Author: Mitchel Sellers & Shaun Walker
Aimed at: .NET programmers getting started with DotNetNuke
Pros: Explains basics thoroughly
Cons: Tends to avoid tricky questions
Reviewed by: Mike James
DotNetNuke is a .NET web framework that can be approached at many different levels and this book aims to show how the developer can add and customise modules to give it new functionality. However it doesn't start out expecting you to know all about DotNetNuke and it is arguable that it spends too much of its 336 pages to getting started. It presents a discussion of the many versions and explains the different ways that you can develop modules.
The book then opts for the use of Web Application Projects (WAP) mainly because this produces something that is compiled and hence easy to distribute and protect from prying eyes. The cost is that to debug the project you have to compile it and this slows development down. Using WAP is probably good advice but it would have been nice to be told enough of the problems in using the alternative WSP approach to understand why it is so difficult to convert a WSP project into a WAP project. Far too often the book simply claims that something is beyond its scope without even giving a tiny clue as to what the issue is all about.
Most of the book is about the development of a guest book module, in both VB and C#, and this example provides the opportunity to explain interaction with the database and other parts of the framwork. It would have been nice to get an overview of the principles of operation of DotNetNuke but instead you have to piece together how it all works by example.
Overall this book is best suited to the reasonably experienced .NET programmer who knows a little about DotNetNuke from a user's point of view and wants to start creating modules to add functionality. It certainly isn't the only book you wil need about DotNetNuke but it will get you started.