By definition, technology is constantly changing and evolving. We are obsessed with thinking of ways to apply newer and better technology to solve existing problems, from improving productivity and efficiency in some industries to completely disrupting others. At times, it can actually be quite difficult to fully comprehend the current information technology landscape. Trends emerge and often enjoy a relatively short life span before they are displaced by the next significant IT challenge or innovation. As a result, it is really difficult to create a technology product that is capable of delivering value to customers over the long term. It requires both a laser sharp focus on what is vitally important today, as well as a good understanding of where the industry is headed and where the future opportunities exist.
Over the past decade DNN has been able to build a solid reputation as a dependable platform for building enterprise applications and websites. It is a platform that has undergone many significant evolutions in its lifetime but has always been able to successfully adapt because it has stayed true to its core strengths - a loosely coupled multi-tenant architecture that focuses on flexibility and extensibility. This ability to adapt to any scenario has allowed DNN to remain highly valuable to its users and customers over time. It has also allowed it to utilize nearly every major innovation that has emerged in the web development and design realm. With this in mind, we are looking towards the future for areas of opportunity where we can allow our customers to continue to capitalize on their investments in DNN.
One of the more popular technology trends to emerge in recent years is a focus on lean software platforms and architectures that separate the back-end services from the applications that users interact with. The outcome is a win for both the IT side and the business side: IT can focus on building solid foundations for complex systems, and the business gets platforms that allow for an increased focus on custom software that enables rapid iterations to deliver solutions to fast-changing market conditions. In order to realize this goal, you need a platform that is both modular and service-oriented.
DNN has always been modular. In fact it is the modular nature of DNN which has allowed it to cultivate such an active commercial ecosystem. Customers can quickly locate modular apps that perform a particular business function, and combine them like puzzle pieces, into “solutions” that can deliver more complex business requirements. The fact that many apps are available as on-demand components significantly reduces the need for complex custom software development, decreasing the time to market and increasing the return on investment. DNN also has a Service Framework which is based on Microsoft's Web API framework. It allows you to create apps using service-oriented techniques, and we are already using it extensively within DNN today to deliver highly responsive and secure user experiences.
So it would apear that DNN is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this industry trend. However, in order to deliver the full set of modern capabilities that customers require, we do need to make some additional technology investments...
Specifically, we want to improve both the modular and service-oriented nature of DNN and provide more options for customers and vendors to extend the capabilities of the platform. We plan to introduce some new methodologies that allow you to leverage modern web development techniques such as MVC and Single Page Applications ( SPA ) natively within DNN. And we want to expose more of the extensive DNN API through secure web services so that it can be leveraged by a wide variety of clients and devices. Lastly, we are paying attention to Microsoft's technology roadmap as well so that we can position ourselves to take advantage of the lean and high performance aspects of ASP.NET vNext ( Project K ). And more importantly, we intend to make these evolutionary changes in a way which still retains full compatibility with the apps and websites that you are building today.
This is a very exciting time for DNN, and we plan to share more detailed information about our progress in the coming months. Initially we are doing research on enabling a side-by-side run-time support model for both WebForms and MVC - codenamed "Project MaVeriCK".