We had a great DNNCon in Baltimore!  Whether you attended or wished you could have attended, here are some of the highlights of the event.  Enjoy the keynote address by Clint Patterson, download slide decks and PDF files of the individual sessions, and marvel over the Ignite sessions!  Don't miss Ron Miles' singing the show to a close, and add octopodes to your vocabulary.

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DNNCon Sessions

(Click session titles to expand the session descriptions, and then click the icons to download the session slides.)


Json Web Tokens are about authentication standards and interoperability. DNN 8 has added support for JWT but just what does that mean. This session will take a look at JWT and how it can be used to publish DNN Services for Mobile Devices, SPAs and other Non-Dnn platforms.

Leveraging Google Tag Manager to Optimize Analytics Exploring the ability to quickly and accurately track user behavior throughout your website beyond page visits, time on site, and other traditional analytic metrics. Discover what products users are adding to carts, when users complete forms, what links or banners visitors are clicking and more. Learn how to leverage this data to extend your ROI on Google Analytics, Adwords and Remarketing.

Exploring the powers of remarketing and how to leverage multiple services to maximize conversions. We will touch on Google Remarketing, Facebook Remarketing, Abandon Cart Remarketing, Email Remarketing and the power of personalization. We will review best practices in each area and provide insight on how to optimize your campaigns to ensure maximum ROI.

When it comes to application performance there are many ways to approach things. With the proper amount of planning, you can build performance in from the beginning. This is ideal as you can find problems early. However, most of us are aware of the reality of software development, performance matters only when it isn't there! In this session we will take a deep dive into the diagnostic processes needed to investigate deep into application code of items already in production. As part of this talk we will take a deep dive into performance optimization for the developer within the DNN/Evoq platform.

Advanced topics such as Bundling, Minification, and more will be discussed. We will review common "gotcha" issues, as well as special considerations as it relates to developing code inside of a larger platform. We will also review at a high level, how DNN builds a site, and how developer decisions can aid, or slow, that process.

Based on thousands of support requests over the course of the past year by our team @ DeskPal.com, let's talk about some of the most common (and uncommon) issues you may come across when working with a DNN website and how to come about solving them.  Not for the faint of heart - [PG-13]  ;)

In this session, Ralph Williams, will take you through the basics of getting a DNN 8 SPA (Single Page Application) module up and running. He will share some of what he learned while building his winning SPA module for the DNN 8 Module Challenge. Ralph will cover the AngularJS framework and some basics of web services. He will also demonstrate how to leverage the available module templates for creating web services and module packages allowing you to be able to easily create a fully functional module.

Analytics In, Analytics Out: Using Google Analytics to Guide and Grade Web Projects  This presentation will offer an overview of Google Analytics as a tool both for determining the direction and focus of a web re-design effort  as well as establishing metrics and tracking to help your client see their success and potential upgrade needs post re-launch.

While DNN, and .Net in general, are very good at protecting you from the biggest security attacks, they can't protect you from writing bad code. With security in web development getting increasingly more important it is good to take a moment and make sure you're not shooting yourself in the foot with your module development. This talk will go over XSS (Cross-Site scripting), CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery), and SQLi (SQL Injection), to make sure that you are not opening yourself up to potential vulnerabilities when developing your modules.

The DDR menu is highly customizable to just about any degree of imagination. Let's explore just exactly what that entails.  The DDR menu is perfect for anyone who wants to push the boundaries of navigation design. Though slightly intimidating at first, with minimal default templates or settings, it is ideal for a truly unique and custom solution. Add the use of some nice jQuery and you'll have an unforgettable menu.

Whether you are a DNN newbie or a seasoned expert, there is something in this session for you. 

For Development, the sheer amount of mini-tasks that are required to setup a fully functional DNN development environment can be daunting. You have the prerequisites (Operating System, Microsoft SQL Server, IIS, Visual Studio, etc.), but now what? What is the best way to setup a local DNN instance? What file/folder permissions are needed? How do you setup a custom IIS AppPool? How do you handle local DNS? Do you use a module development template? What about all the other cool tools like NuGet and GitHub? How do you get those setup? For QA, Testing & Support, what hoops do you have to jump through to setup a temporary DNN instance?

In this session I'll share some great new tools to help streamline the process and mitigate the pain. How would you like to be able to spin up a new DNN instance in under two minutes? How would you like to get started on a new DNN module development project in less than two minutes? Well, be sure to catch this session so you can be equipped with all you need to do just this!
Sprocket Websites, a long-time DNN integrator, has been delivering blogs, news systems and even complete websites using the modules and themes from Easy DNN Solutions. In this review, we'll show how to use the modules in clever ways, how to combine them to create great effects, and how to showcase a business with a rich skin design. A great set of tools are not without limitations, and we'll guide prospective users around the pitfalls we've encountered.

The whole point of a powerful CMS like DNN is to make it easier for both the developer and the client. But if you're not taking advantage of the editor.css, then you're missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.  Sure it's easy for a developer to add things like buttons and different font sizes and colors, but it's near impossible to explain how to do this to the client.  And this is where editor.css comes in. With a little extra code on the developer’s part, you can give your client a slew of pre-loaded design options in the Text/HTML editor. And best of all, it's code free for the client. It's a simple as highlighting the word(s) you want to change and selecting from a pre-loaded list in a drop-down menu located in the Text/HTML editor.  We'll walk you through how to set up an editor.css, best practices and how clients can effectively use this tool.

