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DotNetNuke Corporation Acquires Active Modules Inc.

by Will Morgenweck on 23 Feb 2011 10:32 AM

I am pleased to announce that DotNetNuke Corporation has acquired Active Modules, including the intellectual property for our flagship products Active Forums, Active Social and Active Purchase.  In addition, I have also joined DNN Corp as Director of Social Products.  I will continue to be responsible for the Active Modules’ products and influence the direction for social collaboration tools for the DotNetNuke platform.  I’m extremely excited about the current direction of DotNetNuke and the opportunities that lie ahead.  I know there will be many questions, but allow me to provide some background and some insight into future plans.

A few months ago, I made a strategic decision to approach DNN Corp.  Over the past 12-18 months we were seeing several changes in the market including new products, greater availability of alternative platforms, and growing demand for social media which presented different opportunities.  In my opinion, adding new features to the DotNetNuke platform would enhance its competitiveness.  In order to determine the best direction for Active Modules and our customers, I needed to find out a couple of things.  Did DNN Corp see the same changes in the market?  If they did, what were they doing about them?  My first meeting with DNN Corp quickly revealed that we were all aware of many of the same market factors.  It was a great relief to learn that DNN Corp was alive, full of passion and taking action.  They were already working on a plan to embrace the growing need for social media tools and I saw an opportunity for us to work together to really make a difference in the CMS market.  

One thing is for certain, people have to use DotNetNuke in order to use our products.  The more people that use DotNetNuke the better.  I know it sounds obvious, but I think many vendors and solution providers have a tendency to forget.  Many know that I have been fairly vocal in the past about DotNetNuke competing with module vendors.  However, after working on Active Social for over two years and interacting with customers, I’ve become more critical about what should be done in the core and what should be done in a module.  Just to provide an example, Active Social shouldn’t need to include a login module.  The only reason we provide a login control is that the core login control can’t be customized for layout.  We essentially duplicated the entire control just so we could offer a template-based version.  Anyone that has used our login control or any other third-party login control knows the challenges for setup and configuration.  Profile is another example.  The Active Social Profile module is simply a template based control using the core profile API.  Well over a year ago, when DNN Corp. first announced they were adding messaging and a new profile view, I wasn’t upset.  I was actually hoping that these were features we could leverage for Active Social.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and we still needed to provide our own custom solution as the core functionality was insufficient for our customers.  

My point is I have never had a problem with DotNetNuke competing with a commercial module when it is something that improves the core platform.  I have always wanted to do what was best for our customers and the platform as a whole.  The easier DotNetNuke is to use out of the box, the more it will be used.  The more DotNetNuke is used, the greater the opportunity for members of the DotNetNuke ecosystem.   

Determining the best direction for each product has been our primary focus for the past several weeks.   We have a lot of work ahead but have also provided options to satisfy customer needs until the work is complete.  Each of our products will be headed in slightly different directions.  A summary for each product is provided below.

Active Forums
Active Forums will undergo a rebranding and will replace the current DNN Core Forum module.  This means that Active Forums will become an open source product maintained on CodePlex by DNN Corp.  All professional features that are currently available in Active Forums Enterprise will be included in the open source version, with the exception of the Mail Connector.  The Mail Connector will be included with a premium version of the module to be offered with the commercial editions of DotNetNuke.  New features will be added to the module, but some new features might be reserved for the premium version.  In the interest of remaining transparent, no features other than the existing Mail Connector have been identified for the commercial editions of DotNetNuke at this time.  It is understood that DotNetNuke needs to provide a strong and very competitive Forum module for all versions of the platform.  However, it is also understood that certain features maybe better suited for the commercial market.  Migration and upgrade options will be available at time of release.  Current timeframe for release is Q3 of this year.  All versions of Active Forums will remain available on Snowcovered until the new version is released.  Support agreements will also continue to be honored based upon the original version purchased.  

Active Social
Social collaboration is becoming an essential feature for every Content Management System; therefore, Active Social will be integrated and become part of the core DotNetNuke platform.   All versions of Active Social will remain on Snowcovered until integration with the DotNetNuke core has been completed.   Support agreements will also continue to be honored based upon the original version purchased.  

Active Purchase
Active Purchase will be integrated with DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise editions.  This provides DNN Corp customers with the ability to process transactions for subscriptions and various products.  Support for PayPal and Authorize.Net will be included with the option to add support for additional payment providers.  More details to follow.

What’s Next
Current customers can continue using the products and receiving support just as they have in the past.   An option to renew support will be available on Snowcovered shortly.  New customers will have access to support using the forums or the Snowcovered help desk.  Existing customers will be able to use the forums, our help desk or the Snowcovered help desk.  Maintenance releases will be available to customers based upon the product updates agreement for the license purchased.  Product downloads will be available on this site for existing customers.  New customers, as of today, will be able to download updates from Snowcovered.

We have a lot of work to do over the next few months.  Our intention is to make sure you can continue using our products the same as always.  There will be a few obstacles along the way, but there shouldn’t be any surprises.  I will continue to communicate with customers to gather feedback and share ideas.  Finally, I want to say thank you to the thousands of customers that have supported Active Modules over the past 6 years.  We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the tremendous support and feedback of our customers.  While our company name has changed, our commitment and passion is stronger than ever.  

