DotNetNuke 6.2 Released - Exciting New Social Features

Hey this is Peter Bromberg. This month I had the privilege of testing out one of the leading Web Content Management systems, DotNetNuke. The DNN Web Content Management platform also functions as a flexible web application development framework built on Microsoft technology. DotNetNuke is the most successful open source project in history for the Microsoft ecosystem.

DNN powers over 700,000 production web sites worldwide and, with over 2000 commercial customers, was named to the Inc. 500 fasted growing companies in 2011. Depending on your role within your organization, DNN provides a range of benefits to support your Web initiatives.

In this review, I found that DotNetNuke is the single most complete Web Content Management system available for organizations, with a huge opportunity for the developer and a lot of resources and support. I'll focus on some of the newest features such as the Social aspects that are now included in the 6.2 Release cover some of the basics about the DotNetNuke WCMS, including my own experiences.

New Social Features
Today, everyone is talking about social. There is considerable evidence that social collaboration has real business benefit. Social intranets drive employee productivity and increased efficiency. Communities turn customers into advocates and help grow business.

In DotNetNuke’s most recent release, 6.2, they delivered a host of exciting social features, building on their already strong Web Content Management System (WCMS) capabilities. The new 6.2 release enables businesses to quickly build internal social networks to improve collaboration, communication and employee productivity. It also enables the creation of external communities that turn customers into advocates, which lowers support cost and increases revenue opportunities.

Click here to view the video on DotNetNuke's Social Features:



Here is a short list of some of the new social and related features of DotNetNuke:

Activity feed powers member interactions

The DNN 6.2 Journal is an activity feed which enables community members to interact in a fashion that has been popularized by familiar social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. The Journal module can be placed on any DotNetNuke page and can be used to post and reply to status updates, tag users and share links, files, photos and videos.

User relationships foster community

Registered users and subscribers can now form social relationships on any DNN 6.2 site. DNN 6.2 allows users to friend and follow other users or groups and to receive notifications which allow them to approve or reject new friends and followers.

Social groups and forums increase team collaboration

DNN 6.2 fosters collaboration through the ability to create social interest groups. Users can join groups and share content with group members. Discussion forums can also be associated with social groups enabling members to ask and respond to questions and gain feedback on new ideas.

Interactive user profile offers more personalization

DNN 6.2 empowers community members to create and manage a personal profile and dashboard. The new profile can be easily customized to display desired member information. It also offers flexible privacy controls, personal file storage and a user focused activity feed.

Message center improves communication

In addition to activity feed based communication users can also send and reply to private messages. DNN 6.2 includes an integrated messaging center that enables users to interact with other users or groups through messages that are similar to email.

Member directory provides foundation for collaboration

A member directory is vital to the success of any collaborative site that is based on user-to-user interaction. It enables users to find and connect with other users on the site. With DNN 6.2 users can search for members based on multiple search criteria.

Social authentication increases community participation

Users and members can now more easily register and sign onto a DotNetNuke web site using their credentials from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ 6.2 makes it easier than ever before for customers and prospects to participate in an online community.

SharePoint integration improves enterprise document publishing

The DNN 6.2 Enterprise Edition improves internal document collaboration through integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 as well as SharePoint 2007. DNN 6.2 now enables organizations to publish one SharePoint view or directory to multiple DNN web sites or publish multiple views to a single DNN site.

Cloud-based document storage reduces costs

The DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise Editions include the Document Library which allows organizations to store, share and mange documents online. The DNN 6.2 Document Library now supports the DNN folder provider which allows physical documents to be stored in the DNN file system, database or on popular cloud services like Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure

Fully localized platform enables customers to work in their preferred language

DotNetNuke Corporation now supports four additional core languages: Dutch, French, German and Spanish. With DNN 6.2 organizations can now download and install fully localized versions of the DNN Content Management Platform and work in their preferred language. The complete platform including the installer, site template, administrative menus and included modules are fully localized.

