What is Blazor Oqtane?
What is Oqtane and why would you want to use it?
Oqtane is an application that is built using Microsoft’s Blazor technology. It allows you to deploy and run modules written in Blazor. When Oqtane is deployed and running, it provides a dynamic web experience that can be run as client side Blazor or as server side Blazor.
What makes Oqtane different from other Blazor implementations, is that it is a platform for hosting multiple Blazor applications, not just developing a single application. When you have an application that requires multiple types of functionality, such as Forums, Blogs, and Content Management, Oqtane can provide this
For example, an application such as ADefHelpDesk.com provides help desk functionality, however, when deployed as an Oqtane module (this work is currently in progress), it is easily incorporated into an entire website. For example, an Oqtane website for a online community could allow its members to submit help desk support requests, simply by installing the module.
After installing Oqtane, and logging in as the administrator account, the administration menu can be accessed through the hamburger menu option.
This provides access to the Admin Dashboard.
This Admin Dashboard provides access to the functionality available to the administrator.
When an instance of Oqtane is deployed, it can run against multiple databases at the same time. This allows the code base to be more easily maintained and updated while servicing multiple organizations.
A Tenant named Master is automatically created when you initially install Oqtane. If we edit this Tenant we see that it allows us to indicate which database this Tenant is connected to.
A Tenant can have multiple sites. A Site is a distinct portal that shares its membership with the other portals in the same Tenant. When you initially install Oqtane there will be one site, however, we can use the Add Site button to create an additional site.
After creating this site, we can navigate to it, in our web browser, and access an instance of Oqtane that is completely separate from the other site (other than the users).
A site is composed of pages and those pages contain modules. Pages and modules can have their own security.
For example, we can create a new page and set its security only for Registered users and Administrators.
If we log out, we will not see the page…
However, when we log in we can see the page.
Pages are essentially just containers for Modules. Only Modules provide actual functionality. for example, a HTML module is required to be placed on a Page for any text content to be presented to website visitors.
Modules must be installed into Oqtane, this process is managed in the Module Management section.
Clicking the Install Module button will allow the Administrator to either upload a new Module (or update an existing one), or to select a module that has been published to Nuget with the oqtane tag in the Available Modules section.
When viewing a page, the Administrator can place an instance of the Module on a page using the Administration menu.
The Module can then be edited when the page is in Edit mode.
Using the HtmlText Module, the Administrator is able to add content to the website.
User management requires that the user accounts in the website be segmented by Roles. The Roles are managed in the Role Management section.
Users can be created and edited (including their Roles) in the User Management section.
The visual look and layout options of the Pages and the Site is controlled by the Theme selected for each. Additional themes can be uploaded in the Theme Management section.
Files can be uploaded and managed in the File Management section.
Upgrade Service (development in progress)
Currently in development, the Upgrade Service will allow an Administrator to easily upgrade Oqtane.
Getting Started With Oqtane
To get started with Oqtane, you will need to download it, and deploy it. In the future, an installation package will be provided. For now the process requires that you download it from GitHub.
Use SQL Server
Oqtane will allow you to create a database using SQL Server Express LocalDB. However, it can be problematic to install and configure. Using the free SQL Server 2017 Developer server (or the full SQL Server) is recommended.
Download and install SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition from the following link:
Download The Code Form GitHub
Open Visual Studio.
Select Clone or check out code.
Enter https://github.com/oqtane/oqtane.framework for Repository location and Local path can be any location you wish.
It will download and open in Visual Studio.
Use the Switch Views option to switch to the .sln view.
Create The Database
Open the SQL Server Object Explorer.
Add a connection to your local database server if you don’t already have it in the SQL Server list.
We do not want to use the SQL Express server on (localdb) that you may already see in the list.
You will specify just the server and Connect.
Expand the tree under the local SQL server, right-click on the Databases folder and select Add New Database.
Give the database a name and press Enter.
The database will be created.
Hit F5 to run the application.
The application will open in a web browser.
Enter the connection information and click the Install Now button.
The application will install.
When the installation is complete, click the Login button.
Enter the Username and Password you created earlier and click the Login button.
Oqtane is now fully working.