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Why DNN is the Obvious Choice in the .NET Ecosystem

Written By David Poindexter
2024-07-07

The DNN Platform (DotNetNuke), despite the organizational ups and downs over the years, remains a formidable option within the .NET ecosystem. Its robust features, strong community, and adaptability make it a compelling choice for developers and businesses alike. Here’s why DNN stands out and should be considered the "obvious choice" for anyone in the .NET ecosystem.

The Legacy of Strength and Adaptability

For many years, DNN was the go-to solution for developers within the Microsoft ecosystem. From 2002 to 2010, DNN provided a stable, feature-rich platform that aligned perfectly with the needs of developers seeking to leverage their .NET skills. The platform’s ability to evolve and integrate with the latest .NET technologies has been one of its core strengths, ensuring that investments in DNN remain protected.

Historical Competitors and Current Landscape

Between 2010 and 2015, DNN faced competition from platforms like Umbraco. However, despite some corporate missteps and a period of stagnation, DNN’s community-driven nature has allowed it to endure and even thrive. Umbraco, while a strong contender, experienced its own challenges, which allowed DNN to maintain its position.

Today, the landscape is crowded with options, but none seem to tick all the boxes quite like DNN:

  • Orchard 
    While it boasts the latest technology, Orchard is heavily programmer-driven and lacks a user-friendly, module-based installation experience.
     
  • Oqtane 
    Although it’s built on the latest tech, Oqtane is still maturing and can be a moving target with frequent changes impacting stability.
     
  • Umbraco 
    While now based on .NET Core, it does not leverage Blazor out-of-the-box, which limits its appeal for those looking for cutting-edge tech integrations.

DNN’s Unique Position

Given the current state of the .NET ecosystem, DNN offers a unique blend of stability, maturity, and community support that other platforms struggle to match. Here’s what sets DNN apart:

  1. Community and Support 
    The DNN community is vibrant and dedicated. This community-driven support ensures that even as the official corporate backing wavered, the platform continued to improve and adapt.
     
  2. User-Friendly Experience 
    DNN’s focus on providing a user-friendly experience with easy module installation and a strong UI is unmatched.
     
  3. Feature-Rich Platform 
    DNN continues to offer a comprehensive set of features that cater to both developers and end-users, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of projects.
     
  4. Investment Protection 
    With a solid foundation in .NET and continual updates, DNN ensures that developers’ work investments are protected, avoiding the dreaded FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

The Path Forward

To attract new developers and cement its position as the obvious choice, DNN must continue to emphasize its unique strengths:

  • Embrace the Latest Technologies 
    Continual integration of the latest .NET advancements will keep DNN relevant and appealing.
     
  • Enhance Developer Experience 
    Simplifying the onboarding process for new developers and providing comprehensive documentation and resources can lower the entry barrier.
     
  • Community Engagement 
    Leveraging the strong DNN community to create more content, tutorials, and real-world examples will showcase the platform’s capabilities and attract new talent.

Conclusion

In the crowded .NET ecosystem, DNN stands out as a reliable, feature-rich, and community-driven platform. Its history of adaptability, robust community support, and user-friendly experience make it the obvious choice for developers looking to leverage their .NET skills. By continuing to innovate and engage with the developer community, DNN can maintain and grow its position as a leader in the .NET ecosystem.

Total: 11 Comment(s)
So many great points here, thanks for bringing it together. Thank you Dave!
Sunday, July 7, 2024 ·
You are most welcome!
Monday, July 8, 2024 ·
Thanks to Daniel Mettler for the inspiration for this blog post.
Sunday, July 7, 2024 ·
Awesome article! It summarizes pretty much all the big reasons why people should use DNN. Thanks for sharing this so new folks can find enough valid points to start using DNN.
Monday, July 8, 2024 ·
Yeah, we need more content like this. I know I often take these simple things for granted as “obvious” but they aren’t to everyone - especially people new to this world. Let’s him them see the realities!
Monday, July 8, 2024 ·
Although I do understand what you are trying to do here with your post and I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes but, I think it’s a bit misleading to new people looking for a solution for themselves or business. Orchard : don’t know much about this CMS so not going to comment! Oqtane: I agree it’s still maturing but, I believe eventually this CMS/framework will become the new Dnn, the functionality and way of usage is basically the same. The main difference is that Oqtane uses modern, ‘cutting edge’ technology (.NET Core & Blazor). Umbraco: Again, the same as Oqtane uses ‘cutting edge’ technology (.NET Core), and because of that you can use Blazor with Umbraco (please read : https://skrift.io/issues/umbraco-and-blazor/ ). My question is why would you want to? I’ve just created an App that is built on Blazor and then used Umbraco as a headless cms using the built in ‘Content Delivery API’ to feed the App with easy managed content. This helped me to separate data, functionality and content into manageable projects. I now have experience with 3 of the above-mentioned CMS’s including Dnn, the only way to see if you choose the right CMS for you is to give them all a try, take time to learn each one and make your decision on what is right for you, not what people say or write.
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 ·
Thank you for the reply and for the clarification on the use of Blazor with Umbraco. I was not aware of that. 😊 I have used all three and will continue to monitor all three (and others) as the .NET CMS landscape is always evolving. This article simply illustrates my conclusions and belief in DNN as the "obvious choice" to date.
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 ·
Excellent summary, David... Thank you for writing it! 💪🏽 🙌🏽
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 ·
Thank you Will.
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 ·
Love it, DNN Dave! Thanks for writing this. We in the DNN community should write more good things about DNN for the many who don't know about it. (Looking at the guy in my screen reflection :-) ). One criticism on an otherwise fine argument: you start off planting a seed of doubt to a newbie with "despite its ups and downs" and don't allay that doubt with what those "downs" are. I'm guessing you're referring to less technical and more organizational stuff like being acquired, Evoq, etc. If so, that turbulence never really effected the open source platform as a good tool but it did impact confidence on using the platform as an ongoing solution. And if I've guessed the reference, then it has a happy ending, since the community - DNN Connect, DNN Association, 4 leadership groups - supports the tool. So I'd update the article to explain the "ups and downs" - otherwise, great article!
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 ·
Don, you are absolutely right. Thank you!
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 ·

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