It shouldn’t be a big deal at all with apps like Community Server 2.0 or WordPress available, but budget and/or personnel constraints often conspire against us using either one. So lately, we’ve spent more time (and money, but salaries apparently don’t count) putting together custom applications to generate RSS feeds.
I always check to see if a solution to my problem already exists before building my own, so when it came time to develop the MethResources.gov RSS feed, I simply reused the example from this article by Scott Mitchell. Behind the ONDCP podcast (I did the database work, a colleague did the rest) is a classic ASP application with the most basic admin functionality.
To cut down on this sort of one-off RSS app building, I’ve been hunting around for any bits of code or fully-formed toolkits that could be reused easily. The latest interesting bit of code I came across is the ASP.NET 2.0 RSS Toolkit. It’s from a Microsoft employee, and most comments I’ve read on it have been positive. Of course, when I tried to get the samples to work, I had all kinds of problems. The solution was to create a new website project (with location = “File System”) , browse to the samples directory of the toolkit, and open the existing website. Once I did this, and added RssToolkit.dll to the GAC, all six scenarios worked perfectly. The two examples I tried from Scott Guthrie’s blog entry on the toolkit worked also.
The only things I haven’t found in this toolkit so far are support for enclosures and an easy way to syndicate a database.