DotNetNuke (DNN) began its journey as IBuyspy, which was an open source content management system coded by Shaun Walker, a guy working for Perpetual Motion in Canada.  Initially, Shaun had been involved in writing an open source product that gave beginners ability to manage their websites. He also provided a platform for developers who were using Microsoft as their development platform, the ability to develop IBuyspy further. This product was the preferred choice for the website, which is a Microsoft resource centre for any person working in the Microsoft .NET framework.  

DotNetNuke version 1.0 was released in December 2002. Invitations were made to any person who had interest in it to get involved in its development. That is how the DNN Core Team was first formed. Today, you may still find some websites running DNN 1.0. Part of the name of DNN came from PHPNuke, which is a Linux based application coded in PHP. Because it was using the Microsoft .NET platform, it became known as DotNetNuke using the full words (.NET).

DNN began in the year 2002

DotNetNuke as is known today began in the year 2002. Its versions were released over a cycle of 12-15 weeks starting with the first version 1.0, followed by 1.03, 1.07, 1.10, and 1.10e. These were the main downloads available at the time. Today, these versions are no longer available for download as they have been retired. You can still find some websites operating in these versions, the main reason being they still perform to their client’s satisfaction.  

Skinning in DNN version 1.0

Skinning was first implemented in version 1.0 in the site’s ascx files to produce a nice look and feel. It took quite some time before John Mitchell from DotNetNuke created a module for managing skins.  This meant one could in theory separate the look and feel of a website from its functionality. It was the first step towards true skinning. Modules gave birth to a new concept which is you could manage a website without having to modify its contents.

Version 2.03-2.04 gained popularity

DNN version 2.03-2.04 brought in a new era of combining functionality with look and feel. This was the beginning of DNN’s fast growing popularity with a membership of about 45,000 in April 2004. As of January 2004, it had attained a membership of over 110,000. Version 2.03 was released on February 14th, 2004. This version separated the business side of web development from the creative side to allow developers and designers work together. Version 2.03 had a few glitches in its skinning which led to the release of version 2.04. DNN 2.04 had the ability to manually add skins and containers, and extended site logging to monitor performance and functionality of a website.