Related Links
Shaun Walker, DotNetNuke CTO & Co-Founder - DotNetNuke Corporation Acquires Active Modules, Inc. 
Press Release - DotNetNuke Corp. Announces Acquisition of Social Collaboration Solutions Provider, Active Modules


    71 Comments for DotNetNuke Corporation Acquires Active Modules Inc.

    Ray Dixon
    Ray Dixon
    23 Feb 2011 11:54 AM

    Congratulations, Will, and everyone at AM! Congratulations to DotNetNuke, too. This is great news for the platform!
    jbrunken
    jbrunken
    23 Feb 2011 12:31 PM

    Yes congrats Will, I'm sure this is a very exciting (and stressful) time for you and everyone else in your company.

    I selfishly have to ask a question: Does this mean that more resources will be put into developing and perfecting the features of AF and AS than Acitve Modules was able to dedicate to the process before?

    Also, has any thought been given to how AS events will relate to core DNN events?

    Thanks and congrats again.

    -JB
    ron dyar
    ron dyar
    23 Feb 2011 12:35 PM

    "Active Purchase will be integrated with DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise editions"

    as someone who has been waiting patiently for AP to be re-released, this is very disappointing.
    Steven Webster
    Steven Webster
    23 Feb 2011 01:22 PM
    www.overlooktechnologies.com
    Congratulations to Will, AM and DNN. This is great news.
    wbp
    wbp
    23 Feb 2011 01:34 PM

    Congratulations on the acquisition!
    I am concerned about the Mail Connector decision though - if I understand this correctly, our only option for continuing to use the Mail Connector is to purchase a commercial version of DNN, which we cannot possibly afford. I hope you will have some consideration for a small non-profit such as ourselves.
    William
    Peninsula Astronomical Society
    drew curry
    drew curry
    23 Feb 2011 02:10 PM

    Frankly i must admit to being very disappointed in this. I will withhold opinion for a bit, but let's be clear: any decision that costs us more to maintain the features we paid our hard-earned money for, more than what we budgeted for in renewal costs, will be considered unconscionable. Like my feeling when dotnetnuke decided to go paid-for after all the blethering that it would not, this feels wrong. At least here we had people willing to pay to be part of a segmented and forward-thinking bit of software.
    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    23 Feb 2011 02:37 PM

    So what now? Unless we pay for DNN Pro. or Ent. we won't get any AF/AS updates?
    Magnus the-Jackal
    Magnus the-Jackal
    23 Feb 2011 02:40 PM

    I think it's a great move, I think the product has both grown and suffered based on the current model and more eyes and hands on it will ultimately work out for the better. I have to be honest, I am only moderately satisfied with the active modules social products yet they are fantastic and powerful products. I really hope that the move to DNN will further bridge the gap between power and usability. This site and forum already looks so much better, there is even navigation directly to the forum rather than having to click through pages :) Oh, is this forum skin available as a theme?
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    23 Feb 2011 02:42 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    So what now? Unless we pay for DNN Pro. or Ent. we won't get any AF/AS updates?

    NO! That is absolutely not the case. I will try to make the points in my blog about the direction of the product stand out a little more. I would also suggest reading Shaun's blog as well.
    http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Resources...s-Inc.aspx
    jbrunken
    jbrunken
    23 Feb 2011 02:44 PM

    I'm confused about licensing and updates. I sent in a contact form a day or two ago asking about renewing our AS/AF license and didn't get a response yet. I have no interest in mail connector, so it sounds like what I need will be included in the free version.

    How to I go about getting updates between now and then?
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    23 Feb 2011 02:51 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    @jbrunken
    I selfishly have to ask a question: Does this mean that more resources will be put into developing and perfecting the features of AF and AS than Acitve Modules was able to dedicate to the process before?

    Yes, that is definitely a benefit of this acquisition. Just to be clear and as I tried to mention in my blog, some of the functionality in Active Social is better suited to be part of the DotNetNuke core. You may see features dropped from the Active Social package over time. Two that I would like to see immediately removed are the Sign-up Wizard and Login module. However, we won't remove those until that functionality is available at core level.

    Also, has any thought been given to how AS events will relate to core DNN events?

    Yes, but not at a very granular level just yet. We are reviewing all the different pieces of Active Social and the overall functionality. Events is a good example. Personally, I would like to see an actual events module tightly integrated with the Journal. That would be a better option than duplicating that functionality in Active Social.
    Shad Pulley
    Shad Pulley
    23 Feb 2011 03:31 PM
    http://www.mylargescale.com
    So I just dropped an additional $99 last month for software updates only to have everything I use go open source? Nice.. Can I get my $99 back?
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    23 Feb 2011 03:39 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    Shad,
    A lot of work needs to be done before the products are completely Open Source. As I mentioned in my post the current time frame is Q3/Q4 this year. We will continue releasing updates for our customers, just as we did today, until that time.
    Thanks,
    Will
    Tyler
    Tyler
    23 Feb 2011 03:46 PM

    I, too, share William's concern about mail connector. That was the driving factor to go w/AF for our customer. We are just finishing up the site and working out the kinks for the MC scheduler as this announcement arrived.

    Another question is around AS. We have an old purchased version (Aug 2009) that we never activated. We have a customer that can use it so we were planning to upgrade. If AF won't have MC unless they go pro, i'm assuming that's the case for AF w/in AS.

    All in all i think it will be good for DNN and the community but the transition could be a bit painful for those of us who will never recommend dnn pro to our customer-base.

    Tj
    DavidE
    DavidE
    23 Feb 2011 03:49 PM

    Wow. The entrepreneur in me is excited for Will and the Active Modules team. Definite validation of the hard work and great products you have developed.

    But as others posted, we'll have to wait to see if this is a good thing for AM customers. I cannot argue with integration of certain functions with the DNN core but am concerned on future directions both from a feature and business perspective. For a reasonable price, AM provided the foundation for the websites I want to develop with good support. If I read Will and Shaun's blog correctly, AF and "the majority of AS components" will become part of the core DNN platform which I assume will be part of the DNN Community Edition.

