BlogEngine.NET Webcasts: Initial Setup and SQL Setup

-   Oct 04, 2007 -   BlogEngine.NET, Screencasts -   , , ,

I put together some short webcasts to help people get started using BlogEngine.NET 1.2.  Hopefully, this is just the start of series, but we'll have to see how it goes.  Both webcasts are full screen (1024x768) and available in Flash or Windows Media flavors. In the first webcast, BlogEngine.NET 1.2 Initial Setup, I walk you through the entire process from finding the download to getting it installed on your web server.  The entire process (and webcast) takes just over 5 minutes (5:20) including download time and listening to me drone on about random bits. The second webcast, BlogEngine.NET 1.2 SQL Provider Setup, is for those who would prefer to have SQL Server power their blog.  It picks up where the first web cast left off and walks you through setting up a database for BlogEngine and making 2 small changes to get BlogEngine to look to your database for its data.  Webcast running time is under 4 minutes (3:45). You can watch them live in flash here: BlogEngine.NET 1.2 Initial Setup BlogEngine.NET 1.2 SQL Provider Setup You can download the Windows Media Versions here: BlogEngine.NET 1.2 Initial Setup (WMV) 31.8 MB BlogEngine.NET 1.2 SQL Provider Setup (WMV) 20.4 MB Note: There are some background screen artifacts, but they don't take away from the content.  I'll try to get that straightened out for the next webcasts I do.  01/04/2008 Update: These screencasts have been updated for the new 1.3 release of BlogEngine.NET.  Please check out the current versions: BlogEngine.NET 1.3 Installation BlogEngine.NET 1.3 SQL Provider Setup Also, you can see all my screencasts (and make sure you are watching the latest versions) using this link to see my posts with screencasts.

 Upgrading BlogEngine.NET from 1.1 to 1.2

-   Oct 01, 2007 -   BlogEngine.NET -   ,

Upgrading your blog is an easy process for the most part.  In the latest release of BlogEngine.NET, it is no different.  However, I've written out detailed steps for the process to help answer questions people might have. Backup your blog This is always the first step listed, although I don't always do it myself.  Obviously, you can update your blog without backing up first, but I'd prefer not to hear that people lost everything following my instructions, so this is the first step you'll hear from me. If you are thinking of skipping this step, at least backup your App_Data folder. Download the blog software You can get the latest release here.  The web project download is the best option if you simply want to update your site. Database Update If you are using the XML provider (which is the default) skip this section.  If you are not sure, skip this section. :) Ok, for those of you using the MSSQL Provider, there is a new table, and handful of new fields, and a few more new settings to add to your database.  If you are using the 1.1 release, you can use my sql script for updating to 1.2. If you are using an earlier version of BlogEngine or a build from after the 1.1 release, you are on your own.  You can easily compare the table, field, and data from the 1.2 setup script included in the release to see what you should add to your database. Update Robots.txt While not required, this is a great time update your robots.txt file.  (Read more about what robots.txt does here if you'd like.)  In your newly downloaded 1.2 foldler, find the robots.txt file and open it in the text editor of your choice.  Simply change the url of the site map to match your web address open your newly downloaded 1.2 folder Web Upgrade Certainly you've downloaded the 1.2 release already, so now you'll need to copy the relevant parts to your web server. You will want to copy everything except the App_Data folder and your Sql.Config file.  (The Sql.config file is only important if you are a MSSQL Provider user.)  Overwriting these would be bad and make you wish you had made a back up. At this stage, you should be ready to open your web browser and open your blog.  You should see the shiny 1.2 version number at the bottom of the main page, assuming of course you are using a theme that keeps the trusty version number there. Update your Settings Login and got your your settings page and check your settings out.  This is an excellent time to review the new options in the new version as well. Be sure to look at the following: In your feed settings, notice that the feedburner option is no longer there.  It is replaced Alternate feed URL.  If you are using feedburner, be sure to update this. There is a new Avatar option in the Comment section.  You will need to select Gravatar here if you want to use it. Save your settings and you are ready to enjoy the new 1.2 goodness.  Hopefully, this will be helpful to someone out there.

 Look Ma... No XML posts in BlogEngine.NET

-   May 21, 2007 -   BlogEngine.NET -   ,

A few weeks back, I put together an initial Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) blog provider for BlogEngine.NET.  It basically allows me to keep all my posts, comments, and stuff in a MSSQL database instead of the standard XML files that BlogEngine.NET uses as a default.  Why would I want to do this? Well, I not really sure. It has been a very popular request on the BlogEngine site and I thought that someone from the team should do it and use it so that it doesn't get left behind in the development.  I seemed like the logical person for the job for a number of reasons: I have SQL Server access with my hosting through WebHost4Life. My personal/family site is very SQL Server dependant so I'm going to keep my database access for a while. I'm a team player. While the bulk of my data is coming from SQL Server, there are still a few pieces of data that are gathered from xml files.  Specifically, the settings, the blog roll (not in use on my site as of today), and referrals. Also, files (images, zip files, etc.) are stored in the App_Data folder.  These items were not a part of the base blog provider class that I implemented to make the SQL Server provider, so they remain as they were for now. I'm not really sure how I feel about moving all these pieces over either.  I like having files/images where they are and having my settings in an xml files feels right to me.  The others I think should come over eventually which means getting them added to the blog provider or creating a Control provider to handle this storage of information.  On a side note, I'm ignoring the membership provider for now.  BlogEngine.NET uses implements the membership provider and defaults to use an XML provider.  I could switch this to MSSQL, but I haven't done it yet.  One thing at a time. The BlogEngine team will need to discuss handling the blog provider further, but I'm guessing that won't happen right away as we are working on getting the new release done and the documentation that goes with it.  In the meantime, I'd really like to hear from those people who are itching to use SQL for data storage what your preferences are for storing this other data and why.  You can let me know in the comments or on the discussions on CodePlex.  In the short term, I'll be testing it out on my site for a while before putting together the scripts for installing and using it.  Everything seems to be working great so far as I've been playing with it on a test site for a little while now.  That said, if you see something that isn't working as expected, please let me know.