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Get Ready for DNN Version 9.1

In December 2009, we introduced the Telerik UI controls into the product.  The intention was to make it easier for developers to build UI components and to maintain some level of consistency.  Some third-party module developers adopted these controls, while others continued to do their own thing.  Module development has changed drastically since 2009. Developers are leveraging light weight, client-side frameworks and handling business logic with WebAPIs. The reality is that the Telerik components are adding too much overhead to the core product that is no longer necessary. With Telerik removed, we expect to see significant performance improvements with memory utilization, application start time and overall page size.  Removing Telerik has been a long journey, but I’m pleased to announce that this journey is almost over.  

Version 9.1 will be released at the end of April.  This release will have significant changes related to the removal of Telerik and completing the UI overhaul that we introduced in Version 9.0.  Some of these changes may be breaking changes for your site.  The information below is to help you understand what changes have been made and how they may impact your site.

Removal of Legacy Modules
Version 9.0 introduced a completely new UI for admin and host functionality.  The new UI doesn’t use any of our legacy webforms controls.  We did leave many of the old admin and host modules in place to help users with the transition.  However, those modules will be removed for new installs and upgrades with 9.1. Again, this change is intended to help with the overall performance of the product and also improve the overall user experience.  With 9.1, you will no longer be able to access old functionality by navigating to /Admin or /Host.  Those pages and modules within those pages are being removed.  Visit the 9.1 Extensions Removal page in the DNN Documentation Center to learn more about these changes.

Removal of Telerik
We have been working to remove Telerik since June 2014.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone that has attended a DNN conference or that follows the community blog. We do know that several third-party modules have continued to develop using the Telerik controls. We hope that vendors have already taken steps to move away from Telerik and will be able to provide you with new version around the release of 9.1 

The impact of removing Telerik will vary with each site.  It will depend on what third-party modules are on your site and any custom modules you have built.  If you have built anything using the Telerik controls then you should start testing and preparing for version 9.1 now.  We have tried to ensure that sites will have minimal impact during upgrades, but it is important that you understand how Telerik will be distributed.  Once we build a suitable replacement for the old Digital Asset Management module, Telerik will no longer be distributed in any fashion.  I expect this will happen later this year.  Visit the 9.1 Telerik Removal page in the DNN Documentation Center to learn more about these changes.

Comments

Michael Cunningham
Will, This is possibly the worst idea I've heard in a very long time and I've been using DNN since version 3.

The legacy modules are the only thing making 9.02 usable at this point and it makes me very nervous to have you remove them before the new UI is feature complete and had the bugs worked out for at least a release or two . At least make items like the page manager/page settings available as an installable plugin as the new one is far less usable. Don't believe me? Check out the hate on the community forums.

Additionally many of us keep control panels for third party extensions in the /Admin folder. It's useful to have utility pages outside of the primary navigation structure. At least give us a UI to add links to the new sidebar for our custom admin pages.

As for the Telerik Controls, I guess it's time but I'm concerned that many third party developers may walk away from DNN rather than rebuild their plugins.

Thanks
Michael Cunningham


Michael Cunningham Tuesday, April 4, 2017 9:04 PM (link)
Stefan Cullmann
The module DotNetNuke.Console will be removed? Seriously?
Or does it mean that only the admin/ host pages using the console module will be removed?

What about the user profile pages which are also using the console module up to DNN 9.0x?

I am also often using console for different other usecases.
Stefan Cullmann Tuesday, April 4, 2017 9:15 PM (link)
Will Morgenweck
@Stefan,
That's a good point. We will add further clarification to that page. The module isn't being removed. On a new install, there will not be a /Admin/ with the console module displayed.

-Will
Will Morgenweck Tuesday, April 4, 2017 11:28 PM (link)
Will Morgenweck
@Michael,
I can understand how you might feel that way. We are well aware of the comments in the forums and other channels. The 9.1 Version will restore any of the features that we accidentally missed. We don't want to support two different admin areas. Also, all of those old controls have various dependencies on Telerik. We need to continue to make technology improvements in the platform. You will still be able to create your own /admin or /host pages.

As far as the 3rd-party developers are concerned, we started communicating that this day would eventually come back in June 2014. It is about time that our 3rd-party vendors started to improve the UI/UX of their modules. Part of that improvement means removing Telerik. Perhaps this will create an opportunity for new vendors to build more modern modules for 9.x.

You are welcome to send feedback to me directly if you have other concerns you would like to share.

