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Module Vendors: 5 Benefits to Creating Persona Bar Extensions

DNN-9DNN 9 is getting ready to launch this week and will provide a major improvement to the admin experience for DNN users.  The new Persona Bar removes many outdated administrative features and settings, and is faster and easier to use than the old admin tools available in the control panel. The feedback from our users has been overwhelmingly positive and I am personally looking forward to being able to use the new release on DNNSoftware.com.

The DNN 9 Persona Bar provides more than just a nice admin experience. It also provides a new extensibility point for DNN module developers to deliver administrative features to their users. If you are looking for a better way to build admin tools for your module, then you should look at the Persona Bar. Below are five benefits to creating Persona Bar extensions.

1)    DNN 9 Promotes a Unified Admin Experience

In prior versions of DNN, the admin experience was a bit disjointed. While many platform features tried to use the standard design patterns from DNN 6, they were not always implemented consistently. The same was true of many administrative tools built by third party developers. Additionally, some features were implemented as part of the Control Panel, while others were implemented on their own admin or host pages.

In DNN 9 we worked hard to consistently implement the same design patterns and styles across all the different administrative interfaces. We have updated the information architecture (IA) to make it easier to find different settings.  We will also be releasing a new DNN 9 design guide and a set of React components to make it easier for developers to create their own Persona Bar extensions that feel like native platform features. 

Building your own Persona Bar extensions allows your customers to benefit from this same unified experience. Customers will see your extension side by side with native platform features greatly improving usability and reducing training costs.

2)    DNN 9 Persona Bar is Fast

Prior versions of DNN relied heavily on ASP.Net Web Forms for building extensions. This development model made frequent use of post-backs which resulted in additional page refreshes.

The new Persona Bar uses a more modern client-side development approach that greatly improves performance of all the admin tools, including your custom extensions. The Persona Bar also uses a slideout UI so that users can quickly access your extension and then quickly slide it back out of the way to get back to the content they were working on.  Your users will love how fast your UI loads and how simple it is to access.

3)    DNN 9 Persona Bar Isolates Your UI from JavaScript and CSS conflicts.

Prior to DNN 9, module developers had to worry about themes breaking their UI.  Themes often loaded their own CSS and JavaScript which could have a negative impact on modules.

The DNN 9 Persona Bar is loaded inside an Iframe which helps to isolate Persona Bar extensions from the CSS and JavaScript on the rest of the page. This isolation gives you much greater control over how your interface will be rendered and removes one more potential conflict which could give your users a negative impression of your module. Fewer rendering problems will greatly improve the overall experience for your customers and help reduce some of your customer support costs.

4)    Get a First Mover Advantage

As users begin moving to DNN and Evoq 9, they will be looking for modules that use the new UI paradigm.  Be one of the first to support the Persona Bar and help your modules stand out from the crowd.  I am sure that your customers will greatly appreciate the new Persona Bar experience for your module as much as customers are telling us that they enjoy the DNN Admin Experience. 

5)    Receive Additional Promotion

The DNN Corp marketing team is looking for some great module developers that we can promote as part of our DNN 9 rollout.  Be one of the first developers to offer Persona Bar support and get featured on the DNNSoftware.com website with a case study.  We’ll also feature your module in an upcoming community newsletter. While we would love to offer this to all of our developers, space and time constraints will limit how many case studies we can create.  So don’t wait and start developing your extension today to take advantage of this limited time offer.

Building Persona Bar Extensions is Easy

Join us at the DNN 9 Launch Webinar on Thursday, December 8th and we’ll show you just how easy it is to develop for the new Persona Bar. Navin Nagiah, Will Morgenweck and myself will be discussing the new features in DNN and Evoq 9, showing off some new project templates for the Persona Bar, and talking about our vision for the future.

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