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Taking a look at the future of the Umbraco Content Management System

If you're a client of ours or you have looked through the website you'll realise that Umbraco is our content management system of choice. the CMS is a developers' dream because it doesn't restrict us so there's nothing we can't create or integrate with and yet, it's super easy for the client to edit and create content with!


We've used the Umbraco content management system  from version 4 (which was released so many years ago we'd rather not remember) right to version 8 which is the current version. 

Last week, the Umbraco boffins announced their latest major development, an alpha release of Umbraco .NET Core. While far from being a production-ready solution is a significant milestone for Umbraco on its route of converting its codebase to .NET Core.

At headland we like to keep up-to-date with web technology and being inquisitive we decided to take a look at this initial offering.

There's currently no NuGet package so initially does not follow a typical installation, this is planned for a future alpha release. In broad terms, there are three major milestones planned before release which will be back-office, frontend rendering and package development readiness.

This release covers the first of these with the back-office with functional Content Management running on .NET Core.

Having installed and launched Umbraco we are greeted by a familiar interface. At its heart, Umbraco .NET Core is Umbraco 8 converted to .NET Core and this shows in the back-office. Anyone who has worked with the version 8 interface will be familiar with what has been delivered in this release and it took no time to find everything currently available.

There are still plenty of features that have not yet been converted, but here's what you do get. You can now navigate the back-office, create document types, content, media and users.

Migrating from one technology to another for the sake of it is never a good idea, but Umbraco's push from .NET Framework to .NET Core makes a lot of sense.

While .NET Framework will be around for some time yet, version 4.8 is the last major version that will be released and official support will fade including security releases making way for .NET Core.

Pairing this with the increased push of security in the .NET Core line, making this move now can only be a good idea for Umbraco.

Another big advantage for .NET Core is the cross-platform nature and Umbraco is already making use of that. This release, even in its incomplete state can be installed natively on Macs and Linux based systems in addition to Windows.

The second major milestone, frontend rendering, will mark a point when we're really looking at something capable of powering fully functional websites, which we certainly can't wait to test.


Andy Bridgeman
Senior Developer

Published: 17 September 2020

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