    Is there a way to tap into a common set of resources?  (like page templates, custom controls) 

    Number 2:
    I could have him set up a single Sitefinity project and just put a new page group for each company that uses his services.  Then all the templates that the site uses could be managed in one place.

    Yet, this doesn't seem as bulletproof.  It would rely on my client to manage security permissions and make sure that each company is separate.  Is there any way to extend the Sitefinity project manager interface to help automate things?


    Apologies for a long post--  Sitefinity looks great for a CMS solution in the context of isolated websites.  I'm just having trouble understanding how I can make it work for a site where multiple people need to log in and see different stuff.


    Thanks!
  2. Rebecca
    Rebecca avatar
    536 posts
    Registered:
    24 Sep 2012
    11 Feb 2008
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    Hello JNC,

    Thank you for providing a detailed description of what exactly you want to achieve. Both scenarios you mention are plausible, however, we would recommend scenario 1 as it will be easier to maintain the sites once the Export tool is ready for Sitefinity v3.2. It will let you export the site as a site template. The template can then be used in the Project Manager to create a new site with almost the same database, files and configuration.
    You can also change page templates at once and then use the same App_Master folder for all sites. Please give us an example of what you call "global change" so we can give you further advice.
    As for sharing a common set of resources between sites, we must confirm there is no such built-in functionality. 

    As for scenario 2, you are right that is not bulletproof as far as security is concerned. Also, you cannot extend the Sitefinity project manager and we don't provide this functionality out-of-the-box.

    Let us know if we can assist you any further.

    Kind regards,
    Rebecca
    the Telerik team

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  3. JNC
    JNC avatar
    4 posts
    Registered:
    31 Jan 2008
    11 Feb 2008
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    Thanks for your response... I still have some questions.  Let's assume that I will let my client set up several different Sitefinity projects like so:
    • http://example.com/ABC
    • http://example.com/XYZ
    • ... etc.

    When Sitefinity 3.x comes out... what would the upgrade process look like?  Would our server admin have to upgrade each site and database?

    Is there any limit (practical, licensing, or technical) to the number of Sitefinity projects like this that we could deploy?  http://example.com only.

    The "Export to Template" feature would be a key part of this solution.  Is Sitefinity 3.2 still on track for mid-February?  Do you offer a beta program?

    Additionally, does the "Export to Template" feature replicate all aspects of the Sitefinity project?  I would want permissions, templates, etc. to carry over to new sites based on those project templates.


    Thanks again, I really hope to be able to use your product,
    JNC
  4. Rebecca
    Rebecca avatar
    536 posts
    Registered:
    24 Sep 2012
    12 Feb 2008
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    Hi JNC,

    1. Each site will have to be updated separately, for example by applying the patch. If, however, the sites use a single database, updating one of the sites will be enough.

    2. The Sitefinity Standard LIicense allows you to use the software for 1 top level domain name (or server name). There is no limitation to the number of subdomains.

    3. The Export tool that will be included in v3.2 beta will not be able to replicate site permissions. We'll do our best to include this for the official release of Sitefinity 3.2.

    Don't hesitate to contact us again of you need any more information.

    Greetings,
    Rebecca
    the Telerik team

    Instantly find answers to your questions at the new Telerik Support Center
  5. JNC
    JNC avatar
    4 posts
    Registered:
    31 Jan 2008
    12 Feb 2008
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    "If, however, the sites use a single database, updating one of the sites will be enough."

    I wasn't aware that multiple sites could use the same database.  Would they still be distinct from each other?  Are there any disadvantages to doing this?  ie. security

    ---

    Like I said, the site template functionality of Sitefinity 3.2 is really important to us.  The Sitefinity blog claimed it would be available around mid-February (this month).  Is this still on track?


    Thanks!
    RNC
  6. Vlad
    Vlad avatar
    498 posts
    Registered:
    15 Jul 2016
    15 Feb 2008
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    Hello RNC,


    1. You can use multiple sites in the same database. This scenario is described in the User Manual as Working with Multiple Web Sites topic. Basically, all database objects for all sites are stored in the same tables, and those from different sites are with different Application field. So the main disadvantage is to separate the sites from each other.

