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Current Multi-blog enabling LINQ to SQL BlogEngine.NET Provider. (Updated 3/12/10)

I have been asked for this code so that we can share the multi-blog solution that has been working for me for almost a year now.  This is the time to check it out and help make it work for yourself and others.  I’m going to continue to “dog food” this here.  Current version of BlogEngine.NET supported by this provider, as of this post, is 1.6.0.3.  Although I need to update my own site(s) from 1.6.0.1.

 

How will I update?

Mine is easy.  Drop in the new DLLs.

If I do a code “diff” and find the Web code to have changed recently (which I’m sure it did) I will copy those specific files to the Web folder.

 

How do you update from a cleanBlogEngine.NET 1.6.0.3code base?
  1. You should download the latest BE.NET code from codeplex and create a folder for the solution. 
  2. Extract the code from the zip into your solution folder. (…and follow the directions for setting up a stand-alone SQL Server Blog)
  3. Copy and unzip the BlogEngine.Linq2SQL.3-12-10.zip folder into the solution folder with the Core and Web projects.
  4. Add an existing Project to the solution, select the BlogEngine.Linq2Sql project.
  5. Verify the References (to project “BlogEngine.Core”)
  6. Add a reference to “BlogEngine.Linq2SQL” from the “BlogEngine.NET” Web site.
  7. Change Target Framework on BlogEngine.NET Web site to “.NET Framework 3.5
  8. Execute the SQL build script “Linq2SqlUpdate.sql” to add schema to support Multi-Blogs.
    • Make sure to run against the Database you created in Step 2.
  9. Assuming you are using the correct connection string, modify the Web.Config
    • blogProvider, membership, roleManager
    • See: Web.Config.xml

For those who like pictures to verify what you’re doing, here are a couple.  I’d rather have an installer but I’m not quite there yet.

Step 3:

Step3

Step 4:

Step4a Step4b Step4c

Step 5:

Step5

Step 6:

Step6 Step6b

Step 7:

Step7

Step 9:

1: <BlogEngine>
2: <blogProvider defaultProvider="Linq2SqlBlogProvider">
3: <providers>
4: <add name="Linq2SqlBlogProvider" type="BlogEngine.Linq2SQL.Linq2SqlBlogProvider, BlogEngine.Linq2SQL" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
5: <add name="XmlBlogProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.XmlBlogProvider, BlogEngine.Core"/>
6: <add name="DbBlogProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.DbBlogProvider, BlogEngine.Core" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
7: </providers>
8: </blogProvider>
9: </BlogEngine>
10:
11:
12: <membership defaultProvider="LinqMembershipProvider">
13: <providers>
14: <clear/>
15: <add name="LinqMembershipProvider" type="BlogEngine.Linq2SQL.LinqMembershipProvider, BlogEngine.Linq2SQL" passwordFormat="Hashed" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
16: <add name="XmlMembershipProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.XmlMembershipProvider, BlogEngine.Core" description="XML membership provider" passwordFormat="Hashed"/>
17: <add name="SqlMembershipProvider" type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider" connectionStringName="BlogEngine" applicationName="BlogEngine"/>
18: <add name="DbMembershipProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.DbMembershipProvider, BlogEngine.Core" passwordFormat="Hashed" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
19: </providers>
20: </membership>
21: <roleManager defaultProvider="LinqRoleProvider" enabled="true" cacheRolesInCookie="true" cookieName=".BLOGENGINEROLES">
22: <providers>
23: <clear/>
24: <add name="LinqRoleProvider" type="BlogEngine.Linq2SQL.LinqRoleProvider, BlogEngine.Linq2SQL" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
25: <add name="XmlRoleProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.XmlRoleProvider, BlogEngine.Core" description="XML role provider"/>
26: <add name="SqlRoleProvider" type="System.Web.Security.SqlRoleProvider" connectionStringName="BlogEngine" applicationName="BlogEngine"/>
27: <add name="DbRoleProvider" type="BlogEngine.Core.Providers.DbRoleProvider, BlogEngine.Core" connectionStringName="BlogEngine"/>
28: </providers>
29: </roleManager>

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BlogEngine.NET Core Version 1.5.1.31 is running on this server as of this Post.

ref: (Waiting for a Minor Release of BlogEngine.NET with MultiBlog)

 

I based my implementation on SqlBlogProvider, but since it was out of synch with BlogEngine.NET I had a dilemma.  My biggest complaint about BlogEngine.NET if I had any at all was the fact that sometimes changes come at a snails pace.  This is not to say that you can’t find a new build there every other day, but that the major enhancements I want don’t always take, or in the case of MultiBlogs, the most popular enhancement to date, is completely ignored.  Once Jacob Proffitt created a solution, I figured it would be rolled into BlogEngine.NET.

