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Latest Community DotNetNuke Blog Posts

DNN Connect
Monday, February 06, 2017 6:40:00 AM

The goal of this paper is to provide you with an overview of what ADFS is and how it can integrate with your DNN website.

Sunday, January 29, 2017 12:43:51 PM

Depending on what the "source" is, it appears that DNN 9.0.1 was released either 11 days ago, or 3 days ago.

So which is it, 11 or 3? Who cares, let's just go over some of the basics of what the release covers.

First off, there are a number of security updates in this release, primarily around API security.

The Mighty Blog
Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:50:56 PM

CMS State of the Union 2017

If you didn’t already know, CMS is an acronym for “content management system.” A CMS is used by many developers, consultancies, and companies to build their website. It’s an incredibly common thing to do, as any flavor of CMS you choose will always save you effort and money, compared to building a website from nothing. This is especially true if you look at the lifetime investment of your website. Using a CMS framework or solution of some kind just seems to make sense. After all, this is what I’ve built my own career upon since 2001. However, then, CMS was known as a portal or portal framework. That’s a long time ago, so it’s not a bad idea to take stock of things every now and thing to see if what you’re doing is the correct thing. To this end, I asked myself, “How is CMS doing right now, and does it make sense to still be doing CMS-related work in the future?”

Please note that this article is mostly focused on the perspective of those of us that in some way provide website development services, where you deliver a website to clients.

Riddle Me This… Is CMS Worth My Time?

This article is the result of me asking that very question. If I’m going to invest my own time, effort, money and that of others into CMS, is it still a good investment today? This is an easy question to ask, but how exactly do you go about making that determination? This, it turns out, is not so easy. There’s a lot of disconnected information out there. The most useful information it seems is locked behind the closed doors and high-priced clutches of research firms like Forrester. So what now?

Before I move forward any further, I should get one thing out of the way for my fellow DNN community members… This is not a look specifically at DNN, nor is it meant in any way to speak directly to DNN. For that matter, not only is this article not intended to hurt DNN, it’s also not intended to disparage any CMS. This was purely done as an exercise to research CMS in general. If CMS as a whole is doing well, then any good or great CMS will do well too.

Another worthwhile disclaimer would be that I’m not necessarily a professional researcher, only in that I’ve never held such a title in my professional career, but like most of you, I have performed research that has informed entire companies since I’ve been in the workforce. So, generating data, parsing it for commonalities and abnormalities, and making decisions based on that data are all tasks that I’m very familiar with. I’m just not a mathematician, statistician, or a formal research analyst.

In doing a similar exercise to answer similar questions in the past, it occurred to me that there actually is a way to do this research and it would only cost me my time. I guess I’ll have to bill myself later, as it took a long time and this is valuable information. Information I’m now giving to you.

Gathering The Data

Gathering the data for anything like this is often the most time-consuming part. You need to find it first and foremost, but then you need to find a way to make sense of it, then do the same thing again to make sure others can make sense of what you figured out. This is a process, it’s not always the same process, and it takes a lot of time with a few dashes of trial and error.

The data I found was hiding in plain sight. Long ago I’ve learned to use services like BuiltWith to help me get to know prospects, clients, and competitors. BuiltWith is a great way to get a lot of information about the various technologies used on nearly any website, sometimes in as quickly as a click or two. It’s surprisingly very accurate. Since BuiltWith came onto the scene, others have been doing similar things and one of my favorites in this area is a company called Datanyze. I’m much more a fan of them because of their great UI and convenient tie-ins to lead generation and business development processes. However, in this case, I used their free service that’s similar to what BuiltWith offers, that shows you market share. In this case, their CMS market share area.

The market share tool is based upon people landing on a site while having the Datanyze browser plugin installed, and I believe they have bots that scour the web as well. They first analyze a site and then determine which technologies are being used by the site. Then, over time, when those technologies change, they can help you make informed decisions for your needs based upon the migrations.

