Winner and Still Champ, DotNetNuke

By popular demand, DotNetNuke, which built an open source empire on the Microsoft .Net platform

When I started writing about commercial open source companies that have been successful selling to the enterprise, several comments pointed to DotNetNuke. When I wrote about some open source content management solutions and collaboration platforms, the few comments turned into a torrent.

I had never heard of DotNetNuke before (there I admitted it). So I did a little digging and was very surprised with what I found. I had a chance recently to sit down and talk with Shaun Walker, CTO and co-founder and Terry Erisman, VP of Marketing Operations at DotNetNuke.

DotNetNuke when you think about it has accomplished something extraordinary. Since 2002 they have established an open source juggernaut that runs on top of Microsoft's Windows .Net platform. In fact they are far and away the biggest content management system that runs on the .Net platform. This was before the "new kinder and gentler" Microsoft around open source too. 

In fact Microsoft has supported DotNetNuke since 2003 when they first sponsored it. Over the years Microsoft's relationship with DotNetNuke has wandered depending somewhat on Microsoft's attitude towards open source. Now the relationship is stronger than ever though. The DotNetNuke folks are working closely with the Azure team and are closely looking at a cloud based version of DotNetNuke on the Microsoft cloud platform.

DotNetNuke started selling commercial support for the open source software in 2006. The software is released under a BSD license.  In 2009 DotNetNuke released its first commercial version of the software. To give you an idea of just how popular DotNetNuke is there are between 500,000 and 600,000 web sites built on DotNetNuke. About 600 of these are on the commercial version of DotNetNuke. 

Part of DotNetNuke's success is also attributable to the great community it has developed. There are over 800 vendors selling over 8,000 plugins and  add ons for DotNetNuke. Early on one of the developers in the community started a site called snowcovered.com. The site caught on quickly and became the defacto marketplace for DotNetNuke add ons. Recognizing this the company acquired snowcovered.com in August 2009. 

The variety of add ons and plug ins for DotNetNuke is staggering and is a real key to its success. Virtually anything you need for your website has probably already been developed and is available (though not necessarily free). It is the real secret to the success.

Now DotNetNuke is the largest open source project in the Microsoft ecosphere and the largest open source content management system company ever. It is truly an 800 pound gorilla in the world it plays in.

I am embedding a slide show the DotNetNuke folks shared with me below:

 DotNetNuke Corp

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