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Installing Our Module in Another DNN Instance

Throughout this series anytime we created a table or stored procedure in our database I always mentioned that we needed to update our SQLDataProvider files. To do that we went back and updated our SQL scripts to include the {objectqualifier} and {databaseowner} properties. I mentioned that DNN would replace these properties during install and that was related to the portable nature of modules (you can install them into any DNN site and they work). All of that may have been initially hard to visualize. You might have thought… why would I want to install this module somewhere else or why do I need to keep updating these files? I also had those some thoughts while I was learning.

Well, early on in development you may not see a need to install your module somewhere else, but in time you may. If you want to share your module with someone else, if you want to sell it on the DNNStore, if you want to post it on the DNN Forge, or install it in some testing environment then having an easily installable module will be helpful. In these scenarios being able to properly install the module in a different environment will become critical as all these environments may potentially have different SQL Server and database names. This is why it’s important to keep the SQLDataProvider scripts updated and included with your module.

{objectqualifier} and {databaseowner} Are Not Requirements
Though, I will note that if you don’t intend to distribute your module or install in other locations, such as environments you don’t control, it’s perfectly fine to not update these files and not use the {objectqualifier} and {databaseowner} properties in your scripts. If you are a developer who is developing in your own controlled environment without the desire to sell, share, or donate your code then you can still manage your database objects the way you know how and use standard SQL scripts within your module. The {objectqualifier} and {databaseowner} properties are not requirements to develop a module rather they are features that provide more flexibility & portability for your module. Though, like I just mentioned, if you are not concerned with that then feel free to omit this step in the process. And you think to yourself… well why did you make me update these scripts in this tutorial then? I’ve shown you how to update these in the case that you want to install in other locations or distribute your module in the future. Having knowledge of this capability is beneficial in general and it helps us understand how DNN is architected.

So let’s test it out… find another DNN instance (or optionally re-install DNN on your local machine by following this blog again) and try to install the module.  If all goes accordingly then the module will install, the tables & stored procedures will be created and you’ll be up and running with the same functionality in a totally different environment within minutes. This is one example of the power of DNN’s modular architecture. Having a loosely coupled system provides this level of flexibility.

This video walks through installing our Tasks module into a different DNN instance

As we’ve discussed DNN is architected in a module fashion. This modular nature of DNN provides a lot of possibilities and flexibility to DNN developers and admins. Keeping track of our SQLDataProvider files ensures that we as module developers can leverage this portable power within our modules. In the next entry we will wrap this series up with some final thoughts and details. I hope to see you there!

Go to the Final Blog Entry: "Module Development for Non-Developers, Skinners, & DNN Beginners Series Conclusion"


James Brown
Link to the series introduction

Link to the previous Blog Entry:
James Brown Monday, June 15, 2015 11:49 AM (link)

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