While not every site needs an accompanying mobile app, many large and specific LOB sites could...and probably are already asking for a native mobile app to enhance customer engagement. This session will show you how to create a native mobile app, using Xamarin Studio, and connect it to your Dnn data.

Develop DNN themes with PostCSS and npm!  Replacing task automators like Gulp or Grunt with regular old npm will simplify your workflow while giving you access to more npm modules. And with PostCSS, you can customize your CSS preprocessor to be as complex or lightweight as you need.  At the end of this talk, you will have:  A basic understanding of using npm as a build tool, A basic understanding of using PostCSS, and DNN theme examples you can take back to work Monday

This session will introduce the web.config settings and speed/optimization settings that help get the most speed out of DNN, focusing on Google Page Speed Insights and things you can do to help get a higher score.  We will discuss  the 4 or 5 main things that Google Page Speed complains about and the steps you can take to (1) enable gzip compression (2) set the header expiration (3) minify/combine JS (and with CDN help) (4) talk about blocking js and css and concepts on how to work around.

This session is an introduction to taking the performance of your DNN site to the next level.  Taking a practical look at website performance and focusing on items that require less substantial technical interaction to resolve.  We will look at ways to improve a DNN site's performance, how to properly select third-party module vendors, and how to objectively assess and improve the performance your website.

In this session we will review some of the basics with DNN Configuration, then expand to more complex situations such as skin performance, module impacts, and when/how to scale your installation.  An important part of improving performance is identifying when the current environment cannot handle the traffic provided and when a larger installation is needed to handle the traffic.  After this session, attendees will leave with information that should help improve application performance Monday morning!

Although developing software is a technical process that involves technical minds making technical decisions, it still boils down to humans working with other humans.  How can you bridge the gap between the crystal clarity in your mind and the blank stare of the person to whom you are speaking?  How can you tell someone that their work is incorrect, but do it in such a way that feathers are not ruffled?  How do you keep your own ego in check when a difference of opinion arises?   This session offers a real-life look into the working relationship between developer, project manager, and software tester.

Sprocket Websites, a long-time DNN integrator and a founder of the Chicago Area DNN User Group over the past six or seven years has been selling sites based on DNN. The up-front administrative interface, the rich set of modules, the flexibility of the layout all help us deliver a site clients love. How do we sell them on it? Many times we don't have to. Sometimes we play it up big. Occasionally we don't mention it at all. We'll show you examples and how to decide what to pitch.

Today every human is virtually "connected" with a mobile device in their pocket. In the future every THING will be connected with micro-controllers. In the same way that websites have forms where users can input data, micro-controllers can now be attached to anything, use any type of sensor, and serve as data inputs by posting data to the net. Imagine having your plants tell you when they need water, your front-door tweeting to you when it's opened, or your bed monitoring your weight, sleep (and reporting on it all through the cloud) and perhaps even slowly shaking when it's time to wake up. These are simply ideas of things that have been done and can be done in one of the next technology revolutions... the Internet Of Things (IOT). It's an amazing time to be a developer and it's really easy to get up and going with the Internet of Things.

In this session Clint Patterson will present on his latest passion, projects, and he'll tie it back to DNN at the end. Come to this session if you're just getting started in IOT and want to learn more. Clint will use Particle's "Photon" for this presentation and will show you how to create basic circuits, use breadboards, update devices over HTTP (the net), and control micro-controllers by simply passing parameters to a web service! In the end we'll discuss how DNN is a great fit to use with Particle's API as DNN can do the heavy lifting of security for you. Clint may also talk about the DNN module he's planning to write to make working with Particle's Cloud API simple.

At DNN Connect (Millau, France) I presented my business model and challenged everyone to speak up if they had a better model. I'm bringing the same challenge to Baltimore. In 50 minutes you'll learn what I learned in 10 years. And if anyone has something smarter... we'll learn about that too. ack!

(Not yet available)

We have all seen the more common websites built on DNN, but we rarely hear of the super creative or highly technical edge cases. In this session, we'll explore some of these. The hope is that you walk away with new ideas and a fresh perspective on what all can be done with this amazing platform we call DNN! Let's go make something truly great!

You’ve mastered HTML & CSS and now you know DNN and how to get your design working in it but what are the best practices and tricks of the trade. We’ll show you dozens of tidbits and methods to really utilize the awesome power of DNN and take your skinning to the next level.

After a few DNNHero training videos, private training sessions, and preparing for the DNNCon 2016 Developer training, I feel like I have some good experience to share with developers about the new DNN8 module development techniques.  This session will explore the challenges, gotchas, and lessons learned in developing a module using the new MVC approach.  In addition to learning about MVC development, we will compare MVC to the Webforms and SPA development techniques and learn which applications are best suited by each style.

The web’s come along way and with all the new features of html5 and css3, the possibilities are almost endless as to what you can create. But web forms and contact forms seem to lag behind what’s being done with everything else.  Luckily, there’s hope, using DNN Sharp’s Action Form and some clever use of HTML, CSS, and tad bit of jQuery, you can turn your standard form into a beautiful, functioning form that your users can fill out with ease.  We’ll show you some examples of what can be done, when should you put the extra effort into it, and most importantly, how to do it.