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Sitefinity 3.0 is much more than just a CMS. It’s flexible, modular and open architecture let’s you build on top of Sitefinity virtually any kind of web application. In the first post of this series, I’ll discuss how could one approach building a Digg-clone web application. It’s actually much simpler than you may think. So… here we go.
In it’s most rudimentary form, this application let’s users submit links to web pages and describe the linked story with short description and a title. Other users then, have the option to vote for or against the submitted link / story. When story is first submitted it’s put on one page; we can call it “New stuff”. The very popular stories (stories a lot of users voted for) get on the other page; this page we can call “Popular stuff”. And that’s it… we’ll leave all the bells and whistles out for the moment being.
Short features list
Basic implementation idea
Since we don’t need administration for this kind of web application (users are doing all the work), we can implement the application solely by using custom web controls. Here is a simple chart of controls needed for this application.
So as you can see, I’ve divided controls in three categories. First is the “Digg-clone” essential controls. These controls are required to archive the basic functionality of this application. We have :
Next we have membership controls, which are basically typical ASP.NET 2 controls. We do have to provide a way for users to register, log in and log out.
Finally, we have some optional controls for Digg-clone application. You can create those, but don’t really have to. It’s up to you.
And here is the point where Sitefinity API kicks in! Take a look at following diagram that will show you that all you really need to do is extend Sitefinity with only one database table and several methods. Everything else is there for your convenience.
Because the submitted stories are nothing more than content we’ll treat them as such and use Telerik.Cms.Engine assembly which handles most of the work for GenericContent, Blogs and News modules. For the extra info (such as link to the original story, number of votes for and against the story) we’ll use powerful MetaData class which allows us to add arbitrary information related to the specific content (for example in News module that’s how we store “Source” information).
What you are left to do is implement the code to handle User Info data and create a Nolics dbclass for holding this info in database. In the User Info table we’ll hold data on which user voted for particular story and how did he vote.
So, in addition to creating web controls you’ll have to add assembly that will handle data. Let’s call that assembly Stories.Data
In this assembly you need classes UserInfo.dbclass and DefaultStoryProvider.cs. First class as I have said is responsible for persisting UserInfo data, while other class should inherit from Telerik.Cms.Engine.Data.Providers.DefaultProvider class. That way you’ll be able to access methods such as CreateContent, SaveContent, GetContent, GetMetaData etc. You would need to add only methods such as CreateUserInfo, UpdateUserInfo and such.
Ideas for improving the application
List of Sitefinity API members and namespaces you should use to accomplish this task
Namespace : Telerik.Cms.Engine
Namespace : Telerik.Cms.Engine.Data
Namespace : Telerik.Security
So, let’s quickly review what we need to do to get our digg-clone application up and running.
If you have any questions, suggestions or advice regarding this post please leave the comment or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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