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Web.Config Entries in the DotNetNuke Framework

If you have any familiarity with developing web applications in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 you probably know about the Web.config file. This is where ASP.NET 2.0 gets all of its information regarding web-specific configurations such as the connection string to a database. In DotNetNuke, the file is named the same and serves mostly the same purpose with ability to add more parameters specific to DotNetNuke. It is a file written in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and can be edited with any text editor.


Basic configuration settings are stored in the web.config file to include encryption keys, provider information, and database connection strings. When you first install DotNetNuke, immediately make a copy of your release.config file that comes with it. This is so that you can always go back to the baseline installation if you have to. Rename the copied release.config file to web.config and this becomes your version 1 configuration file for DotNetNuke. This way when you upgrade DotNetNuke, the release.config will change with the new install but the original web.config will remain the same. You want this so that specific application setting will remain the same and not be lost.


A typical web.config file will have the following skeletal structure. A combination of you and the DotNetNuke CMS will be filling in the customized settings:





            <!-- here is where sectionGroups will be defined -->





            <!-- here is where the sectionGroups defined above will be implemeted -->



            <!-- here is where the httpModules are added -->







Typically, not much needs to be changed in a new web.config file. Of course in the AppSettings node, you will need to change the SiteSqlServer connection string. If you are upgrading, you will need to maintain your original MachineValidationKey and MachineDecryptionKey settings. These settings are kept in the system.web section and can look something like this:


<add key="MachineValidationKey" value="12345678901234567890" />

<add key="MachineDecryptionKey" value="1234567890123456789012345678"/>

As mentioned earlier, the one setting you will more than likely change in a web.config file is the database connection string and the server parameters. This is where you would also specify the database password and database owner username. Are passwords stored unencrypted in the web.config file? Yes. But when the site is deployed, no one can access this file anyways.


Here is a typical connection string located within the connectionStrings tag of the web.config file:



    <!-- Connection String for SQL Server 2000/2005-->




      providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />


The key SiteSqlServer must be described as well. So there is an additional key modified in the web.config file and appSettings tag to reflect the following:

<add key="SiteSqlServer" value="Server=vista;Database=Demo;uid=someuser;pwd=somepwd;"/>

The first question you are going to ask is what settings go in the web.config file. The answer is, “It depends.” It depends on what types of addins and customized modules you are using. Any of these would provide you with documentation as to the web.config parameters required.

Here is another setting that you can configure in the web.config file:

<httpRuntime useFullyQualifiedRedirectUrl="true" maxRequestLength="8192" requestLengthDiskThreshold="8192" />


This httpRuntime parameter defines how large of files you can upload into the DotNetNuke framework. Let’s say you have a custom language pack that interfaces with DotNetNuke and it exceeds the default of 4 MB (4096) in size. In this case, you would want to change the maxRequestLength to 8192 (8 MB) and the requestLengthDiskThreshold to 8192. Change the setting to handle the largest file you will upload.


System logging is a very important activity on any website. When things are not going right you need to be able to check the logs. System logging can be implemented to either a database or XML file. All versions of DotNetNuke 4.0 have the system logging provider located in the web.config file by default. The default system logging file can be found in this configuration setting:


    <logging defaultProvider="DB_Logging_Provider">


The EventLog in a database provider contains the event types. In a XML file-based provider, the logs will be found in the default portal root directory. You can filter records to display as only the ones generated by your specific portal. What is an interesting feature is the list can be filtered by event type by the Portal Administrator and only the relevant messages can be emailed to a recipient.


And what would a web be without flexible role and member-ship based security. In Dotnetnuke, you can find these settings in the web.config file as well. Here is a sample of what a roleManager configuration might look like:


   <roleManager cacheRolesInCookie="true" cookieName=".SQLROLES"

    cookieTimeout="30" cookiePath="/" cookieRequireSSL="false"

    cookieSlidingExpiration="true" createPersistentCookie="false"



        <add name="DNNSQLRoleProvider" type=


        DotNetNuke.Provider.AspNetProvider" connectionStringName=

        "SiteSqlServer" applicationName="/" description="Store/retrieve role info

         from local MS SQL Server DB" />




Even though you can edit a DotNetNuke web.config file with any text editor, make sure you know what you are doing before making the change. Many of these parameters are very cryptic and just one wrong setting can cause unexpected results. Remember that when you are editing the web.config file, you are actually altering Internet Information Services (IIS) settings. Always have some type of reference readily available and keep plenty of backups of your web.config file before making changes.




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DNN Modules

DotNetNuke Modules

Data Springs offers cost-saving packages that fit your needs:

Purchase the Collection 6.0

Data Springs Collection 6.0

An entire tool chest to quickly build websites and construct complex, powerful, and relevant workflow. Elevate your design with custom registration, forms, displays, reports, user management, payments, Google maps,, SQL updates, and so much more!

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All the tools you need to enhance user & profile management from A to Z!.  A comprehensive package with 5 feature-packed modules that offer extensive admin controls and easy user interface geared towards an effective and growth-oriented site!  .... more


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Check out all our individual modules!


