Simple CMS New Release Version 0.9.60908.1

A newer version of Simple CMS has just been released. The only significant change to Simple CMS is that it now supports sessions. This means that if you have a masterpage you are using with Simple CMS, you may now use the Session object in that masterpage file.

How to enable Session State with HttpHandlers
This was an interesting problem, because there isn't a page object in the normal sense of file with aspx as its extension. Normally one can just add enableSessionState = true at the top of the file. In order to achieve this with HttpHandlers you will need to implement System.Web.SessionState.IRequiredSessionState or System.Web.SessionState.IReadOnlySessionState. To do this you simply add one of these as if you are inheriting from a class.

In my case I use an HttpHandlerFactory, so I specified this for the created handler, and not the factory.

Simple CMS Released

    After much anticipation, I am sure, from my zealous readers, I offer to you Simple CMS. This is a simple content management system, hence the name, which plugs into existing applications. This ASP.NET 2.0 plug-in is not meant to be a full blown application. This is for someone who has a site, and wants to easily add content to the site. With Simple CMS you can through a web interface create content for you pages, and control the addresses of these pages within your site.

    Simple CMS is currently in Beta, but support will be offered most prominently through the Simple CMS Forum, which is also where I would like people to let me know of any features they would like to see in later versions. I already know of some large changes I plan to make for future versions of Simple CMS.

    I hope you enjoy Simple CMS, and you can expect some articles to be written and posted on about how I made Simple CMS. I will probably write these as separate articles about interesting and useful topics I employed in the creation of my content management system. If you think Simple CMS is cool, you should also check out this Cache Manager on which Simple CMS is loosely based. It is a very useful little tool.

    Steve Smith did a nice release post for Simple CMS yesterday, so rather than duplicate the content I will just link to his post.

    Thanks for reading my Blog. Keep reading it and maybe you will get a free cookie, but you probably won’t.

My Review of one of AppDev's training courses

    Don’t worry. I am still around, and I have just written my review of AppDev’s Professional Training via DVD-ROM course called Microsoft® Visual C#® 2005: Developing Applications. It was a very good course, and I would recommend it to others. My review is called Review: AppDev Visual C# 2005: Developing Applications. To write the article, all I had to do was go to ASP and click on the link entitled Write for Us. From there I was able to submit a request for the article. It was accepted shortly afterwards, and I soon after started writing the article by following their set of article guidelines. For those of you who read my blog, expect to read more of my articles on ASP Alliance.

Embedded Resources not so painful anymore.

    Well after a frustrating time trying to figure out how to make embedded resources work, I finally understand. This makes everything much easier. As some of you may know I have been working on a content management tool. (This is not a full blown content management system) Since it is designed to be portable to existing ASP.NET web sites, it is just a dll file. Even though it uses a couple of images, I don’t want anyone to have to copy image files just to get the app working correctly.

    To accomplish this I decided to use embedded resources, something I had never done before. Starting out I fumbled a lot trying to figure out how to display these, bad idea. Well I started googling for a solution to my problem, and I tried doing what Microsoft said to do. Following what they said to do got me nowhere, and left me a bit more confused. The site makes many assumptions about what I all ready know. Since I did not know these things, I took some guesses. Sadly incorrect ones. I think the authors of those resources need to learn the value of a hyperlink. It would allow them to reference old material so I could learn what they assume I know.

    After reading that I had a better reference to start googling. I started looking for the GetWebResourceUrl method, and this led me to other web sites, which had some better explainations. At first I went to an article on codeproject explaining how to access embedded image resources. This was much better than the previous one I read, but I still could not get this one working right. My example didn’t quite fit with what they did, and they didn’t explain each part of the process.The problem is that even if I had incorrect code in my file, GetWebResourceUrl still returned a url that looked like it was supposed to. Again I needed to find something to get this working, or I would have to go back and start writing a lot of code I did not want to write.

    So I tried another link I found on google, and this article on Embedding Resources in ASP.NET 2.0 Assemblies explained to me very well how to get my embedded resources working. It explicitly told me where each part of code belonged It mentioned some specifics I might need that were not even part of that example. Not only that but it had more than one type of embedded resource that it accessed. If you are ever trying to use embedded resources I recommend it, but I suggest reading this article first. I may have to start reading more articled written by Mark Hines. If you are interested in this topic, I suggest reading this article as well Embedding Resources in ASP.NET 2.0 Assemblies - Part 2.

Caching made easier with a cache manager

   I recently added caching to my Content Management System. Since I am no caching expert I wanted to make sure I had created the functionality that I wanted to make. I wanted to ensure durations were as I expected, and wanted to make sure that items were cached when they should be and removed when they shouldn’t be cached anymore. I could have changed the program to debugging mode and debugged the code. I could also have added code to check and see the values of the cache object at certain times, but I found a much easier solution.

   I found that by adding this Cache Manager plug-in to my site I was able to quickly and easily check at any moment what was in the cache. All it took to add this to my site was copying this file into my bin folder, and copying a line of code into my web.config file. Since I was just using this while debugging the application there was no need to worry about the optional security on the cache manager. When I was done setting up the caching, I simply removed the dll file and the line of code from my web.config file.

   I recommend checking out that cool little plug-in if you are doing any work with caching. I plan to use that tool any time I am working with caching on any ASP.NET web site. I like things that make my job easier.