With a plethora of Content Management Systems available today, it becomes very difficult to choose form one of them. As a matter of fact, the CMS that you would choose would also depend on the architecture or the platform where you would deploy your project. Having discussed on the Joomla CMS which is based on PHP and MySql, it is now time to review the Umbraco CMS that is based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET technology. Well, this one is for the .NET fans. The entire source of the CMS has been written in C# and is available for the developers to download and modify for free. Yes, Umbraco is open source.
You do not require beforehand knowledge of Microsoft’s .NET framework or C# in particular, to get started with the Umbraco CMS. All you would need is Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) server, where you would host and deploy your website.
I would like to mention here that Umbraco has particularly laid emphasis on the “ease of use” aspect. Allowing you to insert any page control from a drop down is a huge time saver. Moreover it is a completely open templating system with which designers can create accessible and valid XHTML with their markup left intact. This means that without any extensive know-how of technical parameters, designers can create professional design templates with complete freedom. This segregates the overall logic form the design within the system that is to be developed.
Integration of custom controls is as easy as it gets when it comes to Umbraco. All you would need to do is build your custom control in Visual Studio, copy the “.ascx” and “.dll” files into their appropriate folders in Umbraco and you are done.
One thing that is worthwhile to mention here is the Umbraco forum. If you are new to Umbraco, visiting the forum is the best way to get started. The forum is quite active with both experienced and novice developers sharing their problems, views and opinions. It is quite exhaustive so if you are stuck up with a problem in Umbraco, you might get your clarifications here real quick. Umbraco has recently launched umbraco.tv which is a video based tutorial website that would aid in its documentation and a better understanding of the Umbraco CMS by its users.
The official website of Umbraco claims, “You can do anything” with Umbraco. True to the fact, if you are a C# expert, then you may modify parts of the core which are basically C# (“.cs”) scripts, to suit your custom needs. However if you are a novice, just install and get started!