DotNetNuke : Yea or Nay?



  • My company is considering starting to use DotNetNuke for our internal ASP.NET web applications, sites that are mostly financial data-tracking, approval process automation and report generation. Security is a LARGE concern.

     

    My first impressions is that DNN is primarily designed for externally-facing websites with minimal security concerns, is somewhat of a glorified CMS and lacks good documentation for learning how to use the platform.

     

    Am I on track with this assessment??? I would appreciate any comments/ suggestions, advice.

     

    Thanks.



  • I say "nay". It's a framework built on a framework. These things are great for simple situations where the built-in functionality is all you need, but as soon as you have to start customizing you'll likely end up spending as much time customizing as you would have spent writing what you actually do need from scratch.



  • I don't know hy anyone would name a product after the awful piece-of-crap software that is/was phpNuke. I'd stay far away from it just for that reason. Most likely it's not just the name that's as stupid as the original, but also the code quality.



  • These things seem to be "hot", in most of my work experience, it always seems to be revolving around a CMS one way or the other, the job I have now also involves developing a CMS (which is called a "framework"). Seems everyone is doing it.

    What about Joomla!?

    Sorry for not giving usefull advice.



  • FWIW I've used Joomla for a few internal sites where security wasn't a concern and found it pretty slick and intuitive.   I believe some corporate sites are built using it too. 



  • I've used Joomla for some fairly low-cost, low-traffic, low-maintenance sites (non-profits, etc.) and am mostly impressed.  I would expect it to work well in higher-volume scenarios too.  Biggest complaint I have is the lack of true role-based access.  I haven't looked at 1.5 yet - did they add this?



  • I've completed about 10 DNN implementations.  Most were of the small 30 page variety.  A couple involved heavy integration of DNN with other applications for everything from security to automatic page creation/deletion. 

    Each time I finish one I swear I won't do another.  It's very slow, difficult to work with, and a number of the modules have problems.  In addition it has some really insane security requirements which is why a number of hosting providers won't allow it.  The core is updated way too often and half the time your unsure whether the update will work or just completely destory your site.  Always, always make a back up BEFORE doing anything on it.  Including just adding a new or upgrading and existing module.  Yes, I know that's the mantra with anything, but with DNN it actually means something. 

     On the plus side, once you understand how the damn thing works, skin and custom control creation is straightforward, which is the only reason I've built any sites with it.

    You should consider Joomla (I've heard great things about it), or roll your own if you have a choice.  Unfortunately, DNN is one of the only options for a CMS on the .Net platform without paying for one. 

     

     



  • Great feedback... I think the crusade against the infidel DNN just might succeed. Every time I look at it, I see something else I hate.

     

    Today, we looked at the DAL and saw that it uses Microsoft Application Blocks. I much prefer the newer Enterprise Library implementations. Also not impressed with the number of layers in the DAL. I understand the need to be "flexible" for different platforms, but this is overkill.



  • @jpaull said:

    Today, we looked at the DAL and saw that it uses Microsoft Application Blocks. I much prefer the newer Enterprise Library implementations. Also not impressed with the number of layers in the DAL. I understand the need to be "flexible" for different platforms, but this is overkill.
     

    What they are doing/using is perfect for what they are doing. They are trying to be everything to everyone. (which I would argue is the only major problem with DNN)

    What you are doing may not require dynamically changing your database server with only a line in the config file, but that hardly makes it wrong to have as an option.

    It has been a while since I looked at their actual code, but last time I checked, all it is using for the application blocks is the SQL helper stuff, which is a good thing.

    It is hardly a major issue to roll your own, and match a lot of their dynamic functionality though. It alllll depends on your needs.



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

    Biggest complaint I have is the lack of true role-based access.  I haven't looked at 1.5 yet - did they add this?

     

    No, I think this is still something you have to get an add-on for (and I've never done it) - AFAIK everybody's either unregistered, registered, or some sort of contributor/editor/published/administrator.



  •  If all you're looking to do is provide a page/pages of links to other apps, then rolling your own is definitely the way to go, and is utterly trivial.  Hosting those links on a CMS or other platform is overkill, doesn't make things any easier, and will come back to haunt you.


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