If you just look at the market share tool on its own, it doesn’t do much for you. You can simply see the figures for all CMS’s over a small period of time. This is convenient enough to figure which CMS is the best and worst at any given moment, but it’s not at all useful to make any actual decisions. That is, unless you aggregate the data and begin charting it. Herein begins the time suck…

Now, before you begin harping on the accuracy and latency of tools like this, I agree with you. At any given moment, a website could be refreshed using a completely new set of technologies. When this happens, the data is a bit off. This introduces a certain degree of inaccuracy. You’re also dealing with the fact that these tools are essentially crawlers, depending upon end users initiating the scans of various sites. So, they don’t likely have the picture of the entire internet. Despite these drawbacks, this is still incredibly useful, as it allows you to have a true sense when drawing a picture. This is increasingly more interesting with Datanyze since it also analyzes internal or non-public websites in some cases.

For example, it’s not at all important for this kind of research to know that a specific number of sites are using WordPress or Drupal for example. What is definitely useful though is using the numbers to draw conclusions based on percentages. This is where it gets fun. If you can now say that 89% of websites are using this CMS or that one, that means something.

What’s to follow are insights gathered from data from January 2015 to November 2016. I won’t have December 2016 until next month, but we have enough as it is. In the data itself, I kept mostly to the top 20 CMS’s in use today.

But What is a CMS, Really?

You’re probably already drawing a pretty common conclusion without seeing any of the data, which is that WordPress is ruling the CMS kingdom in terms of overall adoption. If you’re thinking this, you’re right – but that doesn’t really mean anything. Also, it doesn’t really matter if you consider WordPress or any other solution a CMS or not. It matters that the marketplace uses it as such. For example, I didn’t know until this exercise that some people consider Blogger a CMS. Now, if you’re even remotely close to being a purist, you’ll be one of the first to scream an expletive at someone who suggests that. In discussing my findings with various people in the CMS ecosystem and technology community overall, I was just as surprised by this and was even more surprised to find that some individuals whose names may be synonymous with CMS use Blogger and similar tools to roll out client websites in the same way as most people do with traditional CMS’s. Don’t forget that this is how WordPress itself began too, and few people argue the merits of it being a CMS today. (I do though, but I digress…)

There are few types of CMS as you probably have figured out by now. There are many that are aimed at a specific vertical, such as car dealership or auto part CMS’s. There are others like Blogger who focus on brochure-style websites. There’s e-commerce CMS’s. There are application frameworks like DNN or Umbraco. There’s so very many, and they’re all more or less included in this article.

Media Outlook

When you look at the various news stories and industry articles, there’s no shortage of CMS-related news. However, you may have noticed a similar trend that I did. The CMS news has become ambiguous. You’ll find e-commerce news alongside CMS articles, and sometimes in the same article. The same goes for other types of solutions as well. This is part of what prompted me to look into this more. Why is there so much non-CMS news on a CMS industry site? There are many reasons for this. It’s just yet another symptom to keep in mind.

Despite the news shift, there’s plenty of money being reported as being spent in the CMS space. In the past, you could spend only a moment though looking for the amount expected to be spent, and have a few pages of search results. Try searching for that now. CMS is not the hot topic keyword it used to be. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any news article addressing CMS spending specifically. It’s just not an actual line item anymore. The conversation and outlook have changed. Instead of talking about CMS, the conversation is about overall budgets in IT and marketing departments. Media reporting on CMS is instead mostly sponsored by the various vendors out there now, and focus primarily on features and releases. It’s a marketing engine instead of a true news engine. Again, this isn’t necessarily good or bad on its own. it’s another symptom.

Something that’s more interesting, is the attention that the 2016 Gartner report on IT spending got last year. In this report, web isn’t even really spoken about in any meaningful way. Instead, the conversation is all about the internet of things (IoT), 3D printing, and RFID. However, the amount of spending in these areas is worth talking about. In the chart below, they speculated that 24% of the overall $3.14T IT budget would end up being spent on IoT.

Gartner: IT Spending in 2016

Market Leaders

Overall, you’ll find that WordPress is by far the winner when it comes to market share. This should surprise no one. This is just a snapshot, but in looking at it, you may want to immediately shift your time and resources to support WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal since they’re all on the same stack. Sure, there’s a huge market share there overall at 72% collectively, which is a big pool of prospective customers to fish in. Though, there’s much more for any business to consider. When you look at the chart below, the CMS vendor list on the right is listed from the biggest market share on the top, to the smallest on the bottom.

