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DotNetNuke Business Model and Product Roadmap (Part 2 of 2)

In my last post – DotNetNuke Business Model and Product Roadmap (Part 1 of 2) – I provided some insights into the DotNetNuke Corp. business model, specifically as it pertains to the similarities and differences between DotNetNuke Community and Professional Editions.

In this post I provide some background and insights into how we develop the DotNetNuke product roadmap and also share the roadmap for DotNetNuke 5.1 Community and Professional Editions.

There is no shortage of features that existing DotNetNuke users would like to see added to the product. No matter what feature we add, there will be some users who question the addition of that feature over another that may have more importance to them. The best thing we can do is to gather input from as many constituencies as possible, and then prioritize based on strategic objectives and time/resource constraints.

In order to determine the roadmap for DotNetNuke, we use the following sources:

  • Site forums
  • Site roadmap
  • Enhancement requests logged in Gemini
  • Feedback from site forms and surveys
  • Feedback from DotNetNuke team volunteers
  • Feedback from customers (of both editions)
  • Feedback from customer prospects
  • Feedback from ISV’s, consultants and designers in our ecosystem
  • Feedback from ISV’s and consultants not in our ecosystem
  • Feedback from conference and user group attendees
  • Analysis of competitive landscape
  • Industry, market and technology trends
  • Feedback from experts in Open Source, WCM and enterprise software
  • Feedback from investors
  • Experience and intuition

After aggregating the resulting feature requests, we divide them into Community and Professional features.

Community features are those that broad segments of DotNetNuke users would find beneficial and would use on a regular basis. We review how the feature will impact the product’s usability, accessibility, security, performance, scalability, etc. We also evaluate the time and cost of implementing the feature and its strategic importance. All these factors determine if the feature is added to the product roadmap for the Community Edition.

Professional features are those that advanced business users of DotNetNuke would find beneficial and would be willing to pay for. These features are often easy to spot as their use is typically associated with the existence of advanced infrastructure, large site membership, high-traffic or mission critical applications, advanced security requirements or complex business processes. Also, features that would result in significant time savings and improved productivity when managing large sites are candidates. We evaluate the time, cost and return on investment of implementing the feature and its strategic and competitive importance before adding it to the product roadmap for Professional Edition.

Since Professional Edition was first announced, we have often heard comments or concerns about neglecting or withholding features from Community Edition to "force people to buy Professional Edition." Let me share some insights to help mitigate these concerns:

  • Continued growth in the adoption of Community Edition is essential to the survival of DotNetNuke Corp. Open Source companies cease to exist if they don’t have a thriving community. Communities don’t thrive around products that are stagnant and not evolving or innovating. We want DotNetNuke Corp. to be successful, and therefore, ensuring the continued success of Community Edition is a strategic imperative for us.
  • We can’t put every feature with value only into Community Edition, nor can we put every feature with value only into Professional Edition. There is a middle ground and finding it is not an exact science. We have to balance our desire to have Community Edition adoption grow, with our need to build a sustainable, profitable business so we can pay our bills and continue to fund the project. The feature selection process outlined above, while subjective, is rational and driven by our prior experience nurturing the growth of this ecosystem.
  • If you happen to be one of those people with the concerns outlined above, do consider the roadmap for DotNetNuke 5.1 Community and Professional Edition below objectively. I trust that after reviewing the roadmap you will not be as concerned.

DotNetNuke 5.1 Roadmap

Now that you have some background and perspective, let’s review the roadmap for DotNetNuke 5.1.

Starting with 5.1 we are embarking on a multi-release, phased improvement of the DotNetNuke User Experience from the ground-up. Our vision is to implement a high degree of consistency, usability and fluidity to the DotNetNuke user experience by employing a pattern-based UI approach. We have created mock-ups of many such patterns, and as you can imagine, the task of implementing them is large with significant enhancements to the Core Framework Libraries and Core Extensions.

Given the nature of user interfaces, they have high complexity or interdependency and therefore are at a high risk of taking longer than planned. (In the roadmap grid below, some UX features have a gray background to indicate their risk of being excluded from the release or adversely impacting the release schedule.)

Another feature we will deliver in 5.1 is the often-requested Content Approval feature. We view this feature as separate and different from Workflow, which may involve complex business rules and processes. Since most “content” in DotNetNuke is managed using the Text/HTML module, we will implement the approval features in this module. Professional Edition users who have more involved Content Approval requirements can continue to use the Text/HTML module or derive additional benefit from the HTML Pro module, a more advanced version of the Text/HTML module that will be included in the Professional Edition package.

Here’s the roadmap feature grid for DotNetNuke 5.1:





Content Management

Content Approval

- Single-stage content approval

- Select content approver roles at the site level

- Text/HTML module enhancement to support Content Approval


Content Approval and Versioning

- Multi-stage content approval

- Define stages and select content approver roles at the site level

- HTML Pro module to support multi-stage Content Approval



User Experience

Control Panel

Improvements in usability and appearance through tabbed, ribbon user interface



Advanced Control Panel

Add a page or edit common page settings directly from the Control Panel




Skin Objects

Skin objects code will be XHTML compliant



Action Panel Skin Object

An Action Panel Skin Object to provide a consistent way for exposing available actions to users



Management Console

Improve access and discoverability of administrative features by aggregating features into a Windows-style control panel


Analytics & SEO

Google Analytics Support

Support for injection of analytics tracking code on every page



Google Analytics for Marketing Support

Support for advanced Google Analytics segmentation based on role membership




Per-page Custom Sitemap Rank

Define the rank for each page for use in the Sitemap published to search engines.



Change Audit

Last modified and full history audit trails



Extended Edit Permissions

Page, module and folder level permissions that extend existing Edit permissions




Distributed Caching Provider

More efficient resource usage in large web farms




Application Integrity Checking

Checks files in the installation and reports any inconsistencies which may impact website reliability



Network Services

Health Monitoring

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




Vulnerability Database (Basic)

Maintains a vulnerability database with basic information for each product version to easily identify potential issues



Vulnerability Database (Detailed)

Maintains a vulnerability database with detailed information for each product version to easily identify potential issues



Hopefully the information in this two-post series was helpful to you and answered more questions than it raised.


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