DotNetNuke (formerly known as the IBuySpy Workshop) is an automated content management framework explicitly intended to be used in intranet and extranet deployments and open source portals. DotNetNuke has a heady set of tools that lets you build dynamic websites. The information in such sites is interactive and data-driven. The information changes automatically as it is contained in file or database. Publishing blogs, showing current affairs, chat system, date, time, weather forecast and other similar stuff are the changing or dynamic data you can easily put on your website using DotNetNuke tools.
Within an organization, portals provide a single web front-end to the many applications within an organization. It may be providing Transactions, HR, Locker info, Customer Services provided in a Banking environment all from one site. The back-end data base systems are also connected to provide businesses with the prospect to combine information and use it fruitfully.
Key benefits and reasons to move to DotNetNuke are:
- Easy Web site administration: While working on this framework no programming knowledge is required. Clients can generate, supervise and publish web content without requiring any technical skill level.
- Ready to use: DotNetNuke is user-friendly framework and is built in such a way as to allow users to deal with all parts of their projects. A well worked out user interface allows an easy operation.
- Advanced Features: The advanced features in DotNetNuke exceed the features in your homegrown applications. Moreover it is a constantly evolving with multi-functionality to cater end-user requirements. It also saves development time.
- Strength: The administrative options are skillfully divided between host level and individual portal level. In one hosting account the administrator at DotNetNuke supports multiple portals or sites- each with its own look.
- Powerful Tools: DotNetNuke comes with a set of powerful tools. These built in tools provide multi-functionality for security, site designing, hosting, site membership options etc. There are various other features that can be manipulated as per your needs with these tools.
- Network of Support: A Core Team of developers is always there to support DotNetNuke. Online Forums, blogs, online help and various websites give DotNetNuke a dedicated network of support.
- Easy Installation: DotNetNuke.com provides the free download software and an install.pdf with install instructions for the latest version of DotNetNuke. DotNetNuke can be made running within minutes.¼LI>Multi-Language Localization: DotNetNuke supports a multi-language localization that allows the websites built on it, to be translated into any language.
- Licensed Open Source Software: DotNetNuke 3.0 is available for free download. The full application source code and sub-projects are distributed under a standard BSD open source license; providing the maximum freedom in both non-commercial and commercial environments.
- Increase Profits Opportunities: DotNetNuke is module based. So you can build up various unique modules and sell them to your clients. Besides this, you can also go commercial with site templates, database options etc.
- Latest Technology: The working of DotNetNuke utilizes modern day technology- ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Web Developer, Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, thus giving the users a hands on to the latest technology.
- Advanced CMS: DotNetNuke has built-in tools to create the most complex content management systems. Moreover, many options of extending and customizing the site are also available.
- Established: DotNetNuke is a now a trademark in web designing. It is a popular brand in the open source community. With over 250,000 registered users and a talented team of developers. Through end-user feedback and real world trial DotNetNuke continues to grow.
- Easy to integrate: With its flexible infrastructure, DotNetNuke is easy to integrate within your conventional processes.
- Priority on security: Emphasis placed on validation, encryption, “bug” tracking and potential threats provides a secure way to build websites.
- Fully customizable: Changes can be made to portals at all levels – from basic stylesheet elements like font type, color, and bullet points, to overall site appearance. New skins and module containers can be easily applied to the site with no repercussion on content.
DotNetNuke is built on a Microsoft ASP.NET (VB.NET) platform. The most recently released versions are 3.3.x and 4.3.x
A website in DotNetNuke is made up of Pages. These Pages exhibit information to your site visitors. A clickable item called Menu is present on Pages that helps you to navigate across the site. You go to these pages by clicking on Links. When you click on Menu, various Menu Items are displayed hat Link to other pages.
Information on Pages is added by putting Modules on them. Modules impart functionality to your website. Different types of modules are available for displaying different types of content. They may be pooled in different unique ways to design your specific website. Modules can be simple like Text/HTML Module, which allows you to put in HTML or Text that you like or they can be complicated like an import module or an online chat utility.
You may have secure information on your site that you don't want to make visible to anyone. Only the registered visitors are to be given special Permissions to view the secure information. You can make the page visible and just hide some of the Modules, which you don’t want to show. This makes users know that they can access further only if they Register and then Login. So the module, which is to be viewed by specific group or to be made secure, is not visible on the page.
"Skin" describes the visual layout or appearance of your website's pages. A Skin can be simple or complex. The skin can be different for different containers of the pages. It can provide different style for horizontal or vertical Menus and provide for different layouts. Some Skins are included with DotNetNuke install while others are available from other sources. Every new page always has the same look which is the default Skin for your website. Your website's default Skin is managed on a page accessible only to Administrators. This setting applies to your entire website and to all new pages that you create.
Every Page has predefined areas called Panes that give the Page its appearance. Modules are placed on these Panes. Every page Skin has at least one pane. A skin may have several panes as per the page design like panes may be intended for specific purposes e.g. an emblem or a logo in the header of a website.