    2. The beta version of Sitefinity 3.2 is already available. Currently, the Export tool will allow you to export sites as templates. While still in beta, this tool lacks the replicate site permissions functionality. This will be added with the official release of v.3.2.

    All the best,
    Vlad
    the Telerik team

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  7. SelAromDotNet
    SelAromDotNet avatar
    912 posts
    Registered:
    18 Jul 2012
    03 Jun 2008
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    I would like to make sure I'm understanding this correctly: are you saying that

    I can install multiple instances of sitefinity, as many as I'd like, one for each SUBdomain under the main domain for which the license was purchased.
     for example, I buy sitefinity for www.site.com, and have installed that and it runs just fine. then I setup a NEW installation of sitefinity, under the domain sub.site.com and, following the instructions in the manual, set it up to use the SAME database as the first top level domain site, but it will run completely separately, with NO overlap or conflicts, even have it's own themes, templates, etc, and NOT have to pay additional licenses.

    is that correct?
  8. Nikifor
    Nikifor avatar
    232 posts
    Registered:
    18 May 2013
    06 Jun 2008
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    Hello SelArom,

    Yes, this is absolutely correct. The only restriction which may be a problem for you is that if you run two Web sites under one database, this would make your database twice as big, because it will manage the content of two websites.

    Hope this helps.

    Greetings,
    Nikifor
    the Telerik team

    Instantly find answers to your questions at the new Telerik Support Center
  9. SelAromDotNet
    SelAromDotNet avatar
    912 posts
    Registered:
    18 Jul 2012
    06 Jun 2008
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    how big of a performance consideration is this? we don't have any restrictions on space, but if doubling the size is going to affect performance then we might have a problem.

    would it be better to run a separate installation with its own database or is the performance difference negligible? what are the advantages of each case (shared db vs separate db)?

    a related question: is it possible for a subdomain to run on the SAME installation of sitefinity? like if I want to have my site separated into site.com, sub1.site.com and sub2.site.com, can it all be managed from the same installation or would the subdomains cause conflicts?

    thanks!
  10. Nikifor
    Nikifor avatar
    232 posts
    Registered:
    18 May 2013
    10 Jun 2008
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    Hello SelArom,

    Running two web projects under one database is appropriate only if there is a lot of shared content between them (news, blogs etc.). Otherwise, it is always better to have a separate database for each Website.

    As to the domain-related questions, once you install the application you can use it to create different projects for sub1.site.com and sub2.site.com. Another option is to have all these sub-domains, pointing to a specific project (Website) which is also supported by our product and would not cause any domain conflicts.

    Please let me know if this is clear enough and if you have any further questions.

    Sincerely yours,
    Nikifor
    the Telerik team

    Instantly find answers to your questions at the new Telerik Support Center
  11. SelAromDotNet
    SelAromDotNet avatar
    912 posts
    Registered:
    18 Jul 2012
    10 Jun 2008
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    well, the subdomains won't really have much to do with the othersites although they MIGHT share the news... but I can configure a separate installation to use the news provider of the main site right?

    As to the domain-related questions, once you install the application you can use it to create different projects for sub1.site.com and sub2.site.com.

    can you explain what you mean by this? do I have to copy a new blank project installation (basically install sitefinity again) or is there a way to "break up" the sitefinity installation. I'm guessing the safest thing to do is just run a new installation and make the sites completely separate but I just want to know if there is another better way

    thanks!
  12. Nikifor
    Nikifor avatar
    232 posts
    Registered:
    18 May 2013
    13 Jun 2008
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    Hello SelArom,

    Yes, you can share the News content of a database based on using the correct provider's connection string.

    As a CMS, Sitefinity represents a platform on which you can build your Web sites. Once you install it, you are able to access the Project Manager, this is the place where you can create new projects, and manage the already created ones. Basically we have explained exactly the same scenario as you did but in other words. The best approach for you will be having two separate projects which manage two different databases. Of course, if you need, you can always configure the news provider to get the news content from the other project's database.

    For more on subdomains, take a look at the following forum thread: Sub Domains

    All the best,
    Nikifor
    the Telerik team

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12 posts, 0 answered