DNN 8 has reached another major milestone. After more than 9 months of development, I am pleased to announce that DNN 8 Beta has been released. In the month since DNN 8 CTP 7 was released, the team has spent a lot of time reviewing the features planned for DNN 8 and working to stabilize the release.
DNN 8 has a long list of features. Since the beginning we have been very focused on delivering valuable features that address key developer challenges. With the introduction of MVC and SPA module types, DNN 8 will provide more options for developers, and allow them to build modules using their .Net framework of choice. In addition, we have been working to provide additional authentication options for developers using the DNN Service Framework.
The DNN 8 beta represents the full feature set that we expect to ship in January. In the last month the team has closed more than 150 issues, including over 30 issues in the new CKEditor. In addition, the team has worked to incorporate many new community contributions as well. The team has also finished refactoring almost all of the administration modules into separate projects.
The DNN 8 beta include the following new enhancements/features:
- DnnImageHandler – The DnnImageHandler replaces the existing ProfilePicHandler. The image handler allows developers to easily manipulate images directly on the server. Resizing, cropping, rotating, filtering and many more effects are supported out ot the box. The image handler provides multiple modes and built-in anti-DOS protection.
- Settings API – The new settings API simplifies accessing module, tabmodule and portalsettings from your module. Instead of using a generic string dictionary, the new API allows you to create a strongly typed settings class that can serialize and deserialize your settings data automatically.
- Default.CSS API – One of the biggest pain points for designers is dealing with all of the base styles included in Default.css. The new APIs included in the Client Resource Manager makes it easier for us to continue iterating and updating default.css without breaking all of the existing skins. Skin designers can specify exactly which version of default.css they want loaded, or unload default.css completely – giving designers the ultimate control.
- MVC Partial Views – One of the big features for DNN 8 is the new MVC module type. The DNN 8 beta release now includes support for MVC partial views.
As we approach our anticipated January release, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding the feature set we will deliver. Earlier this year, we began work on a new structured content feature (the Dynamic Content Creator) . As a content management system we view structured content as a feature that is central to delivering a great CMS.
After doing a complete review of the Dynamic Content Creator in October and November, we determined that we would not be able to complete the feature to the quality level needed for a January release. We have a number of features planned for 2016 that depend on having a solid and stable core structured content platform. We felt that we still had a number of changes to make to the Dynamic Content Creator to allow us to move forward with these additional features. Rather than further delay DNN 8, we have made the decision to push DCC to our next release so that we can deliver a great feature rather than a feature that would need re-architecting in a subsequent release.
In addition we were not happy with the HMAC and oAuth services that were being developed. Based on our review and the goals for these features, we decided to cancel development of HMAC and postpone the development of oAuth. In their place we have begun work on a new JWT based authentication service which provides a much simpler authentication mechanism that provides greater control to developers. The JWT feature is expected to ship with DNN 8 but will only ship as a ‘Beta’ feature.
Overall, DNN 8 has a lot of great features that will simplify DNN development and provide developers with more options. I am really excited for all of the progress we have made so far on DNN 8 and look forward to the January launch. Go download DNN 8 Beta today and let us know what you think.