Wednesday, December 29, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Almost new years and the time where you look ahead and dream and look back and try to understand what you've learned.

When I look back at 2010 it feels like it started just yesterday and when trying to go through the logs of all the things that happened in the Umbraco world it's no wonder. Just a few highlights would be the hire of Paul Sterling, then almost 400 people in seven countries in February celebrating the official five year birthday of Umbraco, the new visual identity, the release of Umbraco 4.5, then more than 250 people at a fantastic CodeGarden '10, then the hire of Alex Norcliffe, the amazing relationship with Microsoft, the new website, the kickoff of the development of Umbraco JUPITER (aka v5), the shaping of Umbraco JUNO ending in a beta last week not to mention the first glimpse of Courier 2 taking shape. On top of that add dozens of conferences, endless number of Umbraco related tweets, local meet-ups, almost 20.000 forum posts, 200+ shared projects and tens of thousands of Umbraco powered sites gone live.

Umbraco is alive, thriving and for me 2010 has been exceeding my wildest dreams and expectations quarter by quarter.

It's also been developing on a personal level where I've gone from a role as mainly a developer to becoming more of a mentor and fundraiser for the project. It's been a huge surprise to discover how much I enjoy this new role and how free it makes me feel. Being able to guide the direction of our wonderful project while being surrounded by breathtakingly talented employees, core devs and community people who constantly inspire and challenge me is more than anyone could ask for yet the reality. What a blessing! 

With everything achieved in 2010 I wouldn't dare to make a guess at where we are twelve months from now, but I do know some of the things happening in the next six months and they should prove that the pace isn't slowing down. The first half will bring a JUNO release, a release of Courier 2.0, welcoming long time core team member Peter Gregory on board the HQ team, a Market Place where 3rd party developers can easily sell Umbraco packages as well as a 350 people strong CodeGarden conference where Umbraco JUPITER (v5) will be released. It should be a safe bet that you won't find any laurels in the Umbraco ecosystem in 2011 either…

So bring on 2011. Best wishes to everyone who keeps Umbraco such a fun and friendly place to be. I'm very grateful to be a part of this adventure.

Friday, December 24, 2010 by Paul Sterling

With a holiday looming for many of us, we are thrilled to announce the release of Umbraco 4.6 Beta (codename JUNO).  This release represents a very big step forward for the first time Umbraco user, focusing on a much improved installation experience and the getting started process with the addition of Starter Kits and Skins plus guidance on getting help and next steps via the default dashboards.


We haven't limited our attention to the new Umbraco user however.  With the Umbraco 4.6 Beta release we have added a robust skinning engine that allows designers to create a customize skins for Umbraco easily.  We have created a guide to creating Umbraco skins available now.  And it wouldn't be Umbraco if we did not include additional developer features.  Among others, the Umbraco 4.6 Beta includes the introduction of the INode, IMacroEngine, and ILog interfaces for even more flexibility when extending Umbraco.  In addition the Umbraco 4.6 Beta release includes an updated User Control Wrapper with support for XML return types and custom settings, support for Microsoft's Razor Syntax, support for Microsoft's SQL CE 4.0 database, and an updated login timeout handler that will please developers and editors alike.


We consider Umbraco 4.6 Beta stable and recommend it for use on new deployments.  If you plan to upgrade an existing site we recommend testing the upgrade in a safe environment first as we have not fully identified potential upgrade issues.  As always, if you do encounter an issue while using Umbraco 4.6 Beta please log it in the CodePlex Issue Tracker so it can be addressed with the Umbraco 4.6 Release Candidate.

The Umbraco Core Team is focused on resolving any remaining issues with Umbraco 4.6 and adding the polish that new users expect prior to the final Umbraco 4.6 release.  Don't delay, get your very own Umbraco 4.6 Beta today - we think you'll be impressed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 by Alex Norcliffe

With help from the fantastic folks at CodePlex we're working to migrate our sourcecode repo from its current TFS/SVN-compatible storage over to Mercurial. The work should be complete within a week, so we wanted to give people some lead-time ahead of it happening.

Umbraco is an open-source project, but the majority of people never need to see or compile the code for themselves. We provide release builds on CodePlex and via Microsoft's WebPI - so if that's you, don't worry: this doesn't affect the way you work or how we'll issue releases. If you're involved with, or just plain interested in the source-code, read on!

Mercurial explained in three paragraphs

Mercurial (Hg if you're into your Periodic Table) is a DVCS or Distributed Version Control System. It's insanely fast for general usage, awesome, and of course trendy.

It differs from SVN or TFS in that it's not tied to a server for common operations. In fact, when you have a bunch of code on your machine managed by Mercurial you also have a hidden database of all the changeset history. All operations like committing changes, rolling back, etc. are done entirely locally in that database - so it's really quick, and works offline.

