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DotNetNuke Core Release Process

We have had a number of questions showing up in the forums concerning the release of DNN 4.5, and I wanted to take a second to clarify our general release process.

DotNetNuke is used by thousands of users and websites worldwide and represents a key infrastructure component for many businesses.  We have always been cognizant of the results of rushing a release out the door.  This often results in extended testing cycles by our end users and occassionally a broken site or two.  This is very disturbing to many in the community who rely on the stability of the platform.  As such we must constantly balance the desire to get a version out the door with our obligation to make sure it is as stable and bug-free as can be reasonably expected.

In the past we have not always achieved a consistent quality level.  A seemingly minor update in the past has occassionally result in increased instability due to some unforseen issues that slipped through testing.  This often occurs when we have tried to rush a version out the door because of a self-imposed deadline.

Going forward we are looking to correct this behavior.  This is why we are reluctant to announce release dates, because there are always last minute issues which cause us to miss them.  It is much easier for us to post a timeframe for when a version will be feature complete and ready for beta testing.  At a minimum, we have committed to providing Platinum Benefactors with two weeks of beta testing to ensure that we have not introduced breaking changes which could adversely affect their businesses or products.  As we found out with this release, two weeks is sometimes not enough to identify and resolve all of the critical errors for a release.  We try to guage our beta period based on the complexity of the platform changes, however, this does not always correlate well with the actual time needed to finish the testing to ensure a minimum acceptable quality level.

With that said, we have announced a couple of anticipated release timeframes for 4.5.  This was done to try and provide as much feedback as possible to the community so that you could plan for the inevitable site upgrades that will occur.  However, as much as we hate to miss an announced date, we hate to release an inferior product even more.  Like every announced date, we always try to caveat the announcement that the date is subject to change based on the results of testing.  This message is not always clear or consistent, but it is a reality nonetheless.

With that said, we are almost ready to release 4.5.  RC3 is going through testing this week, with the expectation that we will get a thumbs up to release early next week.  This is not written in stone, and if we find any major showstoppers may well change.  We appreciate the support of the community as we work through this release.  Stay tuned...  we are almost there.

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