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HomeHomeOur CommunityOur CommunityGeneral Discuss...General Discuss...Recommendation on using Child PortalsRecommendation on using Child Portals
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3/1/2009 10:24 AM


We developed a site that provides portals for salons, and I’m using the child portal model. I had a rep from  PowerDNN hosting company telling me that portals are bad and you shouldn’t uses them. I really need a firm answer on this Portal/Child stuff. Is there a problem using child portal for business customers, we are a new startup company so we haven’t seen the volume yet to tell. The rep (PowerDNN) was very nice but I found it very difficult to accept the fact that you shouldn’t use portals/child, after we spent thousands of dollars on developing our model around them. The whole reasoning behind the portal stuff was so that you can SAVE on hosting cost right? But doing this do I run into a problem scaling my site then? The rep was also mentioning we would have the following problems if we used portals/child.
Site isolation - if one site goes down they all go down
We build a custom social networking site using DNN, for the core purpose of leveraging DNN functionality. His recommendation for us was to create a new instance of DNN for each one of our customers, instead of using one instance to support many customers. DNN supporting multiple portals in one instance was the MAIN factor in us making the decision on using it.
We are using Portal Signup (onyaktech) module for portal creation
Your thoughts please…
Thanks in advance!
New Post
3/1/2009 11:26 AM

There are two situations where use of child portals is advisable.

First: you have a family of portals which are related, which share functionality and data and users, yet you want to have certain portal-level differences between them. You'd probably be relying on some third-party modules which provide cross-portal functionlity. In short: there is a business reason that requires a handful of portals be joined in a single install.

Second: The sites are not important and contain no sensitive or critical data or business applications. Examples: my hobby site, your hobby site, your cousin's hobby site.

In every other kind of situation - which is almost every other kind of situation I can think of - you were given good advice.

The ability of DNN to put multiple portals on a single database and a single code-base seems really cool until you realize that in real life there is rarely a way to take advantage of this without doing a disservice to clients. Their important business data should not be mixed into the same database and the same tables as the important business data of another unrelated client. It's not just a matter of performance and scalablity but also a matter of protecting the business interests of your clients by keeping their data isolated from applications used by others.

New Post
3/1/2009 11:28 AM

 DotNetNuke multiportal feature allows to operate easily and economically a number of portals in the same installations - multiple parent portals (www.domaina.com and www.domainb.com) as well as child portals (www.domaina.com/child1, www.domaina.com/child2). Another option is to use multiple DNN installations on the same server.

Advantages of Multiportal installation:

  • more efficient use of resources (modules are loaded once only)
  • easy to administrate (on host menu for all)
  • easy to upgrade framework, modules, skins (one installation for all = one upgrade to perform)
  • many 3rd party modules are licensed per installation instead of portal.

Disdvantages of Multiportal installation:

  • all portal share same database and code and need to be backed up alltogether
  • you can easily separate an existing portal into a separate installation, but not merge an existing portal into a different installation
  • any issue of the installation affects all portals in it.
  • Any restore overwrites changes in any portal of the installation since the backup was made.

Advantage of multiple single portal installations:

  • an issue of one installation affects only one portal
  • separation of resources used make portals more secure
  • each portal can be backed up and restored individually

Disadvantage of multiple single portal installations:

  • installation needs to be administered individually per portal
  • upgrades, fixes of core framework and any installed extension need to be applied per portal
  • many extensions need to be licensed for each portal

In summary: multiportal installations are more efficient, but all portals are more tightly depending on the same resources. If your clients accept it, this is a perfect model for you. If your clients want maximun control over their installation and best availability regardless of administrative and hosting costs, individual installations are the better way to go.

Cheers from Germany,
Sebastian Leupold (Microsoft MVP)

dnnWerk - The DotNetNuke Experts   German Spoken DotNetNuke User Group   European Network of DotNetNuke Professionals

New Post
3/1/2009 11:35 AM

 I have to disagree with Michael, even in a multiportal installation where the data share the same database tables, the framework securely separates the data by moduleid, tabid or portalid. you need however test each 3rd party module to adhere to programming standards and separate data as well and you can never give your clients access to the database tables directly.

One aspect I forgot to mention before: A multiportal installation shares the same userbase for all portals. This does not allow to use the same username in multiple portals, except with the same passwords, which provides some kind of "single login" - with different user profiles but same user name and email address. You should mention this to the clients in advance (maybe as an advantage for their users) to avoid them to be surprised later.

Cheers from Germany,
Sebastian Leupold (Microsoft MVP)

dnnWerk - The DotNetNuke Experts   German Spoken DotNetNuke User Group   European Network of DotNetNuke Professionals

New Post
3/1/2009 12:47 PM

Is there a recommend number of portals you can have per install? And is there any scaling problems using child portals? Also my provider had mention that if you had created a child portal at one time and then delete the portal it will leave some orphan data in tables, is that true?

Thanks everyone for your comments
HomeHomeOur CommunityOur CommunityGeneral Discuss...General Discuss...Recommendation on using Child PortalsRecommendation on using Child Portals

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