    As someone who has patiently been waiting for Active Purchase, I share a fellow poster's view of extreme disappointment that Active Purchase will be only available as part of the Professional or Enterprise editions of DNN. It sounds like some current and future features of AS could also go that route. The cost of DNN Professional will absolutely put this out of reach for my purposes.
    drew curry
    drew curry
    23 Feb 2011 03:51 PM

    The trouble i see here is that many AM clients have invested a fair amount of their module budget in AM products over the years. Now, as hinted at, there will be new features that will only be included in the Pro+ versions of dnn. Clearly this results in a huge diversion from the expected module expenditure for many of us small shops.



    Two Thousand Dollars a YEAR. Hell, i can get MSDN for that.



    That this is already hinted at clearly indicates a chosen path for dnn and their new social software. It isn't right for those who have elected to be "Enterprise" clients of AM. Sorry to be a naysayer amongst back-patters but this just feels stinky. DNN going commercial has done little for those who vested in it from the start of the IBuySpy days except those in the inner-circle.
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    23 Feb 2011 03:53 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    It sounds like some current and future features of AS could also go that route.

    No, that is not the case. When we say that "the majority of AS components" will become part of the core that means they will be part of the DotNetNuke Core Install. Any pieces of current Active Social functionality that do not need to be in the core will remain as modules.
    Centralhome.com
    Centralhome.com
    23 Feb 2011 03:59 PM

    Mail connector and Professional version. At the risk of sounding more stupid than I am ... doesn't the mail connector provide things like:
    1. New user login info (verified)
    2. Welcome email
    3. Subscribe to posts
    4. User to user email/communication
    etc. or is that just mail thingie and mail connector does something else?

    Also version 1.9.2 is not under My Downloads, where do we get it now?
    drew curry
    drew curry
    23 Feb 2011 04:05 PM

    from your original post: "All versions of Active Social will remain on Snowcovered until integration with the DotNetNuke core has been completed"

    From the moment you announce your product is going open-source, your right to accept money for the product is questionable. I am sure there are many very recent clients who are now wording emails requesting refunds. This is similar to when governments decide to axe a tax. The question on how to actually do this, how to appease those tolled with the cost, becomes a quagmire of large proportion.
    Tyler
    Tyler
    23 Feb 2011 04:11 PM

    So, let's say we purchase AS today and implement on dnn 5.6.1. It would have all the features of both AS and AF, including MC.

    Fast forward 8 months and we're ready to upgrade to a later version of dnn where AF and AS has been integrated to core, less the MC, which is Pro only.

    Will the migration path be one of running special scripts to port over the data to core tables, or will the upgrade handle it or would we simply keep the version of AS/AF we have in use, maintaining the ability to utilize MC?

    We were going to pull the trigger this morning on upgrading AS from the aug 2009 purchase when the site was taken down for this big announcement. Now i'm trying to sort out how this development will affect our decision. I do think that long term it's a good thing for dnn and the community, but for some of our customers who use MC and for this new one for whom we hoped to use AS, I'm a bit apprehensive about how this will play out.

    Tj
    MHuijbregts
    MHuijbregts
    23 Feb 2011 04:14 PM
    www.biservices.eu
    @Will,

    Active Purchase will be integrated with DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise editions.

    Is Active Purchase going to be released exclusively to these editions of the DNN framework or will there be a commercial module version available for Community Edition users? This is of great concern to me (and probably to many more) because not everyone is willing to pay for Professional / Enterprise editions.

    I would like to know if the MailConnector will be made available as an add-on module as well?

    ps: Congratulations with this move!!
    Tyler
    Tyler
    23 Feb 2011 04:15 PM

    I would vote to either nix the idea of MC as pro only or provide some means to purchase MC w/out having to go pro.
    DavidE
    DavidE
    23 Feb 2011 04:19 PM

    It sounds like some current and future features of AS could also go that route.

    No, that is not the case. When we say that "the majority of AS components" will become part of the core that means they will be part of the DotNetNuke Core Install. Any pieces of current Active Social functionality that do not need to be in the core will remain as modules.


    I understand they will remain as modules but my primary point/concern is that (from the press release and FAQ) "Some Active Social technology will be used as a basis to build new social media features for the DotNetNuke Professional and Enterprise Editions." Whether this is an issue is TBD based on which features are in CE versus Pro - as Shaun mentions in his blog, detailed communication with stakeholders is critical.

    Centralhome.com
    Centralhome.com
    23 Feb 2011 04:25 PM

    @drew curry
    Perhaps Will could set up a monthly recurring billing rather than yearly. I think my support is due in June. I'd hate to pay for a year if it goes free in September. We do want to get upgrades and bug fixes, so letting support lapse doesn't seem like a good option. Unless Will wants to extend support free?
    brian
    brian
    23 Feb 2011 06:07 PM

    So, AF will have source in the Forge. MC which is one of the most common tasks of a forum is now 2k a year. A forum without notifications.

    AS.. I bet you will go to Pro version or higher, not free. They (DNN) has proven this with Document Xchange And since we don't have the source... not sure how it can be supported for more than one year or 18 months tops. This means DNN can easily kill it off. Current support contracts will be honored.. well, those only last one year.

    Wake up. Congrats Will but you sold out and your past customers no longer will get to reasonably afford good modules.
    Rheebo
    Rheebo
    23 Feb 2011 06:09 PM
    www.zonediet.com
    WOW - Talk about a surprise! Congratulations Will  & Team. While I share the concern over what the DNN acquistion will do in terms of limiting our access to important core features, I am hopeful that the acquiristion will enable the product to continue to flourish. I am dissapointed that Active Purchase is being included with the paid version as like many others I purchased the product and have been waiting patiently for a long time for an update that might be integrated with AS. I never even implemented the product. Will do you think there will be somethng available for those of this in this situation that cannot yet afford a paid version of DNN?

