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DNN 8 breaking changes

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  • 7/14/2015



DNN 8 breaking changes

Last updated 8 years ago



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Changes in Pre-requisites

With Platform 8 being a major release, we have made some breaking changes:

  • .NET 4.5.1 or higher is now required
    • This is because we require ASP.NET Web API 2.1.1 and MVC 5.1.1 for some WebAPI related work
  • newtownsoft.dll ( is updated from 4.5.11 to 7.0.1
  • Support for IE 8 has been removed (meaning IE 9 or greater is required)
  • Medium Trust is no longer supported

Extracted and removed modules

As part of DNN 8 we are working hard to improve performance and reduce the size of the initial install package. As part of this task a number of functions (primarily admin modules) have been removed from the DNN platform distribution. This reduces the size of the package, as well as the items installed and in use, and will help in performance. In addition as these modules are extracted into their own Github projects, we hope that contributors will be able to more easily make focused updates, rather than having to wade through all of the platform code.

The following modules have been extracted and removed from new installations as well as upgrades (so they are no longer supported in the product itself but can be downloaded and installed separately):

Navigation Providers

DNN has supported the concept of Navigation providers since DNN 3.2.0 . Over time additional providers were added to deliver particular output or support new capabilities. In DNN 6.0, the DDR navigation provider was added and this has proven to be a great success - it's power and flexibility has meant that it has become the defacto provider to use and it supersedes the others. As such we are removing the following navigation providers

  • ASP2MenuNavigationProvider
  • DNNDropDownNavigationProvider
  • DNNMenuNavigationProvider
  • DNNTreeNavigationProvider
  • SolpartMenuNavigationProvider


In DNN's web.config file, there is a HttpModule definition for the UrlRoutingModule. Due to a bug that affected users on machines without a patch for extensionless url's, this HttpModule had a wide definition where it examined all requests. As url rewriting should only happen on .net mapped requests (e.g. aspx), this had an overhead on performance.

As the bug previously mentioned has had a patch available since 2010 (and does not apply to Windows 8/10/2012/2012r2/2016), we are going to set this definition to only apply to managed requests. If on upgrade to DNN 8, your site experiences problems (e.g. 404's on pages), please apply the linked patch (or edit your web.config to change the preCondition="managedHandler" to preCondition="" on UrlRoutingModule-4.0

Change site from WSP to WAP

As part of the performance work, DNN platform will change from a website project (WSP) to a web application project (WAP). When using a WAP the code compiles into a single assembly and will generally result in a lower initial load time and better resource utilization on the server.

Removal of legacy AppSetting connectionString

DNN's web.config contains two connectionString definitions, one in the connectionStrings node, and one in the appSettings node. This oddity was caused by the fact that 1.0/1.1 did not have support for a connectionStrings area so the convention was to use appSettings. When .net 2.0 came out, DNN used the new connectionStrings node, but left the legacy appSettings one in place to support "old" modules that used it - as this has been 10 years (.net 2.0 came out in 2005), we will be removing the appSettings item. If you have a module that stops functioning because of this you could manually add it back in, but we would recommend you get a version of your module with uses the correct connectionStrings definition.


DNN's default.css (which is loaded by default in every page and contains the base form patterns used throughout DNN) has been updated to support versioning. By default, version 7 is used which contains all the classes previously used in versions 7.x. With the release of Platform 8, a new modified version (version # 8) is available which is much more light weight.


In June 2014 it was announced that DNN and Telerik have ended their relationship. With the release of Platform 8, the Telerik controls were abstracted into a new assembly so we can eventually retire them completely. As a result of this, any third party extensions that make use of the Telerik controls (using the DNN wrappers for them); will be required to update their references to the new library and compile against Platform 8 (or later). All extensions that have NOT done this will be broken.


For more information on this please see the blog

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