Thanks,
Will
will - at - dnnsoftware.com
Will Morgenweck Tuesday, April 4, 2017 11:41 PM (link)
Michael Cunningham
Thanks for the update Will. Sorry for the tone of the first post I'm just frustrated with v9 so far and was venting. I'll cross my fingers and make a backup.

I guess there is no chance you can leave the admin tools in place at least as an option until the new controls have the kinks worked out. I like speed of the new interface but I can't ask my users to jump through some of the hoops it forces upon you the biggest being:

1. Page Settings doesn't allow you to upload a file to a subfolder.
2. Parent Page cant be set from page settings.
3. Broken Functionality for disable pages in menus and in page selection controls.
4. No layout mode which causes a big problem for modules that are broken.

Thanks!

Michael

Michael Cunningham Wednesday, April 5, 2017 1:51 PM (link)
Joe Brinkman
@Michael - Thanks for the feedback on the issues you are having.
1. I don't see file upload control anywhere in page settings. What specifically are you asking about?
2. Pages can be easily dragged into their new location in the menu. We are trying to keep the UI as simple as possible and reduce the number of settings that a user must deal with. This also means we are actively reducing the number of methods available for accomplishing a given task. We may revisit this feature as part of our ADA/WCAG work.
3. Noted.
4. The page settings includes the ability to edit/delete modules on a given page allowing you to delete the module without requiring a layout mode.
Joe Brinkman Monday, April 10, 2017 3:11 PM (link)
Michael Cunningham
Joe,

1. If you set page link type to File and attempt to upload a file it will drop it into the portal root instead of allowing you to pick a folder.

2. Yes this works. Would work better if the path didn't collapse every time I moved a page however making you start over for each page.

3. Thanks

4. The problem with this method is that occasionally modules break the page itself and make it unusable and not all of the module settings are in the "module settings". An example would be the Form and List Module. It's easy to make breaking changes via the XSLT syle sheets that break the page. Unfortunately I have to get to the "Form and List Configuration" to fix the issue not the Module Settings Page.
Michael Cunningham Wednesday, April 12, 2017 1:45 PM (link)
Daniel Valadas
Hello Will, any chance that the wiki page could be updated on how to clone the git repository and submit pull requests. I understand that the project has been split in a couple of repositories for the personal bar admin experience but I can't figure out how these projects should be built and where each file should go.

Thanks
Daniel Valadas Thursday, April 13, 2017 9:28 PM (link)
Erik Hinds
I, for one, really welcome these changes. The transition to 9.x has been a bit bumpy (missing features, new learning curve etc) but as a whole, the platform changes are long overdue. The admin had to become more unified and consistent. For new users to the platform, the learning curve is the same or faster. It's legacy users who have to retrain the brain.

Any module vendor still using telerik (or webforms) controls should be avoided and as a community, we all should be migrating to other solutions if possible. What would be helpful is a thread of 3rd party modules that will break with 9.1.
Erik Hinds Tuesday, April 18, 2017 4:56 PM (link)
Hans Zassenahaus
I guess that I will stay with Release 8.xxx until I have the time necessary to go through all of the issues in upgrading to Release 9.xxx. It would be very helpful if there was a way to identify those modules which will not long work with Release 9.xxx
Hans Zassenahaus Saturday, April 22, 2017 1:57 PM (link)
Mike Ryckman
@Joe:

Thanks - I'm mostly excited about the changes in 9. But, just to note on your comment about parent pages. I have a forum post noting that this has broken basic functionality in multi-lingual environments. It becomes impossible to find or move pages under certain conditions and I believe it is a breaking change due to the absence of the parent page selector.
Mike Ryckman Thursday, April 27, 2017 2:29 AM (link)
kurt wilbies
I really love the changes in innovative changes, especially version 9.1. This CMS will stay for a long time.
kurt wilbies Monday, May 8, 2017 11:46 AM (link)
shilvi parikh
Can we directly upgrade from dnn 7.3 to dnn 9? Any issues?
shilvi parikh Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:09 AM (link)
Daniel Valadas
You can probalby upgrade from 7.3 to 9 BUT, I suggest you go with the recommended upgrade path at http://www.dnnsoftware.com/wiki/suggested-upgrade-path this upgrade path has been more tested and should be safer to prevent upgrade bugs. Also, check if you need to upgrade any modules, there has been some braking changes (mostly regarding telerik controls) and you may need to upgrade some third party modules too. Finally, don't forget to backup before the upgrade.
Daniel Valadas Wednesday, June 7, 2017 9:27 AM (link)

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