CMS Market Share 12-2016

Another thing to take away from this is that ASP.NET CMS’s don’t total more than 1% of the overall market share, where 1% is around 150,000 sites. If you’re someone like me, who makes their living on the Microsoft stack, that could feel a bit discouraging, but again, this is a snapshot. This alone doesn’t paint a full enough picture. Also, don’t forget that this is only the sites that they can see, and only CMS’s. So while the number is discouraging, the percentage is what’s more meaningful. When you apply 1% across the entire internet, it’s a pretty big number. I’m not proposing that all sites will use a CMS in the future, but most will (or something like it).

Oh My, The Trends…

The most important part of my research is that I wanted to look for positive trends. Having existing market share is like owning an entire bag of M&M’s, buying them one at a time. Once you have the whole bag, there’s nowhere to go from there. You need a new business. Is the CMS market growing? I’d love to give you good news here. I really would. Alas, I’d like to tell you the truth.

Until I refreshed the data for this article, only a single CMS vendor was showing positive growth over the past two years, and it wasn’t WordPress. Despite being the giant on the playground, it seems businesses were beginning to play with someone else. It seems Datanyze had an anomaly in September 2016 though, adding nearly 600,000 sites in a single month. This is almost a factor of 4 higher than their highest volume month. This could most likely be attributed to an algorithm being updated, and those additional sites should have already been added over time. If you were to normalize the September anomaly, WordPress would still be trending down over the past two years.

WordPress Growth: 2015-2016

This overall trend in the non-ASP.NET stack can be seen across all of the most popular CMS’s in that category.

Non-ASP.NET Growth: 2015-2016

Until August, Adobe’s Experience Manager (formerly Adobe CQ5) was the only non-ASP.NET CMS to be seeing growth. It was all positive. Unfortunately, the last few months has reversed their trend line. Despite this, Adobe’s Experience Manager has shown very consistent growth over the past two years. They’re a very clear competitor out of everyone I’ve looked at so far.

Adobe Experience Manager Growth: 2015-2016

So that means people are fleeing the LAMP stack and running to the Microsoft stack, right? As a fan of that stack, I wish I could tell you that. I really wish I could. It would be a lie. When you isolate only the ASP.NET CMS’s, they’re showing the same anti-growth trend I saw in the others above.

ASP.NET Growth: 2015-2016

In fact, the largest ASP.NET CMS market share over the past two years is surprisingly Kentico. They edged out DNN by 1,000 sites. DNN has traditionally been considered to be the behemoth to battle against on the Microsoft stack ever since it was first released. Having been in this ecosystem for a long time now, this may have been the most surprising thing to me about this exercise. Unfortunately, even isolated on their own, all of the ASP.NET CMS’s show an anti-growth trend almost identical to Kentico’s.

Kentico Growth: 2015-2016

Since most of my readers are DNN enthusiasts, you may want to see how that stacks up, first with DNN on its own. You’ll find the downward trend to be painfully obvious.

DNN Growth: 2015-2016

When you stack DNN up against Kentico, they both show a very similar migration pattern, but it’s trending downward regardless. Sadly, you don’t even need to have the trend line in the graph to illustrate this.

DNN vs. Kentico: 2015-2016

Why No Growth?

Whoa… so if you’re hearing for the first time, I’m guessing you’re no doubt a bit speechless. Everyone I’ve spoken to about this so far seemed to be completely caught off guard. An important note about this is that while the trends are all going down, the gains in the marketplace are mostly net positive over the same period of time. More sites are being gained than lost by most vendors, but that is something that’s clearly not going to last. People are leaving traditional CMS as a trend. It begs the question, “Where is everyone going?”

I tried for a couple of weeks to try and find the answer to where people are going. I poured over the data I do have, and I simply could not find the gains to show where companies are going, when they’re not choosing an existing prominent vendor. None of the smaller vendors are showing the growth necessary to explain it.

The answer came to me through an off-chance conversation with someone I know in the South Florida startup scene. He had literally just gotten off of the phone with someone at Forrester the week before, having a similar conversation about website trends. They weren’t speaking about CMS specifically of course, but they were talking about where and how companies were deploying their websites. As it turns out, there are multiple factors playing at the same time to cause the anti-growth patterns you’ve seen above.

