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Application Upgrades, July 15, 2018

By: Daniel Martin-Mills | Published: 7/19/2018

Home Page for Administrator
Home Page for Administrator

We just added a feature that allows authorized users to post articles to this site!


That may seem ho-hum, since every basic website has that feature. What makes this different is that we wrote and own the code that performs the operations.


For a time we worked to incorporate a free content management system, CMS, lilke WordPress or the one the Weebly site offers. The main problem with this approach is that any CMS is precompiled and cannot be customized to work seamlessly with a different application. It’s all or nothing, take it or leave it.


Working outside the narrow confines of the CMS would require two applications, with separate login screens and associated authentication/authorization programs, separate color schemes, and disconnected resource locations, like files/images/code projects and libraries.


I’ve been through this before, given up, and written my own CMS for whatever specific job a particular app needed. But I've never done it for an ASP.NET MVC application, like this one. That means that I had no code laying around that I could just copy and reuse. That is probably why I let myself forget past experience and tried again to implement some CMS or blog app that somebody else wrote and compiled.


Note: there is no code to be found in a precompiled application such as Weebly or WordPress. Although it may be true that a code editor exists for WordPress, it only work when you own the server that hosts the application. We host our application on Godaddy servers. This makes sense for a number of reasons, but limits what we can do with the machines.


Back to the point: authorized users can now publish articles to this site. Articles of a certain type will be highlighted for a time from the splash page.


Who are authorized users? How does one become authorized to publish articles?


Currently anybody with “Administrator” status can publish articles. Administrators can modify or “delete” anybody’s articles. “Deleted” articles continue to exist, but with a “status” field value changed to make them inaccessible. The screenshot above shows what the Admin Home Page looks like, with the button there for Articles.


The Communications Manager has a similar bank of buttons, although not as many, and can create, modify, publish, and “delete” articles that he/she has authored.


Currently, one other GP-MI member has been authorized to create/modify/publish/ and “delete” articles that he has authored. His homepage does not include buttons because his only “roles” are “Local Contact Person” and now “Article Editor”. After logging in, he has extra buttons in his navigation bar at the top.


Home Page for Authenticated User
Home Page for Authenticated User


If you or someone you know is interested in publishing articles to this site, please contact me directly or through any of the MI-GP officers. We can make that happen!


Another recent feature allows authorized users to add/modify/delete the images that scroll across the banner at the top of the Splash Page. Currently only those with Administrator status have access, but if you would like access to this feature, contact me directly or through another GP-MI officer. Here is a link to a list of the GP-MI Officers