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The cool people over at VisualSVN ( www.visualSVN.com) have given us a free open source license of their product.  I must say that its integration is solid and works well with Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.  All developers can get a free copy from us provided you do work.  Rahul informs me that we begin heavy work on Rainbow 2.1 next week.  I have been making a list of bugs that we will begin to attack such that we can get this release out of the door. 

 Alexey has also committed the updated resource files that Ill be testing.  Microsoft changed the framework on us so quickly in this department we had to go one by one and fix each reference.  Currently the most updated 2.0 release will install and upgrade but might have issues when the resource list is requested.  An example of this would be add user as the country list is asked for.  We should fixed this soon and push a new package but at least you can install/sample upgrade and use the portal for a user. 

Below our custom license :


I havent been able to write in my blog for a very long time and I do apologize.  Life it seems is hard...who knew?  Hopefully 2008 will be an easier life for me.  I have been mostly busy with being an Architect ( Im on my second contract where Im an Architect and its proving stressful) for the District of Columbia state gov't.  Im working on Web services and have learned some easy tips with security  ( mostly with WSE 3.0) and see the advantages of 3.0/3.5.

Where is Rainbow 2.1 you ask?  Thats a great question.  Currently, Im talking with the italians to see what they would like to do with rainbow.  Manu was having mixed thoughts but I got him to come back and commit to the project by Jan 08.  Miguel and I have done a lot of work behind the scenes and would hate to push that code only for the project to disband or be sold( I guess as a brand).  With Manu's promise, I have promised to bring out a 2.1 version of Rainbow which will specifically target .net 2.0-3.5.  Ive outlined this 2.1 version on my blog and between MGF, myself and a few developers, we have a solid version on the brink.  Once manu can  really commit, we can have his experience in doing releases.

 Furthermore,  HELLO Visual Studio 2008 came out today.  Well it came out to people who MS considers cool.  I got lucky and am a MSDN subscriber.  I also beta tested 2002/2003 versions of Visual Studio.  Ill be using Visual studio 2008 at my current gig to leverage the new framework additions ( mostly linq and updates to WCF/WF) to provide a better connected experience across our applications.  Ive provided a screenshot of the install.  Perhaps, Ill do a slackers overview for us bottom line developers.



Link to download : http://rainbow.googlecode.com/files/rainbow2.0.0.1881e.7z 

Install in  Detail : http://base.iocluster.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Install_Rainbow 

Online demo : http://www.ramseur.net/


     I released this 5 days ago and am ready to release this to the public.  We had about 1800 downloads before I deprecated the  test version.  Thanks to all who tried it.  This version is officially and should be the version of choice for rainbow.  It allows you to deploy the rainbow base production 1.6 code on the 2.0 framework to take advantage of the new 2.0 features.  There are only minor bugs ( mostly in modules as the 2.0 framework has changed a lot ) which should not raise a big issue.  We can start to attack these as the public reports them in the issue list.  I only found one strong one in XML as 2.0 doesnt like the 1.1 way of how the module use to work.  I got this module to work by hacking it and will work on a better fix before I submit it.  I updated all the readme and license files.  Please read these for information on install.  Install can be done with the basic 1.1 way however 2.0 offers some new ways.  You can now just open the solution file, set your connection string, and hit control - f5.  No more setting up IIS ( unless you want to deploy into production). You can also publish the site to make a pre-compiled version which can perform installs if youd like.  And lastly, you have the option of creating an mdf file in the app_data directory thereby creating a pre-installed version of rainbow.  You can then customize this version to be however youd like and re-deploy as needed.  Works well in a SQL Express environment as Ive found the other versions of 2005 dont like attach files.


In theory an update from to  In theory, this version could update your 1.6 databases.  You would simply have to download the code, extract it, point it to our db and it "should" update your db to .  I have done major test on fresh install and need help on the update efforts. 

Special thanks goes to Jose as he helped me with some issues.

Hey folks,


    The time has come.  Rahul and I have stepped up our plans for rainbow.  In Feb of 06, I first converted rainbow to 2.0.  However, Rahul and I kept a personal edt that was a straight port of the production 1.6 code.  We added some nice icons to help with UI and sold this version on iocluster.com to some select customers.  This is the same version that runs www.iocluster.com and source.iocluster.com.  Well we have decided to give this ( thats right straight to the google svn) to the community.  This is a production copy of rainbow 2.0 ( i repeat ..PRODUCTION) and has never had a major problem or gone down since I deployed it over a year ago.  All my major testing was first done with this version then applied to the new release that will be coming out. I will be recommending this version OVER RB 1.6 but by all means you can still use the .NET 1.1 version.

