Open Source .Net CMSs overview

ASP.NET seems to have more and more quality options regarding extensible content management systems with each passing year. Depending on your needs, there are excellent options available both with commercial licenses or open source code.

In our blog, we have already tried to gather information about PHP and Java web frameworks, and in this article I`m going to present you a list of open-source CMS for .Net that, in our opinion, are worth taking a look at.

DotNetNuke (DNN for short)

If you are looking for something stable, DDN will be the answer. This CMS has been around for a while and DNN is probably the most well known and popular of all the .NET CMSs presented in my list. It`s is a web content management platform used to quickly develop and deploy interactive and dynamic web sites, intranets, extranets and web applications. It`s available in a free Community and subscription-based Professional, Elite and Elite Premier Editions. Community edition contains most of the features which comprise the other editions, but the support is left up to the community. The Professional Edition gives you support from the DotNetNuke Corporation along with a few more features, and for a (much) increased price, the Enterprise Edition gives you a few more features along with phone support.

Kentico

Another Asp.net based CMS offering multiple licensing options is the Kentico CMS. The free license requires you to keep the logo and copyright information on your page, but the commercial versions offer support and allow you to work without the branding. This CMS allows building dynamic web sites, online shopping carts, intranets and web 2.0 community sites. Kentico CMS is designed to be easy to use for even novice users, so web development should go fast with someone who is experienced. It has powerful content editing interface – Kentico CMS Desk, which allows a user to edit content and preview it before publishing, also it`s easy to organize content into a tree hierarchy of documents (pages). The hierarchy (content tree) represents the site map and the navigation structure.

Umbraco

Umbraco CMS is free and open source Web CMS built on the Microsoft .NET Framework. It provides a full-featured web content management system that is easy to use, simple to customize and robust enough to run the largest sites such as wired.co.uk and asp.net. Umbraco CMS has recently become very popular with designers and web developers due to the open templating system and ability to build in guidelines that automatically format the content writers provide. Also, it uses ASP .NET “master pages” and XSLT, so there is no necessity to work with a heaped-together templating format. It’s written in C# and is happy to work with a variety of databases, so hosting shouldn’t be a problem.

N2 CMS

N2 CMS is an open source lightweight CMS to create simple and user friendly website. N2 CMS contains a package of functional templates with News, Wiki, Photo Galleries, FAQs, RSS, Data Entry, Polls and more. Features include full control of content and nodes, drag&drop, versioning, wizards, export/import, security, globalization and more.

Orchard

Orchard CMS is Microsoft’s hand in the open source world. It`s community focused and is supported by full-time developers from Microsoft, that develop components and scripts that are open tools for developers to create applications. With the help of Orchard CMSO, it`s possible to create content-driven Websites. While this CMS may be a bit slow and some of the things you’d expect in a more robust CMS might be missing, there’s several fantastic back-end features and it`s a CMS that is worth considering when choosing a technology for your project.

Sitefinity

Sitefinity is the most modern .NET web content management platform available on the market today. It offers many enterprise features, and simple, easy-to-use online administration tools for managing your website. The new revolutionary User Interface is very task oriented and simplifies the user interaction with the system. Sitefinity has 6 available license editions ranging from free for personal use, to $499 for small businesses, and custom pricing for the Enterprise and Multi-Site Editions. Currently Sitefinity is responsible for powering thousands of websites. Some of their most prominent government websites include: The White House Federal Credit Union, United States Courts, Downtown Fort Worth, and the Canadian Securities Transition Office. Other customers include: Toyota, Vogue, IKEA, Chevron, Bayer, and Coca-Cola.

Certainly the list of CMSs can go further and further and every CMS has its advantages and disadvantages. I`ll highly appreciate if your share your opinions and experience on using these CMSs and adding your favourite CMSs to the list.

Five Popular Ruby on Rails Based CMS

The open source content management system (CMS) market is pretty much dominated by PHP-based CMS like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. While PHP has its advantages, the more modern Ruby language and the highly productive framework Rails, are becoming popular choices among web developers. And in the Ruby on Rails world, there are already some good Rails based CMS projects to choose from.

Typically, with a powerful framework such as Rails, it’s easy to create a basic Rails app with CMS-like functionality, where content can easily be edited. And with Rails-based CMS, it’s easier to provide commonly requested CMS functions at the same time extend and add features for websites of small to medium sized businesses.

In this blog, I’ll go over the five prominent content management systems built in Rails (based from The Ruby Toolbox rating) and I’ll share some reviews of our Ruby on Rails developers on these CMS.

Refinery CMS

RefineryCMS has the highest popularity rating in Ruby Toolbox, garnering the highest number of downloads (almost 200,000 ruby gem downloads) and number of watchers and forks in Github. Built by Resolve Digital, Refinery is a Ruby on Rails CMS that supports the latest version of Rails, Rails 3.2.

You can check out a showcase of Refinery built websites here: http://refinerycms.com/showcase

What our RoR devs like about it: Rails 3 support; modular; easy to integrate into existing rails project; CMS features/components modularized into gems; mountable as a Rails engine; supports alternative WYSIWYG editors; supports Disqus comments; clean interface; easily extensible

Areas for improvement: no custom themes (need to create themes via layouts within the rails code)

BrowserCMS

With 77,000+ downloads, BrowserCMS is now the second most popular CMS written in Rails according to Ruby Toolbox. It is described as a general purpose, open source web content management system (CMS) that supports Ruby on Rails v3.2. It’s key features include: support for large teams of editors with variable permissions, direct in context editing, design friendly templates, sitemap, content library, content API, section based security, workflow and page caching.