First, there are cloud solutions being more and more prominent, each taking on a specific task from a company. In many cases, they’re even things that previously used to exist on their own website, such as a company blog. All of these are chipping away slowly at features that used to be gained from a CMS. Why deploy an entire CMS if you just need one specific feature? Sure, there are pros and cons to going or not going with a CMS, but budget and total cost of ownership will generally point towards a non-CMS decision.

Second, among cloud and traditional software, many vendors are now offering add-on services that fulfill the basic needs of most companies. For example, a CRM vendor may not have what you may consider being a traditional CMS, but they may offer a website service that’s nearly just as good. It offers exactly what the company needs, without all of the bells and whistles that a CMS usually comes with. You may know from experience yourself that while a business may have a formidable checklist or RFP, they only really intend to deploy a small fraction of those requirements initially. As with most IT projects, all of those nice to have’s and wish list items tend to get forgotten – prioritized below other business objectives. If you pay any attention at all to startup mergers and acquisitions over the past 3 years, you probably have already been seeing the evidence of this without even realizing it.

A third factor includes all of the vertical-specific CMS solutions that have sprouted up over the past few years. There’s far too many to show up on the radar in reports like Datanyze offers, and so it’s possible that all of these are collectively stealing the market share, and we can’t even see it yet.

A possible fourth contributor is custom-built websites. However, I have yet to find any data to show that this has any larger growth than it typically does. Anecdotally, all of the agencies I know that build custom-made websites aren’t showing any growth in this area either.

Your Future with CMS

Where does that leave you if you want to CMS still? Well, it’s far too early to panic, but you need to get into gear and start making plans now. If you haven’t already diversified, you need to. There are of course the immediately obvious options, such as specializing in multiple CMS’s in the same stack, or choosing one each from both stacks. However, this is fairly short-sighted in my opinion.

Do you remember that IT spending chart from Gartner waaaaaaaay up at the top of this article? IoT and 3D printing are massive areas of opportunity if you provide any kind of software solutions, but especially mobile- and web-based solutions. It would be a very safe bet that your CMS future is somehow going to merge with those areas, whether you like it or not. Ideally, you may want to jump on that preemptively, to shortcut your competition. There’s simply far too much money being spent in those two areas.

There’s another area of diversification though. You may need to find yourself specializing in a handful of CMS’s, each focusing on specific verticals. In this case, you may even find there to be opportunities for integration work, but even that is getting chipped away at. Companies like MuleSoft have done a phenomenal job of taking care of that for companies. There are even many cases where a company such as this prevents any code from being written at all.

The bottom line from my findings is this… If you’re specializing in CMS today, you should make that only one of a few specialties you offer in the future. That is unless you specialize in many CMS’s. CMS isn’t going to die, but its bubble had burst a long time ago, but no one really has begun talking about it yet.

What do you think though? Do you have your own research on this? Are you still planning to stick to just one CMS option? Why or why not? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thursday, January 05, 2017 6:32:27 PM
DNN9 appears to be an evolutionary leap forward for the DotNetNuke CMS, but while there are many advances, there are some big misses of features that somehow got left behind, or at least hidden away so that finding them for someone who isn’t a DNN expert (such as myself, if I do say so) is impossible, unless of course you read this blog, then you’ll be on your way to utilizing DNN9 in ways that the average Joe could only hope to.
Thursday, January 05, 2017 6:12:20 PM

I woke up this snowy January morning with email from my most excellent web hosting company (www.appliedi.net) letting me know that my database server was almost out of hard drive space. Thanks for the heads up to the AppliedI team!

My first thought was “How is that possible?” I was just on the server in the past couple of days doing all my DNN9 upgrades, and there were 20 gigs of free space not 4 days ago. With a quick check I found that one of the databases was 9gb. 4 days ago that database was <250mb.