    Good luck and again congrats on your new position with DNN.
    Ray Dixon
    Ray Dixon
    23 Feb 2011 06:10 PM

    Brian, Mail Connector is for posting to forums via email, not forum notifications.
    Rod
    Rod
    23 Feb 2011 06:16 PM

    Not sure what to think of this. I always liked AM because it stood out from the core and other vendors and made it innovate and compete - to fight hard for business. Now that it's been absorbed into the mothership, I hope the AM team, ideals and product innovation continue to push through.

    What a kick in the teeth for the DNN forums module. Inevitable really.

    Well done Will. All the best.
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    23 Feb 2011 06:18 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    So, AF will have source in the Forge. MC which is one of the most common tasks of a forum is now 2k a year. A forum without notifications.

    The Mail Connector is strictly for allowing users to create posts via email. Very similar to list server functionality. It has nothing to do with notifications.

    AS.. I bet you will go to Pro version or higher, not free. They (DNN) has proven this with Document Xchange And since we don't have the source... not sure how it can be supported for more than one year or 18 months tops. This means DNN can easily kill it off. Current support contracts will be honored.. well, those only last one year. Wake up. Congrats Will but you sold out and your past customers no longer will get to reasonably afford good modules.

    Brian, all I can say is that I went into this acquisiton making it perfectly clear that our products would not end up like the Xepient module. My biggest concern throughout this entire acquisition process revolved around making sure our products and customers were well taken care of.
    Tyler
    Tyler
    23 Feb 2011 06:24 PM

    If we purchase AS today and implement on dnn 5.6.1. It would have all the features of both AS and AF, including MC.

    Fast forward and we're ready to upgrade to a later version of dnn where AF and AS has been integrated to core, less the MC, which is Pro only.

    Will the migration path be one of running special scripts to port over the data to core tables, or will the upgrade handle it or would we simply keep the version of AS/AF we have in use, maintaining those tables and the ability to utilize MC?



    drew curry
    drew curry
    23 Feb 2011 06:32 PM

    Regardless of the rhetoric used to spin it, this act will cost each of us who were once considering ActivePurchase at least $1700 assuming you were going to charge around $300 per new AP. How do you consider this looking out for us? Out of principle, i will not buy the commercial version of dnn.

    ps: now that you are part of the inner circle could you ask Shaun to replace the profile pic he has been sporting for what seems like a decade? I thought only real estate agents kept pics that long ;)
    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    23 Feb 2011 06:33 PM

    Please tell us more about MC. I have three Enterprise licenses since 2007/2008. I purchased them just because of MC. Now with this move, I won't be able to upgrade AF (after your move to DNN) without buying the Pro or Ent DNN version or lose MC if I want to upgrade to a later version of AF?

    As a customer, I think the whole thing just sucks. I invested in Smart-Social and that went no where. Rodney's move screwed up so many websites at that time. Now this.

    There will not be any support for these products unless you are using pro. or ent. versions. Community users will have to rely on each other and community forums. No more quick fixes and fast releases.

    This move probably only benefited Will, DNN and Developers. DotNetNuke is becoming like a black hole. It's sucking up all good things out there and one day there will be nothing left but some crappy modules out there.

    F#@k!
    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    23 Feb 2011 06:36 PM

    p.s. I hate this skin now.
    Smart-Thinker
    Smart-Thinker
    23 Feb 2011 06:46 PM
    http://www.pokerdiy.com
    This is going to either be very good or very bad. I think it will boil down to how much money you can afford on DNN.

    The AM modules (which are of a high quality) will get more resource under Will and teams guidance/knowledge - this is good. Knowledge will be shared and some concepts can be exchanged between the core and AM team to improve all modules, standardise UI etc.

    The bad news is that the little guy who needs all the AS features and was quite happy to pay $250 or whatever it was a year for the AM ent suite now has to pay another 1.7k a year. Impossible for me - my site is just a hobby and does not generate profit. However, I want all the advanced features...

    We'll have to wait and see what features are forked.

    "I invested in Smart-Social and that went no where. Rodney's move screwed up so many websites at that time. Now this. "
    @frozen: I open-sourced the whole Smart-Thinker software suite and made it all free? Was that really such a bad thing?
    brian
    brian
    23 Feb 2011 06:48 PM

    Why would DotNetNuke buy AM and then give it all away free? They won't. I'm not talking about MC only. It will take time but just like DotNetNuke will always be free (haha) mark my word.

    I was here at the site today to buy AS. But without the source I'm not comfortable. I think DotNetNuke should give the source with AM purchases (AF and AS) if they claim to be including it in the core. Then at least I can make sure it works in DNN 6.0.
    Hazen Wilson
    Hazen Wilson
    23 Feb 2011 07:11 PM
    http://www.planetsocialsports.com
    More power to you guys... hopefully you worked out a deal where it makes it worth your while...
    Hopefully AS can break the mold where companies are acuired and we still will get great support/ upgrades ets...
    but more than likely we will fall by the wayside and we'll have to go to core DNN for any upgrades or troubleshooting tips.
    I'm holding by breath but my neejerk reaction is good for DNN users in the future... but not good for any client using AS/AF currently, in the past.. or the immediate future.
    NFXBeats
    NFXBeats
    23 Feb 2011 07:12 PM

    Congrats to Will because this is a good thing for him. Considering his skill set, I think he made the right choice for himself here. I can't say he doesn't deserve to get paid, but I hope it works out for the customers who have been supporting him these many years.

