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A New Chapter for DNN

dnn keyboard

Overview

Almost 15 years ago Shaun Walker released IBuySpy Workshop as a free product. Within just a few short months the product was open sourced and the name changed to DotNetNuke (and subsequently to DNN some years later). DNN has enjoyed much success over these past 15 years. The community grew rapidly and a thriving ecosystem sprung up around the project. Many of the most successful companies in the ecosystem got their start during the early years when DNN was still a bit immature and .Net was still relatively new.

One of those companies, DNN Corp., is one that I had the pleasure to co-found with Shaun Walker, Scott Willhite and Nik Kalyani in 2006. It was always our vision to continue improving DNN and to help foster and grow the community and ecosystem. In 2008, to help us achieve our vision, we sought out investors who understood our vision and were willing to back our dreams. We also hired a new CEO who brought his own open source background and management expertise to the team.

DNN Corp. has worked hard since 2008 to build a successful commercial business on top of our open source product. We have always believed that you could build a thriving business even while giving back to the community who have supported us and championed DNN for all these years. This abundance mentality is one of the core beliefs that the company was founded on.

Welcome Aboard

It is my pleasure to announce that DNN Corp was recently acquired by ESW Capital. Like our previous investors, ESW Capital is excited to work with the DNN Corp team and our community to continue building on the product foundations that the founders, the DNN Corp team and the community built over the last decade.

Andy_Tryba As part of the acquisition, Andy Tryba is joining DNN as our new CEO. Andy has spent the last 15 years as CEO of multiple successful startups, Director of Strategy at Intel Corporation, and advisor to the U.S. White House on the future of jobs and engineering talent. Andy also brings a unique community perspective to DNN as the CEO and cofounder of RideAustin, a nonprofit, community supported ridesharing company that is part of the Open Data movement. In addition, Andy is the CEO of Engine Yard, the leader in Ruby-on-Rails Full Stack and DevOps, along with being the founder and CEO of Crossover, one of the largest online talent marketplaces - spanning over 108 countries.

Community Renewal

Over the past decade DNN Corp has struggled to find a balance between the interests of the community and our commercial interests. All too often we have come across as hostile to our own community or kept the community at arm’s length. This conflict has been counter-productive: it has hurt the community which in turn hurts our company. That is something that we absolutely will change.

"For over a decade, the DNN open source community has been instrumental in delivering solutions that customers value. I look forward to embracing the community further to accelerate innovation and reenergize the power of open source." – Andy Tryba

Andy believes that the community and the ecosystem is vital to what we do here, and that the community is an asset that we should fully embrace and champion. Andy and ESW are committed to changing how we engage with the community, and to invest in the success of our community and ecosystem members. As a result, you will see a markedly increased focus from us in this area. As part of this effort we’ll be calling together a meeting of key community leaders to jointly discuss the best strategy for changing the way we engage with the community. Out of this meeting we will develop a joint roadmap for improving community relations, improving the platform and helping to breathe new life and vitality into the ecosystem.

As one of the early community members and a strong advocate for open source, I am especially heartened by Andy’s commitment to our community and ecosystem. Today I feel the same sense of excitement and optimism that I felt 9 years ago when the first investors decided to take a chance on Shaun, Scott, Nik and myself, and I look forward to the journey ahead with the new members of the DNN team.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Navin Nagiah who has been an advocate for DNN, and the DNN ecosystem, over the last decade. Navin has always been a strong supporter of DNN and has rooted for the success of our ecosystem members. Although he is moving on to new adventures, I will always count him as a personal friend and mentor, and a true friend of the DNN community.

