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DotNetNuke logo.png
Developer(s) DotNetNuke Corporation [1]
Stable release 7.3.3 / October 1, 2014; 3 months ago (2014-10-01)[2]
Development status Active
Operating system Microsoft Windows or Cloud
Platform ASP.NET or Cloud
Type Web Application Framework
License MIT[3]

DotNetNuke is a web content management system based on Microsoft .NET. The Community Edition is open source.

DotNetNuke was written in VB.NET, though the developer has shifted to C# since version 6.0.[4] It is distributed under both a Community Edition MIT license [3] and commercial proprietary licenses as the Professional and Enterprise Editions.


DNN Platform (formerly "DotNetNuke Community Edition" content management system) is open source software that is intended to allow management of websites without much technical knowledge, and to be extensible through a large number of third-party apps to provide functionality not included in the DNN core modules. Skins can be used to change the look of a website using DNN.

There are two commercial editions of the software with increased functionality compared to DNN Platform, and technical support. The DotNetNuke Professional Edition was introduced in February 2009 with version 4.9 and the most recent version 7.0 was released in December 2012. In July 2013, DotNetNuke Professional Edition was renamed Evoq Content.[5] In addition, DotNetNuke Enterprise Edition was renamed Evoq Content: Enterprise.


DotNetNuke uses a three-tier architecture model

DotNetNuke uses a three-tier architecture model with a core framework providing support to the extensible modular structure. DotNetNuke can be extended using 3rd-party modules and providers that add functionality. The appearance of individual sites can be customized using skins. DotNetNuke 7.x.x requires Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, the respective SQL version, and IIS 7+. 5.x generation of DotNetNuke requires Internet Information Services 6 and ASP.NET v2.0 to v4 and supports SQL Server 2005 and 2008. Previous generations of DotNetNuke supported SQL Server 2000 and ASP.NET v1.1.


The default functionality of DotNetNuke can be expanded by adding third-party modules, either from an existing library of modules, or through in-house development of custom functionality. The DotNetNuke framework provides basic functionality such as security, user administration and content management, while modules are used to tailor the web site for specific deployment needs.

A set of primary modules are included with the core DotNetNuke distribution. These modules provide the functionality required to create an e-commerce system, an intranet, a public web site or a custom web application. They are maintained by a volunteer team community on the DotNetNuke Community Forge.[6]


A module can be uploaded and automatically installed on a DotNetNuke installation through the administration pages of DotNetNuke.[7] Once a module is added by the administrator, it can be placed on any of the pages in the web site and custom access permissions can be configured for it. A module can be developed in or in C#.Net.[8]


A skinning architecture provides a separation between design and content, enabling a web designer to develop skins without requiring any specialist knowledge of development in ASP.NET: only knowledge of HTML and an understanding of how to prepare and package the skins themselves is required. Skins consist of basic HTML files with placeholders (tokens) for content, menus and other functionality, along with support files such as images, style sheets and JavaScript, packaged in a ZIP file.[citation needed]

Upon Microsoft's release of the .NET Framework version 2, Microsoft had included functionality known as master pages. The principal idea behind master pages was to encourage code recycling and consistent design and aesthetics throughout a site by creating a master page with placeholders, which at runtime would be compiled and replaced by content.

Like modules, skins, can be uploaded and automatically installed through the administration pages. If the compiled skin does not contain an ASP.NET user control file, then the DotNetNuke skinning engine builds one based on various tokens included in the HTML file which refer to various sections, placeholders and/or modules of a DotNetNuke-produced page. A number of discussions on the DotNetNuke forums debate the differences between designing skins in "pure" HTML and Cascading Style Sheets, or creating skins in Visual Studio as ASP.NET user controls.[9]

Since version 4.4, skin developers have been able to specify skin-level DOCTYPEs to allow them to develop skins that follow accessibility and XHTML standards.

Developer ecosystem community[edit] has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.[10] Support for the Community Edition of DotNetNuke is provided by community members and developers can participate in the open-source project on the DotNetNuke Forge at CodePlex.

Project history[edit]

The DotNetNuke application originally evolved out of another project, called the IBuySpy Workshop.[11] The IBuySpy Workshop application had been created by Shaun Walker [12] as an enhancement to the IBuySpy Portal that started as a sample application for the .NET Framework. Early versions of DotNetNuke were released by Walker's company, Perpetual Motion Inc, while later development was expanded by the open source community.

The name DotNetNuke was coined by Walker by combining the term .NET with the word "nuke", which had been popular with pre-existing frameworks such as PHP-Nuke and PostNuke.[13] The term DotNetNuke and DNN are registered trademarks in the US (Search USPTO[14]) and Canada.[15][16]

In September 2006, four members of the project's board of directors formed a corporation to oversee the development of the project. The new DotNetNuke Corporation was co-founded by Walker,[17] Joe Brinkman,[18] Nik Kalyani[19] and Scott Willhite[20] and replaced Perpetual Motion Interactive Systems Inc. as the corporate entity behind the project.[21]

On November 25, 2008 DotNetNuke announced Series A financing from Sierra Ventures and August Capital, and in February 2009, after hiring Navin Nagiah as CEO, a Professional Edition version of DotNetNuke has been released for business and enterprise customers. In February 2010 DotNetNuke announced a Series B financing from Sierra Ventures, August Capital, and Pelion Venture Partners.

In August 2009 a partner program was launched by DotNetNuke Corporation, aimed at providing support to the web design and development companies that build web sites using DotNetNuke. DotNetNuke Corporation also announced the acquisition of Snowcovered, an online market for DotNetNuke modules, skins, services and related products.

In October 2009, the 2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report concluded that DotNetNuke was the leading .NET-based open source web content management system.[22]

As of January 2011, the DotNetNuke application has been downloaded over 6 million times and is in its seventh edition (7.1 as of July 9, 2013). Version 4.0 or later requires ASP.NET Framework v2.0 or later, but earlier versions will run on ASP.NET 1.1.[neutrality is disputed]

An API reference document is available, though as of 2013 some documentation was still available only in task-oriented form.[23] However a growing Wiki [24] attempts to address this weakness, with 400 wiki pages as of May 2014.


External links[edit]