DotNetNuke Email Setup and Maps

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lee SykesInterview with:Lee Sykes
David Finleyand David Finley

In this podcast we discuss how to correctly set up email in DotNetNuke and understanding SMTP and the common traps to avoid. We also look at working with maps and map modules in DotNetNuke and the powerful uses for Google Maps and Google Earth.

The podcast covers the following:

  • Email Setup
  • Typical email problems in DotNetNuke
  • What is SMTP?
  • SMTP mail servers
  • How you would typically experience SMTP servers outside of DNN
  • What is POP3 / Exchange / Webmail?
  • What traps are there with SMTP servers?
    • Relay
    • IP lockdown
    • Send Limits
    • No relay
    • Domain lockdown
    • SSL
    • Ports and restrictions
  • How does Google and Hotmail play with this?
  • What do you need to know to configure SMTP in DNN?
  • How to configure SMTP in DNN
  • Traps with SMTP in DNN
  • Admin email address
  • Locked domain
  • External domain limits or blocks
  • Administrator email settings configuration
  • Maps in DotNetNuke
  • Introduction to Google Maps
  • How maps can be useful for data research
  • How maps can be useful for business and sales teams
  • Map modules in DotNetNuke
  • GeoSprawl DotNetNuke Locator module
  • ZLDNN Advanced Biz Map module
  • Google Earth
  • Business data analysis
  • Data mapped to suburbs
  • Tally of all people in suburbs and 3D chart developed
  • Immediately could see where largest registered number of users were on the map
  • Telco provider able to plot footprint of tower and users
  • Enables tracking of where next towers need to be built
  • Locations of handsets at various times of days

If there are any subjects you would like us to discuss in the podcast please submit your request in the Podcasts section of the DNN Creative Forum.

Auto Update to Widows Live Writer Killed my Launch Icon

imageThe recent auto update to the Windows Live 2011 Beta that automatically ran on my windows 7 system. Automatically and without me needing to do needing to do anything at all… killed the desktop launch icon that was used.

Isn’t is great that the thing that Microsoft is best at is killing things automatically.

I found a recent picture of the Microsoft “Leader”

Guess it all makes sense now why the only thing they do well tends to tick me off!

As for the new Windows Live Writer 2011. Works exactly like the old one, but has the following new features.

Feature List

  1. Removal of the word BETA from the program name
  2. Kills your desktop Icons for Live Writer

Ummm, That is about it really.

Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Rollup 1 Hell

After running the automated update to Exchange 2010 SP1 Rollup 1, our exchange server stopped being able to mount the data store for the data databases.

The error we received looked like this:

Event 9512 MSExchange IS While starting database Mailbox Database 123456789, the following error occurred: Non-database file or corrupted database. 
Failed to configure MDB.

The Event ID was followed by 3154 then 209 then 2131.

Kind of bummed me out that yet again, an automated update would kill the Exchange server. But I this is something I am getting more and more used to with Microsoft and their updates.

To fix this issue we tried to follow the article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925825

As this was suggested in some forums we found about the issue.

Method 1 was what we selected.

Method 1: Run Setup /PrepareAD

Run the Setup /PrepareAD command from the Exchange Server CD to prepare the Active Directory directory service for Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2007. This command restores the Exchange Servere configuration in Active Directory. For more information about how to prepare Active Directory, see the "How to Prepare Active Directory and Domains" topic in Exchange Server Help. To view this Help topic, follow these steps for the appropriate program.
Exchange Server 2010

  1. Start Exchange Server 2010 Help.
  2. Click the Contents tab, expand Deployment, expand New Installation, expandPreparing to Deploy Exchange 2010, and then click How to Prepare Active Directory and Domains.

However as you would expect with Microsoft, the information in the article is not accurate for the post SP1 release, let alone the Rollup 1 to SP1.

We tried running from the CD and found the error: "configuration version 13214 is higher than setup’s version 12640 therefore, Prepare AD can’t be executed.

We worked out that this is because there is a new version of “setup” that comes with the SP1 download. We had hoped that this would have been updated into the Exchange server V14 / Bin directory. But it appears not.

So next we had to download the SP full release version from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=50b32685-4356-49cc-8b37-d9c9d4ea3f5b&displaylang=en

and extract the file (by clicking it) to a directory that would then allow us to run the “setup /prepareAD” from that location.