Monday, January 02, 2017 2:45:47 PM
If you are having problems adding Pages in DNN 9, read this blog post. I recently upgraded all of my sites to DNN 9, the most recent one being upgraded last night. This morning I wake up to an email from a client of mine reporting a problem with adding pages in one of their sites that they also upgraded to DNN recently. I read through their email, and decide that I’ll look into their issue a bit later, have an itch to scratch on one of my own websites, so I’ll get to them later (sorry client).
DNN Connect
Friday, December 16, 2016 2:39:45 AM

I finally finished my long promised blog series about writing DNN modules with Angular 1.x. This blog series should set you in the position to start DNN module development with Angular even if you haven't done a module for DNN yet! 

DNN Connect
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 10:14:00 AM

To add to the 2 other free themes for the Dnn CMS (DnnBootster and DnnMDesign), welcome to the FREE, Open Source DnnMinimalist Theme.

DNN Connect
Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:24:00 AM

At DNN-Connect.org we have spend effort to collect and create language packs for various modules. And it is slowly comming into shape.

The Mighty Blog
Sunday, November 06, 2016 2:28:01 PM

DNN 9 Persona Bar

DNN Corp is on the verge of releasing their latest DNN Platform release, version 9.0.0.  As a DNN MVP, I of course had to take a look around at the new stuff coming.  It’s still in the early stages though, so there are a few areas where the new updates have some smoothing out to do, but overall, the updates we’re seeing in version 9.0 are very nice.  In short, it’s a much more contemporary user experience for all involved – but a very important step in the right direction for the future of all DNN’ers.  Here’s my preview and insights after using DNN 9.0 for the first time – a pre-release version of DNN 9.0, that is.

Everything I’m discussing here are things I’ve looked at while viewing the nightly builds. If you’re not familiar with what a nightly build is, it’s basically a software product that’s still actively being developed on.  There’s work and features that aren’t even checked-in yet.  It’s not the final release, so please keep that in mind in this article, and any others like it.

Once you get by some of the rough edges that are in still in the nightly builds, like clunky animation transitions, help labels docked in random positions and/or partially hidden, and figuring out how to exit the persona bar views, the primary new feature begins to open up with a lot of subtle, but powerful updates.  First and foremost, the administration experience is indeed a lot more contemporary.  You’ll hear that word thrown around a lot by DNN Corp folks, but the new persona bar that replaces the control panel we’ve come to know quite intimately does a great job of tucking away a lot of the things that would previously get in our way in a large number of ways (right, skinners?).

DNN 9.0 Persona Bar

As you can see above, the control panel is no longer docked at the top of the page.  Instead, you see two new bars docked, at the bottom and on the left side.  These both comprise the new persona bar, allowing you to edit numerous aspects of your site, without having to wait for page reload after reload.  This is sure to be a time-saver, especially when you find yourself configuring multiple things at a time.

While I mentioned words like rough edges, this is by no means a completely new feature.  Don’t be scared.  The persona bar is something that’s been back-ported from DNN Corp’s commercial product suite.  Only now, there’s a bunch of new features added to it to make it more usable across all of the DNN Corp products.  What this means to you is that this feature has been under development and tested in real world environments for quite a long time now, and it’s inclusion into 9.0 is lower risk than nearly any zero point release before it.  We can almost certainly expect for those rough edges to be smoothed out by the time 9.0 is ready for release.

Unexpected Multi-Tasking

What seems to be an unexpected feature is that you never know when your work is saved or not.  Follow me here…  If you do something like edit a configuration file.  You may be working on multiple lines in the configuration.  Next thing you know, an urgent phone call comes in asking for a quick SQL query report.  You switch to the SQL view, and run the query.  Problem averted!  Just as you begin to return to the configuration updates, someone asks you over IM what the URL is for an important new content campaign.  So, you leave the persona bar and navigate to the page, then send the URL.  Awesome, now you can finish your work, right?  Right.  Just navigate back to the configuration manager, and your updates will still be there, waiting for you to click “Save.”  Just be careful that you don’t forget about saving those updates.

Added Usability

The admin and “host” modules we’ve grown used to over the years are removed and replaced with streamlined counterparts.  These new additions are more thoughtfully grouped together, as are the various settings that used to play hide-and-seek with us in the past, hidden across any number of configuration views and collapsed sections.  You literally had to be using DNN for years before you could even consider yourself as an anything remotely close to a “DNN expert.”  Another thing I liked while digging around is how the global and site-specific settings are both put side-by-side and easily distinguishable.  When you’re not logged in with enough permissions, the global settings are neatly tucked away, and you’d never know they existed.

