• About the Orchard Project

    Orchard is a free, open source, community-focused Content Management System built on the ASP.NET MVC platform.

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Recent Posts and Articles

  • Writing An Orchard Webshop Module From Scratch - Part 1

    In this blog post series we will walk through the process of building an Orchard module from scratch!

    While Orchard is an awesome CMS with powerful features and inspiring architecture that allows for unlimited extensibility, it might take some time to fully understand it's architecture and being able to customize all aspects of your own Theme or even create entire modules that integrate with all the extensibility points of Orchard.

    It is my hope that you will benefit from the knowledge I gained along the way and that you will come to see the beauty of Orchard and its architecture. Not only is it just great for simple or advanced websites and blogs, but it's very much a base platform for building all kinds of webbased applications such as e-commerce backends, CRM's, supportticket systems, project management, community sites, learning management systems and so forth. Basically anything you would do from scratch should be considered being built using Orchard. Orchard is actually more of an extensibility framework than it is "just" a CMS. You plugin your own modules that can do anything which a regular ASP.NET MVC application also can, with the added benefit that Orchard has a rich set of features and composibility concepts of which you can take advantage.

    The primary audience of this post are ASP.NET MVC developers who are just getting started with Orchard.

  • Modifying web.config To Serve site.xml And Static Files

    I received an email from an Orchard Web Developer wanting to know how to serve his site.xml file from his Orchard CMS Website. If you add a site.xml file or other static file to the root of your Orchard CMS Website you will get an HTTP 404 Not Found Error. This isn't so much an Orchard CMS question as it is an ASP.NET and Web.config question, because the answer lies in the web.config file for Orchard which is currently configured to respond to all static file requests at the root with a 404 Error if there is no route configured in ASP.NET MVC to handle the request.

  • Orchard Extensibility (MSDN Magazine)

    Most Web applications have a lot in common but at the same time exhibit a lot of differences. They all have static pages ("Terms of Use," "About Us" and so on). They present contents within a common layout. They have navigation menus. They might have search, comments, ratings and social network integration. But some are blogs, some sell books, some keep friends in touch and some contain hundreds of thousands of reference articles on your favorite technologies.

    A Content Management System (CMS) aims at providing the common pieces while imposing no constraints on the type of site being built. It’s a delicate exercise in extensibility.

    The creators of the Orchard CMS (orchardproject.net)—that includes me—have opted for an approach that relies massively on composition and convention. In this article, I’ll present a few examples of simple extensions to the system that should be a good starting point for your own modules.

  • Multitenancy Module

    I ran into a few issues working with the Multitenancy Module in Orchard CMS:

    • Setting up a development environment using IIS
    • Deleting tenants
    • Custom named Routes
  • Free Hands-on Lab Material Available For Free

    Recently I gave a WebCamps for Microsoft and for that I created a custom hands on lab about Orchard CMS. I put this online for everyone to enjoy.

    You can download it here.

  • Projector Module In Orchard

    Over the past few weeks I have been playing with the new Projector Module in Orchard CMS. The Projector Module isn't available in the Orchard Gallery yet, but you can download it by enlisting in the Orchard Source Code on CodePlex. Although still in beta, the Projector Module works fine in a lot of the simple scenarios in which I have been testing it. I won't go into the Projector Module in detail since it isn't fully available yet, but I thought I would show you some screenshots just to give you a taste of what it can do. Note that some or all of this may change by the time it is available, but here is an example of using it to display featured and sale products for our e-commerce website based on Orchard CMS.

  • Add Developer Mode To The Orchard Disqus Module

    I've recently started using Orchard and one of the first modules I installed was the Disqus comment module (also on CodePlex) for its centralised commenting and trackback system. Version 1.0 of the module was released earlier this year, on April 15 2011, and doesn't look like it's had much attention since then. However, it still works fine, as it is essentially just a placeholder for an external service (which is being maintained).

    Even so, one thing was missing that I think is fairly important, especially for someone like me: developer mode. Described here on the Disqus support pages, the disqus_developer variable.

  • Creating a Rotating Image Gallery

    A rotating image gallery is something many sites have these days. Most people employ this functionality by adding some jQuery code to rotate through a set list of images or simply by adding a plugin already built. When developing sites in Orchard CMS it is important to make as much content as you can editable by your clients so they can easily manipulate the website when needed. Clients often times want to change out homepage images and will need a way to do this through the dashboard.

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