Once you're ready to share those commits with other team-members, Mercurial can 'push' those changesets to a shared location, and likewise you can 'pull' too. That's the major difference from our previous setup: with a DVCS like Mercurial, the 'master' copy of a repository isn't a controlling server, it's simply the place which your group agrees they are going to use as their 'meeting point'. In this case as ever, we're using CodePlex.

So, if you weren't already, now you're an expert!

Well, sadly the topic is far more involved than I can cover here. However, we're going to post a few helper articles on blogs and the Wiki. Hg has a lot of benefits for such a distributed team as ours, but like any change it has a learning curve - and if you're not familiar with Mercurial, we want to help out. Aaron has suggested a Mercurial 101 post, and a guide to submitting patches - and we'll also be posting a "Collaboration cheat-sheet" soon too.

But, as ever, please do share any questions or ideas you have either in the comments or on Our.

The Umbraco Hg repo - what to expect

Migrated history

  • The new Hg repo will contain a port of a lot of the history on Umbraco 4, but with some of the dud folders and branches removed.
  • It will also no longer contain the source-code for Umbraco version 3.x, since work on this ceased a long time ago.
  • Around roughly the same time as the migration, we'll also be importing our Umbraco 5 codebase into this same store Party smile

Branching conventions

What with JUNO (4.6) progressing, and the success of the 4.5 release, we've been aiming to steadily raise the bar for Umbraco's codebase over the past year. At the HQ and combined with the brilliant volunteers in the 4.x and 5.x core teams, we want to make the platform even easier to adopt and more satisfying on which to collaborate.

One juicy opportunity as part of this switch is to bring our branching and tagging strategy into line. Anyone who has browsed the repository in the past will know that it's been tricky to intuit your way around changesets. Here's how we'll be laying things out in the new repository:

  • Example Umbraco Hg repoMercurial Named Branches: Used for "lines of development", related to a product version or sprint sandbox. So we'll have named branches for 4.6.0, 5.0 etc as you can see in green here.
  • Mercurial Tags: Used as release or milestone markers. So in the 4.6.0 branch you might find a changeset tagged with "Release-4.6.0" and "Release-4.6.1" a month later. Seen in yellow here.

With this in mind, you are able to Update your working folder to a named branch at a particular 'release' tag to get straight to the right stuff. No more having to browse a combined folder structure to find your way around. It's not going to be the 100% ideal for retrospective changesets, but we've come as close to this as possible and will be sticking to it for 5.0 in the future.

Links to further information

As I said, we'll soon post some Umbraco-specific guides, but in the meantime, here's some handy resources:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Aaron Powell

One of the features that people really love about Umbraco is just how extensible it is, you can create your own applications (back office sections), data types, macros, you name it. But there is one thing that Umbraco 4 has suffered from, and that is a lack of best-practice around how we provide extensions to other developers.

For example if you're creating a custom DataType where do you put it? Well the DLL will go into the ~/bin folder, but if you have a user control (ASCX), CSS files, etc where do they go? 

Also, if you're putting every extension into the ~/bin folder it can become quite large quite quickly.

This has been a source of confusion among Umbraco developers and something that we want to address in Umbraco 5.

Introducing the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)

Shannon has already done a good blog about MEF and how we're looking to use it for controllers in Umbraco 5, and currently MEF is going to be playing a big roll in how we go about producing a plugin engine.

If you're not familiar with MEF it's a framework which Microsoft added to .NET 4 (but was available earlier previews of MEF supported .NET 3.5, but that's beyond the scope of this blog) and it's a way which you can create applications which are of a pluggable nature. In fact MEF is actually quite widely used, Windows Live Writer (which I'm writing this in) uses MEF to create extensions, and Visual Studio 2010 uses MEF for plugins. So naturally this seems like a logical way to go with Umbraco 5 and a plugin model.

What we're currently thinking

Here's what we're currently thinking with regards to how we can use MEF to make extensibility easier for Umbraco. Imagine if you will the following structure in your Umbraco 5 install:

  • Plugins
    •   DataTypes
      • MyCustomDataType.dll
      • uComponents.DataTypes.dll
    • Trees
      • FlickrMediaTree.dll

The idea behind this is we'll break down the plugin components into logical blocks, separate folders for DataTypes, Trees, etc. This allows a much quicker view of your file system and what is where. For example I will know that if I want to find my DataTypes they are all in the ~/Plugins/DataTypes folder.

We want YOU

Obviously at the moment we're far from a final set decision on how this will look in the final shipped version of Umbraco 5 and most of us on the core are not extensive package developers so we're really looking for feedback on this.

As I said extensibility is a very important part of Umbraco and we want to make everything easier for developers so if you have some thoughts please let us know.