We did this, and got a message that looked like this:

image

We then restarted the service “Microsoft Exchange Information Store”

image

Found exactly the same errors:

image

so next we restarted the server.

Nothing. What we then discovered was that the file size of the .edb database associated with this mail data store database was 0 byte in size.

Crap!

We tried without success to use database recovery tools, but it was obvious from the size of the transaction log files that the data was actually gone forever.

 

That only leaves us with 2 options.

1. Restore from backup (disaster style)

2. Backup outlook Profiles to .pst, then one by one recover to a new creation of the database name.

Either way, this experience was totally crap (typical Microosft). All we did was allow an automatic update from Microsoft to run on the server. It was the Rollup 1 for SP1 exchange server 2010.

My advice. Buy a Mac, and get yourself some iMail accounts! Who needs this crap!

Microsoft – You totally suck!

Google Analytics Update

Description: http://images02.interactivewebs.com/Portals/59/GoogleAnalyticsReportFlat-Optimised.jpg

DotNetNuke (DNN) Analytics Report ModuleDescription: Free DNN Modules

Google Analytics Report Module allows you to display your Google Analytics Graphs in a custom module on your DNN website.

This allows you to use the Google Analytics free service with your client’s websites, and deliver the results directly to the client without them leaving the DNN platform. This effectively replaces the DNN site log data with a neat flash colour graph of the Analytics Report data.

Now you can have advanced analytics data in your site and have it appear to be part of the DotNetNuke Module Platform that you deliver to clients.

This is another Custom Module for DotNetNuke by InteractiveWebs.Description: Description: DNN Module Version History

Description: Google Analytis Data

Pull Google Analytics Data

The module will pull Google Data directly from your Google account and display the data directly in your website.

Description: DNN Flash Module

Flash Graphic

The module displays the important Analytics data in a Adobe Flash graph directly on your DNN website.

Description: DNN UI

Simple Control User Interface

As with all our products, we work hard to keep our interface simple. With this application we use SilverLight, and Windows Presentation Foundation.

Description: Analytics Data

Works with Other Analytics Modules

There are many other Google Analytics modules for DNN, but they are all about adding the tracking tokens to your pages. This module is unique in that it is to display the tracked data.

Description: DNN CMS

DotNetNuke CMS

We continue to support the latest version of DotNetNuke advanced CMS website technology This module will work on DNN 4.5.5 and above.

Description: DNN Security

Security Role Controlled

You can sett the permissions on either a page level or module level as to who can view the data. Show your results to the world or only your Administrators.

Description: DNN Display Size

Define the Display Size

Use simple controls to define the size of the chart by height and width, allowing you to fill a particular skin size.

Description: DNN SEO

Work with Multiple Domains

You can use multiple domains on a Google Analytics account. Each account has a Web Profile ID. This module allows you to enter a single ID allowing you to display a single domain on each instance of the module.

Screen Captures:

Visits Metrics by Day

Bounce Rate Metrics by Day


Unique Visits Per Day

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Visits

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Unique Visits

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Page Views

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Pages / Visit

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Average Time on Site

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg Bounce Rate

Description: http://images11.interactivewebs.com/portals/59/01.jpg % New Visits

Enter your Google Analytic Account Data and ID to display the graphic of that data. Easy settings to show the default options that work best for your data.

Details:

Specification

Description

Description: http://images26.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/dnn.pngDatabase

SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008 and Express

Description: http://images26.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/download.pngDNN Versions

DNN 4.5.5 and Above, including DNN 5+

Description: http://images27.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/history.pngDownload Package

PA Install Files for supported DNN Versions / PDF Manual

Description: http://images27.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/package.pngVersion History

Here

Description: http://images28.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/sql.pngSource Code

Source code is not available for the module.

Description: http://images28.interactivewebs.com/portals/58/dnn_updates.pngUpdates

Free Unlimited Updates in accordance with our update policy Here

Editing DotNetNuke Region Data with Advanced Login Module

This post relates to the DotNetNuke Login Module

Add Missing Regional Data to your Website

When you install the module and navigate to the “Configure Module” menu option. One thing you may notice is that the module detects the regional data in your website and offers you to ability to import missing region data.

image

What is DNN Region Data?

