DNN for when you can’t SharePoint

Another off the beaten trail post; I’m sorry about no responding to some of the Microsoft Surface questions but I have been a tad bit indisposed. Way too many things going on. With Shooting and editing product shots for a client, the new Smugmug interface and then great web site melt down for a local dSlr Photo Group that I kind of maintain.  I won’t get into the details but that web site got really hosed so I started from scratch.

DNN (DotNetNuke) for when you can’t SharePoint.
I have been doing Microsoft SharePoint for a lot of years; anyone remember FrontPage from which SharePoint was spawned? Anyways in the corporate environment where money abounds and you have scores of people that (say they) manage the portals, then SharePoint is a darn good way to manage content. Let’s say you are a group of friends that want to post and share photos and have a forum to banter back and forth. SharePoint is about 5-figures more than on can drum up for that kind of organization.

The requirement was something simple, that non professional webbies can manage content (news articles and just general html content).  The site needs a simple but pretty photo gallery that many people can upload to. Finally there needs to be a forum where members can discuss all things photography. Everything else is gravy.

I won’t lie, I have set up and used DNN way back when it first came out.   I may or may not have a chip on my shoulder…doh!  When we decided we wanted to move away from a mismanaged site that was hosting images for us, I did in fact try several different CMS packages.  My criteria was, as above, SIMPLE for the content managers.  I went through installs of Joomla, Drupal, and DNN.  One was pretty but content management took a degree in content management (and it was know for being hacked all the time) the other was a mess when it came to module integration as the parties creating modules did not have a strict set of rules for integration (as they do with DNN).  So we (I) ended up with a fresh DNN 7.1 site.

If you are in a Windows Environment and you need a Free (open source), easy to setup (up and running in 20 minutes), easy to manage CMS package then take a look at the DNN (Community Edition) package.  That latest version 7.1 really has come a long way.  My old site was 2 revs back which by the way caused me the headaches I just went through.  I’m not saying corporations are cheap but one very bad practice that you can learn but should not allow companies to fall into is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix (or upgrade) it” mentality.

Anyways, if you want to see a DNN 7.1 Photo Sharing site; I still got a few wrinkles to workout but http://www.sandiegodslr.org is our group photo sharing site.  I haven’t skinned it yet but It is running DNN v7.1 and the only purchased module is the Photo Galleries which are the latest version of Ultra Media Gallery (UMG 9.4).  I still need to figure out the new “Social” aspect of DNN, but hey it is one step at a time.

Ok…back to the MS Surface stuff.


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