What our RoR devs like about it: extensible using different modules; offers mobile ready template

Areas for improvement: few extensions compared with Radiant

LocomotiveCMS

Locomotive is a next generation CMS system with sexy admin tools, liquid templating, and inline editing powered by MongoDB and Rails3 according to Rubygems.org.

What our RoR devs like about it: Very customizable (custom attributes, fields, page types) this owing to the MongoDB schema

Areas for improvement: Tightly coupled with MongoDB, not readily available for other DBs; separate (though optional) non-free editor tool

Radiant CMS

Radiant CMS is the oldest Rails and is ideal for small teams. Featuring an elegant user interface, flexible templating with layouts, snippets, page parts, and a custom tagging language, first-class extension/plugin system and simple user management and permission, it has 70,000+ downloads and an active community.

What our RoR devs like about it: Quick to build template; multi-site configuration (via an extension); large number of extensions contributed by the community; contains User Management & Roles; built in page caching & Radius Template Language

Areas for improvement: Behind on the Rails version; extending the CMS core feels patchy; a lot of extensions do not work on succeeding versions

Adva CMS

Adva CMS is known to be as the first completely engine-based CMS platform for Rails. A new version which was named as Adva CMS2 is a completely rewrite of Adva CMS based on Rails 3.

What our RoR devs like about it: customizable, you can plug in different engines, supports building multiple sites

Areas for improvement: no support for Rails 3 until Adva CMS2 which is currently in an “early developer sneak-peak preview stage”

Other Rails based CMS which is not on the list but are also becoming popular according to Ruby Toolbox include: Comfortable Mexican Sofa, Nesta, Railsyard CMS, Skyline and Static. You can also check out other active Rails CMS projects in Github.

 (from http://www.exist.com/blog/five-popular-ruby-rails-based-cms)

The open source content management system (CMS) market is pretty much dominated by PHP-based CMS like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. While PHP has its advantages, the more modern Ruby language and the highly productive framework Rails, are becoming popular choices among web developers. And in the Ruby on Rails world, there are already some good Rails based CMS projects to choose from.

Typically, with a powerful framework such as Rails, it’s easy to create a basic Rails app with CMS-like functionality, where content can easily be edited. And with Rails-based CMS, it’s easier to provide commonly requested CMS functions at the same time extend and add features for websites of small to medium sized businesses.

In this blog, I’ll go over the five prominent content management systems built in Rails (based from The Ruby Toolbox rating) and I’ll share some reviews of our Ruby on Rails developers on these CMS.

Refinery CMS

Ruby on Rails CMS Development

RefineryCMS has the highest popularity rating in Ruby Toolbox, garnering the highest number of downloads (almost 200,000 ruby gem downloads) and number of watchers and forks in Github. Built by Resolve Digital, Refinery is a Ruby on Rails CMS that supports the latest version of Rails, Rails 3.2.

You can check out a showcase of Refinery built websites here: http://refinerycms.com/showcase

What our RoR devs like about it: Rails 3 support; modular; easy to integrate into existing rails project; CMS features/components modularized into gems; mountable as a Rails engine; supports alternative WYSIWYG editors; supports Disqus comments; clean interface; easily extensible

Areas for improvement: no custom themes (need to create themes via layouts within the rails code)

BrowserCMS

Custom Rails CMS Development

With 77,000+ downloads, BrowserCMS is now the second most popular CMS written in Rails according to Ruby Toolbox. It is described as a general purpose, open source web content management system (CMS) that supports Ruby on Rails v3.2. It’s key features include: support for large teams of editors with variable permissions, direct in context editing, design friendly templates, sitemap, content library, content API, section based security, workflow and page caching.

What our RoR devs like about it: extensible using different modules; offers mobile ready template

Areas for improvement: few extensions compared with Radiant

LocomotiveCMS

Rails CMS customization

Locomotive is a next generation CMS system with sexy admin tools, liquid templating, and inline editing powered by MongoDB and Rails3 according to Rubygems.org.

What our RoR devs like about it: Very customizable (custom attributes, fields, page types) this owing to the MongoDB schema

Areas for improvement: Tightly coupled with MongoDB, not readily available for other DBs; separate (though optional) non-free editor tool

Radiant CMS

customized version of Radiant CMS

Radiant CMS is the oldest Rails and is ideal for small teams. Featuring an elegant user interface, flexible templating with layouts, snippets, page parts, and a custom tagging language, first-class extension/plugin system and simple user management and permission, it has 70,000+ downloads and an active community.

What our RoR devs like about it: Quick to build template; multi-site configuration (via an extension); large number of extensions contributed by the community; contains User Management & Roles; built in page caching & Radius Template Language

Areas for improvement: Behind on the Rails version; extending the CMS core feels patchy; a lot of extensions do not work on succeeding versions

Adva CMS

RoR CMS Development

Adva CMS is known to be as the first completely engine-based CMS platform for Rails. A new version which was named as Adva CMS2 is a completely rewrite of Adva CMS based on Rails 3.

What our RoR devs like about it: customizable, you can plug in different engines, supports building multiple sites

Areas for improvement: no support for Rails 3 until Adva CMS2 which is currently in an “early developer sneak-peak preview stage”

 

Other Rails based CMS which is not on the list but are also becoming popular according to Ruby Toolbox include: Comfortable Mexican Sofa, Nesta, Railsyard CMS, Skyline and Static. You can also check out other active Rails CMS projects in Github.