Cheap DotNetNuke 7.3 Hosting – Form and List DotNetNuke Module Tutorial

Form and List DotNetNuke Module Tutorial

A great CMS needs to make content management easy, and DotNetNuke does just that. Whether your a team of one or a team of managers, editors, and writers, DNN gives its users a robust rich text editor and many options to create great content. For largers teams, content workflows can be put into place for permission setting and approval

The features of DotNetNuke, whether out of the box or with third party modules, can be extremely powerful for businesses of all sizes. User management, advertisement management, email marketing, document management, multilingual ability, blog management, and more are included to help marketing and IT teams manage their website. One of the modules which is often overlooked on many sites is the Form and List module.  This module has a lot of rich functionality for defining tabular data structures as well as a complete templating system for displaying or collecting the data defined by the structure.

The first step in building out the rotator is to understand what the Form and List provides out of the box.  Form and List can be broken down into four separate components that work together.  There is the underlying data layer that is used for storing data definitions as well as user data.  There is a user interface for managing the table definition and configuring the module options. Finally, there are options for defining how data is rendered for editing the data and for viewing the data.

The raw capabilities of form and list are great, but there are many situations where you need to be able to work with data in multiple ways.  For example, displaying my data as a rotator is great for the end user viewing the data, but really doesn’t provide a great experience when I want to select a record for editing.  What I really want is one view for managing data and one or more additional views for displaying the data to end users.  I might present the user with a summary view of data and a detailed view of a specific data element.  I also might want to display different data views on several pages on the website.

First, let’s define the display that we are trying to build.  Our banner rotator will display an image, a title and a description as shown below.

For my rotator, I’ll use an unordered list to hold each slide in the rotator.  My jQuery and CSS will then render this data into the rotator.

Now that we know what data elements we need, we can configure a Form and List module to allow us to enter our rotator data.

I placed this module on a separate page that has restricted access.  Since I am going to create a custom view for end users, I can keep the data management UI restricted.  This also means that I can create a UI for data management that is tuned for quickly reviewing and editing records.  Since this is pretty standard Form and List functionality I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to create a data management UI that makes sense to you.

This is where the interesting part begins.  In order to render a separate view for anonymous users, I need to use a different module that will allow me to retrieve the data from the Form and List module and render it in the desired format.

This script can be broken down into 3 sections.  In the first section, I setup a couple of using statements so that I don’t have to use full namespace references in my code.  Then I setup a couple of variables to hold the ModuleID and TabID of the Form and List module, and finally I use the UserDefinedTableController to get the data.

Once I have the dataset, it is pretty straightforward to iterate over every row and output the appropriate HTML.

The final section just outputs some JavaScript which I’ll use to run the rotator.  Add in a few lines of CSS and we now have a working example of how we can create multiple views of our Form and List data.

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Anjali Punjab

Anjali Punjab is a freelance writer, blogger, and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses. She is also a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and Google Analytics Qualified Professional.