If you've been using open source content management system DotNetNuke to keep things organized on your company's Microsoft.NET platform, we have good news. You can now take advantage of new social features in a big way.
David F. Carr broke the story for Information Week just this morning. The new features, according to Mitch Bishop, chief marketing officer at DotNetNuke, should ease the potential headaches of customers who want to add social capabilities to their setups. Rather than look for a separate, third-party solution for social, businesses can “extend their DotNetNuke sites with social capabilities and just have it all integrated,” Bishop noted, which should simplify implementation.
The new social capabilities will be included in DotNetNuke's 6.2 version. They will include activity streams, profiles and directories, social groups and forums, and the ability to follow other users. Even those who use the free, community version of DotNetNuke will be able to access the new features. Of course, they'll also be available in all company-backed versions of DotNetNuke, which start at just under three grand a year and include a support contract and certain additional features. You can find the full list of new social capabilities on DotNetNuke's product overview page.
Another notable feature added to DotNetNuke is integration with SharePoint 2010. Those who use the open source CMS to manage company intranets will probably benefit the most from this thoughtful inclusion. “SharePoint is best of breed for managing documents internally, but it isn't the best for public-facing websites or solutions around that,” Bishop noted.
DotNetNuke was designed to be more flexible than that. Users can employ its capabilities for managing either internal or external websites. As businesses have become more familiar with the benefits of social media and typical social networking features, many companies have grasped the advantages to using social-style solutions in house – to make it easier to collaborate with co-workers, for instance, or help manage a development team. Indeed, Bishop noted that most of those interested in DotNetNuke's new social features are customers who use the platform and want the new capabilities to expand the functionality of their intranet sites.
One feature that businesses will find particularly useful to encourage collaboration on intranet sites is the ability to create social interest groups. On its site, DotNetNuke notes that “Users can join groups and share content with group members. Discussion forums can also be associated with social groups enabling members to ask and respond to questions and gain feedback on new ideas.”
This doesn't mean that DotNetNuke's social features can't be used on public-facing websites; far from it. Indeed, there are a number of capabilities that visitors to a DotNetNuke-powered site will appreciate for adding ease of use. These include social login via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. This feature in particular should help to encourage participation in a website's community.
The addition of social features to DotNetNuke represents the latest evolution of the decade-old platform. It billed itself as an alternative to other open-source web content management systems with “nuke” in their names, such as PHP Nuke. It started to be sold commercially only three years ago.