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ASP.NET MVC and DotNetNuke

ASP.NET MVC is new framework created by Microsoft which offers an alternate development model to the traditional WebForms approach typically utilized in ASP.NET.

Although it was not immediately clear when it was announced, ASP.NET MVC is targeted at some very unique software development scenarios. Specifically, it is designed for situations where a developer wants to employ a more natural Test Driven Development (TTD) methodology, and also wants more precise control and flexibility over their urls and page output. It also requires more experience and a willingness to accept lower productivity in the early stages of a project as you have to do more of the heavy lifting yourself.

Seekdotnet have supported ASP.NET MVC hosting so programmer can used Integrated pipeline to run their mvc.

What does this mean for Dotnetnuke?

The main thing which needs to be understood about the ASP.NET MVC framework is that it is not compatible with WebForms. What I mean is that it does not employ a page controller model, and without this abstraction, it cannot support Web Controls. So where most ASP.NET developers are highly comfortable with dragging a Web Control ( ie. Telerik RADControls ) onto the design surface in Visual Studio, setting properties, and wiring up events this functionality is not available in ASP.NET MVC. For those of you who have been around a while (  I am showing my age here )  ASP.NET MVC is similar from a UI development perspective to the Classic ASP web applications we used to write in the 1990’s.

DotNetNuke was originally created for ASP.NET 1.0 and has evolved with every new release of the .NET Framework. Due to its heritage, it is dependent on WebForms. And not just from a core framework perspective… all of the extensions which have been created for the platform over the past 7 years are also dependent on WebForms. So in practical terms what this means is that if we converted the DNN core to ASP.NET MVC, none of the thousands of skins or modules which exist in ecosystem would function anymore.

DotNetNuke will NOT be migrating to ASP.NET MVC.

That being said, akin to the programming language debate which continues to rage on in the Microsoft community, there are zealots who proclaim that WebForms are dead and the ASP.NET MVC is the future. Now there is nothing wrong with being passionate about a new technology which meets your requirements. But to make it your personal crusade to convert all other developers to your way of thinking by spreading false propaganda accomplishes nothing other than fracturing the ASP.NET developer community.

Microsoft has made it very clear that both WebForms and ASP.NET MVC are first class citizens and will be integral parts of the future of ASP.NET. They satisfy different use cases, cater to different stakeholders, and although they are not compatible, they are complementary solutions. In general, developers should try to use the right tool to solve a problem based on the unique business requirements of their customer. There will be cases where WebForms are the appropriate solution and other cases where ASP.NET MVC may be a viable option. The most important thing is to be objective, consider all of the goals and constraints, and make an educated decision.

As a final data point on the suggested demise of WebForms, I would just like to mention that there is another highly successful ASP.NET application we are all familiar with, which will not be migrating to ASP.NET MVC either – Sharepoint. Seekdotnet as Dotnetnuke Hosting is still using .Net 2.0 as the framework until new release from your Dotnetnuke developer.

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