however to keep things portal we would suggest developing these as embedded resources.
As plug-ins are standard ASP.NET user controls injected into InstantForum at run-time you can use server controls within plug-ins (labels, links, grid views, login controls, 3rd party components etc.). You can also programmatically set-up controls from your plug-ins code-behind.
To register a plug-in with InstantForum you'll need to add an entry for your plug-in to the <PlugIns> section within the InstantForum web.config file. To see a sample plug-in please take a look at our Hello World example.
To get started creating plug-ins please see our Visual Studio download below.
Which Class Should My Plug-In Inherit From?
To create a InstantForum plug-in from a user control you'll need to ensure the code-behind for your user control inherits from our InstantASP.Common.UI.Base.Plugin or InstantASP.InstantForum.UI.Base.Plugin class.
The InstantASP.Common.UI.Base.Plugin base class derives from System.Web.UI.UserControl however it provides additional functionality to load your plug-ins control at run-time and inject your plug-in into the pages control collection.
If you would like to access the HttpContext object exposed by InstantForum you should inherit from the forum specific plug-in base class located at InstantASP.InstantForum.UI.Base.Plugin. The InstantASP.InstantForum.UI.Base.Pluginclass inherits from InstantASP.InstantForum.UI.Base.Plugin however it exposes a "CurrentContext" property allowing you to get forum specific data.
Which Interface Should My Plug-In Implement?
This interface provide four key events (OnPluginInit, OnPluginLoad, OnPluginPreRender, OnPluginRender) which allow you manipulate the page containing your plug-in at each of these four events.
Our plug-in framework within InstantForum will always add your plug-in user control to the end of the pages control collection. Just before the very end form tag. You can inject plug-ins into specific locations within mark-up by using a Response.Filter or simply adding your plug-in to the pages control collection at the correct position.
How is InstantForum aware of my plug-in?
To ensure InstantForum uses your plug-in you'll need to add an entry to the web.config file.
Can i download an example Visual Studio project?
Yes. To help we've put together a Visual Studio 2010 solution containing a number of sample plug-ins.