PS: This blog is more about the design of the Umbraco 5 plugin model, not the implementation (other than we're looking at MEF for this). Technical implementation (i.e. - how to code it) is a topic for another day ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


It's minus 10 degrees and snow here in Denmark, so it's a little hard to imagine that in a little over six months from now we'll be in Sunny Copenhagen with 400 other Umbracians and talking about Umbraco 5. But yes - it's already time to start thinking about CodeGarden '11 - our annual developer conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on June 15-17th 2011.

cg-3The Tickets for this years CodeGarden goes on sale for real on Monday, but today at 10.00 GMT+1 we're putting the first 100 tickets on sale with a 40%(!) discount. These tickets will cost just EUR 300 (+ 25% Danish VAT) where the normal early bird price will be EUR 500 (+ 25% VAT). The tickets are reserved for the most active people in our community, so in order to get your hands on one of these special tickets you'll need at least 40 Karma or more on the Our Umbraco website.

To get your hands on one of these tickets, go visit the KarmaTicket sale page.

CodeGarden '11 will be a blast of three days of knowledge sharing, learning about Umbraco 5 and having a fantastic time, in wonderful Copenhagen together with the most friendly group of people on earth.

It'll be a blast - so make sure to get your hands on the tickets today!

Friday, November 26, 2010 by Alex Norcliffe

Just in time to squeeze into November this kicks off what will be a recurring Q&A session. First off I've picked a few easy ones to get us started. To get involved, feel free to go to the Umbraco 5 discussion forum. That's the place to be for general discussion, and we'll be cherry picking some of the most pertinent points and collating answers in this series for ease of reference.

Q: When can I see the code?

We're going to be moving into public development mode in December when we announce the update of the existing CodePlex repo with a full 5.0 branch. The 5.0 code in there at the moment is a dud.

Q: Why the secrecy?

It's not a secret if the plan is to reveal all! Well, I can understand the question - but really it's nothing sinister, and we're not interested in coding behind closed doors. Really it was an unprecedented situation for the project - and we needed to take a lead on some areas to build the skeleton before opening up for inspection. From the point we move the code into CodePlex, we'll be actively pushing changesets directly there so you'll be able to follow or contribute to the development in full.

Q: Will it be upgradable from Umbraco 4.x?

We won't be providing an automatic upgrade path. In recasting some of the foundations of Umbraco, some fundamental pieces rely on incompatible technology - for example, it wouldn't be practical for us to attempt an automatic port of complex Viewstate-based usercontrols to the preferred partial views in 5. However, as I've mentioned before there's a fundamental reason why we haven't changed the core concepts: the theory behind Umbraco has not been rewritten, so the process of manual migration will not require leaps of faith. Regarding content data migration, it is of course plausible to write a persistence provider for Umbraco Hive which can read/write an Umbraco 4 store. This is an area which is under development as it's largely dependent upon time and resources - I'll update this answer if we have any developments. Last updated 25th November 2010.

Q: When will Umbraco 5 be released?

As Niels said in this post we're aiming for CTPs and Alphas in Spring 2011, and a stable Beta by CodeGarden 2011. Yet another reason to come along to this great annual event!

Friday, November 26, 2010 by Alex Norcliffe

BloggingForTeensOver the past few years I've talked to a huge number of people involved in Umbraco in one capacity or another. Despite the variety of ways in which people are connected to this CMS - as an editor, an implementer, a package developer, a contributor, a business owner - what has shone through is how there's a great admiration for the system. For all its quirks, Umbraco has made a great many people's jobs easier - and that's a heritage of which we're immensely proud.

Of course, although like all parents we'd like to think our baby is the best, the reality is it's not perfect - it's software - and some time ago with the advent of ASP.NET MVC we saw an opportunity to address some of these quirks in a way which would give the platform a new lease of life. Umbraco has been going six years, not much less than .NET itself, and it would be great to give it a shot in the arm so it can catch up with some of the technologies which have sprung up around it.

Enter Umbraco 5, or Jupiter as we call it. We've been talking about it for some time, at CodeGarden 10 and various other Umbraco festivals, and it's exciting to say that we're not far from being able to drop some of the code onto CodePlex.

To accompany this, over the next few months we'll be blogging about our progress as well as some of the architectural scaffolds which we've put in place.

In this first couple of blogposts I'd like to cover a few things to give you a taster of what's to come, to set the tone for later when we'll be talking in more technical detail. First, for those who haven't seen either of the talks I've given this year, what follows is an introduction to the project and our motives. I've then followed up with a second post which starts a Q&A series. I won't be the only blogger of course - you'll see posts from Shannon Deminick and Aaron Powell and no doubt many others as we progress.

"So I hear you started from scratch…?"

Blank Canvas - Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/2607647785/I think it's safe to say that a whole load of developers have, at one point or more, written a "CMS". Personally that's how I started my career, but it wasn't some idealistic vocational dream - I just wanted to ensure I didn't personally have to do every last text edit on my client's website. It's one of those areas where the often tempting effort to engineer a "cool" solution to avoiding finicky coding is actually worth it - it's not just about avoiding repetitive work for us lazy coders (although that was my initial reason): at the end you've given your customer, the real content expert, a much better experience and greater freedom of expression.

