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Free Microsoft open-source content management app to get its debut next week

Microsoft is working on a set of free open-source content-management application and set of reusable components for it that is codenamed "Orchard." The company is slated to share details about its plans for Orchard at TechEd Europe next week.

Microsoft is working on a set of free open-source content-management application and set of reusable components for it that is codenamed "Orchard."

The company is slated to share details about its plans for Orchard at TechEd Europe next week.

I asked Microsoft officials for more information on Orchard and got back a no comment.

But here's what is known so far about the project, courtesy of the session write-up from the TechEd site:

"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. Bradley Millington, Engineering Lead for the project, will be hosting this interactive discussion to invite you to get involved on the ground floor - to tell us what you'd want to see from the project, what components you could envision using in your own applications, and how to best channel the contributions of community to make it all happen. We can talk strategy, logistics, features, or anything else that's on your mind. Please join us!"

(That session is slated for Wednesday, November 11.)

Microsoft already has been dabbling in the open-source content-management space with a project codenamed "Oxite." I also tried asking whether Orchard is simply a new name for Oxite or a revamped version of Oxite and received no word back.

Microsoft released an alpha version of the Oxite source code, under the open-source Microsoft Public License (MS-Pl) in December 2008. At that time, the Softies described Oxite as a platform “built to take full advantage of ASP.NET MVC but broken into assemblies so that even ASP.NET WebForm developers can use the data backend and utility code, supports use of Visual Studio Team Suite (DB Pro, Test, etc.), and Background Services Architecture (sending trackbacks, emails, etc. all done as a background process to prevent delays on the web site itself).”

Anyone else have more information about what Orchard is -- or how it will compete (or not) with other CMS systems out there, like Dot Net Nuke, for example? DotNetNuke's Co-founder Shaun Walker is on the board of the newly minted CodePlex Foundation (along with lots of Softies) -- so maybe Orchard will end up as a CodePlex Foundation project? Other thoughts and/or guesses?

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