On Friday, March 16th, we released an updated CTP version of the new DotNetNuke Services Framework. This is truly exciting!
For developers who are experienced with the DotNetNuke APIs, they may not care much. On the other hand, if they're wanting to expose module services externally in a standardized way, then the Service Framework and coming Service Layer API's will be a major boon. Indeed, we're taking that approach with some of our own modules in DotNetNuke v6.2, examples being messaging, the new journal, and notifications.
Equally important is what the Service Framework portends beyond the aforementioned items. Today, we address AJAX-based module development. In future releases, we intend to make available various DotNetNuke administrative and management functions, leading to easier access to key platform functionality. It excites me to think what may be done with mobile devices, for example, in effectively administering, monitoring, and managing DotNetNuke deployments and web sites. Or, consider how conveniently third party services may integrate with DotNetNuke via Service Layer API's.
What was made available in CTP2 is the first step forward; it provides an idea of what's to come. Today's implementation is built on top of ASP.Net MVC 2 which provides a simple way of writing both RPC and RESTful web services. Ultimately, our service framework is not so much about the MVC pattern but about easily responding to the various HTTP verbs with some text in a desired format. It’s also worthwhile noting that our Service Framework implementation is closely related to Microsoft’s new WebAPI feature, now in beta test. (We are currently reviewing the beta code to see if it would be beneficial to move the Service Framework foundation from ASP.Net MVC2 to WebAPI.)
So what do we want today from the community? To achieve our vision we need help. We need the community to review specs and test the Service Framework. Tell us if we're on the right path or if you think we're off the mark. We need the Service Framework to be reliable and we want the Service Layer APIs to have a long, useful life. We need to know that the security and authentication model is sufficiently robust and flexible for module and generalized usage.
For more details, please see Scott Schlesier's blog on how to use the Service Framework, how to produce an AJAX module, directionally where the Service Layer is headed and how to take that into account today.
The Service Framework is a major step forward in the advancement of DotNetNuke technology! Please help us to ensure it has a long, useful life.