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5.1 Community Edition is in Beta!

Well, it’s true!  DotNetNuke 5.1 CE Beta is now available for download!

We’re excited about this beta release.  Although what you can find in the Road Map would be enough, it’s simply hard to really capture how much has been done without taking a look at it. And some of those changes are below the surface and create a solid foundation for much more that is to come.

Along with the actual beta software, a number of data testbeds are also being made available.  These testbeds are sample sites of previous DotNetNuke versions intended to help facilitate both testing of specific upgrade scenarios and testing in general.  We hope you find these helpful and plan to continue to augment these testbeds over time.

Something else that is exciting about this beta release is that it is the first time we have ever made a beta release so broadly available.  Some may find that hard to believe or perhaps think that belies some reticence toward being “open”… we’ve had that feedback before.  But the truth is simply that we have always tried to shield as many as possible from the potential risks associated with using beta software.  As my dad would say, “If I had a nickel for every…” and you know the rest.

Over the years, our practice has led us to a place where, for the most part, a lot of folks assume that our downloads should be suitable for production use.  Many “tech folk” reading this will think that sounds crazy… who would put beta software into production?  But it is sometimes easy to forget that, despite our developer roots… this open source project is serious real-world software that’s in use all over the planet, in multiple languages, and by many folks ranging from the technology demigod to… oh, say, my mom *grin*.

But we’re starting a trend here, perhaps I should say a “wave”.  That is that we’re committed to changing our community culture to “cast a much broader net” for everyone’s benefit.  To that end, you’re going to be hearing us repeat some messages over and over again, like:

  • This is beta software, not for production use.
  • Please ensure that all your data and files are safely backed up before installing beta software.
  • Upgrades from one beta build to another, and from beta to release are NOT supported.
  • New beta builds will be published every few days.

You get the idea *grin*.  And we're also going to be doing things like publishing more and more of our own testing activities, plans, testbeds, etc. as time permits.  The public beta is here to stay.

So how can you participate?

  • Download the beta packages and give them a go.
  • Download the sample testbeds and validate upgrades in your environment.
  • Log issues in the public issue tracker.
  • Discuss the beta in the public forum.
  • Tweet, Facebook, Linked’In, and every other Social media “verb” you can think of to share the opportunity with folks who might help.

The OS Team and our own internal testing resources have been hard at work, but there is so much more to do.  You’re the folks who have figured out all kinds of crazy ways to use DotNetNuke that we can hardly imagine, much less document and regression test… so give us a hand!  Help us put 5.1 CE Beta through it’s paces so that, together, we can make it the best release that DotNetNuke has ever had.  In true Community Fashion ;)

Thank you!


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