When we (DNNCorp) originally took ownership of SnowCovered.com from Brice Snow it was running on DotNetNuke 2.1.2 (Release date was June 14, 2004), v1.0 of the .NET Framework and on a low-end hosting provider. Looking back, I recall that we were lucky to get 80% to 90% uptime in any given month. It was on its last legs. We knew, the community knew, we HAD to take action.
Fast forward a little while, and just over a year ago we launched an internal “Upgrade” project for SnowCovered.com. Here is how that story played out…
Our first initiative was to upgrade from the low-end hosting to our own infrastructure which brought up our stability immediately to 99.9% uptime. This was a huge gain for us and the community as a whole. It was nice to be able to rely on solid infrastructure. All of the negativity around the amount of downtime simply fizzled.
Our first significant win!
The next step was to tackle the DNN 2.1.2 issue. For those of you that don’t recall the history of DNN, 2.1.2 was release before the ASP.NET Team release the (then) new Personalization and Membership pieces. The team here spent hours ensuring that every single user in the SnowCovered membership database was upgraded. Countless tests and dry runs were performed, and in the end we prevailed. All users can and will be upgraded fully.
Another win for the team.
The largest task was the actual code base itself. There was a significant amount of rework and simply replacing much of the codebase (VB.NET to C#) as we transitioned it all to the 6.x family of the core framework. At that time we had just hired Nathan Rover and put him on this challenge. He gladly accepted and took the lead. For those of you want have not yet met Nathan, he is a marathon runner – just the man suited for this marathon upgrade and release schedule.
Over the year they took inventory of the feature points, upgraded code, reviewed artwork & designs, cried/yelled/screamed, held design meetings, drank a few gallons of redbull/monster/beaver buzz, QA, upgrade meetings, daily scrums, Unit Tests, more QA, frequent vendor reviews & demos. Project plans were scraped, created and scraped again. We have had churn in almost every aspect of the project.
The team kept running.
There were a few points over the past year were we almost gave up. The stress was high; the light at the end of the tunnel was just barely visible. Nathan and the team pushed on. We persisted.
The team kept running.
Finally the light was blinding. We invited many (~100) of the vendors in for a private Beta; received well over 40 issues, all of which were addressed with great care and attention, and finally accepted the final list of bugs in for the initial RTM release. The team worked day and night nailing these issues down in order to meet our aggressive release schedule, without sacrificing the level of quality we demanded in this release.
As of 3:00AM PST February 9th, 2012 we crossed the finish line!
We are proud to announce that we have released initial public release of "DotNetNuke, The Store"
Congrats goes out to the entire team!
Here is a before screenshot, as of July 19, 2012:
..we are just getting started…