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DNN v3 New Features Summary  DNN v3 New Features Summary Minimize

First Look

  • Bolder new default skin - now looks less like SharePoint than in earlier betas
  • There are new TopPane and BottomPane sections above and below the normal (Left,Content,Right) panes into which you can put content that spans the page
  • Admin IconBar at top contains shortcuts to commonly used functions. Developers can create custom control panels for Admin functions.
  • You can drag & drop modules to position them on the page (like SharePoint web parts or ASP.NET v2 web modules). Click in the header bar of a module to begin the drag and drop process. 
  • Admin screens have collapsible sections, helping to organize the admin process
  • Site search is available through new modules named Search Input and Search Results. Modules must implement the new ISearchable interface to participate in portal search.


  • Save / Load template with or without content
  • Skins & containers developed for v2 will work in v3
  • Friendly URLs make it possible for search engines to effectively index your pages


  • Tabs in v2 are now called Pages in v3
  • Pages can now point to a URL, another Page on your site, or to a file (leave it set to URL with no Link URL Location value for a normal page with modules and content).
  • Page management shortcuts on the IconBar: Add, Settings, Delete, Copy, Preview
  • Copy modules from another page, optionally with content
  • Page start and end dates for automatic scheduling of content display.
  • Permissions settings are simplified (and Pages are not publicly visible by default)


  • Add new module or point to an existing module on your site, link or copy data
  • Specify title when adding module in the IconBar to save a configuration step
  • Drag & drop modules to position them through a new client-side API
  • Import/export module content to other modules
  • Module start and end dates for automatic scheduling of content display
  • Module header and footer let you decorate the module by putting HTML in them
  • Permissions settings has a new Inherit View Permissions from Page checkbox (but it's not set by default - so you have to check it on each module)

File Manager

  • New interface makes file management easier and more powerful
  • Create sub-directories with permissions on roles, allowing you to more easily organize your portal content 
  • Group files for copy/move/delete
  • Filter files using wildcards (% and _)


  • New user fields (web, IM, cell, fax)
  • Preferences section (preferred language, timezone)
  • Subscriptions public role (under Membership Services at the bottom of your user profile)
  • Admin search mechanism for users

Language / Localization

  • Static localization for all fixed captions, menus, help text on the site
  • Set portal caption strings to any value
  • Create locale-specific portals with resource files
  • Controls for localization at both the Host and Portal levels


  • Control panel selection (IconBar or classic)
  • Site log storage can be set to database or file (keeps your database from growing rapidly)
  • Export portal template makes setting up new portals a snap
  • Search admin for managing search (re-index)
  • Lists management (countries, currencies, etc.), and you can create your own lists for your custom modules
  • You can specify superuser (host) accounts

Portal Application Design (developer items)

  • Membership/Roles/Profile - the core team has adopted the “Whidbey“ membership provider API (ASP.NET v2). This allows straightforward integration with other apps that have adopted this API, and a relatively easy migration to ASP.NET v2 in the future. 
  • Breaking changes will require all custom modules to be reworked before they'll function on v3. There are many new features that can now be supported, i.e. IPortable (module import/export), ISearchable (portal search), exception handling, logging, localization, etc.
  • DesktopModules are now separated from the core project
  • Revamped DNN namespaces with many new features
  • web.config has changed dramatically with the addtion of many new provider specs
  • New interfaces that your modules can implement:
    • ISearchable for site searching
    • IPortable for module export support
    • IActionable for custom actions support like menus
    • IUpgradeable for running custom actions on module upgrades

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