Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Space Coast SQL User Group Meeting Recap

On Thursday, March 12, 2009, I presented a session to the Space Coast SQL User Group in Melbourne, Florida.  The topic was Managing DotNetNuke Using SQL Server.  This was my first time presenting to a user group other than the Orlando DotNetNuke Users Group, but I hope to do this some more in the future.  I have presented at several code camps, and the OpenForce Connect event in Orlando last year, but I really enjoyed the coziness there is to be had in presenting to a user group.

I left from my Clermont home just after 3 PM, expecting to hit a lot of traffic, and arrive around 5:00 – 5:30 PM.  According to Google Maps, this trip is supposed to take about 1.5 hours.  However, I have known from my past trips to this area, to expect a 2-hour drive (or more).  Amazingly, we arrived in an hour!  I was floored.

I brought the family with me, as my lady was having a tweetup with one of her twitter friends.  So we need to kill some time while we waited for the event to get closer.  We managed to find a nice little park close by, where we played on the sandy beach on the Intercoastal waterway, also known as the Banana River.  Here are a few pictures that I took while we were there.

Eventually, the time came for me to get back to the Space Coast Credit Union Corporate Headquarters, where the meeting was to be held.  It is actually a very nice venue.  The rooms are clean and beautiful.  The bathrooms are well kept, and the building is extremely easy to find. Not to mention that the room has all of the ideal hookups that a presenter requires (laptop friendly projector, Internet access, nearby power plugs, etc.).

The Meeting

The setup went very well.  I connected to the network and projector with no problems at all.  I was able to find a good spot to connect my HD camera, but I did not stream the session.  Bonnie and Lynn did a fantastic job of getting everything organized, and making sure that I was taken care of.

I began my session the same way I always do.  I went through an intro, and then dove into the demos.  I found out that none of the attendees had ever used DotNetNuke.  They had only used it.  So I tailored my presentation to not only follow the topic, but to also give them an introduction to the feature set that ships with DNN.  Before I did that though, I described to them the DAL architecture.  They appeared to be very impressed at this.

We went on to see demonstrations on how and why we might manage certain tasks from directly within the database, including:

  • Data table relationships to UI objects
  • Using the Host SQL module
  • Performance queries
  • Recovering the login page
  • Globally changing modules settings from a single query
  • and the queries that might need to be made when migrating a DNN instance from one location to another

Unfortunately, two of my demos bombed.  The first one was due to a simple typo that I had somehow avoided up until that point.  It was easily corrected, and we moved on.  The second demo that bombed was the one where I globally was changing the settings for all Text/HTML Modules in the portal.  I had pointed the query at the wrong table.  We just moved on.

Another demo was significant for two reasons.  It was the demo where I showed everyone how to recover a lost login form.  The first reason it was significant was because the UG leaders had just run into this issue, as the UG website runs on DNN.  The second reason it was significant was that we found a hidden treasure in DotNetNuke version 5.  The login no longer needs to be recovered in version 5 and up.  I blogged about this earlier today.

After the Meetings

Professional DotNetNuke 5, by Wrox Overall, the meeting really was a success.  We had some great questions from those attending, and I was able to give away a copy of Professional DotNetNuke 5, by Wrox.  (So did Darrell Hardy, one of the authors.  He managed to make it, despite having to put out some client fires that night.)  I am very hard on myself though.  I really do make every effort to ensure that a demo will not fail during a presentation.  And I had two fail in the same night.  Ugh!  Oh well…  I managed to get compliments on the failures!  :)  I think that people sitting in a session are secretly hoping to see a demo fail anyhow.

I followed the crowd to the after party, and spent about 10-20 minutes with them.  It was a good time.  They are a really close knit group.  I was very impressed, and had a great time.  But we had the little ones with us, so we had to make our way home. 

Oh yeah! We saw 3 deer on our way home.  While we saw them at different points during the trip, they were all grazing next to the highway.  They sure are brave!

Thank you very much to Bonnie and Lynn for inviting me to speak at the Space Coast SQL User Group, and thank you to everyone that attended.  I really enjoyed meeting all of you, and speaking to about the thing I love to do, DotNetNuke.

Video & Speaker Materials

The video will take me a while.  I will post it as soon as possible, and announce it here on my blog when it is available.  The speaker files will be posted sometime this weekend, and I will also send them to Bonnie.  She will likely make them available in some way to the UG on their website.

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