DNN 9.0 Global Settings Tooltip

Some Missing Things

You shouldn’t look at “missing” as being necessarily a bad thing.  Change is necessary, and DNN has had way too many features to get in everyone’s way for far too long now.  The admin and “host” pages you’re used to using will mostly be gone when you upgrade, replaced by newer and easier to use counterparts in the persona bar.  Some other things are missing too, like the Store/Forge integration in the Extensions management area.  Again, the missing things aren’t necessarily a bad thing.  In order for DNN and the DNN ecosystem to grow, this kind of change will be necessary.  So far, the things I see missing are all very good.  Although, I’m on the fence about the Store/Forge integration.

The Future Looks Even Brighter

We could find all kinds of little things to continue to talk about when it comes to the updates coming in DNN 9.0.  However, the biggest thing I think we can look forward to with the updates we see applied in this release are the things that haven’t yet happened.  Two of the most popular complaints about DNN are its speed, and how old the administration looks.  The administration issue is clearly fixed here, and speed is addressed to some degree as a byproduct.  The thing is for me though, this series of updates lay the foundation for something that will be much more impactful to the future of DNN – a reliance on the ancient .NET technology we call webforms.  Once DNN 9.0 is released, the only things that really use and depend on webforms are the modules you see on individual pages.  Architecturally speaking, DNN 9.0 appears to be the first step towards the newer ASP.NET Core we’ve all been anxious to see for quite some time now.

The Mighty Blog
Monday, June 27, 2016 9:42:35 PM

OpenForce Connect Orlando 2008 group photo

Don’t let the headline freak you out.  It’s not as bad as it sounds…  We’ll start with some background, and then I’ll tell you the details.

Where it All Began: OpenForce Connect Orlando

The DNN Corp-run commercial conference that used to occur every year was originally called OpenForce.  However, many of us felt that the DNN community could and should have its own event.  One that was focused on the community, and less on anything commercial.

In 2008, I helped as a local organizer for the very first community conference in North America.  It’s described in detail in the first chapter of any Wrox DNN book, and it was known as OpenForce Connect Orlando.  At the time, I was a co-founder of the largest and most popular DNN user group, known as the ODUG or Orlando DotNetNuke Users Group.  We put together an amazing event in less than 2 months’ time.  We had over 200 people there for a one-day and one-track event. 

Day of DotNetNuke (now DNNCon) was founded on the principle of being a community-run event, for the community.  If you’ve ever been to a code camp before, this was one of the events that DNNCon was modeled after.  No matter if/when DNN Corp has their own commercial event, this event was meant to serve the needs and desires of the community.

The following year, the community kept pinging me and others in the user group to put on another one.  We really wanted to, but we also weren’t sure if we could.  After all, we didn’t want to step on any toes (so to speak) since DNN wasn’t really ours.  It belonged to DNN Corp.  For those of you that haven’t been around for that long, you may not know some of the ways people tried to “steal” DNN in the past.  So we wanted to make sure we did this in the right way.  We kept e-mailing the folks at DNN Corp for several months, but no answer.  Eventually, we took things into our own hands.

Now don’t go all conspiracy theory in the comments…  They literally couldn’t respond to us, but we wouldn’t know that until much later.  2009 was the year that DNN Corp got funding.  Part of the funding process required silence on their parts, so they couldn’t respond.

Day of DotNetNuke is Born

With a literal 2 months to the day, a group of us decided to put on the first Day of DotNetNuke event, and I was unanimously “volunteered” to be the organizer.  In two months’ time again, we filled an entire event with people from all over the world.  We had 5 or 6 tracks, training, and even exceeded the fire codes due to having too many people.  Getting down the halls was a challenge to say the least.  (Luckily, we didn’t get into any trouble.)  This event would boast the most attendees for any future event until the first one held in Palm Beach some 4 years later.

Over the years, you’ve seen numerous people as the organizers of each respective event.  I made it my role to recruit and empower event organizers in any way I could.  I helped them to plan, organize, and execute each event.  Without these people, this community event may have only happened once.

