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The Fastest Easiest Development Environment (without using IIS)

What You Need:

  • Visual Web Developer Express
  • SQL Server Express
  • The latest copy of the DotNetNuke
    "Install Version"

Download and Install DotNetNuke 

The trick here is to download the Install Version. The source is bulky and not useful for module development because you don't want to develop a module on an installation that is not standard.   

Create a directory on your hard drive. Do not put it under the wwwroot directory because it will most likely have permissions set that will make the installation difficult.

Unzip the files to the directory

Go to the \Install\Module directory and delete everything but HTML_(version)

Open Visual Web Developer Express (or Visual Studio 2005)

Select File then Open Web Site

Open the root of the web site

From the toolbar select Debug then Start Without Debugging

The site will build and the internal web server will start

The site sets up using the default settings that are set to use SQL Server Express

Return to Visual Web Developer and right-click on the root of the website in the Solution Explorer and select Refresh Folder

This will show the newly created folders such as the DesktopModules folder.

You can now right-click on it and create a new folder

You can now start building your module in the directory

If you are new to DotNetNuke Module Development, it is suggested you start here:



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