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DNN's Client-Side Resource Manager Not Working for You? Here Are Some Tips

I recently had some trouble getting DotNetNuke's new Client-Side Resource Management to work.  Here are a couple of hints that I figured out.
DotNetNuke's new API for client-side resource management (CRM) that comes as part of DNN 6.1 is a wonderful thing because it addresses a key weakness of the platform: the proliferation of javascript (JS) and cascading style sheet (CSS) files that is inherent in the system which slows down web browser rendering. The proliferation of these client-side resource files is due to the extensible nature of DNN. DotNetNuke modules, DNN skins, and DotNetNuke containers can be dynamically added to an installation and pulled into a page according to the needs of the content administrators. Each of these extensible entities (i.e. the modules, the skins, and the containers) therefore brings its own entourage of JS and CSS files to the party. It's not uncommon to see DNN pages that require dozens of separate JS and CSS files, each requiring a separate call from the browser to the server and each degrading performance, bit by bit.

So, as I said: this new API is a wonderful thing because it can bundle all these disparate files into combination files that save trips to the server. It also handles compression and server-side caching, so it enhances performance in several ways...if you can only get it to turn on.

I had some difficulty getting it to work because I missed a couple of key things. Luckily, they are both easy to address:

Make Sure You're Not in Debug Mode
Check your web.config.  If your compilation mode is set to debug, then the CRM won't work.  You want to see this:
<compilation debug="false" strict="false">

Use Ian Robinson's CRM Module
I initially tried to make the necessary web.config adjustments through the DNN configuration manager utility. I mistakenly thought that this enabled all of the necessary features to combine JS and CSS files, but this was not the case. Ian's module is free and easy to use, and it very clearly shows you what is turned on and off.  Download it and use it.

Further Reading: The wiki

And just in case you're wondering ... now that I've gotten the CRM to work, we'll be putting some effort into making sure our DNN modules are compatible with it.

Comments (2)

DotnetNuke CMS
Thank you for the post Very informational and educational. <a href=""> DotnetNuke CMS </a>
12/6/2013 12:36 AM
Thank you for the post Very informational and educational.
12/6/2013 12:35 AM
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