About this DNN Module
Design Idea for this modules lends its self to displaying a range of information form news to event and general announcements, the inspiration to this module was to replicate and enhance the functionality of one our most visited information portals. Bink.nu. Bink is a site we have been reading regularly for many years. It is the most reliable Microsoft Product News portal on the Internet. Visit them at http://bink.nu to see the site that inspired this module. (Thanks too to Bink for all his work over the years!)
Who would this module appeal to? It's too easy to say everyone, as that is not entirely true. However the vast majority of our experience shows that most typical web sites have (or should have) dynamic content. That is to say, content that is updated regularly and aimed to specific users of the site. This module achieves this beautifully. Categories, subcategories and even sub sub categories allow you to group information towards groups of readers. The creation of a post of information is easy, yet the management of that information can be set by date, archive date, deletion date, files attached and the category it finds it's self.
We have found that our clients include Club, and Associations, Schools all the way through to small business. Anyone who want to keep an easily managed dynamic web site.
What's New? The module! Well not entirely... the module has been in use by our clients for some time now. It is really only new to the DNN community as a public release. The major reason for our delay in releasing this module to the community is that we find ourselves busy, and did not want to release it to the public until we had correctly prepared the support services for the module. They are in place now and we are ready to sell and support this excellent product.
Feature Highlights It is not easy to list all of the features, however we will try to list the major product features below.
Great Looking Now Skin-able
Have a look at our sample site running the module, you will agree that we have put some effort into ensuring that the site module runs clean for a professional and customized appearance. See the Example Page
Small and Fast Even though the module is feature rich, we have worked hard to keep the ASP.NET 2 code to a minimum. This along with some intelligent by designing concepts means the module will run fast on DNN. A change of view will not require a refresh to the entire page.
Small PA File Size - Well designed and Fast.
Categories and Sub / Sub Sub Categories Announcements can be categorized into categories, sub categories and sub sub categories This can allow you to keep announcements in either a general area or a very specific area for the viewers of your site.
Categories and Icons.
Categories and can be Skinned Globally or individually
. We have included this much requested feature of skinning of the module. The entire look and feel can be changed to work with your website. Easy to manage and easy to replicate into categories.
Easy Menu for Management.
Look and Feel Skinning
Management using global defaults makes it easy.
Categories can be Removed / Turned off
. Again another requested feature, the category menu can be removed from view. Leaving only a clean announcement area visible.
Announcement Icon Icons Categories
have the options of having associated icons. This is designed to allow the reader of the announcements to become familiar with the areas of interest to them, and navigate quickly to the relevant information. The icons are uploaded as image files of any standard web image format including, .png .gif .jpg etc.
Category and Icon
Auto Archive Announcements are set with an automatic archive date. Once an announcement reaches this date, it moves from the publicly viewable area into a holding area (archive) before being deleted from the system. The auto archive dates are able to be set automatically or manually. They encourage the site administrator to keep fresh relevant data on the web site. while having a period of time to retrieve information before it is deleted.
Admin Auto Archive Settings
Auto Delete Announcements that have moved from the public area into the Archive Area are automatically deleted from the site (including attachments) once the "Delete Date" is reached. This date is automatically set for a specific time after the archive date, and like the archive date, can be manually set to any date. The time period between the archive date and the delete date is designed to give the administrator a second chance to retrieve articles before they are removed completely from the system.
Admin Auto Delete View
Search built into DNN
AnnounceIT interacts accurately with the in built DNN search functions. We spent some time ensuring that this module would be correctly indexed by the DNN search engine. The entire contents of each post will be added to the DNN search index. Returned results will have a valid URL to allow people to click directly to the announcement. See our search example page here.
Permissions that interact correctly with DNN As with the search function, the DNN member management interacts accurately with this module. This ensures for example that a member group can be created to allow edit access to this module alone. This facilitates the handing over of announcements to a staff member who does not have access to edit any other area of the site. The member permissions work correctly with the search feature too. If a user does not have access to this module, DNN search will not display the search results to this module.
Easy to Change It is easy to add and change categories. Change or remove icons. Change Category Order, or move an announcement from one category to another. The manipulation of information is easy. The creation of information and categories is easy.
Admin category management view.
- Print Enabled - The module includes the ability to turn on or off a print feature.
This enables a print icon at the bottom of each announcement.
User Print View
RSS News Feed Ready
- The module interacts with the DNN RSS Syndicate feature. This enables you to feed the content of the announcements posted directly into any RSS ready application. See an example of the AnnounceIT Example feeding into a DNN RSS Module - Click Here
Manage Archived and Scheduled Announcements
. Anyone with Administrator access can manage items in 1 of 3 areas.
- Items created but not visible to the public yet. You can change the scheduled date to move an item to the Active area, or wait for this to happen automatically.
- Items created that are active and accessible to the selected member role. (usually the public)
- Items that have been active, but have reached their archive date. This is a holding area where you can retrieve items before they are deleted. Like a recycle bin, however items are automatically moved from active to archive when their archive date is reached.
Admin view of areas of management.
- File Attachments in Announcements. - Each announcement can have files attached to it. For example, you might make an announcement about a new product and attach a .pdf file to support the new product. Or you may make an announcement of financial results and attach an Excel spreadsheet for viewing.
This is the user view of an attachment.
File Attachment Security - One of the issues we encountered with DNN was the file security with attachments uploaded to our module. We found that although you may secure the announcement module to "Members Only". The attached files were not secured under DNN. We avoided loading file attachments to the sql database, as this caused issues with large files, and sites running IIS compression. To overcome this we have included the ability to "hide" the URL's of attached files. This feature ensures that a user with access to the announcements cannot share the URL of an attachment to a member of the public. This ensures that the entire content and attachments remain secured. Naturally this feature can be turned off if desired.
- Now we have included the ability to sort the contents categories and the primary display view in any of the following ways:
- Date Created
- Active Date
- Title text
- Summary text
- User Defined Order (for .38)
Sort Management Menu
Summary text with HTML
Check out our Update Policy.