Sunday, November 2, 2008

Introducing the "DotNetNuke" Web Application Framework

Web Application Framework is a robust software library used as the basis for building advanced Web applications. A Web Application Framework typically contains a well-defined architecture and an abstract set of reusable components that are specifically designed to simplify development, enforce consistency, increase productivity, and improve application quality. Typical features include modular architecture, membership management, security and role management, site organization and navigation, error and event logging, data access and caching, search and syndication, and extensibility at every level. Frameworks are used in corporations, public sector, private sector, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and even individual Web sites.

Although the concept has always been relevant, Web Application Frameworks have just come back into favor in recent years. This is likely a result of the ever-pervasive basic business philosophy emphasizing a reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership and increase in the Return On Investment. Web Application Frameworks can provide big wins in both of these categories because they allow developers to focus on the high-level business processes while leveraging a rock-solid application foundation.

DotNetNuke is a Web Application Framework that provides a highly extensible development environment, based on published standards and proven design patterns. Since Web Application Frameworks are generic by nature, they can be used as the underpinnings for any number of powerful Web applications. From Community Portals to high volume E-Commerce shopping malls, from Content Management Systems (CMS) to Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), the DotNetNuke Web Application Framework provides the fundamental services to build highly functional and scalable Web applications. To back up this claim, the DotNetNuke Web Application Framework is distributed as part of a fully functional CMS - the DotNetNuke Enterprise Portal.

Introducing DotNetNuke
Necessity is the mother of invention. In classic open source fashion, I originally created the application because I was interested in a way to provide functional Web sites to amateur sports organizations and could not find a suitable proprietary alternative. After investing significant effort only to discover that my business goals were not going to be realized, I decided to release the application as an open source community project. Version 1.0 of DotNetNuke was released December 24, 2002 (Christmas Eve). Since then, DotNetNuke has evolved at an exponential rate, recently surpassing 200,000 registered users, 800,000 downloads, and maintaining a consistent weekly project activity rank of #15 on SourceForge.Net.

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