DotNetNuke (DNN) content management system enables you to quickly build and edit websites using only your web browser. Its website’s consists of pages and modules. A page is where site content is displayed and is made up of one or more modules. A module depicts functionality to be added on a page. Modules inbuilt in DNN include Text, Table, Events, Picture, and Links among others. Other modules can be found from the community and developer’s web forums, blogs etc. Suppose you have an existing website designed in a different framework of which you want to transfer its content to a DNN framework. How are you going to do it?  Let us provide the solution by looking into MSSQL database. It is commonly used to store content in DNN website, so let’s take it as our example. For legacy database, it contains hundreds of tables, procedures, views, etc. so it may not be practical to transfer everything from it into a DNN database (MSSQL). Furthermore, it is not practical to build the DNN database within the legacy database.

The best thing to do in this case is define the database connection string via a reference in web configuration. The legacy database will co-exist with the DNN database and accessed through the DNN site.  You may be having an existing website but want to switch its content over to DNN site to be used as a base for providing portal functionality. Most sites designed using DNN framework are workflow applications but major parts of the site are heavily loaded. This calls for update of certain groups of users with specific security roles. Remember that during the update, all HTML logic is to be replaced with .NET code.

This task of migrating content from a different framework website to a DNN website requires you have skills of a developer. A developer is able to write scripts, which is useful in executing the above mentioned tasks of transferring data to a DNN site. A developer will write scripts or codes to enable importation of data. To a certain extent, this task can be described as initial hands on job of copying and pasting information. One must make sure the copying and pasting is done the right way without copying the previous format of an existing website. The point is, it’s the content only that should be copied but not the original look.

To transfer the original look and feel of an existing website to a DNN website, knowledge of DNN architecture, skin concepts and experience in DNN CSS is required. You must get a development environment setup, copy the content and add the pages. The important thing here is to provide layout using the default skin scheme, then you add modules later on to preserve the existing site’s original look and feel.