04 August 2009

Omaha Team System User Group Site is Back!

If you have visited the Omaha Team System User Group site within the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed one of two things - the site was either down or the site looked a lot different than it used to.

A couple of weeks ago, the server that hosts the OTSUG web site crashed and took everything with it.  Although I had various backups of various files, I did not have any (recent) backups of the entire partition.  After bringing a severely out of date backup on-line (it was four years old!) I had quite a bit of configuration to take care of.

The OTSUG web site was originally hosted within Microsoft SharePoint utilizing the Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS): User Group Edition.  In fact, this was the only site on this server that made use of SharePoint.  Rather than install SharePoint and CKS to host a single site, I decided to look for something simpler and easier to maintain.  I decided to give DotNetNuke a look.

DotNetNuke has a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get past that, it’s very quick and easy to add and configure new pages to the web site.  Specific functionality, such as support for Announcements, Document Management, Links, etc., are provided via DotNetNuke Modules.  There are quite a few of these modules readily available for download with the ability to create custom modules if so needed.  In my case, I was able to get by with the modules currently provided.  Another great thing – it’s open source (under the MIT license).

So, I’ve learned (at least) two things with this experience:

  • Sometimes, simpler is better.
  • Backup, backup, backup!

At least I got to learn something new from this experience!