New Starter Kit Available – TheBeerHouse: CMS & E-commerce Starter Kit

TheBeerHouse starter kit enables you to implement a website with
functionality typically associated with a CMS/e-commerce site.
This website demonstrates key features of
ASP.NET 2.0…

Features include WebParts, Master Pages, Membership & Profile, and
on-line payment clearing.  Don’t forget the SSL!

Full story at

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Configuring Windows Live Writer for Live Community Server

Windows Live Writer is a brand new blogging tool from Microsoft.  It’s easily configured for use with a number of blog applications, including Community Server. uses the Express edition of Community Server, and this post will help you configure Windows Live Writer for use with  The steps below will only need to be completed once.

  1. Download Windows Live Writer from  Save the file somwehere you can find it again.
  2. When the download completes, find the Writer.msi file and double-click to start the installation.
  3. When installation has completed, you’ll be able to start the program from the Start menu.
  4. When you start the program, you’ll see the welcome screen below.  Click Next to continue.

  5. You need to choose “Another weblog service”, and click Next.

  6. Enter the information for your blog.  Your URL should be similar to below.  Remeber that the subdirectory for your blog is “blogs” (plural), not “blog” (singular).

  7. Live Writer will analyze your blog to try and determine some features of your blog.

  8. Live Writer will need to be configured for Community Server by selecting it from the drop down list.

  9. You need to change <hostname> to, as seen below.

  10. Live Writer will again scan your blog.

  11. If your configuration information is correct, Live Writer will display your blog information.  Click Finish and Live Writer will start.

  12. Live Writer’s interface is a simple rich text editor, similar to Word but far more basic.  You can easily choose categories, add photos, enter and format text.

  13. Community Server doesn’t support direct uploadingof photos into galleries, so you’ll first have to upload images to your photo gallery and then add them to your blog by using Insert >> Picture from Web.  Then, enter the URL of the image from your photo gallery.

  14. As you edit your post, you’ll be able to see the formatting, and choose options for formatting images in your post.

  15. Just to the right of the Save Draft button is the preview button.  One cool option is the ability to see your post exactly as it would look without publishing it by choosing Web Preview.  You cannot edit your post in this mode; you’ll have to change back to Normal mode to resume editing.

  16. Inserting a hyperlink is easy.  Highlight the text you want to turn into a hyperlink and click the globe and chain icon on the toolbar.  Enter the URL’s information, including its relation.  Setting the Rel to “tag” adds the link to your site’s tagcloud, and signals sites such as Technorati to add the link text to their tagcloud.  Setting Rel to “nofollow” means that Google and other search engines should ignore this link.

  17. When you’re done, click the Publish button to add the post to your blog.

There are a lot more features than covered here.  For instance, you can open old posts to edit them, then publish the edited post (which will correct the version online).  You can save drafts and edit them later.  You can also configure several blogs, if you have more than one.

Even though Community Server doesn’t support direct upload of images, Live Writer can upload photos to an FTP folder on your site.  The configuration for every website will be different, so we’re not going to go through that here.  This makes adding images very easy, but your readers won’t find the images in your photo gallery.  You’ll also have to add a watermark manually to all images, where the Community Server photo gallery will add the watermark automatically.

<semi-correction 8/16/2006>

The Metablog API, used by Community Server (as well as most blogging platforms) doesn’t support image upload.  Community Server does have an API for directly uploading images into galleries, which is used by Chiwi’s CS Gallery Manager.  If you have a lot of images and want them in your galleries, this app might be a great help.  With any luck, someone will add a plug-in for WLW which will support CS galleries.

If you’re using Chiwi’s app, the address you need is http://<siteurl>/photos/galleryservice.asmx.  Remember to replace <siteurl> with your site’s URL.

ASP.NET 2.0 Security Reference Implementation

 I wasn’t aware of this until I saw Don’s article:

Fortunately, Microsoft has committed to providing a steady stream of documentation and educational materials to help solve the problem. Their latest ASP.NET security freebie has the rather unwieldy moniker of ASP.NET 2.0 Security Reference Implementation. This product is a combination of documentation and source code that is worthwhile to study to get right at the best practices that you can implement in ASP.NET 2.0 Web sites. The package itself is a bit daunting, but it doesn’t take long to figure out what’s what.

There are two Word docs and 17 projects, released under a GotDotNet license so you can lift entire projects for your own needs.  I found MS’s P&P guides absolutely essential for working with .NET 1.1, so I’m glad to see some updated material.

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How fast can you set up a Community Server site?

45 minutes from getting site login information from my buddy Joe, to loading the home page. That included logging in to the control panel, configuring the database and DB user, uploading all the web files, loading the installer, modifying web.config, deleting installer, and finally loading the homepage. The upload consumed about 20 min of the entire process. Next up: configuring the forums and working on the skin.

The entire process couldn’t be easier. The directions are short, and that’s because you don’t have to do too much at all. updated to Community Server 2.1

Working from a hotel room last night, I was able to upgrade from CS 1.1 to CS 2.1 on .NET 2.0. That was a surprisingly easy upgrade, and as far as Telligent’s upgrade scripts are concerned, it went perfect. The only flaw was I accidentally deleted the photos folder, and whacked all the images. DiscountASP.Net restored a full site backup from 8/8 as a ZIP, so I should be able to recover the images completely when I get home.

Just a reminder–unlike blog and forum content, images are stored as files, not DB content.

Scott’s Flickr for Community Server (Updated)

I’d downloaded Scott’s code for his module and took the liberty of updating it to use the latest build of FlickrNet, so that users can now make use of both modules side-by-side.  Since Scott is going to be out of town on vacation, he’d said he wouldn’t mind if I went ahead and released, and so without further ado, please feel free to download it below.

Full story at

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Blogging: You Don’t Need To Be An Expert

Interesting post by Chris Garrett:

Blogging is not necessarily about expertise, in fact you might be at a disadvantage if you think that is the case.

What I think sets apart a good blog from a bad one in most cases is not the knowledge or experience of the blogger but how interesting they make the content.

(full post at

Jennifer Laycock has some commentary on this post at

Since article and blog writing advice often tends to center around the need to share unique and informative content, many small business owners shy away from the idea of blogging. Garrett points out that in reality, it’s not necessarily what you know, but how you present it, that makes the difference.

We florists have a lot of interesting content—from the touching stories, to the crazy arrangements, to helpful tips.

Pgh.NET: Represent the Architecture of Your Enterprise Application Using UML 2.0 and More

The next meeting for the Pittsburgh
.NET User Group
will be on Thursday, August 10, from 6:00 p.m. –
8:00 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Read on for complete

the Architecture of Your Enterprise Application Using UML 2.0 and

Have you ever been confused by an arrow
in a box-and-line diagram? Do you use UML in your software architecture? Do
you want to understand the difference between architecture and detailed
design? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then this tutorial
has practical and valuable information for you. This joint meeting of the
Pittsburgh .NET and Java User Groups offers attendees the chance to learn from
Paulo Merson of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) as he explains how to
represent an architecture so that others can use it, maintain it and build a
system from it successfully. Explore examples of existing applications, then
take the concepts presented and apply them to any software system. Sponsored by Advanticom, DQE Communications, Schneider Downs,
Sprint Nextel and Summa Technologies.

Please RSVP to Council
at 412.918.4229 so that we have an accurate count for
dinner. For directions, visit the
Web site