Choosing a .NET 4 Content Management System 16

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Utilize, Learn & Contribute to an Open Source, Microsoft .NET based Content Management System

My justification for the project is primarily to learn, and at the same time investigate ways to use the CMS to better manage my expanding list of websites and content.  I have used a lot of Open Source software and felt that it would be a good time to give back to the community and contribute to an Open Source project.

Some of the personal self-improvement goals I had in mind

  • Become more proficient in the latest Microsoft .NET technologies, in particular ASP.NET MVC, LINQ data access, XSLT and Workflow Foundation.
  • Experience contributing to an Open Source Project.
  • Better understand content management systems.

The main factors used in making my final decision on which content management system to use

  • Microsoft .NET based, preferably MVC
  • Ideally using the .NET 4 Framework
  • Utilizing cutting edge technologies
  • A relatively active developer community
  • An impressive product, one that I’d be proud to be a part of and one I felt could grow to be one of the leading CMS’s

The list of content management systems that I considered

COMPOSITE C1 ended up being a relatively easy choice because it is one of the few .NET based content management systems written using the .NET 4 Framework, not to mention it is MVC and has a very impressive and flexible design. I was impressed with BlogEngine, however didn’t care to invest the time and effort into working with ASP.NET WebForms.  Orchard, Atomsite and N2 CMS were at the top of my list but they didn’t impress me enough to make up for the cutting edge technology in COMPOSITE C1.

Composite C1 CMS Demo Site

Composite C1 CMS Demo Site

The C1 also can be installed with a demo website, the Composite Demo Company, which I’ve already done and is shown.  Having a working site to learn from is really nice option to have.

The technologies utilized in COMPOSITE C1

The Microsoft .NET 4 Framework, ASP.NET 4 Controls, ASP.NET MVC, pure LINQ data access, Workflow Foundation, a pluggable architecture and a documented API.  Very Nice!!

COMPOSITE C1 as defined on the C1 home page

COMPOSITE C1 ALLOWS COMPANIES and organizations, individuals or communities of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. With Composite C1 you have the freedom to choose and switch between a free open source licence or a paid subscription model. Composite C1 is:

  • A professional fully featured CMS
  • Simple to extend and customize
  • Based on the latest Microsoft technology
  • Developed by and for professional web developers
  • Succesfully powering numerous corporate web sites
  • Based on a developer model and licence options that prevents vendor lock-in and secures your independence
  • new 12/6/10 – Kudos to the C1 Team.  C1 works on Google Chrome now!

The Console for Composite C1 is Impressive

Looks more like a desktop application, here you can see it supports embedded C# functions!

Composite C1 Panel Embedded C#

Composite C1 Panel Embedded C#

This gives you an idea of the types of things the developer role in Composite C1 CMS can do.  Also note the Admin and Editor Roles.

Microsoft .NET 4 MVC CMS

Microsoft .NET 4 MVC CMS

And a built in image-editor…

Composite C1 CMS Panel

Composite C1 CMS Panel

And another impressive feature is the concept of packages that can be downloaded and installed from a package source.

Composite C1 CMS Packages

Composite C1 CMS Packages

As you can see the COMPOSITE C1 CMS is an impressive tool, plus it is one of the few that is using the latest and greatest technologies.  Most of the other .NET content management systems are on older versions of the .NET Framework and as of this writing none had any hard-set dates as to when they would be up to the latest version of the framework.

If you are a true-programmer, which I’m willing to bet that you are if you made it to the end of this article, and you love to learn new technologies then the COMPOSITE C1 is pretty much the only choice.

If your criteria doesn’t include “having fun learning new technologies” and “working with exceptionally talented developers” then I believe that COMPOSITE C1’s features alone put it in a short list of viable options.


DisplacedGuy (aka Rich)

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