Jeremiah Bascue
Jeremiah Bascue

Posted on: March 5, 2014

In: Technology


Umbraco is the open source .NET Content Management System that deserves serious consideration when evaluating your new enterprise website platform. Released to the open source community in 2004, it is a mature and stable product that has a very devout following – especially in Europe, though there is a burgeoning user base in the United States as well.

Let’s talk about the backoffice

Released in Q4 2013, Umbraco 7 is the latest version that the community has long awaited. It brings to us a backend interface that is completely customizable to cater to your content needs like no other CMS does.

This new approach at CMS interface allows content authors and contributors to focus on the content and not the system. It is built on AngularJS, the JavaScript toolset developed by Google, to provide a platform that is limitlessly customizable by developers.

Additionally, this interface is designed with mobile first in mind, meaning that all functionality is intact whether you are using a smart phone, tablet or desktop. Imagine giving your content contributors the ability to live-blog a conference using nothing but a tablet, update newly revised product specifications via smart phone, or approve and publish content changes while waiting to board a flight.

The architecture behind it

Using ASP.NET 4.5 (the best server side technology from Microsoft) and AngularJS, (the latest client-side technology from Google), Umbraco 7 isn’t just a quick makeover to the previous version. Umbraco has given us a shining example of how fast and simple working in a CMS can be.

Developers will appreciate that the API provides an open model to access the data using the development methods they are most comfortable with, whether that is Razor, MVC, WebForms or XSLT—they have complete control over how they integrate the CMS.

Hosting & deployment

Hosting and deployment can often be a challenging and painful process with regard to CMS for many organizations—especially those without a robust or extensive hosting environment in place already, or the IT to support it. Umbraco provides an alternative to traditional hosting with their unique offering of their CMS as Software as a Service. SaaS is not a new concept, but it is new for Content Management Systems, and it’s pretty groundbreaking at that.

Partnering with Microsoft, Umbraco can be hosted on Windows Azure for instant scalability, incredible uptime, and robust security…all the while virtually eliminating the maintenance and reliance upon IT that comes with traditional hosting.  An organization can spin up a robust environment with a development, staging, and delivery environment with just a few mouse clicks. Of course, Umbraco can be deployed in a traditional server stack as well.

Who is using it now?

Microsoft was so impressed with Umbraco that they used it to build www.asp.net, the website for the framework that all other .NET CMSs are built upon. While that alone is impressive, organizations such as Warner Brothers, Fox, Peugot, Heinz, Vogue and Planar are all powered by Umbraco as well.

Oh, and so is the official site for ABBA.

And remember when the world (or 22 million visitors, anyway) tuned in to www.redbullstratos.com to watch Felix Baumgartner jump from the edge of space? Well, that site was built on Umbraco, too.

We’re delighted

It’s great to have options and we’re delighted to have such an architecturally robust, delightful to use, and developer-friendly Content Management System to offer. Stay tuned for more to come on leveraging Umbraco.

This article was co-authored by Damian Vander Wilt, Umbraco evangelist and developer extraordinaire.

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