The other night, I had the distinct pleasure of being able to watch Mitch Labrador present a session to the Orlando DotNetNuke® Users Group (ODUG), showing off his newly released BigfootMVC framework for DotNetNuke®. Charles Nurse spent a lot of time doing a proof of concept on adding the ability to use MVC within a DNN module. One of the advantages of MVC is making your DNN modules more testable. Other perceived advantages include more control over your rendered HTML markup, no code-behind, and more.
Mitch took this idea a while back, and applied it to one of his DNN projects. He wasn’t trying to change the world. Instead, he was just trying to build a wrapper framework that would enable him to be more productive on subsequent DNN module projects. This idea would become fully realized when he and his team built the TribalhutCRM module. They used this framework exclusively to build this module.
If you haven’t used this module, stop right now. Go to the TribalhutCRM website, and do their demo. After you’ve played for about 10 minutes, come back. By then, you will be pretty excited to see more about BigfootMVC. Go…
I am waiting…
What did you think? That was rhetorical, because I KNOW you were impressed! I simply love that module. They did an outstanding job on it – and it’s a first generation release! Great job!
That is a pretty extensive example of what’s possible with this new MVC framework for DNN. I am not going to go into a bunch of code samples. The code and videos on the site do some of that for us. But I can tell you that you will feel like you’re in an MVC environment when you’re developing your modules. You can have views, build out your HTML in the presentation without all of the fluff, build your own helpers, and more.
The BigfootMVC code is not currently in a releasable state. This is something that I hope I can talk Mitch out of later. Instead, you can just download the source code from the projects download page. Once you do, just drop the source code into your project, and you’re off! :) Take an hour or so out of one of your days this week, and apply it to a small project. See what you can do with it.
Another game changer that was already released was BigfootSQL. Like with the MVC framework that he built, Mitch’s main motivation behind this project was to save time. In this case, he built a wrapper around the DNN data provider, that allows you to build out queries, very similar to the way you’d do this in LINQ. Obviously, LINQ was a key influence when building this framework.
Building queries is super simple too. You use the same terminology that you would with your T-SQL statements, but all in code. Some great examples can be found on the BigfootSQL website, so I will not bore you by re-hashing those details.
Unfortunately, BigfootSQL was released in the same fashion that the previous framework was. I will work on Mitch to see if I can twist his arm. ;)
There are some tentative plans to implement these technologies into a community project. Until more of the details and commitment gets flushed out, I don’t want to tell you too much – but the plan would be to give you an outstanding working example that you could download and use in your own projects.