There are many Modules available with DotNetNuke that offer wide spectrum of functionality and custom modules with some special functionality are also available on certain other sites. Some examples of DotNetNuke Modules and their functionality are:
- The Announcements module produces a list of simple text announcements consisting of a title and brief description. It is very handy for making your website visitors aware of items of interest which may have links to additional information. Options include a "read more" link to a file, tab or other site, announcement publish date and expiration date.
- Banner Modules: Banners can enabled in the header of the portal through the Admin > Site Settings tab.Reporting is provided for banner views and clicks. Each banner module can be set to render from one of two separately managed levels of vendor directories, one for the portal host and one for the portal administrator. Banners managed by the portal host are available in all child portals managed under the host portal.Banner types include standard Banner, MicroButton, Button, Block, Skyscraper, Text and Script options
- The DotNetNuke Documents module presents a list of files within DotNetNuke for download by end users. Documents can be stored within a DotNetNuke portal, or accessed from an external website or portal. Access to documents can be secured using the core role-based security from within DotNetNuke
- The Text/HTML Module provides for the input of simple or HTML-formatted text. Simple text is input in a standard text box and a filter converts carriage returns (paragraph breaks) to HTML breaks. HTML-formatted text can be input directly or generated by an alternate rich text input utility that provides a number of advanced WYSIWYG features as well as a gallery of all uploaded images
DotNetNuke has many built-in modules such as content module, Table, Events, Links, Picture and more. Various other modules with functionality to cater different aspects of websites can be found in DotNetNuke Web Forums, Blogs and various other websites. The DotNetNuke portal builder lets you construct various intranet and client/vendor extranets using the modules provided and those imported from other sites. While building up an intranet or an extranet one basically requires the following functionality:
- Post/upload/attach a file or a document to the company standard protocols/procedures that is Central file storage of protocols/procedures is needed. This can be done using the Documentation Module.
- Internal and external contacts: To satisfy this one must have multiple instances of contact Module.
- Calendar: This can be added with Events/AVCalendar module
- Staff in/out board: This cannot be found in core module but is easy.
- A way to display Text: A core Text/HTML module will work well.
- Web links required: Links module provides links to various sites.
- Access restricted by user level possible to link Active Directory: AD integration in core provides this functionality.
- Alert users to new upload: This can be implemented by modules easily available.
However, technology is not one tool but to pick the best from Toolbox. Share Point Services also provide some Intranet solutions but is generally used when your needs are more collaboration/communication-centric while DotNetNuke provides more document/content-centric.
DotNetNuke is used internationally to create web applications that must accommodate the specific culture of both the hosting organization, and the individual end users/site visitors. These websites have to serve a wide range of people with specific languages and culture. Therefore, the aim was to provide a set of procedures to simplify creation of multilingual web sites. So certain standard measures to add new languages and translate resource files, an application programming interface for Core Modules as well as other modules is basically needed for localizability of modules. Since version 3 DotNetNuke provides a set of features to allow static localizability of modules. By static information we mean all data that is not subject to user modification and that can be considered for the most part as not changeable. This includes text labels, error and information messages, help, and graphics that are spread throughout the user interface of the application. The initial release of Multilingual Translations includes only static translations. This means that DotNetNuke framework will convert static strings, but will not convert dynamic content i.e. content stored in the database. It is now possible to roll out websites that are completely non-English. The DNN 3.1 framework allows monolinguistic non-English sites, but not multilingual ones. The ability to have multilingual sites is especially important in countries that have more than one official language. This brings the concept of Dynamic Localization that is capacity to carry content in multiple languages. The word dynamic refers to content that is changed by users, not the programmers. Generally, current multilingual sites consist of multiple shadowing sites. Different URLs support different language entry points i.e. a different URL for a different language. This is a static website solution. However, a portal structure such as DNN must offer content tailored to the visitor on a single page thus, eliminating the ability to have the shadowing sites. The framework should detect the user’s preferred language and offer the correct content. This gives the concept of dynamic localization.
DotNetNuke puts the authority to build and administer Web site in the hands of your clients. They have an active role in managing information on their Web sites, intranets, and extranets. They can browse to the area on the site where they want to create or edit content, and click on the appropriate content management option. Thus, the clients are site administrator. Moreover, DotNetNuke integrates quickly with your infrastructure and has no licensing restrictions.
The benefits of DotNetNuke for hosters include:
- DotNetNuke is browser based content management system. It simplifies web site management by letting the clients, regardless of their skill; decide the infrastructure and content of the site.
- No Developers, no programmers needed. So a working website is developed quite fast.
- A client can easily make changes in website without any support. So content authoring, deployment, and configuration support is not required hence reducing costs of maintaining a website.
- DotNetNuke separates site content from site design so extremely customized site templates can be provided for your clients.
- DotNetNuke is an advanced and constantly evolving technology. It is versatile, user friendly and has an international community to support thus saves your valuable development time and expenses.
- Leverage existing investments: DotNetNuke is built on Microsoft technology, including the .NET Framework so it leverages your existing investments such as Windows servers, database servers, and development tools.
- It simplifies internal management processes, and makes your hosting packages more attractive and valuable. With an active open source community and more than 150,000 registered users worldwide, DotNetNuke is loved by Hosters.