Active Social isn’t your typical module. When you take a closer look at the primary functional areas you will see 12 different modules. Some of those modules overlap with core modules that already exist. Some of those modules can also provide enhanced functionality, but don’t follow typical DotNetNuke module behavior. A good example of this is progressive registration. Progressive registration provides much better results for new user acquisition. Anyone that has used Active Social and configured progressive registration knows full well that it isn’t a simple task.
As I’ve mentioned before, all existing Active Social functionality will be available as part of DotNetNuke Community Edition. At this time, Active Social integration is planned to be available later this year with DotNetNuke 6.1. Keep in mind this is subject to change, but I will be blogging on a fairly frequent basis to keep everyone up to date.
I’m sure some of you would like to know more specifics as to how features will be integrated and what the upgrade procedure will involve. Our goal is not to just drop Active Social into DotNetNuke and call it a day. There are many technical aspects that need to be identified, reviewed and evaluated. There will be some aspects that do not make sense to be integrated. Instead, we may choose to enhance an existing Core module or expose an API for better integration for third-party developers. Two items that immediately come to mind where this could apply are Gallery and Events. I’m not saying that is going to happen, but it is an example of functionality that can be better executed in another module.
The last thing I want to do is write another blog post that doesn’t help alleviate the uncertainty that some customers have expressed. I think it is important that we at least provide our customers with a list of items that we are working to address as part of the integration. Again, we are still working on specifics but the list below represents a high level overview of the key functional areas that will be integrated.
Registration – Active Social provides an alternative registration process that isn’t currently supported in DotNetNuke. In addition, the Active Social registration process is template based for easy customization. We are planning to enhance the current DotNetNuke registration process along with the module to meet these needs.
Login – The DotNetNuke login module supports multiple authentication providers, but is not easily customized. We are planning to make enhancements to the login module so that it is template based.
Profile – The Active Social Profile view is a template control that allows for various levels of customization. A more flexible and manageable solution is to leverage the benefit of modules. This means you will be able to have specific profile view skin and add multiple “profile aware” modules to the page.
Members – DotNetNuke doesn't currently provide a mechanism for searching or browsing of members beyond the admin level. A module will be available for this purpose, but the technical implementation is still being evaluated.
Groups – Since the first release of Active Social there has been confusion regarding the purpose of groups versus roles. We don’t want this confusion to carry over into the core framework. We have a solution that will leverage existing capabilities in the framework and also provide the opportunity for extensibility in the future.
Messaging – The Active Social Messaging and Notification systems will be enhanced and replace the current core messaging module.
Journal/Activity Feed – This is the heart of any social collaboration platform. This will also be included in the core as an API along with a series of controls for displaying information. We also realize that it is important that the Journal provide the necessary tools and documentation for greater adoption by third-party developers.
Obviously I haven’t mentioned every single aspect of Active Social. That doesn’t mean we have forgotten something or that it is going into DotNetNuke Professional. We have a lot of work to do over the next few months and we will deliver a great solution.
Next week we will release Active Social 1.9.3 which addresses a few issues that have been identified over the past couple weeks. We are also planning to have at least one feature release between now and the release of DotNetNuke 6.1. More details about Active Social 2.0 will be available shortly.