What the New Evoq Lineup Brings You

What’s DNN Evoq Content?


Clarity speciliazes in DNN Evoq Social Community design and development

DNN Software, formerly DotNetNuke Corporation, changed their company and product name to make room for a new line of software products. These products will be offered on the new DNN Evoq platform (formerly called DotNetNuke Community Edition). The first of the products is called ‘Content’ (formerly Professional). More products have been released as well, but that’s for another post.

 

What’s New in DNN Evoq Content?

 

The change happened between version 7 (last major release of DNN Professional) and version 7.1 (first release of DNN Evoq). I’ve personally been using DNN since version 4 and I have to say that they have done a great job not just adding new features with each new release, they weren’t afraid to completely change the management interface. They’ve moved from a less-than intuitive control panel to a light-weight, customizable, small (doesn’t take up everything above the fold) toolbar.

 

Key Features of the Platform:

  • New drag and drop interfaces
  • Favorites tab for commonly used features
  • Auto-saves your work
  • Version control with preview and rollback
  • WYSIWYG / mobile content previewer
  • Version tracking side-by-side comparison
  • Integrated document management
  • Enhanced eCommerce integration
  • SEO-friendly URLs (they acquired ifinity)
  • Page menu icons
  • Mobile device auto-detection, templates, preview
  • Active Directory integration for single sign-on
  • Offered in standard license or Cloud (Microsoft Azure)
  • Integrated natively into DNN Social
  • Enhanced site search – boolean, phrase, fuzzy, etc.
  • PDF document search indexing (lucene search engine)
  • More robust API (jQuery, JQueryUI, Knockout.js libraries)
  • Multi-site/portal centralized administration
  • Much more…

 

Why DNN as a CMS?

 

Over the course of more than seven years, we’ve developed and implemented roughly 1,000 websites on many platforms. Of those, more than 700 were on DotNetNuke/DNN. There are many reasons, both ours and our client’s, why we recommend DNN. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Granular Control

DNN allows you to create your own role groups and roles. This means that you can create a hierarchy of roles (employees  HR, marketing, IT, content editors, etc.). While on the surface these may sound similar to the WordPress Editor/contributor roles, nothing could be further from the truth. DNN provides you the ability to granularly assign permissions to both pages and modules. This means that you could assign the Marketing VP’s assistant rights to edit only the text paragraph on the product pages, coupled with the approval workflow, would then notify the VP to review, edit and publish. While this provides incredible granular editing control and auditing, this isn’t the main reason this is so powerful. This new control allows you to easily collapse your website, client portal, channel portal, intranet, extranet, etc. into one easily managed website. By simply adding specific content into unique modules or pages, and assigning those modules/pages view permissions to roles, you can serve up a completely unique and different experience when clients, employees or partners log into your website.

.NET platform

DNN continuously adds and extends their platforms capabilities (lucene PDF index search, ifinity for SEO-friendly URLs, Knockout.js library, etc.). This and being on the .NET platform has allowed us to customize and build any feature or functionality that our clients need. More often than not, we’re ripping and replacing our clients’ old CMS or eCommerce platform for DNN because we know that we can deliver exactly what they need, and that the platform will grow with their business for the next 10 years and more. More than 50% of our business comes from repeat customers, and these aren't the 3-year “refresh our website” type of requests. DNN allows us to provide a platform that promotes our goal of establishing long-term relationships with happy clients. We can become their trusted development partner using DNN, because we know we can estimate and build anything they need without the expense of needing a new platform.

WebAPI Stack

In DNN 7, they've replaced the old WebAPI from the ASP.Net MVC based framework to a completely re-written framework based on the WebAPI stack. This means that for our developers, it’s much faster and easier to build web services. Now, our developers simply build the service and compile the code. They don’t have to do any installation or framework registration. As long as the .dll is present in the /bin folder, the service will be built when the site starts up.

Modular Control

The new drag and drop feature for placing modules on the page are great. As you drag a module over the page, as it hovers over any available pane in the template, it automatically displays the pane and its name so you know where you’re placing it. This, in my opinion, fixes the “manage” button hover, placement and z-index issues we all so commonly struggled with in previous versions. Updated features work great for placing new modules, and are a huge improvement from the old days. Previously, you had a drop-down list, which was normally filled with blank or duplicate labels and had no idea where the module would end up on the page. The second half of the equation is moving content around on a page. Now you simply click on the cross-hairs (edit|gear|cross-hairs menu) and it shows you a list of all panes available to move the module to. It automatically removes itself from the list so you don’t drop it back on itself and nothing happens. It’s fast, easy and very intuitive.

New Portal Spin-up

I asked a dozen of our developers how the new install compared to the previous install and they all asked, “what previous install?” One of their favorite features of version 7 is the installation wizard. Their setup time dramatically improved from a couple of hours to 45 minutes or less. This includes setting up the SQL database, file structures, IIS configuration, etc. You can also opt for DNN Evoq Cloud and get the install done by DNN altogether. Their cloud drop-down menu also gives you one-button clone and portal backup or download options.

File Manager

The new file manager actually works, and well. Back in version 5 I just stopped using it. Instead, I solely used the image manager for the last three years. Although the look and feel of the file manager hasn't changed much, they completely re-wrote it and my team says it works great. I used it last week to upload a zipped file with a couple hundred icons in it and it performed flawlessly.

Menu Icons

If you like to have an icon for each page in your menu, then you know that you've had to hard code them in. Not any more in version 7. Now, under the page appearance UI, there’s an option to select or upload and icon file that will display to the left of the page name text in your menus. This can be used to create that mega menu category look.

Version Tracking

Along with the approval workflow is the ability to do a side-by-side comparison of two saved versions of an HTML module. If you’re tasked with approving content, and receive a notification some content has been changed and needs your approval, then you can see exactly what has been added, deleted, modified, etc. The beauty of this feature is that it will show you at the HTML level as well so you can see if tags or code has been changed in a side-by-side comparison. As you scroll down to review changes, it auto-scrolls the opposite side to keep each line horizontally lined up. This is such a great feature, I’ll have to follow up with a video tutorial. For now, here's a quick screenshot showing two versions with deleted HTML code in the new version on the right.
Clarity | DNN workflow allows for version comparison

Security

DNN consistently places security of its platform as a number one focus point. The United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines (over 750 defense web properties) have all standardized on DNN. Those sites include the official websites for the Department of Defense (www.defense.gov) the U.S. Air Force (www.af.mil), the U.S. Navy (www.navy.mil), the U.S. Marine Corps (www.marines.mil), and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (www.jcs.mil) With over 4.5 million visitors per week, the DoD sites are some of the most popular government sites on the internet. 

 

DNN | Built to Last

 

As a full-service design and development shop, it is our lifeblood to be able to provide solutions that meet our clients’ needs. It’s no secret as to why we've chosen DNN as our CMS platform of choice. Do your own testing and see for yourself why Evoq Content is the right CMS for you too.

 

Enterprise eCommerce

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