OK, so I was Way off on this one. So here’s a strategy:

  • Get the latest BlogEngine.NET code and use it as a baseline. (1.5.1.31)
  • Get the latest SqlBlogProvider code and ditto. (27978)
  • Make sure to upgrade Everything to .NET 3.5
  • Modify the SQL Database Schema to include Blog and Host tables, and BlogDataStoreSettings
  • and add BlogId columns where necessary.
  • Recreate the DBML for the new schema.
  • remove references to multiblog="true" because they don’t matter anymore.
  • Simplify and verify.

OK, done!!!  Now what?

I have a set of Blogs running an older version of everything and now I have a new schema.  Also, I have new capabilities and only a SQL script to modify or add new blogs.  It is simple but always required modifications before running.

  • Windows Form, new simple DBML for required tables…because the Provider model is too complex,
  • and Done.

Oh, and I needed a migration tool and some more fun with Linq to SQL, so I created a one-off migration tool with a useless UI that could be done from a command line, but I thought I might need more.

And, it’s running now!!!

 

BlogEngine.NET code is now at version 1.5.1.39 (change set 31351)

 

Now I have to isolate changes, bug fixes, enhancements I want and implement…but this is the exact scenario I want to avoid.

  • Do I create a Branch that uses most of BlogEngine.NET?
  • Should I start over?

I think the best option is to start a new core based on current or future technology and leave behind what can be upgraded.  Linq, Entity Framework, WCF, Silverlight 4, .NET 4.0 can be used much more.  MVC can become a solid base for the UI, maybe. This is not a hard nut to crack, and get’s easier with time and new technology.  The hardest part about using BlogEngine.NET today is that it takes longer to fix than to build again from scratch.

It’s time for a new architecture.  I’m glad I didn’t create one myself a few years ago when BlogEngine.NET was introduced, but I will be happy when I can safely deploy a new version based on those principles.

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This is a thread from BlogEngine.NET on CodePlex. (Multiple blogs on same installation

I would like to see the current dev plan, if it exists yet.  If I knew we/they/you were going to use SqlBlogProvider, and even integrate it into the core, I would like to help.  If there was also a way to allow multiple blogs within a single application, that would be great too.  Should everyone just create a new branch?

If we don't know the future plans, dates, implementation, etc., we're stuck deciding whether to wait or risk going forward with an alternative branch and missing out.  Communication would be good.  I may be missing something.  I've stated recently that I spend more time modifying current BE.NET code than I ever do Blogging and I have over a dozen blogs.  1.5.1.22 is currently stable, from my perspective with SqlBlogProvider supporting all of those blogs on a single folder, with a single SQL database and schema.  The only (minor) issue is still creating multiple Web Applications and pointing them to the same folder.  I can live with that on an 8-way server with 2 GB of RAM.

It’s related toMultiple blogs in one BlogEngine.NET instanceandBlogEngine.Net for SQL Server

The concern here is complex, balancing need, want and political correctness.  But it doesn’t need to be this way.  I’m more afraid of pissing-off the folks who have put so much into this project than I am of whether or not I can build a system from scratch so I don’t want to say what I’m thinking.  Hey, if I had the time, or could work with “you folks” I’d want to contribute towards a cleaner architecture, test methods (not that I’m the expert in that), and MVC version, even contribute the Oracle portion of data model and db provider.  But overall, I’d like to see a plan.  I’m most concerned about waiting for people who are deciding on things without customers’ input, frankly because we aren’t customers.  Nobody’s paying for this.  So, you get what you pay for, right?!?!  Not quite.  There’s an incredible value in this product, and for the developer in us, there’s even room for learning by fixing, altering and improving.

The point is, I feel useless in the process and could contribute substantially to the process.  I’d hate to say BlogEngine.NET needs “new” blood, because I think it just needs more time, as in planning and development effort.

If anyone is interested in contributing to this effort, but has been shut out, let me know if you want to go down the branch path together.  I’m not against trying something and dropping it in the future for the right reasons or sticking with it if it adds even incremental value, or for that matter, starting from a completely different approach.

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If you have a SQL Express 2005 installation with SQL Management Studio express installed these four commands will do a silent upgrade to 2008.

SQL Server Express

First extract the contents of the SQL Express download into a directory.

        SQLEXPRWT_x86 /EXTRACT
(or whatever .exe you downloaded.)

Install Windows Installer 4.5 and Windows Powershell.

Then remove SQL Tools 2005
        msiexec /quiet /Uninstall {58D379F7-62BC-4748-8237-FE071ECE797C}

Remove Management Studio
        msiexec /quiet /Uninstall {20608BFA-6068-48FE-A410-400F2A124c27}

Ugrade the SQL Engine.
        SETUP.EXE /QUIET /ACTION=upgrade /INSTANCENAME=SQLExpress

Install Management Studio 2008 Express
        SETUP.EXE /QUIET /ACTION=Install /FEATURES=Tools /INSTANCENAME=SQLExpress

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