Will "the Mighty" Strohl

DotNetNuke 4.09.01 - Dashboard

There a lot of really cool things that come with every single release of DotNetNuke.  However, this time there is a new and very useful tool called "Dashboard".  This tool is currently only available to Host accounts, and it allows you to very quickly look through all of the common information that a Host account user might need to know.  Think: server and environment variables...

Unfortunately, most of this information would be very helpful before DotNetNuke is installed.  That being said, there is still invaluable information given in this host module.  Looking through all of the information, I am thinking that it must've been very fun to write.

To get to the Dashboard, login using a Host account, and choose it from the "Host" menu.

Host Menu > Dashboard

The default view shows the information that has been available at the top of the Host Settings page, and more.  It is labeled, "Web Server" Information.

DNN Dashboard - Web Server Information

The next view, called "Database Server" Information, shows you all of the information you might need to know about the database that your application has connected to.

DNN Dashboard - Database Server Information

The next view is "Host Settings", and it shows you some of the more common host settings and their values.

DNN Dashboard - DotNetNuke Host Settings

As we move down the navigation, we see the "Portals" menu option.  This view shows you all of the portals that make up the current DotNetNuke instance.  Included is the GUID, and totals for the roles and users.

DNN Dashboard - Portals

Before we reach the last menu item, we get to the "Modules" view.  As you might expect, this view shows you all of the modules that are currently installed, along with their respective version numbers.

DNN Dashboard - Installed Modules

The final view, "Skins", is similar to the previous view, in that is displays a listing of skins that have been installed from the Host menu.  Also shown is whether or not the skin is in use.

DNN Dashboard - Installed Host Skins

The final thing to note is that these views can all be downloaded to an XML file.  This would help greatly for those that might be building a new server to move the database or website to.  This information can be used for any number of needs, but you should protect it with all possible safe gaurds.  The information contained could be very useful to malicious users/visitors.

Clicking the export link leads you to a simple form, requiring you to enter a filename.  Entering a filename and clicking the "Create Xml File" link will create the XML file for you. 

However, there are 2 usability issues I have with this interface.  First, there is no clear indication that we should include the file extension in the filename, or what might happen if we don't.  If you leave it out, no extension is added to the filename, and no validation errors occur.

DNN Dashboard - Export Dashboard (as XML)

However, there are 2 usability issues I have with this interface.  First, there is no clear indication that we should include the file extension in the filename, or what might happen if we don't.  If you leave it out, no extension is added to the filename, and no validation errors occur.

Second, no feedback is given to the host user once the link is clicked.  Where did the file go?  Was the process successful?  Were there any errors?  Did the filename go through correctly? 

Luckily, with the expected input the form works very well.  The location of the file is intuitive only to those who have been using DNN for a while.  It can be found in the ~/Portals/_default/ directory.

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