 View Dynamic Registration

Dynamic Registration 5.0 (new release on 6/12/2013)

Need custom fields and workflow for your registration? Get all the power and ease of use to create the registration and profile management just the way you want it... more

$ 199.00

View Dynamic Forms

Dynamic Forms 4.1 (released 5/16/2012)

Whether it's for marketing, sales, contact forms, scheduling, information requests, surveys, or to simply better understand your customer needs, the possibilities for creating powerfully effective forms are now easy and endless! ... more

$ 195.00


Dynamic Views 3.1 (new on 2/7/2013)

Now have an easy yet feature-rich reporting module with custom defined display templates and unlimited search options from  Dynamic Forms or any data source like a table, view or custom query!  ... more

$ 169.00

 View Dynamic Login Module

Dynamic Login 4.1 (released 10/19/2011)

Add pizazz and functionality to your site login! Dynamic Login gives you custom templates, localization, redirection rules, SQL Validation, and Single SignOn. Want more? How about Facebook Connect, LinkedIN, and Twitter, too? Your login has never been so exciting!.   ... more

$ 149.00

 View Interactive User Import

Interactive User Import 3.0 (released 8/17/2011)

Interactive User Import provides you with the functionality to easily and quickly import users into DotNetNuke and Dynamic Registration, through a streamlined and well-documented wizard that includes many advanced features... more

$ 149.00

 View Dynamic User Directory

Dynamic User Directory 4.1 (released 4/26/2012)

The perfect compliment for extending your portals users and community! An essential ingredient for managing dynamic user information, is being able to sort key fields and create useful user directories and custom report information... more

$ 179.00

 View Renewal Reminder

Renewal Reminder 1.3

Renewal Reminder provides you with the functionality to setup email notifications for users that their security role will soon expire. After installing your renewal / security role reminder module you can now setup scheduled notifications to be distributed to your users... more

$ 129.99
 View Opt In Email

Opt In Email 5.0 (new on 4/17/2013)

'Relationship Building' and 'Communication' are two essential nuts and bolts for a business to prosper. This module allows you to bridge both of these and easily generate continuous awareness of your web site, products and services. Your prospects and customers will greatly appreciate this feature... more

$ 179.00

 View Tailored Text

Tailored Text 3.0

Personalization allows you to go the extra mile in communicating or connecting one to one with your clients. Leverage the power personalized content on your DotNetNuke site... more

$ 109.99
 View Stock Quote

Stock Quote 1.2

Giving your site visitors relevant information is critical. With the Data Springs Stock Module you can provide your users with up to date financial information... more

$ 109.99
 View Presentation Archive

Presentation Archive 2.0

With so much content on your web site, its important to give users an easy method for finding and retrieving content. Presentation Archive allows you to categorize, organize and present content within your DotNetNuke site for presentations, educational material, videos, and almost any document... more

$ 124.99
 View Real Estate

Real Estate 2.3

Real Estate 2.3 is a feature rich and user-friendly module that allows your portal users the ability to create real estate listings on your site... more

$ 149.99
 View Dynamic Image Rotator

Dynamic Image Rotator 3.3

Dynamic Image Rotator displays selected images and then rotates between the images using the Adobe® Flash® platform.  Several extended and optional features allow you to select the time to rotate each image, fade between images, and also display the images in either sequental or random order... more

 View Info Pics Gallery

Info Pics Gallery

The Info Pics Gallery Module allows you to display thumbnail pictures with information to the user about each picture, along with a detailed description regarding the set of pictures and several other optional links... more

 $ 69.99
 View Testimonials Module


The Testimonials Module allows you to display customer testimonials on your site, as well as an easy method for users to submit testimonials about your web site, services, or products... more

 $ 49.99
 View Dynamic Info Cube

Dynamic Info Cube

Take your web site out of the box! Looking for a creative and interesting way to showcase information and content on your site? With millions of web sites offering information you need a fun way to display information and the solution is Dynamic Info Cube... more

$ 99.95
 Search Engine Optimization Cloud Module for DotNetNuke

Dynamic Tags

Nearly every web site developer would agree that search engine optimization is one of key aspects to a successful web site. Part of search engine optimization requires providing search engines that crawl your web site with appropriate and meaningful content... more

$ 69.99
 View Page Tags

Page Tags

'Page Tags' pulls in search terms that users searched to find the current page. There are many benefits to displaying these search words that delivered the user to the site, find our more details ... more

$ 59.99
 Random Rounded Images

Random Rounded Images

Random Rounded Images is an easy to use upgraded version of the images module included with DNN. With RRI, you can select multiple images to display randomly when the module loads. For example, you can add 10 images to the module, and each time you refresh or load the page one of those images will... more

$ 49.99
 View Back on Track

Back on Track

Giving your site visitors fast access to areas of interest is vital to your web site's ease of use and ultimately - sales potential... more

$ 99.99

Dynamic News Ticker 2.0

Dynamic News Ticker allows you to scroll through news items in a horizontal or veritical direction with administrative features that allow you to easily customize the look of your news ticker. Each instance of Dynamic News Ticker can be set up to have different sizes, scroll directions, scroll speed... more

$ 39.00
 View Quick Poll

Quick Poll

Give your users a voice, while also providing an important way for you to gather opinions from your users and measure visitors' responses to questions on your site! Polls are significant because they can provide a way for your web site visitors to share ideas and vote on topics of your choosing... more

$ 39.99
 View Flash Contacts

Dynamic Contacts 2.0

Dynamic Contacts is the fastest and easiest way you can help visitors of your website connect with your key personnel... more

$ 79.99




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