While I can't say I have been to every Day of DNN's I have managed to be at several - Tampa and Chicago and now Charlotte. And I have to agree with Will Strohl tweet that each event gets better and better. Lessons of each are passed along so the events are well worth the time and, for some, effort of attending.
I was priviledged again to speak at the conference, so was treated well by the organizers, Queen City DotNetNuke User Group (QCDUG), with a dinner the Friday evening prior to Saturday's full day of sessions.
Saturday started with a welcome by Allen Foster (President of the QCDUG) followed by a keynote address on DotNetNuke Community by Navin Nagiah. Shawn Walker then gave a demostration of DotNetNuke V6.2.
All the session contained useful information -- I attended Eric VB's (Eric van Ballegoij) session on "Installing DotNetNuke in a Production Environment". Eric wondered why I would attend figuring that I might not learning anything new. Not true! This is why coming to such events is so helpful -- While most of Eric presentation was familiar, he showed me something I did not realized existed. Did you know there is a connection string available in Web.config for installs and Updates? Wow. So if the connection string is present it will be used to perform the install / updates. This includes the install of extensions. So you can now define a "power user" to perform the updates, and have a DNN user perform the day to day needs of the site. You will still need an Annonynous user to allow unathericated users to browse your site. One piece of information that leads to many possbilities.
I followed Eric's Session with Rob Bryn's session "Avoiding Death by DNN". This was a session on what not to do when operating and upgrading sites. Rob has many instantances of DotNetNuke and many are multi-portal. Here again, much of the information was familiar, but as with Eric VB's Session, I also discovered something I didn't know. Did you know the portal's have an Expiry Date? I didn't - or more to the point, since I don't have many multi-portals installs, I hadn't really thought about it. Regardless, the fact that this exists allow for a rather straight forward way to extract a portal from a multi-portal site -- Rob called it "Copy and Dump". Without going into too much detail, the portal expiry date can be used to remove unwanted portals from a complete copy of a multi-portal install. Sweet. This was apparently news to Mitchel Sellers too! So even the most seasoned DNNers can learn by attending.
Lunch was an nice "box lunch" which in my case contained several very sweet and tasty strawberries -- from the fact that the crowd got very quite for a while -- lunch was greatly appreciated -- mine was excellent. Then, with some time to "kill" before the DotNetNuke V6.2 deep drive session, a battle of the Arrow consulting "arrows" took placing in the vendor hall.
Will Morganweck gave a review of the work done on 6.2 and showed off some of the more interesting features. He was also very appreciative of the developer team as most of the work was completed in the last 6 months.
After Will's presentation, I attended Charles Nurse's introduction to MVVM development with KnockoutJS. As a rather large amount of the new features in DotNetNuke V6.2 depend on it, I believe KnockoutJS is going to be a vital part of DotNetNuke development for the years to come. So What did I learn? I learned I have a lot of learning to do in the next few months to bring my modules up to speed with the DotNetNuke UI. Charles just brushed the surface of what can be accomplished -- the realatively short session time of 45 minutes gave little time do drive too deep into any subject.
It was now my time to present -- "SQL Tips and Tricks for DotNetNuke Administration". The session went well although I wished I had more time. I will post the T-SQL scripts on my site later this week. One of the problems of attending a conference is that you can not attend all the sessions. Prior to knowing the schedule, I wanted to see Scott Schlessier session on "DotNetNuke Services Framework: It's a whole new world", but as luck would have it, Scott was presenting at the same time as my session. I heard from several attendees that they were having trouble choosing which session to attend.
My second session was on "DotNetNuke in Manufacturing". This session drew several that we using DotNetNuke as an Intranet CMS and we had a good interaction on the aspects of DotNetNuke that make sense in a manufacturing scenario.
The last sessions of the day were the Ignite! sessions, hosted by Gifford Watkins. Here, the presenter gets a very short period to make his or her point. They were fun and it was entertaining to watch the presenters try and stay on point. All were thought prevoking and several made you think that maybe you should take action based on the information.
Then there was a draw for some very nice prizes including two really nice XBoxs -- I did not win -- enuf said. However, thanks to vendors for the prizes donated.
Lastly, PowerDNN sponsored "DNN after Dark" where all were welcome to enjoy some Southern hospitality ... then ride a bull.
Bottom line -- learned things and had a great time with a great group of people. So, is it worth it, absolutely. So please plan to join the next Day of DNN.
Many thanks to Alan Foster, Robb Bryn, Clint Patterson and a host of others for a great event -- job very well done!