Comments

Sebastian Leupold
Welcome, Andy.
We are looking forward to co-operate with the new DNN Corp.
Sebastian Leupold Friday, August 25, 2017 7:59 PM (link)
David Poindexter
(like)
David Poindexter Friday, August 25, 2017 7:59 PM (link)
Benjamin Hermann
Now look at that. Interesting to read.
Benjamin Hermann Friday, August 25, 2017 8:05 PM (link)
Joseph Craig
Thank you for sharing this news, Joe. And welcome to Andy and ESW. I will look forward working with the new team, as I enjoy working with the evolving product.
Joseph Craig Friday, August 25, 2017 8:12 PM (link)
Jack Kurtz
Congratulations and welcome Andy! As a loyal partner in the DNN ecosystem, we are looking forward to working with you. Thank you to Navin and best of luck with the next chapter of your journey. Joe, you and all the folks at DNN can always count on us Fortuitas to support you.
Jack Kurtz Friday, August 25, 2017 8:17 PM (link)
Anna Demuylder
Very nice and well-written blogpost. Thanks for sharing. Good luck Andy!
Anna Demuylder Friday, August 25, 2017 8:19 PM (link)
David O'Leary
Big news. To me, the biggest need in terms of community is for DNNCorp to produce a stable, clear, and simple approach for module development and provide sample modules and templates as reference points. There are too many technology options and conflicting approaches currently and it quickly gets overwhelming making all the decisions needed to make to produce a module. And that, combined with the constant changes in how DNN builds things (WebForms, Razor, MVC, knockout, React, WebAPI) has caused the open source market to dry up as we can't keep up with the changes.
David O'Leary Friday, August 25, 2017 8:41 PM (link)
Matthias Schlomann
Welcome Andy and good luck! Personaly looking Forward to co-operating and hopefully find more time in the future to work within the DNN ecosystem.
Matthias Schlomann Friday, August 25, 2017 9:03 PM (link)
Alessandra Davies
Great news! Welcome Andy, let's keep moving forward!
Alessandra Davies Friday, August 25, 2017 9:09 PM (link)
kurt wilbies
The community is an assets; it represents value. And I hope DNN will do more in engaging the community. I would love to contribute significantly to DNN if I get some guidance.
kurt wilbies Friday, August 25, 2017 9:23 PM (link)
Ryan Moore
We're looking forward to that re-engaged energy as we look to events like DNN Summit and DNNConnect which are community-driven events for the community/by the community, and look to user groups like our SothernFriedDNN and others... There's a developer community here that's loyal, driven and fired up and I'm looking forward to what comes next!
Ryan Moore Friday, August 25, 2017 9:52 PM (link)
Mitchell Wilson
I share exact same sentiment as David O'Leary above. I hope this does shift the direction of DNN. It has saddened me over the last 5-8 years watching DNN diminish as a huge open source community framework to barely a mention in all the open source communities. As much as Microsoft has shifted to Open Source over recent years, DNN has shifted the opposite direction. Welcome Andy and please get DNN back in the spot light of open source communities both through embracing the latest .NET frameworks (I have been amazed that I have not seen any collaboration between DNN and Microsoft ASP.NET teams in any Conferences, MeetUps, Blogs, Videos, etc...) as well as marketing more of the Open Source core in the Open Source communities as opposed to marketing Evoq as a consumer product. I would suggest that if half of the $ spent marketing Evoq was spent on advocating DNN community, the new clients wanting the "Evoq Support" would have exponentially increased simply due to more developers who would have embraced DNN as an option to their existing and potential clients.
Mitchell Wilson Friday, August 25, 2017 10:34 PM (link)
Francisco Perez Andres
Great news, Joe! Looking forward to collaborate and wishing all the best for Andy
Francisco Perez Andres Saturday, August 26, 2017 7:23 AM (link)
Ernst Peter Tamminga
Good to read that DNN has found a new fundament for the upcoming years. I recognize the difficulties of having two faces: a commercial one and an open source one, where the interest of one does not necessarily have to be the same as the other, which causes frustration and doubt about the future on both. DNN and DNN Corp have both suffered from this dichotomy.
The open source arena has changed drastically over the last 5 years, not in the least by the fundamental change at Microsoft in making more and more frameworks, tools and solutions available as open source. At the same time, the pace of technology changes will not slow down and creates another interesting challenge for any company, including DNN Corp.
I have made friends, thanks to DotNetNuke/DNN and I am looking forward to meet them again.
The change is welcome, the future of DNN is defined by people. I welcome Andy and ESW Capital for being a part of it.
Ernst Peter Tamminga Saturday, August 26, 2017 7:57 AM (link)
Daniel Mettler
This sounds like a big step.

I truly, truly pray that this open-source commitment is real, and strong. Sometimes I feel like we're the last ones still really donating thousands of hours of work with 2sxc - while most other in the community have stopped altogether, mostly due to things the DNN corp has been doing.

If this is real, it's amazing.

Love from Switzerland,
iJungleboy
Daniel Mettler Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:35 AM (link)
Jaydeep Bhatt
Congrats Andy,

