January 2018 : Instructor-led Online Course in ASP.NET Core 2.0. Conducted by Bipin Joshi. Read more...
Registration for January 2018 batch of ASP.NET Core 2.0 instructor-led online course has already started. Conducted by Bipin Joshi. Register today ! Click here for more details.

Untitled 1

Book Review: Community Server Quickly

Book Summary


(Click to purchase)
  • Title: Community Server Quickly
  • Author: Anand Narayanaswamy
  • Level: Beginner
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing
  • Pages: 283
  • Rating: 4 of 5

 

Review

Few years back when I downloaded Community Server for the first time, one thing I strongly desired was proper documentation. Over the period of time Community Server is becoming more and more popular, mature and feature rich.  Anand Narayanaswamy's Community Server Quickly is here to teach you to install, administer and customize this suite of collaboration tools.

The book is divided into 11 chapters. Chapter 1 to 6 introduce you to the basic feature set of Community Server whereas Chapters 7 to 11 discuss administration and customization.

Chapter 1 introduces you with the Community Server product including its editions and future releases. It also includes a brief comparison with DotNetNuke.

Chapter 2 talks about system requirements, downloading and installing the Community Server 2.0. Community Server can be installed using two options viz. MSI based installer and Web installer. Both of  these options are discussed in this chapter. Many people will be installing it on remote servers provided by ISPs or central server room. It would have been better if remote installation issues or steps have been discussed in detail.

Chapter 3 discusses Community Server based Blogs. It covers topics such as creating a blog, managing comments, applying blog settings, RSS and so on. This chapter should make you comfortable with all the frequently needed blog operations.

Community is becoming a key word for companies. To that end a feature rich discussion forum plays an important role in building a successful community. Chapter 4 takes you through all the intricacies of creating and managing discussion forums.

A photo speaks for thousand words. Photo albums are common place to share fun events and happenings. Community Server allows you to create albums (formally called as galleries in CS) of photos as well as files. Working of these albums is the subject matter of Chapter 5.

Community Server comes with an inbuilt RSS feed aggregator and Blog roller. These small but useful tools are discussed in Chapter 6.

Any community will have its own users and any user oriented web site calls for membership and role based security. Chapter 7 talks about user registration, role management, moderating user activity and profiles. I would have expected some "words of wisdom" explaining good practices for user management as a whole.

Community Server is a highly customizable product. To begin with Chapter 8 covers basic customization tasks such as changing themes, home page and working with modules. It also explains use of FreeTextBoxWrapper control as a rich text editor.

Continuing customization further Chapter 9 deals with all sorts of settings. The settings include general site settings such as description, time zone to contact information to RSS syndication to email settings. There are dozens of settings involved and an example demonstrating use of typical settings would have been useful.

Tracking errors in the system and user activity are important jobs of an administrator. Community Server provides extensive reporting on exceptions and site activity. These features are covered in Chapter 10.

You may wish to implement licensing, SPAM protection and Censorship rules for your web site. These features are tedious to implement manually. Thankfully CS comes with many such features and they are covered in Chapter 11. Disallowing certain names, ad management, censored words, blocking SPAM messages, banning an IP address and more are covered here.

Appendix A discusses in brief about deploying Community Server. In my opinion it could have been made more useful by pointing out common mistakes, hosting issues and recommendations.

Overall I would call this book as a very good introduction to administrating Community Server based web sites. If you are an administrator looking to become up and running  with this product suite quickly then this book can certainly help you.

 


Bipin Joshi is a software consultant, an author and a yoga mentor having 22+ years of experience in software development. He also conducts online courses in ASP.NET MVC / Core and Design Patterns. He is a published author and has authored or co-authored books for Apress and Wrox press. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to interested individuals. To know more about him click here.

Get connected : Twitter  Facebook  Google+  LinkedIn

Posted On : 13 May 2007


Tags : Reviews