About the Portal Starter Kit

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The ASP.NET Portal Starter Kit demonstrates how you can use ASP.NET and the .NET Framework to build either an intranet or Internet portal application. The Portal Starter Kit offers all the functionality of typical portal applications, including:
  • 10 basic portal modules for common types of content
  • Custom portal modules based on a "pluggable" framework that is simple to extend
  • Online administration of portal layout, content and security
  • Roles-based security for viewing content, editing content, and administering the portal
All code contained in the Portal Starter Kit download package is free for use in your own applications. But if you prefer, you may customize the portal for your own use without writing a line of code. The portal includes built-in Administration pages for setting up your portal, adding content, and setting security options.

Getting Started with the Portal

This page explains how users interact with the portal, and how to use the Administration tool to customize it. To browse the source code and read about it works:
http://www.codeplex.com/ASPNETPortal/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Documentation&referringTitle=Home

Portal Tabs

Content in the portal is grouped by Tabs. For example, the portal with it's initial sample data loaded has five content tabs:
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You can create tabs that are visible only to certain users. For example, you might create a private tab that only users in the "Managers" role can view. See Managing Portal Layout to learn how to create a tab, and Managing User Security to learn how to control access to a tab.

Portal Modules

Portal Modules are modular pieces of code and UI that each present some functionality to the user, like a threaded discussion list, or render data, graphics and text, like a "sales by region" report. Typically, several portal modules are grouped on a portal tab. For example, the Home tab of the Portal has seven modules:
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When a user browses a tab in the portal, the portal framework reads a description of the tab from it's configuration file, and automatically assembles a page from the portal modules associated with the tab. The Home tab is composed from these modules:
  1. Sign-in module: the portal framework inserts this module on the first tab automatically if the user is not yet authenticated.
  2. QuickLinks module: a list of ASP.NET links rendered compactly.
  3. Html/Text module: an Html snippet, including an image, that introduces the Portal Starter Kit. An alternate, text-only version is supplied to Mobile users.
  4. Announcements module: a list of IBuySpy.com news items, briefly summarized, with links for more information.
  5. Events module: a list of upcoming IBuySpy.com events, including time, location and a brief description.
  6. Another Html/Text module: an Html snippet, including an image, that describes this week's special on IBuySpy.com.
  7. XML module: the results of an XSL/T transform on an XML file that shows recent revenue trends for IBuySpy.com.

Built-In Portal Modules

You can use multiple instances of a module type in the portal, for example an HR Links module and a Products Links module. The Portal Starter Kit provides 10 basic Desktop module types, listed below. Four of these--Announcements, Contacts, Events and HTML/Text--support an alternate rendering for Mobile devices.

Announcements

This module renders a list of announcements. Each announcement includes title, text and a "read more" link, and can be set to automatically expire after a particular date. Announcements includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the data stored in the SQL database.
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Contacts

This module renders contact information for a group of people, for example a project team. The Mobile version of this module also provides a Call link to phone a contact when the module is browsed from a wireless telephone. Contacts includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the Contacts data stored in the SQL database.
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Discussion

This module renders a group of message threads on a specific topic. Discussion includes a Read/Reply Message page, which allows authorized users to reply to exising messages or add a new message thread. The data for Discussion is stored in the SQL database.
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Documents

This module renders a list of documents, including links to browse or download the document. Documents includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the information about the Documents (for example, a friendly title) stored in the SQL database. The document itself may be linked to via URL or uploaded and stored in the SQL database.
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Events

This module renders a list of upcoming events, including time and location. Individual events can be set to automatically expire from the list after a particular date. Events includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the Events data stored in the SQL database.
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Html/Text

This module renders a snippet of HTML or text. The Html/Text module includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to the HTML or text snippets directly. The snippets are stored in the SQL database.
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Image

This module renders an image using an HTML IMG tag. The module simply sets the IMG tag's src attribute to a relative or absolute URL, so the image file does not need to reside within the portal. The module also exposes height and width attributes, which permits you to scale the image. Image includes an edit page, which persists these settings to the portal's configuration file.
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Links

This module renders a list of hyperlinks. Links includes an edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the Links data stored in the SQL database.
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QuickLinks

Like Links, this module renders a list of hyperlinks. Rather than rendering it's title, however, QuickLinks shows the title "Quick Launch." It's compact rendering and generic title make it ideal for a set of 'global' links that appears on several tabs in the portal. QuickLinks shares the Links edit page, which allows authorized users to edit the QuickLinks data stored in the SQL database.
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Xml/Xsl

This module renders the result of an XML/XSL transform. The XML and XSL files are identified by their UNC paths in the xmlsrc and xslsrc properties of the module. The Xml/Xsl module includes an edit page, which persists these settings to the SQL database.
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Custom Portal Modules

You can create your own custom modules and add them to the portal framework. See the Portal Documentation for more information about how to create a custom module.
See Managing Portal Layout below to learn about how to add your custom modules to the portal administration system.

Last edited Feb 29, 2008 at 3:21 PM by cbakopanos, version 8

Comments

wii_holly Sep 26, 2009 at 9:48 AM 
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