I've been investigating a few .NET CMS applications and Ant dropped me a line about Kentico
. I had already had a look at DotNetNuke
which is probably the largest open source community development out there in .Net.
Kentico provides an API to work with and two ASP.NET 1.1 (or 2.0) IIS
sites with VS2003 (or VS2005) projects (you can choose either C# or
VB.NET). The developer reference documentation and user manual are both
excellent and the feedback from the staff there has been very fast.
I did an upgrade from 7.1a to 7.1b on Friday and there was about 10
steps which were very thorough with detail on how to upgrade which was
great. You can do a fresh base instance install from a wizard which
creates all your IIS apps and the SQL database instance etc.
The built-in CMS Application allows you to add elements defined in the
admin console which are stored in a SQL table when you create new
instances of the element. The actual displaying of the elements as
individual items or as lists is done by defining 'Transformations' as
either XML/XSL or ASCX controls which is very clever. I quite like this
idea to get some seperation from the database and the actual engine
itself. All the templates are stored in the app in a seperate folder
and both app projects can be stored in VSS quite happily and versioned.
For the end user editing can be done inplace or actually using the
admin console with a tree based structure which gives the user both
options. I also like the way it deals with adding graphics to
items...you actually add a new file item to the tree and then select
that item to insert. You can also add links to other items from one
another by selecting them from the tree aswell.
There's some nice extras...like a BizForm app which allows you to
create questionnaire type forms and then reference this form for
inclusion in any item using a token. The results are stored in the SQL
database and then can be viewed in the admin console or exported as
There is also a built-in shopping cart and forums coming in version 8.0.
All in all so far I'm very impressed with the product and we are half way through implementing it with our first solution.