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 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.
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 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.
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.
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