But there's a point where every back-office developer stops and thinks: "I've done this before." It's what inspired Niels to start Umbraco in the first place, as was the same with me, and doubtless the same with most outfits which decide to build a CMS product.

One thing to make clear, though, is that Niels reached this point many years ago: what we have today is the result of the momentum he and the community created around that moment. Whilst it's true that we have literally started from a blank codebase with 5, we've no need to start from scratch on the whole idea: Umbraco has had the beneficial input of literally thousands of talented people over many years. Our aim in 5? Simple: give you an Umbraco which feels familiar, makes you feel just as constructive, but knowing that you can take advantage of the latest advancements in the .NET technology stack on which we all thrive.

Blank codebase vs progressive enhancement

Some would (and have) argued for a progressive enhancement of the existing code in order to get there. But there comes a point where you've replaced so many parts of the car that you're left only with the original chassis, and you have to attack that problem if you are to make fundamental improvements.

In fact, this approach leaves us with a tangible benefit: as you may have seen, we've got a 4.6 release due in the next few weeks. Adding the kinds of sugar to the product on a quick release cycle is only possible precisely because we're developing 5 in parallel. As we've often said, the two will co-exist for a long time to come - so there's no need to worry about opting for version 4 today.

What makes Umbraco… Umbraco?

Umbraco DepdendenciesAfter so many years of iterative development, it's difficult to list every single piece of the system out of the gate. There are doubtless some features which only a handful of people use, but which we want to keep for the future, so an important task for us was to define the important chunks to include in the first release of 5.

In order to keep a level head we've drawn from a huge gamut of installations to get a feel for how the product is used. I wanted to be careful that the current "80% scenario" was not blindly trusted: in some cases, our install base is defined not just by the features and the desire but by Umbraco's current limitations - and we want to address those where possible in 5.

Given your level or type of experience with Umbraco the terms may be familiar - document types, document properties, data types, macros - but we actually compiled all this into a single document (for the first time!) earlier this year to make sure we were keeping on track.

The result of the analysis is that we have drawn up an architecture which is capable of representing these same features, but with similar objects and approaches merged into more useful abstracts.

In any software system, the greater the re-use of code, the more robust it can become and the easier it can be to find and fix bugs. And so, in Umbraco 5, our deepest layer of abstraction is actually kept entirely separate and reusable: we will be shipping a Framework, on top of which the CMS is built.

Goals of the new codebase

The ultimate necessity is that it feels like Umbraco, but specifically here are some of our goals with this project:

  • Increase the quality and testability of the codebase
  • Increase the level of extensibility to the core components
  • Use the MVC paradigm for rendering
  • Adhere to a greater number of accepted software engineering patterns and practices
  • Make more of the drastic improvements in the .NET space since Umbraco first shipped
  • Increase scalability, and add better performance monitoring and logging
  • Ensure it's just as easy to use - if not more so - than the current version

Where it's at

The core team first discussed the project in summer 2009, but with 4.5 in the works we didn't form a focus group until March 2010, after which I spent some time on the analysis and initial architecture sketches. We kicked off in earnest in September 2010, and since then we've made great progress adding flesh to the bones - thanks in no small part to Shannon Deminick and Aaron Powell who are amongst the best lead devs anyone could want. We've been coding in a private repository for a little while but we'll be moving active development over to the CodePlex repo pretty soon. Here's how it's shaping up:

  • ASP.NET MVC 3 and Razor view engine: We're very lucky to have a release schedule that is aligned with this brilliant new view engine. It's been a tough challenge to build on top of something still under active development, but we could see early on that the effort was going to be worth it. Phil Haack, Eric Porter and others from Microsoft have done a great job of helping out with answers to some of our more inane questions.
  • Dependency injection: Umbraco is known for being a very extensible CMS already, but 5 takes this to the next level by using IoC for the invocation of each component. We're using AutoFac for much of the "commodity" dependency resolution, and at the moment we're also experimenting with MEF for some areas such as DataType assembly loading.
  • Data persistence: In Umbraco 4, whilst we offer a few choices of database provider, the abstraction isn't flexible enough for you to truly "roll your own" without having to do a custom build of the sourcecode. In the 5 Framework, we've specified the various data models on which the 5 CMS and rendering pipeline run, and data persistence is essentially a case of writing a few repository providers abiding by the contracts set out in the Framework. Out of the box we'll ship providers for the usual suspects - SQL Server, MySQL, etc. - including SQL CE 4.0 of course. But as I'll explain in a subsequent post, you'll see there really is no reason why you couldn't have a provider that ran off something entirely custom.