Here we are in 2016, and since then, Day of DotNetNuke has been rebranded to Day of DNN, and then to DNNCon.  It’s been held 10 times in 3 countries, 2 continents, and 8 cities worldwide.  By my guesstimate, it’s helped several thousand people all over the world from every walk of life learn more about DNN.  I’ve heard too many amazing and life-changing stories to recount.  At each event, I’ve collected new friends from all over the globe – relationships that in some cases are as close or closer than family.  In fact, the first time I met my soul mate was at a DNNCon.  Needless to say, DNNCon means a lot to me. 

My Decision

If DNNCon has a “daddy,” I guess it would be me.  As a father, sometimes you need to let your kid grow up on their own.  This decision isn’t just about that though – but it’s not any less true.

Any of you that know me know that I’ve recently been going through some personal issues with a tragedy that literally hit close to home.  I need to clear my plate a bit.  Keeping up with everything I used to do before the tragedy has proven to be too exhausting since.

At the end of the day, I had a vision, together with hundreds of other DNN’ers I we were able to make it happen, and it was nothing short of inspiring to see it continue to be adopted by so many people all over the world.  These past 8 years have been very rewarding as a result.  However, the only constant in life is change, and now is the time for a change to be made for DNNCon.  We are at a critical point of growth in our community, and DNNCon needs a fresh vision and a renewed energy.

The Future

DNNCon Baltimore was the first event that was run in a committee manner.  I’ve tried a few different models in the past, and this one was pretty successful.  There is now a committee of well-known and experienced DNN community members who will take DNNCon and push it forward to bigger and better things.  As of today, they’re 8 strong – eight of the brightest and most creative minds ever to be involved with DNNCon.  Needless to say, the event we’ve grown to love is in good hands.

I’m very excited for the new life and energy the committee will bring to you in the future events to come.  As of right now, they’re closing in on making a decision for either Fall or Spring for the next DNNCon, but I’ll let them give you the details.

As for me, I’m not leaving the DNN community.  You’ll still see me at events, online, and I’m still going to build and maintain DNN modules.  This is simply a passing of the DNNCon torch from me, to a new group of people.

In closing, I’d like to thank you all for the support in putting on this event over the years.  If any single video can sum up what DNNCon is, was, and could be, this would be it. Enjoy, and I hope to see you at the next event (where/whenever that may be).

DNN Connect
Friday, June 17, 2016 3:19:00 AM
Ever wondered what Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is? Or why it matters to DNN? The goal of this paper is to provide you with an overview of what AD is and how it can integrate with your DNN website or intranet to make your life easier in managing your site users and security.
DNN Connect
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 4:03:40 AM

During DNN Connect 2016 a group of interested attendees got together to discuss their experiences of using Azure Web Sites to host DNN Community and Evoq versions. Here is a summary of the notes taken during the session along with the key pieces of advice and top tips.

DNN Connect
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 4:20:00 PM
View this presentation and associated "How To" video from DNN Connect 2016 to understand why and how web businesses are experiencing diminished profits from mobile, what they're doing about it, and how DNN can be optimised for business profit.
The Mighty Blog
Wednesday, March 09, 2016 10:19:49 PM

DNN Hangout: March 2016 with David Poindexter

David Poindexter is our guest in this month’s show.  David is the “GeekEO” of nvisionative.  I’ve interviewed him before in a Hotcakes Hangout, so you can get a lot of information about David and his company nvisionative there.  In this show though, we wanted to focus on community activities.  David and his fellow DNN’ers in the Charlotte, NC area have been doing great things for years now, so we wanted to pick his brain a bit, and then we finished things off with a very HUGE surprise for the DNN community.

Want to Be on the Show?

We’re always look for new guests to be on the show.  Please contact me or send me a note in the comments below if you want to be featured, or know of someone that should be.

Next Episode

Our next episode isn’t yet finalized, but when it is, you’ll find it on the DNN community events page.

Site/Extension of the Month

We’re always looking for sites or extensions to feature in this segment. Please let me know if you’d like for me to do a quick segment on one of your sites or extensions.

