Will "the Mighty" Strohl

My Day Today: DotNetNuke Highs and Lows

I wasn't planning on blogging tonight, but something happened tonight that kind of pushed me over the edge...

Walking into work today, I had my day completely planned in my mind like I normally do.  I knew everything that I planned to accomplish.  Fortunately, I was able to accomplish the one big thing I wanted to.  I was able to roll out a major bug fix to RezHub.com, as well as a few other minor ones.

So, I mentioned that today was the day for DotNetNuke highs and lows.  Here we go.

Today's DotNetNuke High

Just after lunch, I got a call from the front desk that a package had arrived for me.  That is not unusual for me, so I walked up there as normal to pick it up.  I immediately was excited when I noticed who it was from.  It was from Wiley Press (Wrox).  It was a copy of the first book I helped to edit, Professional DotNetNuke 5.  I ripped open the package, because it was the first time that my name was in the credits of a book.  I was like a school kid getting ice cream for the first time.  Does that make me sad?  ;)  Needless to say, I showed everyone that would care.

I did notice one thing wrong with my bio though.  It is completely my fault, but my website URL is not in the bio. D'oh!

Today's DotNetNuke Low

Before I continue, let me tell you something.  I am 100% in favor of there being a Professional and Community Edition of DotNetNuke.  That is, if it is implemented how it's been described to us so far.  Also, there are several Core DNN members that I converse with on a daily basis, and in many cases would call friends.  I hold no ill will towards anyone.  However, I do need to talk about something that may ruffle a few feathers.  For that, I apologize ahead of time.

As I find myself doing a great deal of the time, I began to do a couple of updates for the ODUG website.  I wanted to put up announcements for the DNN version 4.09.02 release, and for a DNN press release I saw come out today.  In writing the announcements, I needed to know what I was announcing, so I finally read the press release I saw earlier.  The announcement was expected.  It was talking about the first release of DotNetNuke Professional Edition.  Everything looked pretty standard, but one sentence really burned into me.

"DotNetNuke Community Edition is excellent for testing, smaller scale, and non-production environments, while DotNetNuke Professional Edition is optimized for more rigorous, mission-critical applications"

Reading this verbatim, it could be very easy to lose one's temper, assume the worst, and really just lay in with some choice words and phrases.  If you're one of the folks asking, "Why," let me tell you.

Let's break it down into two sentences. Actually, I will break it down into bullet form:

DotNetNuke Community Edition:

  • is excellent for testing
  • is smaller scale
  • is for non-production environments

DotNetNuke Professional Edition:

  • is optimized
  • is for more rigorous applications
  • is for mission-critical applications

As I read it, the world is being told that the Community Edition (CE) of DotNetNuke is substandard to the Professional Edition (PE).  In fact, PE is "optimized" to be used for production websites.  I cannot tell you how frustrating this is going to make any meetings with potential clients that know anything about DotNetNuke.  This is a nightmare.  :(  It makes me feel that the DNN Corp is trying to compete with the community, rather than embrace it as they have always done.

Right off of the top of my head, here are some questions that some clients may be raising:

  • Are you offering the Professional version?
  • Is the CE the same?  How is it different?
  • I thought CE was only for testing?
  • Can CE handle my site if it gets a lot of hits?
  • Do I have a production environment?
  • I thought you cannot run CE on a production web server?

The list goes on, and the answers will be very tough to sell.  Effectively, this really puts any DNN consultants out there in a bind if their clients read this press release.  I can only imagine how they might feel right now if their business is completely modeled around DNN support, DNN site roll outs, etc.

Now, I am really not trying to over-criticize the DNN Corporation, or tick anyone off.  Quite the contrary.  I am simply voicing some concerns, in the hopes of starting a necessary open dialogue that is apparently long overdue.  We as the community can only feed off of what is given to us, and this press release directly contradicts a couple of quotes I read today on a forum thread, titled, "The Day of Dread".  (This forum thread speaks about concerns and fears of the Professional Edition.)

"DotNetNuke Professional Edition has the same code as DotNetNuke Community Edition."
- Charles Nurse

"The platform for Community Edition & Professional Edition is the same."
- Scott Willhite

"Nothing about our philosophy has changed.  Nothing has become more closed, in fact, quite the opposite is occurring."
- Scott Willhite

"Over the coming months you will see an increased commitment to the Open Source ideals which we truly value.  The business model we have chosen allows us to grow our support of DotNetNuke Community Edtion rather than kill it off and you will see the proof of that in the coming months as we accelerate development of DotNetNuke Community Edition."
- Joe Brinkman

I am deeply saddened at the choice of words in that single sentences of the press release.  I honestly am at odds with myself and do not know how to feel about it.

I challenge the DNN Corporation to please address the community and put our concerns to rest at last.  Pretty please with cherries on top?  ;)

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