What's to come? Feature teasers

There's not enough space in one post to cover everything exhaustively, and in fact we're still in active development, so this series will expand as we continue our work. To whet your appetite, here are a few of the headline points about what's coming in 5:

  • Entity Hive: in the typical content tree in 5, children of one content node can contain nodes from a different node provider. For example, if you require your own Comments database entities represented 'underneath' Content nodes which are from the out-of-the-box repository, Hive stitches that together for you.
  • Native cloud support: our file storage mechanism is of course abstracted - natively load files from Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, or - shocker - the local filesystem.
  • Compiled datatypes and their associated views: currently Aaron is looking into using MEF for assembly resolution here.
  • Integration with MVC3's standard model binding and validation against the document model and individual datatype models.
  • Complex models at the DataType / document property level: Should you want to write a DataType which contains multiple fields, you can still rely on the standard model binding and validation provisions.
  • Read-fast and Read-write repositories, aka running natively from Lucene: easily separate the very different performance tradeoffs that the render pipeline needs, from the back-office, within the one application. We'll be shipping a read provider which gets entities from Lucene so you can run your site from this extremely fast store whilst choosing for the back-office to save natively to a different provider such as SQL Server.

I hope this serves as a useful introduction to where we're headed with 5. In the next post, I'm kicking off our Q&A session series, and then after that I'll open the lid on some technicalities around Hive.

Thanks for reading!

Alex Norcliffe
Lead Architect, Umbraco 5

Saturday, November 20, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being together with 40 other Danish “Umbracians” thanks to the great effort of Morten Christensen (from Codehouse) and Christian Palm (from 1508). Inspired by the recent UK Festival initiative they had arranged a 100% community driven DK Festival. It’s impossible to explain what a thrill it is to attend these events. In my view, it’s the biggest testament to success when a community is making events around a project.

The event was held at the beautiful “Typobar” room at 1508 and had no expense sparred. There was drinks, food, badges and t-shirts but more than anything there was enthusiastic people who shared knowledge and passion for Umbraco. And on top of that there was speakers. I had the pleasure of starting with a “While we wait for CodeGarden ‘11 talk”. The purpose was to try to cover what we’re currently working on both in the Core Team and in the Umbraco HQ which is impossible in 45 minutes – but I did try:

  • CodeGarden ‘11. In 2011 we expect 400 people at our wonderful CodeGarden venue at Kedelhallen in Frederiksberg (Copenhagen). It’ll be from June 15-17th and just EUR 500 for all three days. But on December 1st we have a special treat for all our active community members. If you have 40 karma point or more at the “Our Umbraco” site you can get your hands on the 100 special KarmaTickets that goes on sale for just EUR 300. That’s EUR 200 or 40% discount. We expect that these tickets will be gone in less than 48 hours so don’t hold your breath!
  • Jupiter aka Umbraco 5. Jupiter is on track for a CodeGarden ‘11 release and while we’ve been working in stealth mode for the past months we’ll move to CodePlex during December. While you definitely shouldn’t expect a usable product by this early stage, this will be the first chance that the community can finally see the all new architecture that’ll ensure Umbraco stays on top of the Web CMS game. It’s fantastic – Alex Norcliffe, Aaron Powell and Shannon Deminick have all done a tremendous job and I know they can’t wait to share it. Alpha and Beta drops can be expected during Spring 2011.
  • Juno aka Umbraco 4.6. The big project right now is obviously “Juno” which will be released by the end of the year. The focus on Juno is two fold. One is to make it easier to get started through our new Starter Kits and Skins and it was a big pleasure for me to show the beautiful skins that 1508 and DesignIT have been working on. The other focus is bug fixes. We’ve already done lots of them but we’re continuing to keep going through the most voted issues from our CodePlex tracker. I emphasized that bug fixing doesn’t happen by itself and that’s why we’re trying to convince more and more to buy our Confidence product for bigger projects. If we sold a Confidence license each week we could actually hire two people to work on bug fixing fulltime. Imagine what that’ll do, so please keep it in mind when talking with customers.
  • Codename “Deli” aka the Umbraco Market Place. It was also with pleasure that we could finally publicly state that we are working on a Market Place for Umbraco and it’ll come in the end of Q1 2011. I wished that Paul Sterling could have made the announcement instead of me as this have really been he’s dream and vision. The “deli” will be 100% integrated with both Our Umbraco and the Umbraco Back Office and to make it easy and fast to get started selling, we’ll provide merchants with licensing, support and sales analytics tools. Despite that the norm is a 30% commission we’ll just do 25%.
  • Courier 2.0. It’s real! The final thing was Courier 2.0, the deployment tool for Umbraco that we’ve been working on almost forever. We’ve made a brand new and super ambitious architecture to make a solid, transaction based transfer of all Umbraco objects between installations. Per Ploug Krogslund joined me to demo the core of Umbraco and luckily people got as excited as us when Per demoed how advanced the Dependency Graph was by showing a huge generated mindmap of what was going on in the engine and how he could edit a serialized Document Type in Visual Studio, commit it to Subversion (source control) and then check it out on the server and make Courier merge all the changes. It’s been my dream for more than three years so the fact that it’s finally real and super stable is amazing. We’ll ship Courier 2.0 by the end of this year and it’ll cost either EUR 449 per project. For Partners and Umbraco freelancers with many on going projects, we also announced “Courier as a Service” where you can use Courier on ten projects at the time for just EUR 99 / month.