Region Data is the information relating to the regions / states / provinces within a country. For example we know of some popular states within America such as California (CA) or Texas (TX) etc, in Australia, we refer to regions as States. We have locations like New South Wales (NSW) or South Australia (SA) etc.

image

How is Region Data Used in DNN

In DotNetNuke, the region data is typically used when an individual is registering on the site. If your registration process requires the user to fill in country and state (region), then as the person selects the country, the region data for that specific country is auto filled into the region selector.

For example if United States was the selected country, then the region data would look something like this:

How Advanced Login Uses Region Data

Just like the DNN default registration process, our customizable template for registration, will automatically reference the selected country and display a narrowed down list of regions for that country in the region dropdown selector.

The issue is that in DotNetNuke, the region data is only provided with a new instillation for a few of the more popular regions. The option is available in the DNN language settings to manually add region data for any country in the world. This process is somewhat laborious if you want to add all the common regions for people who would register on a typical website.

Adding Region Data in Advanced Login

Because of the laborious nature of adding region data for the countries and regions missing out of DotNetNuke fresh install, we added a detection and addition feature to Advanced Login Module that will auto fill in the language settings of DNN.

The advantage you have of us conforming to the standard DNN method of managing this data is that even if you decided you don’t have a use for out module on your website. The imported region data will remain in your site when you uninstall our free trial version of the Advanced Login Module.

Add All Missing Region Data

By default, the module detects the countries with missing region data, and will preselect (left hand side) all those countries.
image

All you need to do to add these countries is click the “Update selected Countries with State/Region Data” button. That’s it!

Updating our Data

You may notice that some countries are not added. This is because we have not been able to reliably obtain region data for those countries.
image

You can help us update this data by contacting us here, with information about the regions within any of these countries. We will then update and release a new version of the module.

Update Individual Countries Region Data

Firs you need to remove all the detected countries with mission region data.
image

Then individually troll through the countries list and click on the + to add countries to the list of selected countries for import.
image

Then when you have a list of countries selected, you click on the “Update selected Countries with State/Region Data”.

Understanding SMTP in DotNetNuke

DNN SMTP Settings

DNN Websites have the ability to configure in the host settings an SMTP server. When a DNN email is generated from the DNN website, it will attempt to send mail through this SMTP server.

In order that your DNN website can successfully send the email, the SMTP server must allow the email message to be received. Typically this is done in one of four ways.

  1. The SMTP server is configured for Open Relay (This should NEVER be done unless you have an external firewall blocking all external SMTP connections. Otherwise your mail server will become a spam server within hours)

  2. SMTP Authentication – Typically SMTP servers are configured to allow users with a valid username and password to authenticate themselves. Once they have been authenticated, they can communicate email messages through the SMTP server. This is the same way most ISP’s work their mail servers. The idea is that only users who are customers of the ISP will allow email to be sent from their SMTP servers.

  3. Selective Open Relay. The administrator of the SMTP server can also allow Open Relay (same as 1 above) from selective IP addresses. Any communication from an IP address that is configured to allow open relay will be accepted by the SMTP server.

  4. Local Host – If your website has it’s own SMTP server configured, typically it will allow email message to be sent form it’s self.

To correctly configure your DNN SMTP settings, you need to understand what method of communication has been configured in the SMTP server you are trying to set DNN to access.

Here is the process you would configure from above.

  1. Enter the IP address or valid domain name for the SMTP server, nothing more to do if open relay is allowed. (Still not recommended)

  2. Enter the IP address or valid domain name for the SMTP server, and the valid user name and password as would be used to communicate with the SMTP server. This is where you get to use the user name and password setting in DNN.

  3. Ensure that the SMTP administrator has allowed the IP address your DNN website uses to have open relay status. Then just enter the IP address or domain name of the SMTP server in your DNN host settings.

  4. Configure your DNN host settings to have “localhost” in the DNN SMTP server settings are.

Problems.
There can be some issues that get confusing with the different methods.

  1. Open relay mail servers will be attacked by spammers very quickly. They are always on the lookout for mail servers that they can abuse. It is never recommended to have your mail server on the internet and in open relay. Additionally your mail server will be blacklisted by other mail servers if found to be in open relay.

