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Which direction should i go?

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mike
    Mike avatar
    221 posts
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    19 Aug 2008
    08 Oct 2008
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    We are currently evaluating SiteFinity. I can fairly certainly say that we have chosen SiteFinity as out CMS platform and we have moved into the development/exploration portion of our "switch over"...

    One of my jobs in the project is to evaluate whether our current "engine" can fit into the SiteFinity CMS.

    I am desperate for some helpfull answers here as i am fast becoming concerned as to the direction we are taking with converting our current setup.

    Let me also say that i have read through document after document, watched video after video and blog after blog on modules and SiteFinity concepts. I understand that regarding modules, SiteFinity has an administration part and a display part (or part that will be visiable on the actual live website)

    I am not so concerned with the administration portion of the modules at this point, we currently have systems in place to manipulate the data we display on our websites, we most likely will not have SiteFinity system handle this. What i am more interested in is creating a module (or something else) that will take our over the role of our current aspx pages, displaying exactly what they currently display and functioning as they currently function.

    Here is my major concerns and questions....

    I have been looking heavily into Custom Modules of SiteFinity. We have what we call our "engine" which is our core functionality of dozens of websites we own. This engine consists on multiple ASPX pages and guildes the user through a commmon process of - search - select - review - checkout - confirmation...

    Each of these pages are heavily built using aspx controls and ajax controls. They are designed visually using html (obviously), styles, images etc...

    I have found little to no information of a module displaying what we have on the web page it is placed on. I have found no information on how to implement a multi-step process as i have mentioned. I have found allot of information on the administration aspect of modules, but again i am not interested in this currently.

    That all said, i was looking into modules to take care of this core functionality of ours but i am wondering if it would not be more advisable to keep this process as ASPX pages within the SiteFintiy project so that i have full control over the display?

    Where do i go from here?? Whould controls be better for our engine? What is the advised approach to implementing our core functionality into the CMS? And does anyone have a detailed blog/tutorial/walk-through for the aspects of this implementation that i am concerned with.

    Building a Module for sitefinity blog was helpful in a conceptual sence, but nothing in the blog tells me how that module is going to display on the site and how to control and maniplulate that. In addition when there is much more complexity (multiple aspx controls on the page working with one another), how to handle that.

    Thanks,

    Nugs

  2. Adam
    Adam avatar
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    08 Oct 2008
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    The User/Custom Controls would be the tool to use to replace the functionality currently found in your existing aspx pages and still use Sitefinity for the Page creation / template management.  The Custom Module example has an example of setting up a Custom Control though it is not documented that well yet.

    I have done a significant amount of custom control development in Sitefinity if you are in need of a consultant to help jump start your project.  You can reach me through my website:  www.fuzzyllama.com

    Adam
  3. Mike
    Mike avatar
    221 posts
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    08 Oct 2008
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    Thanks for the reply Adam... This makes a lot more sense to me.

    Correct me if i am wrong, but in my mind modules would be the administration (SiteFinity) aspect and controls would be the means as to how to display this data on the page.

    So for example the SiteFinity comes with a News Module... The module itself is used to add and edit news items, the View and Archive News controls are used to display this data on the page.

    Nugs
  4. Adam
    Adam avatar
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    08 Oct 2008
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    That is correct.  Modules are the Admin sections for administering that data, and each module comes with it's own built-in set of controls, but you can add your own controls that are not part of a module to access data from another data source such as in your situation.

    You can go the route of creating ascx User Controls with Code behind and add your own classes to the Sitefinity project for your Data Access Layer.
  5. Mike
    Mike avatar
    221 posts
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    08 Oct 2008
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    Perfect... Last couple of questions if you don't mind...

    1) Again, correct me if i am wrong. Modules are not required unless you wish to provide the CMS admin with the ability to modify the data used by the controls through the SiteFinity backend.

    2) And lastly, i'll use the news controls again as an example. When adding these controls to the page and clicking the edit button for the control. A set of properties is displayed for the control... Is this a generated properties based on what SiteFinity sees the control has in terms of properties to set. Or is the a way to "program in" the properties for the control that you want the user to set? Do you know of a doc regarding Control Properties?

    Thanks again,

    Nugs
  6. Adam
    Adam avatar
    63 posts
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    30 Jan 2008
    08 Oct 2008
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    1)  Correct. creating a custom module would be if you were trying to integrate your existing data entry screens into Sitefinity, but it is not required for displaying that data in Sitefinity.

    2)  Sitefinity does detect properties in a Custom Control and provides some pre-defined editors for the different data types.  (String = textbox, Bool = checkbox, etc).  You can also specify some of the built-in editors such as a URLSelector or FileManager control by adding attributes to the property.  Here's what it would look like for the URL Selector:

     
        [Category("Misc"), WebEditor("Telerik.Cms.Web.UI.UrlEditorWrapper, Telerik.Cms")]  
        public virtual string DetailPageURL  
        {  
          get  
          {  
            object obj = this.ViewState["DetailPageURL"];  
            if (obj != null)  
            {  
              return obj.ToString();  
            }  
            return string.Empty;  
          }  
          set  
          {  
            this.ViewState["DetailPageURL"] = value;  
          }  
        } 

    I'm not sure if this holds true for User Controls with code behind (ascx files), but I know it is for Custom Controls.  With a Custom Control you could also define your own dialogs for entry as well, but that's something I haven't ventured into yet.

    One of the Sitefinity developers might pop in here and have a better answer for your second question. 
  7. Mike
    Mike avatar
    221 posts
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    08 Oct 2008
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    Awesome, you have been a great help... It is all starting to make sense to me now...

    Thank you again for your help, i am sure i will see you again on these forums when i post next time... (I'm sure it won't be too long, lol)

    Nugs
  8. Georgi
    Georgi avatar
    3583 posts
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    28 Oct 2016
    09 Oct 2008
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    Hello,

    We are glad that we can see such a great discussion here. It will surely help to other forum members as well. Adam, we appreciate your help, that is why we updated your Telerik account with some points :)

    Thank you once again guys!

    Best wishes,
    Georgi
    the Telerik team

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8 posts, 0 answered