Industry Insights

What’s DNN Been Up to Since ESW's Acquisition?

In a September article on the site, Venus and Laura covered the news of DNN Corp’s acquisition by ESW Capital. The article included an interview with Laura and DNN’s new CEO, Andy Tryba. In the interview, Andy spoke about his plans to invest in the open source platform and ecosystem. Now that we’re three months in, it’s a good time to update CMS-Connected readers on our progress.

DNN Ecosystem Advisory Groups

On November 16, 2017, Andy announced the formation of Ecosystem Advisory Groups. Andy made the official announcement in a blog post titled “3 Months After the Acquisition – My Views on Rejuvenating the Community.”

Andy announced advisory groups in four key areas, each headed up by a notable community leader. The four Ecosystem Advisory Groups are:

  1. Technology Advisory Group, led by Shaun Walker, the creator of DNN

  2. Developers Advisory Group, led by Peter Donker, Founder of Bring2mind

  3. Partners Advisory Group, led by David Poindexter, GeekEO at nvisionative, Inc

  4. Awareness Advisory Group, led by Will Strohl, CEO at Upendo Ventures

As Andy wrote in the post, “These groups will start the conversation about the shared path forward for the community in each of these areas. Our goal is to get all sides of the ecosystem rowing in the same direction with a shared vision for growing the ecosystem and seeing it thrive. We hope you’ll help shape the future of the DNN ecosystem with us!”

Note to CMS-Connected readers: Clint Patterson, DNN’s Ecosystem Manager, is coordinating the placement of volunteers into the right advisory groups. If you’re interested in joining a group, send Clint an email:

Growing Community Momentum. And Pull Requests!

As news spread of our renewed commitment to the open source ecosystem, we heard from previously dormant DNN users. In addition, we’ve seen more dialog about DNN on Twitter and Facebook, and attendance at community events (e.g. the Southern Fried DNN Meetups) has picked up.

Andrew Hoefling, a developer from Rochester, New York, discovered DNN by way of a friend’s recommendation. Andrew downloaded DNN and tried it out. Then, he went to Twitter to ask a few questions, where he found the @DNN handle. Before long, he was tweeting back and forth with DNN community members.

Right away, Andrew was invited to speak at a Southern Fried DNN Meetup. His presentation was titled "DNN Continuous Delivery with VSTS and Azure." Southern Fried DNN published a blog post with a recording of the presentation.

Shortly after the Meetup, Andrew dove into the DNN Platform source code and discovered an area for improvement. Instead of talking about it, Andrew decided to code the improvement himself. Once complete, he submitted a pull request, DNN-10462: Added support for DnnUrlHelper in DnnController for MVC.

Recently, Andrew received word that his pull request was accepted:

Building upon the momentum we’re seeing, Clint Patterson published a blog post geared towards first-time contributors to our open source ecosystem. Clint’s post provides instructions on creating a GitHub repository and sharing the project with the community. He also detailed a case study of Prompt, a project developed by Kelly Ford, Peter Donker and others, which will be integrated into the DNN Platform core in its next release in early 2018.

A Rebranded DNN Newsletter


We once had a “DNN Community Newsletter,” but its frequency waned a bit over the years. When Clint Patterson returned to DNN Corp. as Ecosystem Manager, one of his first initiatives was to refresh the newsletter. With everyone running such busy lives, we thought a monthly email would keep everyone informed of DNN ecosystem happenings.

We re-branded the newsletter to “DNN Digest,” which is sent on the second Friday of every month. Subscribe to the newsletter and you’ll often see a video greeting from Clint. Knowing the challenges of reaching people via their inboxes, we also post a version of the newsletter to our blog. In fact, the December issue of DNN Digest just went live today.

DNN Joins the .NET Foundation

According to its website, the .NET Foundation is “an independent organization to foster open development and collaboration around the .NET ecosystem. It serves as a forum for community and commercial developers alike to broaden and strengthen the future of the .NET ecosystem by promoting openness and community participation to encourage innovation.”

At the Microsoft Connect(); event in New York, we were excited to hear Microsoft’s Scott Hunter announce (via the live stream) that we’ve been accepted into the .NET Foundation, along with NUnit, IronPython, MvvmCross, SourceLink, ILMerge and Humanizer.

Our joining the .NET Foundation reinforces our commitment to open source. In addition, we expect to generate more exposure for the ecosystem and have access to valuable resources. For more on what joining the foundation means, check out this blog post from my colleague Will Morgenweck.

DNN Summit Keynote Presenters Announced

DNN Summit will be the first major, in-person DNN event since the acquisition was announced. The event takes place February 6-10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado and is run by a committee of DNN ecosystem volunteers.

Recently, DNN Summit announced its keynote presenters. The first keynote will be presented by Andy Tryba, DNN’s CEO. The second keynote will be presented by Shaun Walker, creator of DNN. I’ll be in Denver for the event and hope to see you (or meet you) there!

Visit the DNN Summit blog to read the official announcement on the keynote speakers.

DNN Open Sources Our UI Automation Framework

The DNN Engineering team uses a UI Automation Testing Framework that we developed in F#. The framework is currently tied to an upcoming release, DNN 9.2.0. Recently, we open sourced the framework, making it available for download as a GitHub repository. Read colleague Ash Prasad's blog post for more details.

2018 Will Be an Exciting Year

In this article, I provided just the highlights of the past three months. There’s been other exciting developments that I haven’t mentioned ?? Yes, there’s a lot going on. With DNN Summit in February 2018, the upcoming DNN 9.2 release and more, I’m sure 2018 will be an exciting year for the DNN ecosystem.

Dennis Shiao

Dennis Shiao

Dennis is an independent marketing consultant who works with brands on content marketing, product messaging and social media marketing. Formerly, Dennis led the content marketing function at DNN Software. Dennis curates an email newsletter called Content Corner and publishes marketing-related content on Medium.


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