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DotNetNuke Corp acquires iFinity Software

by Bruce Chapman on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:59 AM

It is with great pleasure that today I announce that DotNetNuke Corporation has acquired all of the assets of iFinity Software. In addition to this, I have joined DotNetNuke Corporation on a full-time basis to work on the Product Team, effective immediately.

The reason for this action has been to both provide DotNetNuke with tried-and-proven technology for greatly expanding the Url capabilities of the DotNetNuke platform, and to have access to my now extensive experience in dealing with all things related to Urls. Some of the regular readers of this blog will know what I am speaking of when I say I have dealt with numerous difficult situations related to the Urls of a DotNetNuke powered site, and managed to bring it all through. This opportunity allows me to take that hard-earned knowledge and experience to a much wider audience than the sizable but still relatively niche customers of mine.

The immediate plans for all the Url-related software are to integrate the codebase into DotNetNuke 7.1, a process which has been kicked off immediately. The underlying Url Master technology will become the standard way of powering all Url related functions in DotNetNuke, for all editions, for all versions from 7.1 onwards. The majority of the Url management features will go straight into the commercial editions of DotNetNuke, but the underlying capability and improved Urls will be in the open-source community platform. Many people will have questions about which features go where, so please see the table at the end of this blog post for a detailed breakdown.

Existing customers will continue to get support as normal, and the products will remain for sale for the immediate future. If you’re working on a project that uses any iFinity Software, you can continue to do so without fear of losing support or help.

Of course iFinity Software has produced many different pieces of software over the past 6 years, and all of the available branded products have had ownership transferred to DotNetNuke Corporation. The second table at the end of this blog post details the future of these products, which details the future and timeline of each product. It’s important to note that by far, the largest majority of code I ever released under this banner was open source –most of that has been already transferred to the DotNetNuke Forge as part of my ongoing project to do so – and this announcement doesn’t change the status of those projects.

No doubt there will be some who are disappointed that DotNetNuke didn’t just buy the products outright and then give it all away for free. While that would make writing this blog post a lot easier (everybody would love to announce the handing out of free stuff), the truth is that commercial realities define all business transactions, and it was up to me to accept the proposal or continue on independently as things were. To be honest, either choice was equally compelling as I have been very happy with the way things have been going, but joining DotNetNuke was an opportunity not to be missed. In the same way artists want people to see their work, authors want their books read and bands want their songs heard, the opportunity to provide input and direction on software that goes out to a very large audience was compelling.

I have had a strong belief in the DotNetNuke platform over a long period, and I made a successful business out of filling in some of the gaps in the feature coverage of the platform. This opportunity has allowed me to not only fill in that gap for all , but also gives me input into filling in some of the other gaps I am passionate about. Within DotNetNuke 7.1, I’m able to fulfil the request of the top-ranked Community Voice request, and satisfy at least one other (there may be more, I haven’t gone through the entire list yet).

An important thing for me is that I’m not going anywhere – I’m going to be working on the same technologies with mostly the same set of people. DotNetNuke has not only given me a business, but delivered a great set of customers and helped grow a great set of friends all over the world. During the process of working out the deal, I became aware of the very exciting things that are going on within DotNetNuke corp. It’s a place that is moving ahead quickly and some of the new things that will come out over the next 12 months or so are seriously impressive.

I am intending to use my new responsibilities within the company to help grow the products, features, revenue and community at large. And I hope that all of the existing people I have worked with and met throughout the life of this company will continue to do so as I transition into the next.

Acquisition FAQ List

What is iFinity Software?

iFinity Software, based in Queensland, Australia, is a software company specializing in the DotNetNuke platform. iFinity sells modules on the DotNetNuke store, and is well known for its Url Management software, based around the Url Master module.

What will happen to iFinity Software?

Bruce Chapman, the director and sole permanent employee of iFinity, will join DotNetNuke Corporation on a full-time basis. All of the available iFinity Software products IP will be transferred to DotNetNuke.

What is the reason for this move?

The bulk of revenue and consulting work for iFinity Software comes from the Url Master module and related plug-ins. These exist solely to plug a gap that is in the underlying framework. This acquisition will plug that gap and increase the ability of all users, customers, developers and vendors to manage the Urls in DotNetNuke.

