The first official release of DotNetNuke occurred in late 2002 and over the years we have made it a habit of releasing high quality, highly functional software products on regular basis. When it comes to major version increments ( ie. version 1.0 to 2.0, etc… ) we have generally tried to the follow the lead of Microsoft, releasing a new major version of DotNetNuke at or near the same time that Microsoft releases a major new version of its platform tools. From a business perspective this makes sense because we know the early adopter members of our community will be anxious to utilize our product with the latest Microsoft technology.
In the fall of this year Microsoft is poised to release a whole new wave of products. On the consumer side there is Windows 8, a new version of its flagship operating system with a radical new “Metro” user interface optimized for touch-enabled devices. On the server side is Windows Server 2012 and IIS8, enterprise platforms for running highly scalable websites. And on the developer side is Visual Studio 2012 and ASP.NET 4.5, new versions of Microsoft’s industry leading tools and frameworks for building advanced web applications. Nearly all of these products have already reached a Release Candidate stage which means Microsoft is on track for delivery this year.
So in order to align ourselves with the next generation of Microsoft technology, we have decided that the next major version of DotNetNuke will be 7.0. This release is expected to occur in Q4 of 2012 and will include some changes to our baseline platform support requirements…
Based on information we have gathered from a variety of sources; including industry market trends, Hosting providers, and our own Update Service, we plan to move our baseline platform support requirements in DNN7 to the following:
Windows 2003 Server and IIS6 usage has declined significantly in the past year in favor of Windows 2008 Server and IIS7. And although IIS7 supports both Classic mode and Integrated Pipeline mode, the DotNetNuke platform has supported Integrated Pipeline mode since 2008 and we feel there are few, if any, business reasons to continue to support Classic mode in the future. From an ASP.NET perspective, our current baseline support requirement is ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 and we feel that once ASP.NET 4.5 ships it makes sense for us to move our baseline requirement to ASP.NET 4.0. This will allow us and our developer community to be able to take advantage of the new features introduced in ASP.NET 4.0 with the assurance that a user’s website will be able to support it. In addition, since we plan on migrating our Services Framework to Web API, it means that ASP.NET 4.0 is a minimum requirement. From a tooling perspective we do not expect developers to immediately move to Visual Studio 2012; especially since there is still a lot of controversy around its new user interface – so we plan to continue to support Visual Studio 2010 ( and its various derivatives ). On the database side, SQL Server 2005 usage has dropped dramatically, and with our focus on Windows Azure it makes sense that we should utilize SQL Server 2008 as our baseline in terms of features and syntax. On the client-side there continues to be a ton of churn when it comes to browser versions and adoption. With our focus on more client-side development interacting with back-end web services, we need the capabilities of modern, standards-compliant browsers. As a result, we are setting a baseline which we feel covers the majority of our user base – especially when you consider that these new baseline requirements will not officially take effect until DNN7 ships in Q4.