DNN Open Source Platform Technology

system architecture

DNN Technology Architecture

In the DNN Platform architecture, multiple sites can be created on top of a basic web application framework. Each site consists of multiple pages, each containing multiple mini-applications called modules that provide specific functionalities such as e-commerce. These modules may appear on multiple pages of the same or different sites.

The DNN Platform runs on the Microsoft web stack. It is equally at home on premises or in the cloud.

Evoq Solutions & the DNN Platform

DNN Evoq solutions are built on top of the DNN Platform using its many extensibility points. Built as suites of modules, providers, themes and custom configurations, Evoq solutions take advantage of the many services provided by the DNN Platform, including deep integration with the security, membership, file management and content editing APIs.

Evoq and Platform

Application Framework

DNN Web Application Framework

The DNN web application framework can be extended in many ways. You can build custom modules on top of it, as well as extensions of many kinds. DNN providers, for example, are specific extensions that replace existing functionality in the core solution. The web application framework provides a solid foundation for all your websites and web application needs and is open for integration with external applications via a service framework.

Manage multiple websites

Multi-Site Support

The DNN Platform lets you build multiple websites in a single installation. All sites have access to a common repository of modules and themes, and all sites are independent of one another with respect to content, roles, and user permissions. This means that unlike some other authoring environments, the DNN Platform does not need to be reinstalled each time you create a new site – a major time saver for many organizations.

A Variety of Design Choices

The DNN Platform includes a powerful and flexible engine for creating themes - the graphic styles that provide the look and feel for web designs. Themes can be easily packaged for distribution and installation in a single, all-inclusive zip file that can be easily disseminated.

The theming engine has the flexibility to allow designers to implement virtually any desired website design. Designers have two packaging choices when developing themes

  • HTML Themes - Designers can choose to write their themes in standard HTML using embedded tokens or object tags for key framework features like menus and search boxes.
  • ASCX Themes - Designers who are comfortable with ASP.Net can write themes using ASCX user controls, which is the native format for the DNN platform. Framework features are incorporated using standard user control references.
flexible design
role based security

Role-Based Security

With security extending down to the module level, the DNN Platform provides an extensible security model that gives you complete, highly granular control over who can view or edit pages and their content. Role-based grouping simplifies security management, with specific permissions granted to users based on their roles or their individual names.

The DNN Platform includes basic view and edit permissions for pages and modules. Evoq solutions include an even more granular set of standard permissions to provide added flexibility for administrators. In addition, module developers can create custom permissions for their modules to give administrators greater access control over specific module functionality. 

You can find more information on the DNN Security objects and architecture in the DNN Wiki.

Modular Page Layout

Content in DNN is exposed through the use of mini-applications called modules. Each module provides functionality for viewing and managing different types of content. 

Every page in DNN can be configured to use your desired theme layout. A theme layout includes one or more panes defined by the designer. Panes are locations on a page where modules may be placed.

These concepts give page editors complete flexibility to design pages and manage their content. Start by assembling and designing all the modules you need to build your website, and only then worry about where to expose them on particular pages.

Compared with page-first website design methodologies, the DNN approach makes it much easier to perform design and layout changes without affecting content.


What is Liquid Content?
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What is Liquid Content?
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What is Liquid Content?
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