One aspect which has been critical to the success of the DotNetNuke platform is the ability to enhance the core functionality with custom extensions. This "killer" architectural feature dates back to the 1.0 release in mid-2003 where we introduced the ability to create modules which could be packaged as a single ZIP file and distributed to other users for simple run-time installation into their site. Over the years other extension types have been added and today include categories such as modules, skins, providers, skin objects, language packs, and skin widgets.
Now this is the Microsoft ecosystem, so it did not take very long before developers discovered the extensibility model and recognized the unique commercial opportunity it presented. Commercial modules began to appear in late 2003 and as the DotNetNuke platform evolved, so did the commercial extensions ecosystem around the project. In fact a number of the more serious vendors which customers rely on as a critical component of their business today, got their start during this time frame.
While this was going on, an entrepreneurial developer from Tennessee experienced some early success selling a few commercial DotNetNuke modules. He soon realized the bigger opportunity to be addressed was creating a central ecommerce marketplace to connect consumers with module developers. This fellow was Brice Snow and his site, SnowCovered.com, soon became a one-stop-shop for all DotNetNuke extensions. The introduction of this marketplace was invaluable to the growth of the DotNetNuke ecosystem and throughout 2004 we even included a prominent ad on the Home page of dotnetnuke.com which pushed significant traffic to SnowCovered.
In the years between 2005 and the present, Snowcovered retained its first-mover advantage and strengthened its position as the leading marketplace for DotNetNuke extensions. DotNetNuke Corporation introduced its own DotNetNuke Marketplace in early 2007 with some very specific ideas on how to differentiate itself but ultimately could not persuade developers to make the transition. Snowcovered continued to enjoy a thriving business, much of which can be attributed to Brice Snow's personal style and commitment, attention to detail, and singular focus on superior customer service. Snowcovered has always succeeded in providing the best tools to developers and the best user experience for consumers.
However, the one unfortunate side effect of having a marketplace which was completely independent from the creators and maintainers of the platform is that many opportunities for collaboration were missed. For a number of years DotNetNuke Corporation looked at other successful marriages of product and channel ( ie. iPod/iTunes, etc... ) and believed there was a viable opportunity to elevate this ecosystem to the next level. But this would only be possible if we could combine the various pieces of the puzzle in a seamless, cohesive manner.
I am very excited to take part in the public announcement today that DotNetNuke Corporation has acquired SnowCovered and Brice Snow will be joining our team immediately as we embark on the next leg of our journey. Since I am a firm believer in "not messing up a good thing", I believe it will be beneficial for us to continue operating Snowcovered in a manner which is consistent with Brice's past philosophy of exemplary service and developer enablement. I am confident this marriage will result in greater opportunities for developers of DotNetNuke extensions. It will also result in much deeper integration and collaboration which should lead to increased market growth and prosperity for everyone.
Please join me in congratulating Brice and welcoming him to our team!