What is going to happen to the Url Master module?

The Url Master module will be integrated into the DotNetNuke core. It will not be a stand-alone DotNetNuke extension. The targeted DotNetNuke version for this integration will be 7.1.

Please see the Software Plan for more details.

Will the full version of Url Master be available in the Community Edition?

The Url Master module will not be an installable extension as it currently is. Not all features of the module will be available in all DotNetNuke editions. Please see the Software Plan for more details.

How does this benefit the DotNetNuke Community?

The integration of iFinity technology into DotNetNuke will provide more functionality in the DotNetNuke core, for all editions, will benefit all end users, developers and vendors.

I have purchased an iFinity Software product. Can I still get support?

Yes, support for iFinity Software products will continue to be supplied either through the DotNetNuke store helpdesk system, or through the product support forums at ifinity.com.au. All existing customers will continue to receive support in accordance with their existing licences. There will be no change in these arrangements.

I am a DotNetNuke professional customer – can I get the Url Master module now along with my Professional licence?

No. If you wish to install the Url Master software, you will still need to purchase via the DotNetNuke store.

I am a DotNetNuke professional customer and an iFinity Customer – will I be able to get support for my iFinity products through the DotNetNuke helpdesk?

Yes, you can. Just log the issue through the DNN Helpdesk in the normal way.

Will I be able to continue to purchase iFinity products after the acquisition?

iFinity products will continue to be sold through the DotNetNuke store for a period. See the Software Plan for more detail on the expected dates.

What will happen to the open-source modules currently available on ifinity.com.au

The open-source offerings on ifinity.com.au will be migrated onto the DotNetNuke forge, if they are not already hosted there. Individuals are welcome to join the projects on the DotNetNuke Forge as contributors.

Will I be able to upgrade from my current Url Master installation to the Core Functionality?

Yes, an upgrade path for configuration and existing redirects will be part of the transition.

iFinity Software Product Plan

All commercial modules will remain available on the DotNetNuke Store until their transition date.

Product Name

Plan

Expected Date

Url Master

Integration into DotNetNuke

Q2 2013 – DotNetNuke 7.1

Url Provider for Ventrian News Articles

Open Source – Dnn Forge

Q1 2013

Url Provider for Catalook

Open Source – Dnn Forge

Q1 2013

Url Provider for DotNetNuke Blog Module

Open Source – Dnn Forge

Q1 2013

Url Provider for DotNetNuke Social

Open Source – Dnn Forge

Q1 2013

Inline Link Master

Withdraw from market

Q1 2013

Canonical Linker

Integration into DotNetNuke

Q3 2013

iFinity Friendly Url Provider

Already on Dnn Forge

 

iFinity Search Engine Sitemap Providers

Already on Dnn Forge

 

iFinity Tagger module

Already withdrawn from market July 2012

 

iFinity Google Analytics module

Already on Dnn Forge

 

iFinity Cache Master module

Already on Dnn Forge

 

iFinity Social Dashboard module

Already on Dnn Forge

 

Advanced Url Features to be included in DotNetNuke 7.1 Editions

In general, the principal will be that all editions will have the same underlying Url Framework. The Commercial editions of DotNetNuke will have all of the functions built into to the product, fully integrated into the Page, Site and Host configuration areas. The community edition will use the technology to deliver better Urls, and will allow API hooks for third-party developers to extend the Url Handling of the core product.

Feature Name

Core Platform

Community Edition

Commercial Editions

Remove all ‘tabid’ values from all Urls

Yes

NA

Yes

Replace characters in Urls with specified value (ie ‘-‘)

Yes

No

Yes

Replace characters in Urls using find/replace pairs

(1)

