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How I Long to Love You, DNN Store

A Night to Remember

I had just finished dragging and dropping components on my old Homestead built website, incredibly proud - a designer of designers, programmer of programmers, a drag-and-drop absolute-positioned master of masters, a table within tables guru… when suddenly, I was compelled to check on the students in the study.

The clicking and clacking of keys echoed up the stairway. They called upon me with each keypress. Annoyed that someone would be up so late, yet helplessly curious, I made my way down the stairs… leading to a discovery that would change my life forever.


When I Met DNN

David, what are you doing?”, I asked. “Working on my DotNetNuke website!”, he responded. Dot… Net… What site? Dot… Net… Who site? What the heck is this guy talking about, and why is it that a designer of designers, programmer of programmers, a drag-and-drop… you get the point, clueless about Dot…Net… What?

Now that I’ve set the tone, I’ll pull my brake-lines and speed up my story. This was my first experience with a CMS and I was amazed at how much could be accomplished. With user accounts, roles, security settings and more already baked into the core, building a website was super easy! I decided to start a small web shop with DotNetNuke as the driving force.

I can specifically recall showing off the recycle bin to a client. They were astonished… a website that’s like my computer! Can I get a woot!? In fact, I was the first company to introduce content management solutions to clients in my area. It was love at first site.


When I Became a Customer on Snowcovered

Anyone who is anyone that has been around DNN for any period of time remembers this beastly beauty! In the case that you haven't been around, Snowcovered is the name of the original DNN Store. As an end-customer providing solutions for my end-customers, I appreciated the plethora of modules, skins, and other solutions scattered across the store, and like a flurry hungry for bare ground, I consumed all that I could.


When I Became a Vendor on DNN Store

(time-lapse) Sharpening my ninja skills as a developer meant that to climb the ladder, I needed to learn how to develop. After some blood, sweat, and tears, I was finally able to figure out how to develop modules. However, I was addicted to one module (more of an application builder) in particular - XMod Pro. In fact, it served me so well that I decided to get more involved and write custom controls and components for it instead of modules from scratch. The next step was obvious to me - offer those solutions on the DNN store.


When I Almost Left DNN

Need I say more? Okay, I will. I tried to leave, but a burning ember drew me back like a gnat chasing a light. That’s enough of that. Good job DNN on recently making huge strides in the right direction. The community is gaining momentum and it's great to see. Ok, enough of this chapter of the story…


When I Almost Left the DNN Store (TBD)

Whispers began to travel the lands about a lack of updates from module developers on the store, some even abandoning it altogether. As a vendor I became hesitant to even publish updates because the experience was so incredibly painful. I thought to myself, how can such a powerful platform have such a mediocre (being gracious with that) UX for vendors? The interface was terrible and riddled with bugs.

Just as I began to develop my own shopping cart for my solutions, DNN's new CEO, Andy Tryba, announced that the store should be modernized and that it was a priority. While I haven't seen any updates around the DNN Store I really hope work is going on behind the scenes because the community, vendors, and the store desperately needs it.

Since this is a fable of my DNN Journey and love/hate relationship with the store I'm going to list my Christmas Wish List for the DNN Store:

  1. When editing a product, I want to be able to replace my image with one of the same name and have it overwrite the file.
  2. When setting the parent/previous version I want the store to immediately show to the public “A newer version is available” instead of taking what seems to be days.
  3. I want the detailed description section to be replaced with a new editor that easy to use so I was finally able to stop using iframes to make my life somewhat easier.
  4. Likewise, I want the license details editor to be replaced with a new editor that is a joy to use.
  5. Product options be replaced with a nice editor that allows me to use html without pulling teeth.
  6. In fact, the entire interface for editing a product needs to be overhauled!
  7. Coupons that actually work without waiting 4 hours for them to not say “expired”.
  8. When creating discounts, I want to select all options instead of having to create a discount for each option.
  9. Discounts that can be 100% off. Currently the max-discount-amount is 99%… not sure who came up with that.
  10. I want to be able to set the discount to be applied to a time-frame of the actual purchase from a customer. This way I could offer free upgrades to customers for a year based on their individual purchase, not just a window of time.
  11. And finally, I want an endpoint that I can hit to fetch all my store information instead of relying on IPN.
  12. New product newsletters to come back.


Cut Back to Reality

From talking with other vendors in the ecosystem I don't believe that I'm alone with these requests. What a great compliment to the new ownership it would be if the store received these updates in 2019. It's time for DNN Corp to finally give us vendors some love. If these updates were made I'd be happy to watch a chunk of my proceeds go into the store should these updates be made. What would be on your DNN Store Christmas wishlist?  

Comments

Will Strohl
This is a wonderfully written and well-thought blog post. Thank you so much for taking the time to not only provide details of what you wish to see, but also adding your passion in such a fun and colorful way. I look forward to many more blog posts from you (I hope), and please know that there are several great things coming to DNN in all areas of the ecosystem in 2019. More to come... ;)
Will Strohl Friday, December 21, 2018 5:53 PM (link)
Kelly Ford
Wholeheartedly agree that the DNN Store could use some love. I've run into that 99% discount issue on numerous occasions. I know there are efforts aimed at improving the store and I'm looking forward to positive changes.
Kelly Ford Friday, December 21, 2018 6:12 PM (link)
David Poindexter
Fantastic blog post Patrick! I appreciate the clearly articulated pain points as well as the nostalgic stroll down Memory Lane!
David Poindexter Friday, December 21, 2018 9:00 PM (link)
Daniel Mettler
Absolutely agree. And I would like to add that the store is ATM not suited for open-source contributions. There are many issues incl. the fact that open-source modules usually have a different user base and different expectations, which often leads to ratings which are not inline with the real use case and forces open-source authors to spend a lot of time on support, just to ensure the ratings don't collapse.
Daniel Mettler Sunday, December 23, 2018 2:32 AM (link)
Patrick Ryan
Thank you friends for your support of my post.
Patrick Ryan Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:40 AM (link)

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