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Multiple custom instances sanity check

Topics: ASP.NET 2.0
Jul 14, 2007 at 5:33 PM
Edited Jul 14, 2007 at 10:19 PM
Multiple instances are not (yet?) supported, got that part. However, I'd like to use the engine for different parts of a websites: different content, different users/admins, different theme, different categories, you get the idea ;)

My thought was to just copy the default files in each different section. Surely this works, but for updates on static resources which could be shared throughout the different instances (such as the .dll, admin pages, etc) this is a time-intensive job.

As a possible, creative solution, I thought to create an 'engine default', e.g. in /Engine/ and then create virtual directories for e.g. /admin and point them to the physical path of the default container. The site still loads, but as soon as I log in and click an admin-link, it throws me an error (403). My knowledge about .net is limited, so I sure am missing an obvious limitation. My question: is there a solution or workaround or do I just have to stick at updating each individual folder with updated versions by hand?


*UPDATE*: I've copied the latest build on the 'default engine folder' and created virtual directories in the other sections (with their own app_data and theme folders) for /admin and /pics) - that works. Not sure if this is because of the latest build, but I expect this is because I've made some IIS configuration changes too (first I had the unchanged engine instance and the other instances in a shared AppPool, but resetted that to default -seems that was causing the 403 error).

For now this will work for me, since the other folders are not likely to be updated. Whenever I introduce a new section using the engine, I'll just copy the basics, change the dynamics (app_data+themes) and that does the trick. Basically, using DotNetBlogEngine now as a "good enough" content management system :)
Jul 16, 2007 at 9:43 AM
You've pushed BlogEngine.NET further than we thought possible. Awesome!
Jul 16, 2007 at 1:43 PM
Edited Jul 16, 2007 at 1:44 PM
Well, don't most love to push the limits ;) - in essence, it wasn't that difficult. The IIS copy/virtual-dir point is all to it. The biggest challenge is to integrate it with the existing website theme. Fortunately, that is just a one time job to update the existing CSS style doc and embed the proper CSS-div tags. The most pain is if you, just like me, use a very heavy CSS site and a lot of 'parent' CSS styles got inherited in the 'Engine'.

Although my general to-do list is growing rapidly, I'm plannning to post a how-to document.

Anyway, please know you and your team efforts are highly appreciated to create such a versatile, mobile and light-weight engine. Thanks and keep up the excellent work!