    If it means that AF and AS will be in the core (non pro/ent) as feature rich as they are now (minus MC) I think this will ultimately be a good thing, but if they strip down either one for the DNN community version, I will be upset.

    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    23 Feb 2011 07:12 PM

    Making it open source does not help everybody but only the people who can do programming. As a customer, who does not know anything about programming, I do not give a rat's ass that the software is open source or not. I want support. I want new features when I want it (of course for an amount). ST went open source and now I do not have anyone to go to, request new features or trouble shoot errors. I cannot come to you because you are going to tell me that ST is open source or you do not have time or you are not making any money or you will ask me to hire someone else. I cannot expect it from you because now it's free and I am not paying for it. How dare I feel entitled for an support. So what if I paid for the product? I think as a customer, when we buy products we expect the product and support in the future even if we have to pay the premium. But now it's all gone.

    Sadly, I am glad you are going through the same phase all ST customers went through. Uncertain future. You will feel more pain if and when DNN pulls plug on AS/AF or if there is no easy way to transfer data to another module, which may not been even good. Or possibly DNN 6 will be so different that it will break our existing AF/AS websites. Our option will be to pay for ent. or pro. at some point in future or to shut down the website.

    I think I have a good case here. It's breach of expectations.

    Anyone want to do a class suit action?
    drew curry
    drew curry
    23 Feb 2011 07:15 PM

    @Rodney: this is a popular misconception amongst module/app/cool-thing developers: many of us do not want to wade deep into the code of another. Many of us simply want tools to use to satisfy client demands. Me for example, i deploy most of my biz apps using XAF from DX. They do most of the plumbing for me and i deliver conceptual solutions to real business requirements. Such is the case for AS/AF/DNN. I, and i suspect many others, simply do not want to wade in and learn code when, then spend another day/week/month arranging new dev environments to suite yet another platform. The last time i decided to use the dnn source code i was quickly hit with the realization that as a 1-man shop, hmm no way, no can do. And before somebody chimes in with a "well if you are too lazy to do it yourself, don't complain, the fact remains the dnn was once free, completely, and AS/AF were once completely obtainable for a discreet and manageable sum. No longer. And now we see why so many issues have not been resolved over the last month or so. Bigger fish to fry. No.. this ain't good news, most of us know it, and i for one would love to be proven wrong.
    Jeff Blanks
    Jeff Blanks
    23 Feb 2011 07:41 PM

    I must say this comes as really unexpected news!

    While I'm happy for AM, I am reserved until I see how it all plays out.

    What upsets me the most is that fact that source code for Active Modules has never been available. This is the only Module Vendor I have purchased from where I don't have source code available. And the ONLY reason I've purchased AM is due to their longevity and track record. All of my other module purchases have come with source code in the event the developer goes out of business, gets sold, or (in this case) gets consumed by the big Daddy.

    I'm left with the question that since DNN has purchased AM, I'm presuming source code will then be available for the products that are consumed into DNN CE. And will source be available for PE and Ent?

    The things that concern me, as others of course, is the future of MC and AP.

    I was just getting ready to work with MC and implement it's features with Amazon SES. And I was really looking forward to the usage of AP for a subscription service.

    As much as it hurts, I can work around the pain of not having access to AP, but not having MC really seems like a strike below the belt since it was already part of the AF ENT version.

    Seems a good few of us may have to rethink strategy. But I do hope I've shed the light of one subject: Source Code Availability
    Smart-Thinker
    Smart-Thinker
    23 Feb 2011 07:42 PM
    http://www.pokerdiy.com
    @drew: without getting off topic, I was just defending the implication that making something open-source and free is the same as making some things open source and others not free. What is happening here and what I did is different, thats my point.

    I understand perfectly well that not everyone is a developer - I buy AM products because in the long run it saved me time and therefore money, regardless of whether I can code or not.

    Bear in mind I honored the premium support contracts of all customers (as AM is doing here = good). What would have been a better exit strategy than giving all customers my source for life?
    Greg Brown
    Greg Brown
    23 Feb 2011 08:19 PM

    First - Congrats to Will! I'm happy for you.

    When I first read the news my reaction was similar to many here. But I do believe Will is thinking about us so I am going to hold off until we find out for sure what the story is. However, I do believe that AS does hold the power to break the camel's back if any of it is made PE only - If only because the camel's back already had so many cracks in it. If it goes as Will and Shaun have said - or at least how I read it then the only pain is the MC. And that is pretty painful to some of us - I had invested some effort into it.

    @Brian Yes there are some incentives to making AF and AS part of the core (free). If you have been following DNN as closely as I you will have noticed that adoption of the framework isn't what it once was. 18 to 24 months ago you had as many as 2000 visitors at a time on dnn.com (which if you remember forced them to go to a web farm instead of a single server) and were gaining 100 - 120+ new registrations per day. Now a high is 800 visitors (most of the time about 300 visitors) and registrations are half that (some days as low as 25). I also think the third party module market is slowing down a bit too - one could argue that Will wouldn't have sold if he was making a fortune and the future was bright correct?? DNN needs some fresh air - I think AF/AS could provide that in a big way. It would certainly give DNN the ability to offer another feature the big boys don't have.
    NFXBeats
    NFXBeats
    23 Feb 2011 10:27 PM

    I had hesitation to post this, but seeing the importance of this for so many of us I would urge you to email people at dnncorp and let them know how you feel. Specifically I would start with: ceo@dnncorp.com if anyone has more people to contact post here and I'll send something as well. I've already sent mine to ceo.

    THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE. DO NOT PUT THIS OFF FOR LATER.

    I agree that DNN Corp has a habit of letting modules die slowly. Also I believe that once Will assumes a more corporate role, he will program less and less and that means no new features unless someone volunteers their time and energy. This is a daunting task for someone to undertake for free and therefore very unlikely.

    I'm curious as to the terms of the deal - not the numbers, but rather how compensation is structured. I'm sure Will is getting a lump sum up front (he should) and then a paid position to go with his title, but it should come with the full responsibility to fix bugs and add features. I've seen more than a few people in Will's position, get the money and the title and then basically walk away from the responsibility.

    Assuming that AF/AS (minus MC) is in core and free for all of us and that Will is responsible to fix bugs in the bug tracker (Gemini I think?) in addition to a following a feature roadmap, I think everything will be fine. Anything less than that and I'm worried, but for now it's a waiting game. All we can do is tell DNNCorp whats important to us and hope they listen.
    goldenrate
    goldenrate
    23 Feb 2011 11:33 PM

    Hey,

    I spent time reading this blog and its comments. As a developer I must say that if the source of the modules become available then it's a good thing. We will not need any customization support anymore as we can get all the answers from the source code. I do understand that it doesn't help people who are not programmers. It's unfortunate but they can always hire developers to do the job for them.

    As for the mail connector, well since the source is available I don't see why not develop a module (e.g. AFMailConnector) and sell it on Snowcovered. It's not the end of the world.

    Will, at this point I should thing you should offer the source code. This is the only way we can secure the features we ordered (I purchased 3 suites). I really ask you to consider offering it since anyway it's going to be available.

    Congratulations!
    David
    goldenrate
    goldenrate
    23 Feb 2011 11:47 PM

    @Frozen,
    I don't think Rodney did anything bad by offering the source code for free. On the contrary! He released the code and by that enabled you to hire someone to do the job for you. It's more expensive than using shared support or shared featured, but life is not always fair if you don't pay enough. I hope ActiveModules will follow by releasing their code.
    Shad Pulley
    Shad Pulley
    24 Feb 2011 12:32 AM
    http://www.mylargescale.com
    Why do I feel like I've just been punched in the gut? I'm sure there are some positives that will come of this, but my experience is that support is going to suffer, documentation is going to suffer, and ultimately, the module will suffer. I'm a firm believer in the old adage "you get what you pay for" which is why I opted for AF and eventually AS over the core forums.. Now I fear I'm back to square one.. And I hope to god that Will, AM and DNN Corp prove my experience wrong..
    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    24 Feb 2011 01:21 AM

    Shad, that's exactly how I feel.

    And, honestly, nothing good is going to come out of this merger, at least for us customers.
    SilverSurfer
    SilverSurfer
    24 Feb 2011 05:05 AM

    Congrats to Will and Co, it sounds like a great opportunity. For me personally DNN carries too many unknowns to develop a long term business around. That's why I recently revisited WordPress and so far have loved what's available.

    There are such incredible templates available at such good prices. Plus there is a tremendous amount of great and free modules out there, and some pretty inexpensive professional ones too. Best part of it is that you have all the code so it's easy to modify things and if the developer stops developing you can take his code and just add to it.

    Plus WordPress 3.1 just got released today and it has more CMS-like features. Granted it's not as powerful as DNN, but for many people DNN is overkill.

    I spent a lot of money and time on DNN modules, so I'm still toying with building a site or two. But I do see things changing where DNN Corp is going to own most of the good code/modules and you're going to have to spend big bucks to make something decent.

    My gut feel is their business is heading more towards the needs of corporations who have big budgets and the smaller customers like us are going to be SOL.
    DavidE
    DavidE
    24 Feb 2011 08:08 AM

    Why do I feel like I've just been punched in the gut?


    I have the same feeling - I choose DNN because it provides the foundation and there were a handful of quality third party developers (AM being the primary) I could go to for innovation. Without the third party community, I would not have selected DNN - the "special sauce" for me has never been DNN but rather companies like AM, Ventrian, DnnDev, etc. AM was at the top of the list for quality third parties - becoming part of DNN now brings up way too many unknowns and makes me question whether the third party community is sustainable.

    Other platforms like WordPress have open source social add-ons (BuddyPress) but I wanted the support and roadmap that comes with commercial modules. Maybe DNN will come out with a "Social Edition" of DNN that is a price point similar to AM but without the full features of the Pro edition. If Will and company are behind that edition, I would feel much better.
    drew curry
    drew curry
    24 Feb 2011 08:28 AM

    Hey David, thanks for the BuddyPress heads-up, very interesting. Perhaps all this discontent will be managed by one simple post like that.
    brian
    brian
    24 Feb 2011 10:12 AM

    It wouldn't be so bad if the Pro version was for more than on install!! $2k for each install....
    jbrunken
    jbrunken
    24 Feb 2011 10:16 AM

    $2000 is crazy. I really have to wonder how many licenses they have sold at that price... It certainly excludes a giant chuck of the potential market.

    I bet they could sell 10 at $500 for every 1 they sell at $2000.
    Tyler
    Tyler
    24 Feb 2011 10:23 AM

    We do some WP but I'm probably less a fan than most using it as a CMS, though I think it's great as a blog engine. As a cms it seems we're always fighting it.

    While I haven't been around as long as some, we have invested a lot of hours, money and energy since aug of 2005 into DNN. I don't plan to bail on it just yet and I'd like to see it continue to be strong and not go the way of Community Server, which seems focused more on the larger corp clients.

