DotNetNuke - another powerful content management system to add to the existing list. With so many CMS's around and each one of them offering you a vast set of features, you feel pampered. A few years back, building your dream website for your organization and managing its content simultaneously, seemed such a daunting task. However after Content Management Systems have come into existence, publishing dynamic content in a consistently structured and customized manner has been astonishingly simplified.

With over 500,000 registered users and 5.0 million downloads in late 2007 (as per official sources), DotNetNuke has become one of today’s largest and effective open source CMS. It has been written in Microsoft’s VB.NET for the ASP.NET (also by Microsoft) framework. With an extensible core and a set of additional customization features that include modules and skins, DotNetNuke can be used to develop, deploy and efficiently manage websites, including extranets and intranets.

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Intro to DotNetNuke

DotNetNuke – another powerful content management system to add to the existing list. With so many CMS’s around and each one of them offering you a vast set of features, you feel pampered. A few years back, building your dream website for your organization and managing its content simultaneously, seemed such a daunting task. However after Content Management Systems have come into existence, publishing dynamic content in a consistently structured and customized manner has been astonishingly simplified.

With over 500,000 registered users and 5.0 million downloads in late 2007 (as per official sources), DotNetNuke has become one of today’s largest and effective open source CMS. It has been written in Microsoft’s VB.NET for the ASP.NET (also by Microsoft) framework. With an extensible core and a set of additional customization features that include modules and skins, DotNetNuke can be used to develop, deploy and efficiently manage websites, including extranets and intranets.

What makes DotNetNuke stand apart form the other CMS’s is the way in which it allows you to implement modules and skins, in order to customize your web application(s). Without any expertise of development in ASP.NET, web designers can develop skins for an application and it is this feature completely separates design from content. Only basic knowledge of HTML and understanding the inherent steps to prepare and implement the skins themselves is necessary. Skins have been implemented in DotNetNuke as basic HTML files with placeholders that serve as templates for content, menus and other GUI features. This includes support files such as JavaScript, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and images.

The DotNetNuke architecture can be extended to provide an additional set of features and functionalities by the use of pluggable modules. The core includes almost a dozen of them that is included with the distribution and other modules can be downloaded from the official DotNetNuke website. These modules include pluggable add-ons some of which are forums, blogs, wiki, e commerce systems and mailing lists.

There have also been some criticisms associated with this CMS. The instructions for creating an appropriate module are cumbersome. A very important feature that lacks in DotNetNuke is the ability to dynamically localize the content of your website. There is no provision for providing content in languages other than English. There has also been debate on the fact that some of its older modules do not work as advertised.

However recently, the quality of the newer DotNetNuke releases have improved and are more stable compared to the earlier releases. The official portal features regular updates. Moreover, DotNetNuke has an impressive fan following. It has grown more and more popular with the passage of time. There are a number of online user groups available for assistance where you can learn more about the DotNetNuke platform.

I remember playing the “Duke Nukem” game once. Speaking of CMS’s, I often DotNetNuke!

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