Shall I explain....  Alexey has already changed the version number of the soon to be released ( late summer) Rainbow 2.1 which will be a fully .NET 2.0 featured portal/CMS.  I will be releasing ( possibly tonight or tomorrow) the straight port of RB ( i believe f but I need to confirm).  Only a few things broke when I converted this version to 2.0.  Only 3 modules ( which I will review) and maybe a small minor thing here or there.  Let me remind users that this version DOES NOT support all the things that the .NET 2.0 featured version will.  It ONLY is a straight port of production 1.6 that runs on the 2.0 framework.  It runs pretty solidly and I beg thee to find problems with it so we can fix it.  I know there is a small issue with the XML/XSL module which I made a temp fix for since 2.0 does file directories differently ( i assume this is why since you pick the xsl from a file directory and it doesnt show up).  This version (  will be placed on google code SVN AND the binaries ( pre-compiled 2.0 version) and source will be avail.  The community developers will be on major focus on the 2.1 version as this is the .net 2.0 feature version.


Quick Review :

Sample sites : http://www.iocluster.com      http://source.iocluster.com

Release date : 06-08-2007 ( little leeway but as i said maybe be today)

Is basically an exact copy of RB 1.6 on the .net 2.0 framework

Can support ALL .NET 2.0 features

Is the version we used to create RB 2.1 beta 1 and future versions

DOES NOT IMPLEMENT  any 2.0 features but can be adapted to

Can in theory upgrade a 1.6 site if you swap your design and portals folder

Release date : 08-15-2007

The latest and greatest on the 2.0 framework.


ASPNETDB, Masterpages, Skins/themes , Rainbow projects have been broken up in to 13 projects and are compiled ( Rainbow.Framework.Security ) APIs, XHTML by default, use of partial classes, .NET 2.0 controls, tons of fixes/improvements, Installer



please stand by



**** Update ( 6-08-2007) ***

 My version is and I want to have it as that was the latest public release of Rainbow 1.6 on the .NET 1.1 framework.  As I see from the history.txt file, Dan made a cool fix to blank passwords in your profile.  Im currently coordinating with him to add this fix to my version.  I also would like to add the fix to Security.cs for Active directory that one of our community developers found.

**** Update ( 6-10-2007)

Im going to first upload the source to the google svn ( giving it to Alexey tomorrow).  This way we ( rainbow devs) can prep it for a good release.  Also anyone with an svn util can download and give it a test. 

 *** Update ( 6-19-2007)

I released this on google to rainbow devs only but its publically avail.  A new blog will be up soon.



This was a pretty simple change and I will put it on the svn soon and it will be in Beta 2.  I updated the FCK version and the FCK.NET control ( made it .net 2.0).  I deleted the two old veersions and made this the only one as its the most stable.  I didnt have to change the code much at all.  I added a ref to my new 2.0 control and swapped out directories.  Below  are screen shots.  I figure Id end the FTB issues ( that DNN is also having and replaced their control also) in rainbow and add a solid version of FCK.   The coolest thing is now you get all the benifits of the new version.  I higly recommend checking out www.fckeditor.net . Ill post updates on master pages as soon as I get something solid.  My focus is on www.csszengarden.com .


FCK in rainbow

   So UI is on my mind recently.  I mean how can you really use rainbow if you cant show it to the world or at least to your intranet users.  Often I run into small issues where things are out of wack or a module is rendered incorrectly.  Manu recently (yesterday) showed me a site he got working with Masterpages and having the rainbow sql backend.  This got me to thinking that it really isnt that hard to add the master page functionality to rainbow.  I have this as my top priority for Beta 2 ( closly tied with stablity).  I thought Id write how I plan on doing this. 

   Ive never been much of a UI guy myself.  I always left that up to Rahul.  In college, I kept telling myself that as long as I know ASP.NET, Ill be gold.  Unfortunately for me and fortunate for the rainbow project, Rahul was right in telling me that UI matters as much as functionality.  Its the very reason a lot of Rainbow's functionality is hidden because of poor UI or lack of a solid core module.  I just recently deployed the telerik Menu control in an enterprise application.  I hope to use this info to apply to adding a menu control ( and maybe a trial telerik menu hint hint) and master pages to rainbow. 

   My plan is simple.  Support master pages  AND the two current schemes ( which hopefully we can get rid of in the future due to this upgrade) of design in Rainbow ( classic and Zen).  Im starting with a copy of the default folder in DesktopLayouts.  This is where I can take advantage of ASPNETDB ( profile info) and add my menu control.  I then will proceed to add a master page file ( default rainbow ie classic or zen but still in a master page) for the old system and 1 for ASP.NET 2.0 Skins/Themes approach ( the one I prefer).