The rest of the day was packed with great events that really showed the diversity of our stellar and friendly community. I’ll get back to those in another blog post, but once again I’d like to thank Morten Christensen, Christian Palm, Codehouse and 1508 to make this event happen. Kudos!

Thursday, November 4, 2010 by Tim Geyssens

In addition to the comprehensive documentation on skins, we've just published 16 free video tutorials describing how you can create your own skins for the starter kits coming in Umbraco Juno.

This outlines in detail how to get started and it describes all the different aspects (like the default dependency types and task types that can be used to setup customization options, how you can execute task during installation of your skin, how you can enable module injection on your custom skin, how you need to package up your skin, …).

Go check them out.

Before the release of Umbraco Juno, we'll make it possisble to submit skins via Our Umbraco.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 by Paul Sterling

At Microsoft PDC this week, Umbraco and Microsoft announced the availability of the Umbraco Accelerator for Windows Azure.  The accelerator allows Umbraco to run on Windows Azure with no changes required.  This is a very exciting development for both Umbraco and Microsoft as the combination of Umbraco CMS and Windows Azure is a powerful, game changing technology.  By running your Umbraco sites on Windows Azure you gain all the advantages of the platform, specifically a nearly administration-free implementation that can scale to near infinity. 

The accelerator can be used with current versions of Umbraco, including 4.5.2 and, with a very small change to the database schema and no change to the Umbraco core.  To be fair, this first release of the accelerator is targeted at web developers, but there is no complex code to understand and only configuration is required in order to use the accelerator to run Umbraco on Windows Azure.  There is a detailed usage guide available along with the accelerator which can be found on CodePlex.

Paul Sterling did an interview with Channel 9 that discusses why we chose to build the accelerator and there is also a case study for reference available.  The are a few more developments in this area coming soon as well, so watch this space.  The Umbraco Accelerator for Windows Azure was developed by the talented folks at Slalom Consulting with input from Umbraco and Microsoft along the way.  The very first live Umbraco site running on Windows Azure, Cox conserves heroes, was migrated to Windows Azure by the Certified Umbraco Partner, Definition 6.

If you’ve been considering deploying or migrating your Umbraco site to the cloud, we think you should seriously consider using the Umbraco Accelerator for Windows Azure to run your site on Windows Azure…it is a big step forward.

Friday, October 29, 2010 by Tim Geyssens

As you may know, the main focus for Umbraco Juno is the starter kits and skinning (so aimed at making it easier to get started with Umbraco), if you're a seasoned Umbraco developer you'll most likely start with a clean Umbraco installation (and don't care that much about the starter kits).But we're also introducing a new developer feature in Juno, that should make one of the more difficult items in Umbraco  a lot easier!

Creating custom datatypes

Creating your own data types is very easy when using the usercontrol wrapper method but once you want custom settings you won't be able to do that using the usercontrol wrapper but instead you'll need a custom data editor and for settings you'll need to create a custom prevalue editor class which is basically a custom control that allows you to setup the settings for a data type. 

Introducing data editor settings

By using the new DataEditorSetting attribute you'll be able to dynamically generate the data type settings editor, eliminating the need for a custom prevalue editor class.

100 lines of code reduced to 2

The data editor settings should be a huge time saver for Umbraco devs since there is no more need to create a custom prevalue editor class anymore (and taking care of the whole crud of the settings), but it's just a matter of adding a property on your AbstractDataEditor and marking that with the DataEditorSetting attribute.


[DataEditorSetting("Limit", description = "Maximum number of characters")]
public string Limit { get; set; }

Will result in this (if you don't specify the type a text field will be used):


So the custom prevalue editor class (which is easily around 100 lines of code) is simply replaced by a property and an attribute, it's that easy!

Also no more need to figure out how to use content pickers, media pickers, … Since its a breeze to use them, simply set the type to the one you want to use

[DataEditorSetting("Content picker demo",
            type = " umbraco.editorControls.SettingControls.Pickers.Content,  umbraco.editorControls",
            description = "content picker")]
        public string TestContentPicker { get; set; }



21 Default data editor setting types

If you don't specify the type a simple text field will be used, but there are 20 other controls available out of the box.

  • Checkbox
  • Checkbox list
  • Content Picker
  • Content Picker with XPath option
  • Date picker
  • Date picker with time
  • Dropdown list
  • Document type picker
  • Field picker
  • List box (select single item)
  • List box multiple (select multiple items)
  • Media picker
  • Media type picker
  • Member group picker
  • Member type picker
  • Path picker
  • Password
  • Radio button list
  • Text area
  • Values

And how they look:


This should cover all of the common controls used in the data type editor and of course it's possible to extend Umbraco and create your own custom data editor settings types.