    I would like Will to comment on my question i posed yesterday... basically a scenario that we find ourselves in.

    If it starts looking like you'd have to have pro to get the good stuff, there's always VivoSocial which we were looking at along w/AS for this one customer. We had opted for AS specifically for the fact that AM is solid and would be around a while.

    If, as one person commented on earlier, the MC ends up being available and if, as Will committed to, all the current features of AS are going to be available in the core community version, or as free modules, then i think we're ok, other than the points raised by drew about folks who have licensing agreements currently.

    But we have built a lot of our business around DNN and now we're looking at what it would take to bring it all in-house and have our core set of offerings, in case it becomes evident that DNN isn't a good long-term investment. That would in some ways protect against this sort of thing, but in other ways hamper us because there's no way a small shop like ours can offer what a community of developers does. That's why I like the market and shops like AM -- they augment what we could do on our own.

    For us personally, the biggest hit we're going to take is MC. We have yet to implement AS. I have a license from aug 09 but never actually activated it. For most of you, i can see your point and I truly am hoping that Shaun and Will remain committed to the community as they have stated they are. But the nature of it is that if they don't another tool will grow up, and perhaps the .net mvc cms will be the perfect starting point.
    drew curry
    drew curry
    24 Feb 2011 10:33 AM

    Out of sheer principle, i will not pay for dnn. They screwed us years ago by going commercial, after years of stating they never would. End of story.

    Another dnn module developer sent me this months ago, worried about their decision to even be in the dnn marketplace:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=dotnetnuke and
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=dotnetnuke,+joomla,+wordpress,+drupal,+sharepoint&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

    These only show a comparison of google search terms, but a clear trend is being displayed. Either most dnn developers/users now know enough not to have to search with google, or other search engines are chipping away at that monolith's action, or people got sick and tired of the new monolith in the market and started looking for alternatives.

    i suspect a new forum might be in order to discuss this openly without offending AM's sensibilities, which only seems fair to Will.
    mmoney
    mmoney
    24 Feb 2011 11:09 AM

    Personally, this is a major blow. Part of the reason I payed for AS is for the stability of the product and because it was well integrated. The support was what brought me over from VivoSocial. Now after investing a huge amount of time and effort in building my site around a module I paid for, and have waited patiently for bug fixes from we - paying customers - are now just one of huge numbers of users who will require support. It was hard enough to get questions answered when the numbers were what they were; now it will likely be impossible.

    I have to say in all honesty, I have bought a significant number of modules from a lot of developers and I have never received the kind of attitude I have received here. I have been called "untrusted", and moderated for most of my relationship with AM, for unknown reasons and now after patiently and obediently complying with all the strange customer service processes that go on here, we are issued another blow. This is the first customer support forum I have ever participated in where a lack of a response from the admin team to a post is supposed to be recognized as the answer to your question.

    We perform a service to AM that needs to be recognized. We have found the flaws, the bugs and have pointed out where it is confusing or malformed. This has helped to build the module into what it is today. Now after contributing in this way....and paying for it in the process, it will now be turned into a products who's new and likely 'best' features will only be available to large businesses that can afford DNN E. I'm extremely ticked off. Especially with the hype and build up to the release of Active Purchase which, it sounds from reading the above posts, many of us have built our sites with it's integration in mind. Me included.

    But I have to agree with NFXBeats, this is no longer the forum to air concerns. It's time to move them over the DNN website.
    drew curry
    drew curry
    24 Feb 2011 11:37 AM

    I think mmoney raises an interesting point. Here is it late Feb-2011 and ActivePurchase was apparently testable months ago, with many promises to a near release date. I committed to a potential new business relationship based on what AP could provide, and subsequently had to eat my words and walk away from it. Now we better understand that a few months ago AM was courting buy-out, there is no other way to recognize this. SO.. the truth of the matter is that AP was being dangled and our responses gave credibility to the offering of including AP in Dnn-P/E in order to increase lagging sales of dnn. There you have it, the crux of this matter.

    I don't think dnn forums are the place for truly open discussion on this. We need a non-associated forum to discuss freely.
    Larry
    Larry
    24 Feb 2011 11:57 AM

    I think that a solution would be to have a lower level DNN product between Community and Pro/Enterprise at at a cost of $300-$500/year. There are thousands of smaller companies/individuals that would sign-up at this level (if the feature set is right) but NEVER at $2K/Yr/per install. The AM acquisition gives DNN the perfect feature set to implement this "Social" level offering. The offering could include certain Social level features, Forum support, access to updates and the mail connector.

    If DNN Corp. does not consider the needs of he small shops in the AM customer category, I think that slow death is in its future. They need to decide and make their direction CLEAR very soon. Customers have to plan ahead and not knowing the state/capabilities of what they build on top of will cause a quick change in direction.

    Personally, I will be stunned if a "Social" level actually happens. Darn it...Back to the drawing board...
    mcove
    mcove
    24 Feb 2011 12:50 PM

    I got on the Active Modules website this morning and was going to renew the yearly updates and support and then run into this. Now, I have been reading all morning concerning the acquisition. I think I am still in disbelief and have many of the same feelings as most. I have been here since Active Messaging and Active Profile in 2008.

    I remember when Will mentioned something about a complete asp.net social website package because of some DNN issues. I think this would have been a way better solution for everyone.

    @ Will, Don't you think it would have been nice to lay it out on the table and get some feedback from the clients/customers that turned Active Modules into what it is today before jumping into this?

    Well, it looks like Will and DNN are in the driver's seat and we are all strapped in along for the ride. I know that I'm putting on my crash helmet. And praying that they release the source code to us faithful clients/customers.
    NFXBeats
    NFXBeats
    24 Feb 2011 01:52 PM

    I'd like to reiterate.