   Bottom line, a user should be able to create ANY master page and ANY theme and apply it to your master page to make a rainbow site look like anything.  Tis a mouth full..until my next update.  Comments on my approach?


Update :  With the below example and changing DesktopDefault.aspx Ive gotten MasterPages to work.


Some code from my master file:

<%@ Master Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeFile="Default.master.cs" Inherits="Design_MasterPages_Default" %>

<%@ Register Src="DesktopPortalBanner.ascx" TagName="DesktopPortalBanner" TagPrefix="uc1" %>

<%@ Register Src="DesktopThreePanes.ascx" TagName="DesktopThreePanes" TagPrefix="uc2" %>

<%@ Register Src="DesktopFooter.ascx" TagName="DesktopFooter" TagPrefix="uc3" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" >

<head runat="server">

<title>Rainbow Portal Master</title>



<form id="form1" runat="server">


<asp:contentplaceholder id="ContentPlaceHolder1" runat="server"><uc1:DesktopPortalBanner id="DesktopPortalBanner1" runat="server"> </uc1:DesktopPortalBanner></asp:contentplaceholder>

<asp:contentplaceholder id="ContentPlaceHolder2" runat="server"><uc2:DesktopThreePanes id="DesktopThreePanes1" runat="server" ></uc2:DesktopThreePanes></asp:contentplaceholder>

<asp:contentplaceholder id="ContentPlaceHolder3" runat="server"><uc3:DesktopFooter id="DesktopFooter1" runat="server" ></uc3:DesktopFooter></asp:contentplaceholder>






     Man you rainbow users are fast.  Google gave us more space so I uploaded the novell release of the .NET 1.1 ( ) Rainbow 2006 to google code organizing us more on only one svn.  Before I knew it, it had already been downloaded over 1000 times.  Please understand that this is the 1.1 code and not the 2.0 code.  However, Dan is doing a great job on admin of this project and now has his own area at google.  I urge you to yell on the list or get in touch with Dan Keckman  ( hope I spelled that right) if you want to help on the 1.1 code.  We now have a full concentrated effort over at google.  Please note this was the latest and greatest release I found and there have been some fixes after it over at google code.  You can go grab the code here.  The 1.1 code should be deployed in production over the 2.0 code as we are still in beta.  For instructions on how to install this 1.1 production code refer :





Thanks to Alexey for being bold to make our first wiki entry .  I have now followed suit and started to make wiki pages for the common questions I get by email ( dont hesistate to email me) and in the forums.  This wiki will always be up seeing how its hosted on Google and will be a lot more friendly to read/up to date then the old wiki system.  We also are cross-posting a lot of information to make for a better link of information. ( IE A user asks in the forums how to create a module and a wiki page is cross linked with that users common issues when he/she attempted to create a module).  With that being said, my first page involves the issues ive heard of and solved on Beta 1.  This page is featured on our google code page and will be updated as issues come in.


You can view my page here.

Try the Telerik Editor here.

    I had a great talk with the CEO's of telerik.  They informed me that their trials just show an ad every 30 requests and are the same assemblies as the up to date Telerik releases.  Ive started my first implementation of Telerik inside of rainbow.  I have easily added the Telerik RadEditor as an editor for Rainbow.  This means that any module that uses an editor can use the Telerik Rad Editor instead.  I am creating this version on our SVN.  The cool thing is that if you want to purchase a dev copy of telerik, all you have to do is replace the dlls in the rainbow /bin folder and voila.  You will have a full fledged ( without the ads) Telerik Version on your portal/application.  RadSpell comes auto inside the editor which allows easy to use Ajax spell checking.  It also inclused an XHTML checker for checking your Text/HTML for XHTML compliance.  Not too shabby.

 Below are a couple screen shots:



Update :  This shot shows the Web2.0 skin being used and improved use with apply changes only.

This issue actually affects anyone using validators in their applications that went from RC to the final.  With rainbow, thats exactly what we did and a user left a message in the forum that he would get errors trying to install rainbow.  I have found the fix and now rainbow can use the new special Ajax validators until MS releases a system.web patch.  I give credit to Jim Andrew for reporting the issue in our forums.  This just reaffirms our ASP.NET Ajax framework in Rainbow.

The two blog entrees below explain the fix and common issues with ASP.NET Ajax



To fix your beta 1 or ASP.NET Ajax app with this issue :

1.) Go grab the validators from Matt Gibbs  blog above

2.) Add a ref to Validators.dll

3.) Change the tag mappings to the new tag mappings in the pages section of Rainbow's web.config

4.) Recompile and rainbow will load like normal


Def by Beta 2 we will have this fixed so you will just install rainbow like normal.  We will also include the installer....





