Revamped User Interface
There are a number of new things coming with DotNetNuke 6.0, the core built in C# is just one of them (and you knew that was going to happen).
Switching to C# for core was a big deal and likely a very smart one for DNN, but it's something you can't see or touch (at least not on the surface). It's the completely redesigned user interface that will probably catch your eye first. And it looks pretty nice.
DNN 6 has a much more modern interface, but it not only looks good, it's also much faster to build and deploy a website using it. With all three editions of DNN (community, professional and enterprise) a site template is shipped with many of the features you would see in a typical website.
DNN 6.0 - getting started screen
Along with a complete site template, the interface has switched from working on everything within the webpage -- and therefore a lot of pain in the butt scrolling -- to offering modal windows and pop-up dialogs (like the log in dialog box).
In the screenshot below you see the popup menu for managing a selected component within the webpage. Also notice the Manage button greyed out over other components, so you can easily see what is editable. The mode option in the top right enables you to quickly switch between edit, view and layout.
DNN 6.0 Actions Menu
There's also a new Pages Administration interface that let's you quickly add and manage new pages within your website.
DNN 6.0 New Pages Interface
Also New In All Editions of DNN 6.0
While the slick new interface captures your immediate attention, there are a couple of other new things for all editions of DNN:
- Integration with Windows Azure: If you want to run your website in the cloud, you now can do that on Windows Azure.
- Direct Connection to Snowcovered.com: Also new is a direct connection to the DNN Extensions site, Snowcovered.com (modules and extensions). DNN has also aggregated all the community extensions found on DotNetNuke Forge, so you have one stop shopping for all your extensions. The integration of snowcovered.com means you can directly browse, purchase and download/install within DNN core platform.
DNN 6.0 Extensions Catalog
For Professional and Enterprise DNN
A little something extra for the Professional and Enterprise Editions of DotNetNuke 6.0: Cloud Storage and eCommerce capabilities:
- Cloud Storage: You can store your files in the cloud via either Windows Azure or Amazon S3. Cloud Storage is provided as a service API which means that it's extensible, allowing third party developers to build connections to other cloud storage providers like DropBox.
- eCommerce: A new eCommerce module shows the official integration of the ActiveModules social collaboration tools DNN acquired back in February. This module provides a quick start to adding eCommerce to your website and includes integration with PayPal and authorize.net, and features such as order management, flexible product display and checkout options, product management, discount management and dashboard capabilities.
And For Enterprise Only: SharePoint
Finally, a little more something for Enterprise customers -- SharePoint integration. DNN now offers a SharePoint connector with one way synchronization of documents within SharePoint to DotNetNuke websites.The connector ensures that only the most recent version of a document is published to the DNN website (internet, extranet or intranet site).
The administration screens are integrated in to the new UI, so it should be very simple with work with. Below is a view of the Admin Features where you would see this option if it were the Enterprise Edition.
DNN 6.0 Admin Control Panel
What's Not to Love in DNN 6.0
DotNetNuke has had its share of issues in the past, but much of that may stay in the past with DNN 6.0. The new user interface is what captures your attention now, especially for administrators. The new C# core has made a number of DNN developers happy as many SIs and third party module providers were already writing in C#. The addition of cloud storage mean more flexibility and scalability, not to mention less costs for enterprises and the SharePoint connector means DNN will work with a platform that many enterprise use daily.
The new version was released in beta over the last couple of weeks and according to DNN the downloads in July were off the charts. So something certainly seems right. The final version was actually released on Wednesday of last week, but today is the official announcement. For those looking for a list of bug fixes, you can check out the Change Log. For everyone else, watch a video or two to see DNN6 in action.
For those of you who have downloaded and taken DNN 6.0 for test drive already, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.