Adding jQuery to a Custom DotNetNuke Module

Step 1: Register jQuery

In the code behind for the page you will be making jQuery calls, register the library in the OnPreRender event:

protected override void OnPreRender(EventArgs e)
string moduleDir = this.TemplateSourceDirectory;
Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptInclude("jQueryScripts", moduleDir + "/scripts/jquery-1.3.2.js");
Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptInclude("jsUtilities", moduleDir + "/scripts/utilities.js");

The first line stores the path to the module’s folder. I stored the jQuery library in the module’s scripts folder, so the next line registers the library with a supplied key (your choice of name) and the path to the library.

The third line registers another javascript library, this time one of my own javascript files.

Step 2: Initialize jQuery

DNN has name conflict issues with jQuery so the following line is needed (thanks to Steve Johnson at Abstract Coder for this tidbit):

var $j = jQuery.noConflict();

I included this in my utilities.js file outside of any functions.

Step 3: Call jQuery Functions

It is important to note that all of your calls to jQuery functions will use this $j variable instead of the normal, single $ you will find documented just about everywhere.  So for example, the document ready function will look like this:

$j(document).ready(function() {
//your code here

Now you can write your normal javascript code and call jQuery functions throughout. Just remember to use the $j variable.

Step 4: Accessing Control IDs

This step is not specific to jQuery, but I wanted to include it because I found that many people, including myself, were having a hard time trying to figure out how to target controls with javascript. Consider the following ASP.NET control on a page:

<asp:textbox id="simpleTextBox" runat="server" />

When using this control server-side, say with C#.NET, you write things like:

string t = simpleTextBox.Text;

So, naturally, you’d think to access this control via javascript, you would write something like:

t = document.getElementById("simpleTextBox")

However, ASP.NET will prefix all of your controls with parent container IDs to avoid conflicts. Thus your ID of simpleTextBox will be converted to something like dnn_ctr459_EditMyModule_simpleTextbox. This doesn’t matter to your code as it stays server-side, but once it hits the client, your javascript code has no clue what simpleTextBox is anymore.

My solution is to specifically tell javascript what the new name of the control is (my thanks to steveradich’s post at for nudging me in the right direction here).

1. Register the javascript event handler when the page loads

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
simpleTextBox.Attributes.Add("onclick", "testFunction('" + simpleTextBox.ClientID + "')");

The key to this line of code is the ClientID property. We are sending our javascript code the new name of the control here.

2. Access the control from javascript

testFunction(cid) {
c = document.getElementById(cid);

Note here that we are using the same getElementById function, but now we are armed with the new ID of the control.

3. Target the control with jQuery

The following is an example of targeting the control using jQuery syntax:

$j('#' + cid).slideDown('normal');

*Note: I used this solution with my current installation of DNN, which
is 4.9. Version 5.0 has native jQuery support, which may change some of
these steps.

Integrating a Blog with an Existing CMS

I recently finished a project for a client whose site was built on the DotNetNuke CMS. He wanted to integrate a blog into his site, so I was faced with three choices:

  1. Find a suitable blog module for DotNetNuke
  2. Write a DNN blog module from scratch
  3. Find another blog platform and use it alongside the CMS

After failing to locate a blog module that I thought would satisfy the client, and not having the budget to write one from scratch, I was left with one choice. However, the next challenge presented itself. Since the visitor already has a login to the CMS site, it would be nice if they didn’t also have to login to the blog. This was going to require some custom coding, so the chosen blog platform had to expose a robust API. WordPress looked like it had all the answers. Now that I had the two platforms, the challenge was to get them to talk to each other.

The WordPress API includes functions for creating new users and logging them in. So the plan was to develop a WordPress plugin that would automatically check who the current CMS user was, register them with the blog if necessary, then log them in. WordPress would know who was logged in by checking a cookie stored by the CMS.

The following diagram illustrates the main components of the solution:

Blog and CMS
Blog and CMS

I would like to point out a couple items of interest with this solution:

  1. Cookies are only able to be read by code within the same domain. Therefore, you would not be able to use this method if your CMS was at and the blog was hosted at, say,
  2. Once the user clicks the blog link at the CMS, the cookie is stored for the blog’s use. If the user was visiting the site on a shared computer, you would not want another user to visit the blog and be automatically logged in as the previous user. Therefore, the cookie expires at the end of each user’s session.

If anyone else has had to tackle something similar to this, or have other ideas on how this could have been accomplished, I would love to hear from you.