Every day it never ceases to amaze me what people want websites for, and how some come across DotNetNuke because they were told about it, and other search, stumbled, guessed … who knows.
Where a couple of short years ago, most of the users and interest about the DotNetnuke installations were developers. I loved it when it was the rough DNN 1 & 2 interface.. I felt sometimes that when you skinned it – it brought about this wonderful life to the product that gave it that extra pizzazz when you transformed this rather simple site into a masterpiece.
However, with the maturity of this amazing framework, the look and feel has become polished, it’s taken on a more user friendly and appealing look, and it’s popularity has grown through being around, through becoming a genuinely viable option when it comes to developing solutions.
Bring into the equation the range of modules that you can purchase or get for nothing, or trial/demo, and package that with the developers who love the environment which DotNetNuke is and can be developed upon, it’s no wonder that in a few short years, some very high profile sites are implementing DotNetNuke as their web solution and unless something really goes wrong – I think they’ll keep the infrastructure for many years to come.. And my reason for thinking this is the close relationship DotNetNuke has provided for developers with VS 2000 & VS2005. There simply isn’t a .NET open source project that offers this sort of solution. And with some very active developers offering assistance by tutorials, sites, posts, private forums, templates, examples, source for download, so the whole concept of making developing available for the wider programmer community is really starting to have an impact.
But there’s another side I’m seeing and working with some developers on some solutions here.. and that’s the end users, which make up a HUGE portion of the DotNetNuke community, and struggle somewhat in making things work like they want. I find that even for me, I have to spend alot of time researching, testing, trying, installing, reading up on, asking questions, experimenting, analysing and the planning how I can deliver something that is what a client wants.
I’ve blogged before about compromise, and this isn’t what my thoughts are in this case, but merely an observation on how the shift in enquries, questions, and concerns I get through email or phone or SMS too, asking me how to go about things.
Sometimes I’m not sure if the fact I don’t code is to my advantage or disadvantage, but I’m already working close on 80 – 90 hours per week and lately it’s been 7 days a week – for the last several months, with sometimes only a few hours off to have a break in a day, just so I can get on top of things. I’m sure I’m not in the same boat, but what I’m finding is that it’s a mix of a few things.. Between working out what module goes with what build, what build that site is, is it the original build or was it upgraded? What is the latest version of any modules i might be using? Are there some handy enhancements of builds that I might like to extend or share with my dlients. Am I going to upgrade a specific portal to be the latest.. or do I just build a new one and import the users into it. (That’s what’s happening with xd.com.au – a new build next year and goodbye to DNN 3.2.2.)
I also feel that because I have my own equipment I’m lucky – luckier than those who bravely step out, all enthusiastic about DNN to find their sites don’t do what they expect. Or the effort to build locally and then deploy live – on a hosted server is one that is something I think needs alot of consideration. Not because DotNetNuke can’t work this way- but I’ve seen problems of time outs, files not uploaded, different permissions from local servers to live, that stop sites working like they should. Sometimes I think it’s because DNN has so many files, things need to be done in sections..
I’m finding more people are asking questions about the best way to set something up.. how to migrate their already large non DNN site to the DNN infrastructure, and how to economise on management, pages, and put together solutions that are slightly more involved than just a few pages.
It might come as a surprise to some, but I think you can create an unwieldy, difficult to manage DotNetNuke site easier than you think… I see the example here with XD and now, with hindsight – and of course this is the 3rd version of XD, I will be taking on a completely new approach in the new year as I actually put some of my ideas to the test.
I will upgrade my portfolio – it’s dismally out of date.. and I have a cool skin – new one for release and of course we’ve released http://www.skincovered.com – which I’ll do a separate blog about, and I’ll probably conttinue to deploy other websites – I don’t mind having a few sites to manage, I feel that sometimes its’ easier to segment them rather than trying to put something out there that’s fitting under one banner. XD really doesn’t mean much to people but ninasfreeskins.com does – and dnnskins.com is separate from ninasfreeskins because they aren’t all my skins.
So back on the topic of diversity… I’m doing a complete school portal for a government department in New South Wales – just fantastic… I’ve redone http://www.livingthing.net.au – to DNN, and there are about 130 mb of downloadable pdf files.. that will be live in the coming weeks I would expect.
I’m doing some very interesting ecommerce, and expect that in the new year some good things will be available in the way of shop portals – completely ready to go – as we get better with how the ecommerce functions and looks.
We’re doing some financial sites, church sites (on in particular is so beautiful – I really like it)
I am currently a member of the board for an educational project – in Ohio, a large project offering mentoring, advice, guidance and some project management for projects that students are creating – this is the first instance where I’ve seen DNN be part of the curriculum and these guys are pretty smart. I will have more information about these projects when I get time to discuss it.
I have a couple of projects that are running a bit over time – mainly due to modules not being ready – but these are just great “left of center” projects that I can’t wait to have finished, and neither can the clients.. That’s one of the frustrating parts of DNN when you’re waiting for something to be finished, stable, fixable, deliverable, and it’s not happening for various reasons..
I had a hard time for a long time with the downloadable files problem.
But all in all, the range of users and puropse for using DotNetNuke has grown this year tremendously..
And, with the 4.4. build just around the corner, with the focus on performance it’s going to be some good times ahead – we’ve seen the worst of the problems that plagued us earlier in the year.
Anyway – that’s about it for now..
I’m just happy to be sharing some information about DNN and glad to just be able to have a few moments where I can put my thoughts down again, as it’s like thinking out loud when I write here..
Thanks for reading..