Default values

It's also possible to provide a default value, by simply supplying the defaultValue param in the attribute

[DataEditorSetting("Limit", description = "Maximum number of characters", defaultValue = "500")]
public string Limit { get; set; }

Want to give it a try? Download the latest nightly build of Juno.

Monday, October 11, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


After almost 18 months of planning, the development of Jupiter - the artist also known as Umbraco 5 - has begun. In August we were able to use the increased revenue in the HQ to hire Alex Norcliffe as Lead Architect on the project and together with Shannon Deminick and Aaron Powell the path towards the new architecture is coming together.

Any useful release (alpha/beta/final) of Jupiter is still not until 2011, but over the next months you'll start seeing an increasing number of blog posts about the (techincal) design considerations, new extensibility points and thoughts in general about this new chapter in the history of Umbraco.

From what I've seen and judging from the energy of the team this will be the version of Umbraco that any developer would dream of. With Alex as the main techincal lead, my role will be more on the User Experience and implementation side of things and I'm really excited about being able to focus on that.

As for the codename, it's named after the most stunning analogue synth ever mass produced: The Roland Jupiter 8. It had the looks, the sound (8 tone polyphony!!!), the filters and everything done right. A masterpiece. A milestone. And that's what we're aiming for!

Friday, October 8, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Located in the Benelux and want to learn more about Umbraco? You're in luck since there are some great events still coming up this year.

Get trained and certified

Courses in Belgium After the sold-out first round of official Umbraco courses in the Benelux we are pleased to announce a new round of our highly praised courses. This time they will be held in Ghent, Belgium on November 30th- December 1st, and December 2nd-3th.

Both Level 1 and Level 2 courses are available these 4 days, giving you an amazing amount of knowledge on Umbraco in no time. Also included in the course is access to the Umbraco Developer certification plus free umbraco.tv and an Umbraco Contour license. Even the most experienced developers have been blown away with the tricks and best practices thought at the courses. Of course the latest and greatest version of Umbraco is covered, get the insider tips on all the latest features like:

  • Linq 2 Umbraco
  • Examine Search Engine
  • The new XML Schema

Secure your seat today!

Mingle with the community

Meetup in the Netherlands Join us on this free community event, All the key members from the Benelux Umbraco community will be present and happy to share there knowledge and insights. The program isn't final yet, but it's already looking good! Including some exiting releases of new packages!

This time the meetup is hosted by InfoCaster and Novaware and is taking place in Arnhem, the Netherlands on October 29th, full details and registration is available on the event page.

Act quick since there aren't that many seats left, see you there!

Friday, October 1, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


Today we've releasing the alpha of Umbraco JUNO aka Umbraco v4.6. We're giving all Umbraco versions codenames after vintage synths and the Roland Juno 60 was a fantastic synth when it came in the very early eighties, with revolutionary features such as "affordable" polyphony, patch memory and one of the most gorgeous build-in chorus effects ever in a hardware synth. Being introduced in 1982 it's older than the average age in the core team. Auch, that made me feel old!

But enough synth talk. However, we've been inspired by the original Juno. The focus on v4.6 have been making it easier to get started with Umbraco. So let's go through what has been done:

The return of the embedded database

One showstopper to get fast up and running with Umbraco has been the lack of an embedded database since we had to let go of VistaDB earlier this year due to licensing issues. An embedded database means that you run of a database file that resides on disk and doesn't require a database server. This is actually not only handy for initial testing but also for running small sites - without a db server, the hosting fees are much cheaper.

JUNO introduces support for Microsoft SQL CE 4 which is still in CTP but is surprisingly stable already. You'll need to run .NET 4 to support SQL CE 4 but in return it works in medium trust which is awesome on your hosting fees too.

Adios Runway, hello Starter kits

Two years ago we introduced Runway an easier and faster way to get up and running with Umbraco. Unfortunately it never got the TLC is deserved and ended up being a too complicated compromise between flexibility and ease of use. With JUNO we've have split Runway into four Starter kits with pre-defined functionality that can be added with a single click directly from the installer:


We're still adjusting what type of functionality that the starter kits should contain and would love your feedback on this.

Hello skins!

In addition to the Starter kits we've also made a new exciting skinning format to go with the starter kits. This means that not only is it possible to get up and running fast with Umbraco but you can also add a nice design in seconds. The new skinning format supports clever configuration like uploading and cropping logos and header images, adjusting colors and injecting texts and html elements to the starter kits:


We've added three temporary skins but for the launch they will be replaced by three stunning default skins made by professional design agencies. In addition we'll be working on releasing a spring and fall collection of skins every year made by the best design houses we can persuade. Of course we'll be adding community skins as well.

More to come

For the beta of JUNO we'll also add default dashboards to all the different sections to make it easier and faster to edit content, upload media, search for members, install and upgrade packages.