Yes

No

Yes

Page Extension removal/change

Yes

No

Yes

Automatic redirect of ‘unfriendly’ urls

Yes

No

Yes

Lower case conversion

Yes

No

Yes

Lower case redirect

Yes

No

Yes

Change Url Space Encoding

Yes

No

Yes

Illegal Url character filtering

Yes

No

Yes

Redirect /default.aspx urls to site root

Yes

No

Yes

Always set default site language

Yes

No

Yes

Friendly Urls for Admin/Host Pages

Yes

No

Yes

Regex Filters

Yes

No

Yes

Deleted and Moved page redirection *

Yes

No

Yes

SSL Server/Client redirect

Yes

No

Yes

Custom Module Providers Configuration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom Regex Redirect/Rewrite rules

Yes

No

Yes

404 Handling

Yes

No

Yes

404 Log

No

No

Yes

500 Error Handling

No

No

Yes

Test Url Generation Function

No

No

Yes

Test Url Rewriting Function

No

No

Yes

Primary Portal Alias Redirections**

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile specific Portal Alias

Yes

No

Yes

Language Specific Portal Alias

Yes

No

Yes

Skin per Portal Alias

Yes

No

Yes

Vanity User Profile Urls ***

Yes

No

Yes

Custom Urls for Tabs (2)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom Redirects for Tabs

Yes

No

Yes

Exclude Tab from Friendly Urls

Yes

Yes

Yes

Block Redirects for Tab

Yes

Yes

Yes

*New Feature

**Already in all existing editions of DotNetNuke

*** Possibility of deploying this functionality within the ‘Dnn Social Url’ provider rather than as a core feature – see ‘Key Engineering decisions;

Community Voice Suggestions

(1) ‘Configurable character substitution in Url rewriting’ : http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Community/Community-Voice/suggestionid/48.aspx#comments

(2) Addition of Url Name field to Page Properties : http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Community/Community-Voice/suggestionid/47.aspx

Wrapping Up

The completion of this acquisition brings to the end a 6 year chapter, one in which I have made many new friends and leant many new things.  I look forward to working with even more people as part of DotNetNuke Corporation going forwards.

You can also read Shaun Walkers blog post as well.

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Bruce Chapman

The craft of writing code. The outcomes from being crafty with code. Crafty Code is tales from the coding bench.

11 comment(s) so far...

Ian Robinson 12/18/2012

Congrats Bruce! This is great news - the importance of improving DNN's foundation is non-trivial and this goes a long way!

 
digmike 12/18/2012

Awesome Bruce! Congratulations and good luck at DNN!

 
rich campbell 12/18/2012

Awesome news for everyone. Congratulations!

 
Steven Webster 12/18/2012

Congratulations! I'm think I'm just as excited to see you joining the DNN team as I am about the product becoming a core feature. Thanks so much for the up front approach to the product plan and short term roadmap - very helpful. I certainly look forward to seeing you bring your focus on product quality, professionalism and proactive communication style to the DNN team! PS - did they give you the Lamborghini as part of the deal ;)

 
Sotiris Filippidis 12/18/2012

OMG. (Yes, I am the author of the "top-ranked Community Voice request). If there's a merger / acquisition each time I make a request, I think I'm going to do it more often :) Excellent move Bruce. I'm as happy as I believe everybody is hearing these news. Good luck on your new duties!

 
Will Strohl 12/18/2012

Is there an upgrade path from the open source friendly URL provider to the new core one in 7.1 too?

 
Bruce Chapman 12/18/2012

Thanks everyone for your positive comments. No Lamborghinis as part of the deal! @will there won't be a direct upgrade path but the Urls will be compatible going forwards, the functionality will be very similar.

 
Jay Mathis 12/19/2012

I'm confused by the chart. I don't understand the difference between the "Core Platform" and the "Community Edition". Seems like if something is a part of the core platform, then it would be included in every edition... Could you explain?

 
Kamran Shahid 12/21/2012

Congrats Bruce

 
Vinny Malanga 12/21/2012

Congratulations Bruce.

 
Bruce Chapman 12/23/2012

@jay : yes, core platform means the base that all editions are built on. You have it correct. I have amended the post to better explain this. The Community Edition parts relate to the Administrative elements - the Administrative tools are all being reserved for the Professional editions.

Bruce Chapman
Hi, I'm Bruce Chapman, and this is my blog. You'll find lots of information here - my thoughts about business and the internet, technical information, things I'm working on and the odd strange post or two.
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