The power of InstantForum.NET Plug-ins

If you read my previous blog post you'll know the next InstantForum.NET 2010 update will contain a plug-in framework allowing developers to add additional functionality to InstantForum.NET without having to modify our source code.

This makes it much easier for customers to add custom functionality to InstantForum.NET whilst ensuring a smooth upgrqade process as we release new features & updates.

 The Join Prompt Plug-in

To ensure our plug-in framework offers everything developers need to extend the software we are developing our own set of plug-ins against our framework. One of these plug-ins is a simple modal pop=up that prompts anonymous users to register within your community. You can see this below...

Whilst quite a simple idea this plug-in demonstrates some of the possibilities with plug0ins.

You'll notice the plug-in has custom CSS, JavaScript (jQuery), it's own images and contains a ASP.NET web form for users to register within your community. This plug-in interacts with the InstantForum.NET API to get a live user count for the "Join 10,005 others within our community" label.

The plug-in also uses the InstantForum.NET API to add users & generate the required confirmation email.

The web form is actually included within a AJAX update panel and requires no page refresh.

For JavaScript the plug-in uses jQuery to provides a JavaScript API many developers are already familiar with which will hopefully speed up plug-in development.

The InstantForum.NET 2010-1 update which will include the new plug-in framework will be available for download next week. After this we intend to publish our current plug-ins & develop documentation to assist others.

As always i'll be keeping the blog updated :)