DNN Community, User Groups, and MORE

Show Notes

Blogs & Articles

Extension Updates

DNN Connect
Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:45:00 AM

There are two DNN conferences coming up very soon.  DNNCon is in April, held in Baltimore, Maryland, and DNN-Connect is in Girona, Spain in June.  Our guests are all organizers or co-organizers, and they spend some time with us

DNN Connect
Saturday, February 27, 2016 1:45:00 AM

In this episode, we decided to have our guest be the topic.  The DNN 8 release was so HUUUUUUGE that we felt that it needed to speak for itself.  DNN 8 brings with it a ton of new features that developers can take advantage of.  These things include new MVC and SPA development patterns.  Patterns that never before existed officially and never before came supported out of the box.

The Mighty Blog
Friday, February 26, 2016 11:22:28 PM

DNN Hangout February 2016

There are two DNN conferences coming up very soon.  DNNCon is in April, held in Baltimore, Maryland, and DNN-Connect is in Girona, Spain in June.  Our guests are all organizers or co-organizers, and they spend some time with us

Want to Be on the Show?

We are always looking for new people to be featured on the show. You don’t have to be an “expert” in anything. Just be prepared to chat with us about anything interesting about DNN, no matter how big or small.

Please let me know in the comments or via email if you’d like to be on DNN Hangout (or if you know of someone that should be on the show).

Next Episode

Next month, we speak to David Poindexter from nvisionative, and a co-leader of the Southern Fried DNN user group.  He’s going to talk to us about user groups and other community topics.  However, I hear that he might have a HUGE surprise presentation during the hangout as well.

Site/Extension of the Month

We’re always looking for sites or extensions to feature in this segment. Please let me know if you’d like for me to do a quick segment on one of your sites or extensions.

DNNCon and DNN-Connect 2016 Questions and Answers

Show Notes

The Mighty Blog
Friday, February 26, 2016 10:37:10 PM

DNN Hangout January 2016

In this episode, we decided to have our guest be the topic.  The DNN 8 release was so HUUUUUUGE that we felt that it needed to speak for itself.  DNN 8 brings with it a ton of new features that developers can take advantage of.  These things include new MVC and SPA development patterns.  Patterns that never before existed officially and never before came supported out of the box.

Want to Be on the Show?

We are always looking for new people to be featured on the show. You don’t have to be an “expert” in anything. Just be prepared to chat with us about anything interesting about DNN, no matter how big or small.

Please let me know in the comments or via email if you’d like to be on DNN Hangout (or if you know of someone that should be on the show).

Next Episode

That’s already happened.  See the next post about the next episode. 

Site/Extension of the Month

We’re always looking for sites or extensions to feature in this segment. Please let me know if you’d like for me to do a quick segment on one of your sites or extensions.

DNN 8 Overview for Developers

Show Notes

If any links are missing from the show notes, you can blame Joe.  But if you leave a comment, I’ll be sure to update the post with any missing links.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 12:07:45 AM


I’ve been maintaining my DotNetNuke Visual Studio project templates for a number of years now, one of the things they have sorely been lacking is the ability to “customize” the templates without having to crack open the full source code of the VSIX project, making changes, and then recompiling everything. There are 5 specific strings/values that were ripe for customization, but simply were not easily accessible.

  • Root NameSpace – The Namespace for the project, all of the files were populated with this namespace.
  • Owner Name – A DNN Manifest property that is used to provide information on who either developed the module, or commissioned the module development. This also gets used in all of the Copyright statements built into the templates.
  • Owner Email – Another DNN Manifest property, used to provide an Email address for contacting the owner/developer of a module.
  • Owner Website – The URL of the package’s owner, for further contact and information.
  • Local DEV URL – The URL of your local development environment.

Of all of those items, the one that has likely caused the most headache over the years is the Local DEV URL property, that was set at DNNDEV.ME, which if you followed along with my various tutorials, was the URL I always use for local development, that domain name points to This actually works out great, but some people choose not to follow my tutorials or already have existing development environments configured, yet still want to use my templates. You could still use them, but you had to make some modifications to the PROJ files after creation in order to get things working.

With the latest release of the templates, when you create a project using one of the 6 included templates, you will then be prompted with a Wizard interface (single step) that will allow you to customize these fields.


As always, you can download the latest “release” of the templates from the DNN Store, or from the Visual Studio Online Gallery if you want to get creative, you can check out the Repo on GitHub



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