  2. SMTP Authentication  can still be restricted to certain IP addresses. Many ISP’s will allow you only to use their mail servers while you are a client of their AND connecting to their mail server from an IP address they own. So thing will work in your Email applications while you are connecting to the internet via their dialup or high speed connection, but as soon as you move away from a connection provided by them, you will not be allows to connect to their servers, let alone Authenticate.

  3. Even if your ISP has allowed relay from the address that your mail server is run form, there may be a firewall or block on the normal port that the SMTP servers are typically configured to use. Port 25. If a firewall exists between your web server and the mail server, it must be configured to allow traffic over port 25.

  4. You may have web server configured with an SMTP server on the same system. Yet have it be blocked over port 25 for outbound communications. Some ISP’s block port 25 to curb the flow of virus email messages. You need to be sure that your ISP that provides connection to the internet for your web and SMTP server is not blocking port 25.

How to get really confused.
Often mail servers will allow you to send email messages to email addresses on that SMTP server, even though they do not allow you to send mail out. So if you have a web application configured to send email to yourself, and the SMTP settings you use in the DNN host settings are for the SMTP server that runs the same email address you will have success.
Yet when you change the email address in the web application, you can no longer send email, and the web application appears to fail. This is still an SMTP configuration error on your website. You will need to find a method above to solve the issue.

DNN Podcast about the DotNetNuke Pivot Module

The dnn podcast page has been updated with some profile data about InteractiveWebs, indicating some of the work we specialise in. If you would like to see more, click here.

David Finley, InteractiveWebs

David FinleyDavid is from InteractiveWebs based in Sydney Australia. InteractiveWebs is a technology focused business with extensive experience with DotNetNuke Module development, having released over 24 modules for public sale. As well as DNN Modules, InteractiveWebs has extensive experience with Microsoft CRM Customization, Silverlight application development, and iOS iPhone and iPad application development with integration into DotNetNuke.
For more information about custom dnn module development, please visit their site: www.interactivewebs.com

InteractiveWebs

34. DotNetNuke, Microsoft Pivot and DNN News

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Lee SykesInterview with:Lee Sykes
David Finleyand David Finley

In this podcast we discuss Microsoft Pivot and the DotNetNuke Pivot module, the latest DotNetNuke News as well as what has been happening with the DotNetNuke podcasts.

The podcast covers the following:

  • It has been a while
  • David interviewing Lee, background and what has been happening
  • DNN Creative background
  • DotNetNuke businesses and opportunities
  • Low cost entry into the market
  • Our 5th birthday
  • Microsoft Pivot background and explanation
  • Resources and free videos to view on Pivot
  • Exploration and manipulation of data
  • Navigating data as a web rather than page to page, deep diving, finding trends
  • Interactivewebs.com DotNetNuke Pivot module
  • Displaying data from a DotNetNuke website
  • Security roles, portals, logins, countries of registered users
  • Building a Pivot card and displaying with images
  • Potential for building Pivot views such as sales
  • Useful information for advertising with Google Adwords
  • Important ASP.NET security vulnerability

If there are any subjects you would like us to discuss in the podcast please submit your request in the Podcasts section of the DNN Creative Forum.

listen to podcastListen to the Podcast…

DotNetNuke Podcast–Microsoft Pivot and DNN News

Technorati Tags:

This week we have released with Lee Sykes a DotNetNuke Podcast about Microsoft Pivot.

The podcast covers the following:

  • It has been a while
  • David interviewing Lee, background and what has been happening
  • DNN Creative background
  • DotNetNuke businesses and opportunities
  • Low cost entry into the market
  • Our 5th birthday
  • Microsoft Pivot background and explanation
  • Resources and free videos to view on Pivot
  • Exploration and manipulation of data
  • Navigating data as a web rather than page to page, deep diving, finding trends
  • Interactivewebs.com DotNetNuke Pivot module
  • Displaying data from a DotNetNuke website
  • Security roles, portals, logins, countries of registered users
  • Building a Pivot card and displaying with images
  • Potential for building Pivot views such as sales
  • Useful information for advertising with Google Adwords
  • Important ASP.NET security vulnerability