One of the challenges faced trying to scale and customise BlogEngine.Net was that the user administration pages were never designed for a large volume of registered users, as evidenced when one uses the administration pages. You’re basically stuck with just the first page listing of 50 or so with no way to access users beyond this number. This is definitely no good for a website carrying tens of thousands of registered users.
The initial idea I had was to try to port the ASP.Net Website configuration tool that Visual Studio has into my project. During research for this though, I found a link that helps you create your own Web Site Administration Tool in ASP.NET and this was quite easy to follow.
Continuing this research, since although easy to do I was not fond of reinventing the wheel especially if there existed a better wheel already, I found an article on ScottGu’s blog on an ASP.Net 2.0 Membership and Role Management Remote Admin Tool which sadly contained links to no longer existing 3rd party articles and seemed to dead-end this research.
Through more active Google searching though, I found what I was looking for, the ASP.Net WSAT (WebSite Administration Toolkit) – Membership Administration project. As icing on the cake, this project has recently released at updated .Net Framework 3.5 version which did far more than what I wanted, and looked quite mature and hence suitable to use.
The issue now was to integrate it properly with BlogEngine.Net’s structure, and this is where Sueetie came in. This movement is aimed at promoting online communities using .Net Open Source software. Their associated Codeplex project contained custom change code and instructions for integrating the WSAT project with BlogEngine.Net (along with several other nice integration solutions, such as a Media Gallery, Wiki and Discussion Forum also powered by .Net Open Source software.
So now it’s just to follow the guides, and hope for the best. There’s still a bit of work to be done, but thankfully nowhere near as much as building this from scratch!
Update 04-02-2009: For some reason the owner of the WSAT codeplex project closed it and removed all the download links. Just when I was about to start working on it!! I’ll attempt to contact the owner and see what this is all about, and whether or not he can re-release the downloads.
Update 05-02-2009: Having had no response from the project owner, and facing an impending deadline, I chose instead to use another, less pretty, ASP.Net Membership Administration solution published written by Dan Clem of 4 Guys from Rolla fame. It has less features than the removed ASP.Net WSAT project solution, but it will do the essentials of user management that were my initial goal.