DNN 6.2 for developers

The DNN 6.2 Social API enables developers to write applications that access and control the activity feed, user relationships, social groups, user profiles and notifications. DNN 6.2 also provides support for modern, client-based development techniques. It includes the jQuery, jQueryUI and Knockout.js development libraries and the new DNN Service Framework. The DNN Service Framework enables developers to create application services that any device that uses HTTP can call. A device can be almost anything including a smart phone or web page. Some specific features I worked with include:

Installation:

The first concern any developer / customer has is installation of the product.

I found that installing DotNetNuke is incredibly easy. Simply create a new Database (DNN for example), unzip the distribution files into an application directory in an IIS web site, configure the folder as an IIS Application, and bring up the site in your browser. The application will automatically come up showing the Install Wizard page. Simply follow the wizard, and you are done. It all takes only about 2 minutes to create a fully-functional DNN site. Compared to other CMS products I've tried, this one wins hands-down on ease of installation.

From this point you can log into your DNN Site with your "Host" (Admin) account and begin to customize and add features, modules, skins and other customizations.











You will note a very intuitive layout makes it extra easy to get around all of the Admin features and customize your DNN site.

Pricing:
The Community Edition of DotNetNuke is free. The DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise Editions include features which are not available in the free Community Edition, and start at $2998 per year. The additional features ensure success for organizations running critical web sites and web applications. Built on the same open source core as the Community Edition, the Professional and Enterprise Editions provide the features and services you expect from a proprietary solution including:

Advanced Content Approval Process – Administrators can create custom workflows with an unlimited number of states and reviewers. Workflows can be for individual module content changes or for changes to any modules on a page.

Granular User Permissions
– Page, module and folder level extended permissions provide granular security rights which allow you to precisely define which content contributors can edit which modules on each page.

Document Management
-- A full document management solution which allows your organization to store, control and view documents online including video and media files

Microsoft SharePoint Connector
(Enterprise Edition only) - Enables fast, secure publishing of documents stored in SharePoint to public web sites, extranets or intranets.

Windows Azure and Amazon S3 Support - Compatible with Windows Azure Cloud Hosting and provides two folder provider options for Amazon S3 and Azure File Storage.

eCommerce Engine
- Empowers organizations with a small portfolio of digital goods and services to quickly enable ecommerce on their web site.

User Interface Customization with Telerik RadControls
– A license for Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX for an unlimited number of developers to use within your Professional Edition instance

My Editable Pages
-- Links to all of the pages and modules in the site which a user has permission to Edit are displayed, allowing efficient page editing

Page and Module Caching
– Multiple caching options speed the delivery of web pages and reduce the workload on your web servers

Google Analytics for Marketing
– Support for advanced Google Analytics functionality such as visitor type, landing page, role, or referrer segmentation

Security Center
– Continuously feeds relevant alerts to your administrators with links to download any relevant security patches

File Integrity Checking
– Checks files in the installation and reports any inconsistencies which may impact web site reliability

Web Server Farm Support
– New caching provider delivers more efficient resource usage in web farms

Health Monitoring
– Pings the website periodically to identify failures and will notify the site owner. Also insures the site stays in web server memory for faster user accessibility.

Customer Service and Support - Unlimited online and email product support from DNN architects and engineers.

The Store - DotNetNuke has an online marketplace called the DotNetNuke Store. There are 1000s of modules, extensions, and designs in the store which make building a website very fast and affordable for DotNetNuke customers.

Need Help with Your Web Project?

DotNetNuke can also help you with your specific project needs. They have 100 partners trained and ready to help you with any size of project. Their partners are certified on DotNetNuke and can drive all aspects of website design and delivery including:

  • Site Design and Branding
  • Form Design and Development Social Integration
  • SEO
  • Mobile Websites
  • Marketing Automation Integration eCommerce
  • Custom Module Design



In summary, my experience using DotNetNuke has been very positive. It is a complete Web Content Management system, with ease of use, extensibility and support that is unequaled in the market.

To learn more, there is an excellent Web Seminar on the social features of the 6.2 release that you can view, as well as an Intro to the Professional Edition of DotNetNuke.

By Peter Bromberg   Popularity  (8923 Views)