Community Server Quickly
PHP begat PHP Nuke, a portal Web site designed to lift the burden of supplying to overworked Webmasters a no-cost, highly functional content and file management, discussion group, photo album, and simple survey online poll collection system. The concept and source were ported to ASP.NET and begat DotNetNuke. Rather than regurgitate a known but somewhat constrained concept, Rob Howard evolved a similar modular design in .NET from a project called WebForums.NET. This new application eventually saw daylight as the Telligent Community Server. Currently working toward its third major point release, Community Server, available for download at http://communityserver.org, comes packaged in four flavors, ranging from free to a $10K Enterprise edition.
For those .NET developers and site managers interested in learning more about Community Server than just what Telligent s online market literature provides, author and fellow asp.netPRO/asp.netNOW contributor Anand Narayanaswamy offers in Community Server Quickly a step-by-step walkthrough of version 2.1 of the program, beginning with an assessment of features, pricing, and competitive alternatives. Chapter 2 walks through Community Server s setup and configuration. Blogs, forums, and galleries are covered in methodical detail in chapters 3, 4, and 5, respectively. A brief chapter on RSS delivery and consumption is followed by chapter 7, which covers user management. The remainder of the book s shorter chapters cover customization, settings, and reports, with the last chapter covering a potpourri of system tools like word filters, spam rulesets, URL redirects, mass e-mails, and IP address banning (to name a few).
The book closes with a three-page appendix on deploying Community Server on a commercial ISP s ASP.NET-enabled Web server. Unfortunately, there are no chapters on the deep internal underpinnings that drive Community Server, or examples of innovative techniques that can be used to integrate the product into previously deployed commercial or custom ASP.NET applications. Additionally, an appendix on high-traffic commercial sites using the software, and even a case study or interview with satisfied users, would have been helpful to set expectations of the real-world impact Community Server has to offer.
Generally, the book is well written, clear, and concise but somewhat weak on depth. It presents a generic walkthrough of the program s functions, much the way hand-holding manuals from the early 1990s did for many client applications. Consequently, experienced technical staff will find the book somewhat superficial and will be able to discover a majority of the content by simply installing Community Server on their own and spending half an hour acclimating with the product. The book is also pricey, given its limited audience and brief length especially after distilling down the large fonts for section headers. In fact, once reduced to its factual essentials, the book might even qualify for a lengthy README/FAQ file. Nevertheless, for those who prefer hand holding, as well as meticulous identification of every main feature, along with a brief description of each, Community Server Quickly delivers.
Title: Community Server Quickly
Author: Anand Narayanaswamy
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Page Count: 300