Case Study / Van Cortlandt Track Club

Client Introduction:

"Van Cortlandt Track Club" was originated in the late 1970's as a small group of runners meeting for short journeys around the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx, New York, USA. VCTC has now grown into one of the oldest and most prominent running clubs in New York City.

The VCTC is open to all runners, regardless of ability or experience. Some of the members have been running for many years, others just for a few months. Some regularly win awards at local races; others prefer not to race at all. What all members share is a passion of running and the conviviality that develops as they hit the roads and trails together.

Client Requirements:

  • The ability to have the site displayed in two different languages (English and Spanish). All development for both front end and back end view to different languages.
  • Calendar
  • Maintain the calendar at the very bottom of all pages/categories of the site.
  • Members
  • Create membership database with following functions:
    Member Login
    Members List (option to view compact thumbnails of all public members)
  • Customized skins
  • VCTC Weather updates
  • Digital display of current time
  • Display of events on calendar
  • Additional functionalities in Editor to easily incorporate flash and layout design
  • News Updates

Project Overview:

  • A few content management systems were examined to provide best solution for client. Some of them included DotNetNuke (DNN), Drupal, Joomla, Typo3 & Plone.
  • DNN was selected as the most suitable content management system because; it"s an open source, ASP.NET, content management system written in VB.NET, which proved an ideal Internet/Intranet Portal solution for our client. DNN helped us to create and maintain the website through web browsers and no knowledge of HTML or program was required.
  • Many customized modules were provided to meet our client"s varied requirements. Our modules are self-contained blocks of code that empowered DNN with additional functionality. An example would be an image module that is used for displaying pictures on the site.
  • We designed a database driven system for our clients, meaning all the web pages that make up a DNN site are dynamically created by merging the content stored in the database when that page is requested.

Customized skins:

User control (.ascx) method of working was used, rather than html + xml for creating template (skin). Client furnished layout was implemented by introduction of images wherever required, & also by employing tree view menu user control from DNN.


A new membership form was created using DNN source code in "Desktop Module". A customized login module was made & linked with member database. Members List was made that enabled option to view compact thumbnails of all public members. This include front and back end, search, edit function by master user and member user. Member user is enabled to log in & edit their personal data.

VCTC Weather updates:

Third party free module was incorporated in DNN that displayed the current weather conditions along with a two day forecast for given locations and syndicated using RSS feed from Yahoo. We customized this according to the client layouts.

Digital display of current time:

To display current time, we created user control for timer, with utilization of server side control like "updatepanel" for displaying current time in digital clock.

Display of events on calendar:

Display of events was exhibited by addition of Google calendar on website. A Google account was created & Google calendar was shared by ticking option "share this calendar".

We introduced an "IFrame module" from DNN admin & pasted the URL of Google Calendar with modifications in the width, height, and other IFrame properties in the module settings. Hence, a great (free) read-only calendar on DotNetNuke website was ready!

Additional functionalities in Editor to easily incorporate flash and layout designs:

VCTC was not satisfied with default Editor provided by DNN; they wanted additional functionalities in Editor to easily incorporate flash and layout designs

Few DNN compatible third party controls were tested and Telerik DNN controls were opted

The Telerik RadControls suite is the comprehensive toolset for ASP.NET development, tailored for integration with the DotNetNuke project. This integrated collection of controls allows professionals to build web-solutions with the UI richness and responsiveness of desktop applications. From the WYSIWYG editor, to navigation, the RadControls DotNetNuke Edition allows you to substantially enhance the interface and usability of your DotNetNuke projects.

News Updates:

News updates were provided with introduction of "Efficion's Articles Module" for DotNetNuke, which is an extremely flexible and powerful module that enables the posting of news, events, stories and blogs. For Registration Forms we added "ODS Form module", which is meant for creating custom feedback forms. You can choose between saving the form submission in the database or get it by e-mail.