Which Set of Files You Should Download?
First of all, take a deep breath. It’s really not as hard as it appears to be. I remember the first time I installed DotNetNuke, and it was a harrowing and frustrating experience, but resources like DNN Magazine didn’t exist at the time. A beginner doesn’t know where to find installation tutorials—there was only one place to think of to go, the ASP.NET DotNetNuke forums, and while there were and are multitudes of really helpful people there, one still has to be very clear on what the problem is and be able to put the issues into words, which unless you’re a writer, isn’t easy, since words can be so easily misinterpreted. Then there were the issues with the ‘Search’ feature of the old ASP.NET forums (the new forums search on the DotNetNuke.com site yields much more germane results and is highly recommended).
If you don’t know IIS; if you don’t have an idea of how databases work; if you don’t understand permissions in Windows OSs; and especially if you do not focus on the install—you can get away with not knowing too much about the first two, but the last two are very important. This is the crux, I believe, of many installation problems. Users hear about how great DotNetNuke is, sign up, go to the downloads page, and immediately are confronted with, ‘Um, so which zip file do I download?” The bottom line is:
- If this is the first time you are installing DotNetNuke, I recommend you use the install as described in the documentation. Do it exactly as it is written. Use the default database (SQLExpress), and take care when you are changing/creating the web.config file. Don’t bother with Object Qualifiers and all the other stuff. The goal is to just get DNN running, so you can see all the things it can do for you.
- If you’re missing expertise in one of the above first three subjects (IIS, MSSQL, Permissions), it would be easiest if you just downloaded the Install zips.
- If you feel comfortable with Visual Studio, or with Visual Web Developer, download the Starter Kit files. If you’re planning on doing any programming at all, definitely download this file.
- If you want to create a website, and you want to learn the DotNetNuke internals and build modules, then the following tutorial will work perfectly (I hope!) If you’ve tried to install DNN before, but failed, definitely give this tutorial a chance to work.