A free open-source Content Management System from Microsoft, to be launched next week

Microsoft is set to launch a free, open-source Content Management System next week. Project codename: Orchard.

Details are not yet public, but it was effectively announced on the website for the upcoming Tech-Ed event, and details are now eagerly anticipated on blogs. Twill be a major and strategically important new product in Microsoft's offering for web development.

"Orchard is a new effort to produce free, open source, reusable components and a full-featured CMS application built on these components to produce a variety of different types of web sites. Our small core team of dedicated ASP.NET developers are seeking the guidance and contribution of the .NET community at-large to help shape this project in its early stages."

- Orchard session synopsis on the Tech-Ed agenda

No doubt Microsoft has seen that there is an unfilled niche in the marketplace, alongside similar products like "Ruby on Rails" and "Django". If MS has learned from and improved on these, as I stringly suspect they will have, then Orchard will prove to be the best framework available for building websites.

The Orchard project will inevitibly be compared with Oxite, the open-source blog-engine built with ASP.NET MVC, but Orchard sounds like something new and very much bigger. I'm hopefult that it will be based on ASP.NET MVC. I tried Oxite and considered using it for this blog. I ended up writing my own blog engine, mainly because I wanted to do all of the dev work myself. Oxite uses a number of free third-party libraries, but for licencing reasons these were not all packaged with Oxite at the time, and I found it inconvenient having to download different things from different locations to get it to work -- a fairly typical experience with open source solutions. However, it took me about 20 minutes in total to create a fully functional blog from Oxite, and though I didn't use it for this website it was a seriously good product and I would highly recomend it,

04 November 2009

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Tim Acheson (11 Nov 09, 10:23)

Update: Orchard is now launched

Orchard is now effectively launched, and is being demonstrated at Tech-Ed 09:-


All of my best hopes have been confirmed. This will be a great framework for building websites. I've already done an SVN Checkout. The solution/project structure and code is nice and clear. The web app builds and runs nicely too.

Erik Porter (04 Jan 10, 17:00)

Glad you liked Oxite (despite the assemblies we couldn't include) and are excited by Orchard. I know my comment is a bit late, but be sure to keep watching. Nathan and I (the two main guys on Oxite) have moved to the Orchard team. :)

Tim Acheson (06 Jan 10, 12:47)

Yes, I am aware of that and very pleased to hear itI I very much look forward to 1.0! I'll keep a close eye on the project in the meantime.

Tim Acheson (17 Jan 11, 10:58)

Update: Orchard is now LIVE!

Orchard has now been launched -- version 1.0 is available now! This is a free, open-source, state-of-the-art CMS. It's the world's newest CMS platform, best-in-breed; and it's so easy to set-up and use that literally anybody can use it to create a top-notch website.


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