    Send an email to: ceo@dnncorp.com and raise your concerns

    Discussing it here is good, but unless someone at DNNCorp is aware of our concerns, not much is likely to happen to our satisfaction. AS and AF are dollar signs for DNN and until they see the people behind it - which is as much us the customers as it is Will - they will not understand the negative impact it may have.

    I think Will should extend every customers maintenance until the change over is complete. It would suck to hit the end of my contract days or weeks before the changeover. Some of you who are up for renewal now are really in a bind too. Now is the time we will see the true ethical compass of Will Morgenwreck.
    SilverSurfer
    SilverSurfer
    24 Feb 2011 02:04 PM

    For most of you, i can see your point and I truly am hoping that Shaun and Will remain committed to the community as they have stated they are.


    I think you guys need to accept reality. Whatever Shaun, Will and everyone else did yesterday, or 5 years ago is irrelevant. DNN today is a corporation which has investors and they are the ones who ultimately call the shots.

    People may have good intentions but the reality is that company is funded by VC and they determine the direction of the company. Once you have VC in the company it is never the same.

    There isn't any money to be made off of smaller guys like us. The market is too big with too many free products so they have to go the way of catering to the large corps with big budgets.
    SilverSurfer
    SilverSurfer
    24 Feb 2011 02:19 PM

    Also, you guys are missing the point here. DNN's potential for revenue isn't just the $2,000 or so they charge for the pro versions. It's all the money these companies will spend on other DNN support and services. Right now they have thousands of windows based customers who have the budget and need to put social based sites together.

    You guys keep focusing on the $2,000 but it's way more than that. A company who can afford $2,000 for software can also afford another 50k in services and support.
    brian
    brian
    24 Feb 2011 03:09 PM

    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    24 Feb 2011 03:17 PM
    www.activemodules.com

    No, we hired a new developer yesterday.
    Jozef
    Jozef
    24 Feb 2011 05:19 PM

    Congratulation.

    How will be provided support for current AF anc AS Enterprise licences? I bought them just a month ago.
    I hope you will build transfer application for current version data into the new in DNN.
    Raymond
    Raymond
    24 Feb 2011 08:25 PM

    Congratulations Will and company! It seems like a good move on your part.

    Something that Will says in the blog posting should be something that every Active Modules user thinks about: "One thing is for certain, people have to use DotNetNuke in order to use our products."

    There are a lot of frameworks and CMS systems in the market today. Many more than when DNN was at its peak. There are more options for developers such as my company and for those more casual content creators. Take a look at the Wikipedia list of Content Management Systems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...nt_systems and there are tons of options. And for developers there are an ever growing number of frameworks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...frameworks available to build upon. Even sites like Facebook, that started out as destinations, have become frameworks for creating applications and distributing content.

    The number of these will only grow. Competition will become stiffer in ever niche. One thing is for certain, those systems that do not evolve will fade away. DNN may have seen its peak. Or it may take the opportunity to reinvent itself. But it won’t be the code base that reinvents it. It will be visionaries that can look forward to see how the market can best be served. What people need and desire. Maybe Will can better help the overall DNN community from the inside.

    There are opportunities in this for everyone. The key is to find out how you can take advantage of the change. From my perspective, we now have a two year head start on customizing what may become a key component of the next generation DNN.
    Shad Pulley
    Shad Pulley
    25 Feb 2011 01:26 AM
    http://www.mylargescale.com
    Don't get me wrong.. I'm not trying to be a naysayer or anything.. I have great hopes, but there is also a level of disappointment.
    Kossut
    Kossut
    25 Feb 2011 05:08 AM

    This is very good decision. I'm sure, that now everything will run faster and more dynamic. Especially support and bug fixes. Congratulations!
    C Poole
    C Poole
    25 Feb 2011 08:12 AM

    Will, for those of us that need additional lic's for AS in the coming months, what are our options?

    Are we left in limbo until DNN integrates it or is there some method of acquiring 1 or 2 in the meantime?

    C Poole
    C Poole
    25 Feb 2011 08:17 AM

    And by the way, I fully understand and appreciate why you did this. However, like others "I feel like I was kicked in the gut.".

    This acquisition has probably taken a few months to arrange, maybe you should have stopped accepting payments when you knew it was a possibility. I too just renewed and worry that this is going to make upgrading impossible in the near future.
    drew curry
    drew curry
    25 Feb 2011 09:30 AM

    Blunt feedback: the only thing good i see coming of this: perhaps somebody with an artistic, mac-oriented eye will take over layout and design. AS/AF are classic examples of functionality over form. It is perhaps the least attractive software i buy. Every screen have many examples of layout-no-no's. The excuse about base design to allow customization is baseless. Horrible decisions were baked into AS/AF. Have you looked at the AF search screen recently? Will never agreed with me on this subject, ever, but the fact remains, if he handed this designs in for homework assignments, they would likely fail. It proves that if you have good functionality as compared to the rest of the offerings, you will do ok, regardless of the poor layout.
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    25 Feb 2011 10:16 AM
    www.activemodules.com
    There has been some good feedback in this topic and definitely some valid concerns. I will spend the next few days working on a way to better communicate the future direction of Active Social. I will also be sure to address questions regarding licensing and support.

    This really isn't the best format for addressing individual questions or concerns. Any customer that has a question or comment regarding the acquisition or future plans is welcome to create a new topic in the Active Social General Discussion forum. If you would rather not post on the forums you are welcome to email me.
    will.morgenweck at dnncorp.com.

    Thanks,
    Will

    test
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