Microsoft and DotNetNuke Reach for the Clouds

During the past couple years, I've had the opportunity to get to know DotNetNuke and their open source community much better than I had ever expected. Shaun Walker, a founder and CTO of DotNetNuke Corp., is also a visionary leader and over the past few years I've come to know and respect the man quite a bit. When you get to know DotNetNuke better, there should be no surprise in also knowing that DotNetNuke has become one of the most widely adopted Web Content Management Platform for Microsoft .NET. During the past couple years, Shaun has been whispering to me that I needed to watch DotNetNuke's progress in two significant areas: social publishing and the Cloud.

DotnetNuke LogoLast Spring we saw the project make progress in this area with DotNetNuke 6.2 as a Social Content Management System (CMS) and yesterday when it was announced during DotNetNuke World that Microsoft and DotNetNuke have partnered to to offer its Social Content Management System (CMS) through Microsoft’s Windows Azure Cloud. The terms of the two parties agreement include an investment from Microsoft to support engineering, sales and marketing over the next four years. Additionally, Microsoft is providing technology assistance, as the two companies work together to build a world-class cloud offering. 

DotNetNuke plans for offering a Cloud-based Social CMS has been in the making for quite some time. “Over the last year, our customers in the upper mid-market and enterprise have been requesting a world-class cloud infrastructure to host their mission-critical content and functionally rich, web properties,” said Navin Nagiah, CEO of DotNetNuke. “We are working with Microsoft to bring our customers a powerful Windows Azure-based CMS that is both reliable and elastic.”

The Windows Azure-based service will provide the power and flexibility of DotNetNuke’s Social CMS without requiring users to install and manage the software and hardware required to run the platform. Everything an organization needs to build content rich, social websites is provided as a cloud-based service including:

  • One-Click Installation and Setup – Customers select a service plan and a new DotNetNuke installation and a website are automatically created.
  • Full Feature Set – Access to all of DotNetNuke’s powerful CMS features, including site management, socialcollaboration, granular security, advanced content workflows, document management, page and module caching, analytics, and mobile site management.
  • App Store – Customers can build and customize websites by purchasing applications and design templates through the DotNetNuke Store.
  • Custom Development – Organizations that wish to develop custom functionality have full access to the DotNetNuke platform and API. Some service offerings include full file system access for developers.
  • Upgrades – The service streamlines and simplifies the process of upgrading a site to a newer version of the DotNetNuke platform.
  • Import/Export – Existing sites can be moved onto the cloud platform or exported to another hosting provider.
  • Backup and Restore – Sites are automatically backed and earlier versions can be restored.
  • Test Sites – Plans include the ability to test websites before they are made publicly available.

DotNetNuke began offering Windows Azure-based trials of its professional edition software worldwide, localized into five languages, earlier this year.  The company today opened up registration for a beta version of its cloud offering that will be available in Q4 2012. DotNetNuke is scheduled to make the service generally available in early 2013, with service plans for mid-sized businesses and enterprises.

“Social experiences are ideal for cloud computing; they are consumed across many devices and browsers and they also need to scale based on fluctuations in usage,” said Kim Akers, General Manager of Microsoft. "With Windows Azure developers can build social experiences that take advantage of a reliable cloud backend and a scalable way to manage and continually refine their sites.  DotNetNuke’s Windows Azure-based offering is designed to make it easy for organizations to build and deploy websites.”

The alliance extends DotNetNuke and Microsoft’s close collaboration across multiple initiatives including:

  • DotNetNuke Community Edition availability through Microsoft CodePlex, the open source project hosting service
  • DotNetNuke’s inclusion in Web Platform Installer
  • DotNetNuke’s inclusion in Web Matrix installer for developers
  • DotNetNuke’s participation in Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP) for Windows Azure
  • Development  of a RAZOR module for the DotNetNuke Platform
  • Microsoft’s Diamond Sponsorship of DNN World 2012