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Aggregated Forums

One of my favorite new features in DNN 4.3 is located in the DNN Forums. Last year we launched the DNN Projects initiative where we supply infrastructure to developers who are developing open source modules for the DNN platform. One aspect of the infrastructure was a project home page for each project on dotnetnuke.com and on this page we wanted to provide a communication channel with the project team. With our DNN Forums module we created specialized sub-forums for each project ( much like the sub-forums on www.asp.net ) but we also wanted a way to expose only a specific sub-forum on an individual project page. Based on the DNN architecture which allows you to share the same module content on different virtual pages within your site, this feature was not too difficult to add to the DNN Forums. This provided a very nicely categorized forum system. Unfortunately, the side effect of having so many specialized forums is that it becomes cumbersome and inefficient to get a comprehensive view of all forum activity going on within your site. So in DNN 4.3 we introduced as concept we called "Aggregated Forums". Much like an RSS news reader, it aggregates the threads from all public forums into a single integrated view. This makes the usability of the forums much more productive for the community. We probably could have accomplished this by using the DNN News aggregator module and subscribing to each individual forum RSS feed - but this would not have been nearly as powerful as the fully integrated forum experience we implemented. One thing I find very interesting about forum software in general is that many products spend a lot of time and effort simply trying to emulate phpBB ( the most popular forum product ) rather than looking for ways to innovate. I am proud of the innovations we offer in the DNN Forums.

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