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Initializing modules to run custom code

If you need your custom module to modify the behavior of the Kentico application, you can register the module and execute code during its initialization. This approach is recommended when developing customizations directly related to the module (instead of initializing code using the CMSModuleLoader class in App_Code).

  1. Open your project in Visual Studio (using the WebSite.sln or WebApp.sln file).
  2. Create a class in the module's code folder, for example ~/App_Code/CMSModules/CompanyOverview.

    If your module uses a separate assembly, add the module class into the corresponding project.

    Keep in mind that the code of your custom assembly project must contain the [assembly: AssemblyDiscoverable] attribute (the recommended location is in the Properties/AssemblyInfo.cs file).

  3. Make the module class inherit from CMS.DataEngine.Module.
  4. Define the constructor of the module class (inherit from the base constructor, with the code name of the module as the parameter).
  5. Register the module class using the RegisterModule assembly attribute.

  6. Implement your custom functionality inside the module class.

You can achieve most customizations by running code during the initialization of the module – override the following methods:

  • OnInit (recommended) - the system executes the code during the initialization (start) of the application. A typical example of OnInit code is assigning handler methods to system events.
  • OnPreInit - the system executes the code before OnInit. Does not support any operations that require access to the database, such as working with the data of modules. For example, you can use OnPreInit to register custom implementations of interfaces.

Because you cannot manually set the initialization order of modules or define dependencies between modules, we do not recommend working with the data of other modules directly inside the OnInit method. The best approach is to assign handlers to system events, and perform the actual operations inside the handler methods. For general code that is not related to a specific system event, you can use the ApplicationEvents.Initialized.Execute event, which occurs after all modules in the system are initialized.

For example, the following code extends the sample Company overview module from the Creating custom modules page. The example uses event handling to log an entry in the system's Event log whenever a new office is created.

using CMS;
using CMS.DataEngine;
using CMS.EventLog;

[assembly: RegisterModule(typeof(CompanyOverviewModule))]

public class CompanyOverviewModule : Module
	// Module class constructor, inherits from the base constructor with the code name of the module as the parameter
	public CompanyOverviewModule() : base("CompanyOverview")	

	/// <summary>
	/// Initializes the module. Called when the application starts.
	/// </summary>
	protected override void OnInit()

		// Assigns a handler to the Insert.After event for OfficeInfo objects
		CompanyOverview.OfficeInfo.TYPEINFO.Events.Insert.After += Office_InsertAfter;

	private void Office_InsertAfter(object sender, ObjectEventArgs e)
		// Logs an information entry into the system's event log whenever a new office is created
		string message = "New office '" + e.Object.GetStringValue("OfficeDisplayName", "") + "' was created in the custom Company overview module.";
		EventLogProvider.LogInformation("Company overview module", "NEW OFFICE", message);