16 Dec

Sitefinity – The unboxing experience

This blog post is about my experience trying Sitefinity CMS for the first time. It’s always good to take a look at other applications and how they do things differently. Today I came across an advertisement for this particular CMS. Being able to work with and extend an existing CMS in C# and with all those cool features like EF, MVC sounded like an awesome new thing to learn and almost exactly aimed at me. I’ll try to document the most important impressions and steps while trying it out. A bit like an unboxing video on youtube if you like.

sitefinity_ad

Sitefinity facebook ad

 

Fist I signed up for a free one month trial and downloaded the essentials. The installation of the SDK and files ran smooth even though the download of 400 MB took a while with my Cambodian connection. Sitefinity is conveniently installing a demo application called “Default”.

 

init_error_demo

Initialization Error.

 

When navigating to the application, the browser tells me that setup is running some initialization and then suddenly: 1 error(s).

 


 

At least there’s a clear error message. But because I’m lazy I will just try to setup another application and see if the problem still exists. So I go to the “Sitefinity Project Manager” and select “Create New Project”. From here the process is very easy. Just select a name and folder to create my new “GardenGnomeBlog”. After the project is created, I right click and select “Browse” which launches a browser and gets me to the setup screen. Nice.

Sitefinity Project Manager

Sitefinity Project Manager

Database Setup

Database Setup

I select Microsoft SQL Express Server and click continue. Next it shows me a familiar error screen with the message that I am not allowed to connect to this MySQL server.
sitefinity_mysql_error

MySql Error

Didn’t I just select that I want SQL Express Server?  The file path of this config says that the problem is located under c:\windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework64\v4something so it seems that this is just because of my machine configuration and not really Telerik’s fault. Aha, blamed Sitefinity too early. Apparently my machine.config has an entry for a sitemap provider called MySqlSiteMapProvider.  Not really sure how it ever got in there and I definitely didn’t put it in there on purpose. After commenting out that line in my machine.config, I’m trying again. This time I start the server, it says it is initializing again and shows some turning wheels but nothing ever happens from there. After 3 minutes I decide to scrap this installation and try again. So enter the name, choose the database type, add some login details and voilà, it worked.
Now I am presented with the kind of dashboard I was expecting.
sitefinity_installdone

Finally, Sitefinity runs and is ready for a test drive.

Here I conclude this first blog post about Sitefinity CMS after the installation was completed and I got a first project up and running. I’m curious what’s next and will definitely try out some features and maybe even try to develop my own module in the future.