After I got this issue fixed, I started work on the installer and the Stater kit.  You can view an image of the new Staterkit here.


Now that we finally have some breathing room on a release, Rainbow admins/developers are discussing ways to improve Beta 2. Beta 2 is another blog discussion so Ill focus on Rewrite. I was surfing the web for a better wiki engine [ more on that later] and some how stumbled on to some information about .NET 2.0 rewrite. Of course this info is on Scott Guthrie’s blog and in turn is very trusted. Scott explains the different approaches of how to perform url rewriting. He goes over the advantages with my favorite being search engine optimization. To cut to the point, rainbow needs this badly. Im sure his rewrite module is faster and more lightweight then the one we currently use. It also has an easier web.config declarative approach of what url strings to rewrite.


Go check it out here.

Download the release from Google code: http://code.google.com/p/rainbow/


You can click on the featured download from the main page or click to the download page by the Downloads tab.



     Hello my fellow Rainbow community users.  Last night I put the final touches on a beta 1 release that I was working on with QA.    I finally believe that I’ve reached a point where the code is in a position to at least function like a beta.  The Beta was released under the Apache 2.0 license to ease license info with other third party components and because it plain rocks. 


     This release owes a great debt to the MGF team.  Jose did a great job and went out of his way to fix things and fine tune some of the most important parts of rainbow.   ASPNETDB is now fully integrated.  There are still some open issues that are documented in the README file along with a list of changes.


I invite you to test this release and report issues to: http://community.rainbowportal.net/forums/thread/13720.aspx


     If you have a Google account, you can report issues directly to us on Google.  However, I ask that you use this with caution and make sure your issue is not already listed.  I don’t even have to tell you how easy it is to search issues on Google.  You can test this out here:  http://code.google.com/p/rainbow/issues/list





I saw this being done with wordpress so I decided to test a sample with rainbow.  I copy/pasted the sample code [ according to the videos I liked] in Rainbow component modules and produced the Google Ajax functionality in Rainbow.  Instead of installing an addon [ like you must do for wordpress], rainbow usres may just copy/paste their code into Component modules to product a video bar of their favorite videos.

Link to my samples.
While checking my email today, I got :



A Hobbyist Renaissance is occurring within Microsoft and you are a major part of the reason why. Because so many of you downloaded and installed Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions, product groups within Microsoft now realize the power of this Renaissance and they want your feedback on new products, content and services.

To collect your feedback we have created the Enthusiast Developer Council, a fun and casual group made up of enthusiast developers like yourself who are willing to provide direct input to Microsoft product teams. As a member of the Council, you will help mold and shape new Microsoft offerings, gain first-hand exclusive access to unreleased technology, and ensure that we are creating the right products and services for you.


Im all for it.  I hope they select me... wish me luck.
    Ive been pretty busy proving how Rainbow can make money.  Its really a nice portal and Im just using a straight custom configured port of it.  The official Rainbow 2.0 will include an API System, XHTML 1.0 Traditional, Real module integration ( SubText [blogs], Community Server  [ nough said] , YAF[ option for forums], Wiki [ FlexWiki...i owe microsoft as Im an official open sourcer for FlexWiki which funny enough is owned by Microsoft.  Dont worry....its open source license is legit.

If you would like to help me test my component then please check it out here :


Yeah ive already noticed the header is wierd ( tis why it says beta teehee).

     Now for the good stuff.  This component was developed in about 2 weeks.  It uses Ajax and Telerik Controls to provide some pretty cool functionality.  I created my first autocomplete combobox which uses Ajax to find the top 20 results.  I also used Telerik grids for the shopping cart and product Items.  Look familiar.  And for the kicker...look at the bottom to notice the google Checkout button.  As long as you have cart Items, you can proceed to my sandbox test of google checkout.  Please note that a simple web.config change and the site can actually charge you as long as you have a Google checkout account which takes like 10 minutes to get.  Boom Ecommerce + Ajax in Rainbow.  Please also note that the same functionality can be created using GridViews and MS Ajax Beta 1 [ which has been tested with Rainbow and will be in Rainbow 2.0 thanks to the MGF team]

Update.  Also note that Ive tested Rainbow on IE 7 and FF 2.0 [ since I only use those] and it has performed pretty solid.  FF 2.0 still lacks in some spots but prob because it doesnt like asp.net kick out.  Please try it in IE for the best experience.  And btw both this rainbow install and the commerce component are running off SQL Server 2005 Express.
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