Let's work for the brighter future of entire community with strengthened commitment of real open-source for DNN
Jaydeep Bhatt Saturday, August 26, 2017 2:54 PM (link)
Katherine Moss
This is awesome! We need the support of the open source community back! As one of the founders of a new open source community, you've got me until the end of time.
Katherine Moss Saturday, August 26, 2017 11:11 PM (link)
Mitchell Wilson
The time for DNN core to be rewritten is NOW! Microsoft had the same dilemma for almost a decade... Rewrite the .Net framework or keep adding to it bloating it even more and keeping the same restrictions within. Microsoft finally bit the bullet and rewrote the framework (.Net core) and now has reaped the huge benefits through cross platform capabilities, exponential adoption/interest, blazing speeds and overwhelming embracement by open source communities. DNN could then be cross platform and if done so properly, be easily injected into the asp.net pipeline as just another DI.
Mitchell Wilson Saturday, August 26, 2017 11:57 PM (link)
John Cornelison
Welcome aboard Andy! I second the comments of David O'Leary , Daniel Mettler & others. There is still a huge value in DNN over the few alternatives, but this effort increasingly has to be seen as innovative, exciting and a smart choice: now and into the future.
John Cornelison Sunday, August 27, 2017 6:43 PM (link)
Sergio C.
I agree with Daniel and hope that there's a real interest in the open source side of DNN and its community. A good example, as a DNN user for many years, my one stop for community/open source modules was the forge page and now that's gone and the link has been replaced with a link to the store. Most of the modules found on the forge page are not found on the store or cannot be found because there's no way to search specifically for open source modules instead the search results are of a few modules that were on the forge and the bast majority of free trial modules, whcih should be completely excluded as they're not open source. The store should have a filter specifically for open source modules.
It's easy to tell how much (module) open source contributions are done when you take a look at the community blog and they're all from Daniel and Geoff, with a few exceptions and some from DNN Corp. The site gives very little signs of a open source project.
I really hope this changes and the open source side of DNN has equal importance from this point forward.
Sergio C. Sunday, August 27, 2017 8:31 PM (link)
Jaydeep Bhatt
As suggested by Mitchell Wilson, now the platform is mobile device, hence, we are looking forward to a framework which will help build the complete working application, that works on Web as well as on mobile.

Ionic framework does a great job and lets you make an Mobile App, that works on Android as well as iOS, however, what is needed, is backend CMS (WordPress does give WebAPI along with WooCommerce). I guess, New DNN Framework, can fill that gap
Jaydeep Bhatt Monday, August 28, 2017 5:17 AM (link)
Michael Tobisch
Good to read, and I hope that things improve. Welcome on board, ESW Capital and Andy!
Michael Tobisch Monday, August 28, 2017 12:31 PM (link)
Tomasz Pluskiewicz
Hi Mitchell Wilson. What do you mean exactly by "being easily injected into the asp.net pipeline as just another DI."
Tomasz Pluskiewicz Tuesday, August 29, 2017 6:50 AM (link)
Jeremy Farrance
[x] Like
Jeremy Farrance Tuesday, August 29, 2017 4:43 PM (link)
Roberto Caporale
Good to read! Congrats Andy, I hope this can really produce a new life to DNN project - the Best CMS Framework ever :)
Roberto Caporale Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:09 AM (link)
Mitchell Wilson
... not to over simplify, but something along these lines:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
// Add framework services.
services.AddMvc();
services.AddDnnCore();
}
Mitchell Wilson Wednesday, August 30, 2017 1:04 PM (link)
T. Philip Perlman
Interesting timing since I have been recently questioning my commitment to DNN. I've seen other developers leave and make their projects open source, which is nice but hurts us overall. I don't think I'm alone in having felt the a bit of a cold shoulder of DNN Corp towards the community. Hope to see some meaningful change.
T. Philip Perlman Wednesday, August 30, 2017 2:56 PM (link)
Mark Buelsing
Great news and welcome to Andy and ESW Capital. While considering the enlightened and experienced advice of the many who have commented here, I would ask that some attention, love and an open ear be given to the DNN user. For every developer working on and improving and providing for DNN, there is a multiple-more people using those DNN websites for their businesses, organizations and personal interests. There is much to be learned from including non-developer users in the discussion. This portion of the community is a sleeping giant of enthusiasm, ideas and practical experience.
Mark Buelsing Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:31 PM (link)
Ryan Moore
In a special edition meetup of the Southern Fried DNN User Group on 8/30/17, we sat down with Andy Tryba, the new CEO of DNN Corp, for his first interview and meeting with the DNN community at large.

Visit the So Fri website for the video of the conversation:
http://www.southernfrieddnn.com/Blog/TabId/208/PostId/45/special-edition-interview-with-andy-tryba-new-ceo-dnn-corp.aspx

Ryan Moore Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:36 PM (link)
Patrik Johansson
Have to agree with most other posts here, really good news. I was also considering giving up on DNN as it felt more and more dead to me, but perhaps this can make everything better again. Will monitor this closely.
Patrik Johansson Monday, September 4, 2017 12:19 PM (link)
carl norloff
What a journey. I remember using the Ibuyspy when it first came out and have been hooked on DNN erver since. Many of the names in this thread have committed so much to the community. Thank you! And good luck to Andy and the DNN team as you move this great thing ahead!
carl norloff Tuesday, September 5, 2017 5:21 PM (link)
Winston Haybittle
Thanks for sharing Joe and welcome Andy.
It seems that community sentiment is strong regarding focusing more on loyal and knowledgeable developers who fostered this project from the beginning, so I'm looking forward to embracing the community to re-energize the dotnetnuke ecosystem!
So I'm excited about future prospects and community growth and leadership - let's take DNN to the next level!
Winston Haybittle Friday, September 15, 2017 12:05 PM (link)

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