Trying to figure out how to write modular software

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting started on the design for a project that buddy and I have been thinking about for some time. I’m not going to go into the details of what the project entails, for there’s potential for some commercial opportunities when it is finished. One of the serious challenges facing us with this project comes from designing a fully modular solution.

Most of my effort has gone into thinking about the best way to put together a modular piece of software, specifically in a web environment. The ultimate goal would be to have a module handler that will allow new modules to be installed with a single click, all the necessary tables would be created and the module is instantly available in the user experience and from an administration standpoint. It sounds very similar to how the module system works on the PostNuke CMS that runs this very website and who knows, maybe that’s someplace to start.

I’d love it if somebody out there could forward some suggestions from their experience building modular software for the web, I’m sure the visitors of this site would appreciate the helpful information as well. I guess what I’m really looking for is a point in the right direction to get me started. I know that if I spend some time on it I will come up with something on my own, but I’ve always been the head of any project I’ve worked on and I just want somebody to say ‘hey, how about you try doing this instead?’

Please let me know if you have any thoughts/suggestions, post as comments if you like.

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