When will JUNO be finished

We'll release JUNO this fall and a beta that will come very soon. We'll go straight from 4.5 to 4.6.0 so there won't be a 4.5.3 we'll do the bug fixes directly in 4.6 instead! All this functionality runs on the same core as 4.5 so upgrades will also work 100%. Please help us by testing the alpha, the SQL CE bits, the starter kits, the skins and give us feedback on how we can make it better.

Download and documentation

You can download JUNO today from Codeplex. You can also download comprehensive documentation on how the new skins work and how to create your own.

Enjoy - and remember. Never stop playing:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Microsoft have released a security update that addresses the issues with the ASP.NET security vulnerability which affected all ASP.NET based websites. Please download and patch your servers today!

Patch available from TechNet

FAQ on the patch at Scott Guthries blog

Monday, September 20, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This weekend a security flaw has been identified in Microsoft ASP.NET - the framework that Umbraco is based on. This will affect any Microsoft ASP.NET based application including any Umbraco installation as well as any other CMS that builds upon Microsoft ASP.NET.

This means that you have to take action to secure your site!

We've produced a guide that describes how to patch your installation and we've also produced an Umbraco package that will try to patch your installation automatically and if it can't it'll guide you how. You can find the package in the package repository under Developer tools and it's called "ASP.NET Security Vulnerability Patch":


When you run the package, it'll show you a status on whether or not your website is vulnerable. If it is there's a big "Fix this problem" button to press:


We're seeding this information via the update checker, our mailing list and our twitter accounts but please help us spread the word. This speechbubble (yes, we'll need to work on the css on long messages!) will be shown to all administrators that log in to Umbraco over the next 14 days. It'll show even if you've patched your installation - unfortunately we don't have any way to prevent this as the patch isn't related to the Umbraco core:


The Panic Fund

We were able to make, test and distribute this patch because of our Panic Fund. In the HQ we have an account which makes it possible to book all HQ staff on core development for a week. We can use this fund in cases of emergencies like the this one. Despite the frustrating circumstances, it's just yet another example of why I'm proud of how we've managed to build the Umbraco HQ and why it makes the whole project sustainable.

Now stop reading and start patching!

For more details visit the project page for this patch.

For in-depth information on the ASP.NET security issue, visit Scott Guthries blog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

apps-iconIf you are like nearly 60% of the people who install Umbraco you are familiar with the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI) and the ease of installing Umbraco using this tool.  You may also be familiar with the delay experienced between the time we release a new Umbraco version and the time  the release is available via WebPI.  Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of the Umbraco WebPI feed.  This feed will not only keep you updated with the latest Umbraco release but will also keep you updated with recommended beta releases and any recommended alternate releases, such as Umbraco 4.5.* for .Net 3.5.  You can add this feed to your feed reader here http://umbraco.org/data/rss/UmbracoWebPIFeed.xml.

Install the Latest Umbraco Release with WebPI


Starting now you can install the latest Umbraco release as soon as it is ready without waiting for the, very busy, Microsoft Web team to update the Umbraco version in the Microsoft Web Application Gallery.  Simply by installing WebPI 3.0 (which has some awesome new features) and adding the Umbraco feed you will have immediate access to the latest Umbraco release.  Following is a quick tutorial for getting this set up.

Step 1 - Download WebPI 3.0

Navigate to http://www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix/download/ and select 'download it now.'  This will install WebPI 3.0 for you.  In addition, you can install some great new tools from Microsoft that are only available using WebPI 3.0, but that's for a different post.

Step 2 - Add the Umbraco Feed

From WebPI 3.0, select the 'Options' link.


In the 'Add Feed' input box type the Umbraco feed Url 'http://umbraco.org/data/rss/UmbracoWebPIFeed.xml' and then 'Add Feed.'


Click 'OK', and then the 'Umbraco Releases' tab added to WebPI.


That's it.  Now that you are subscribed to the Umbraco feed, you will always have access to the most recent Umbraco release, as well as any recommended alternate or beta releases.  We hope this helps streamline some of your Umbraco installation tasks.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

We've just released Umbraco 4.5.2 beta which fixes 46 bugs that have been reported by our awesome community. Please download it today and help us test it so we can get a fast release. You'll find a full change log in the downloads.

This brings the total number of bug fixes up to 88 since we released Umbraco 4.5 two months ago. There's no way we could have achieved this without the many people who've helped testing, reporting and submitting patches to the issues. Thanks a million!

With Umbraco 4.5.2 we'll finally have an ultra stable version of Umbraco 4.5!

In retrospect - did we release v4.5 too fast?

With almost a hundred bug fixes in just two months it's tempting to question whether we should have released v4.5 at all. It's hard to say as most of the issues was reported after Umbraco 4.5 was released and we've had a beta versions for quite some time. There'll always be bugs in software and when you push the release button is always a question of when it's good enough. If you never push the button, there'll never be a release.

However, I personally think we made a couple of mistakes. That's alright. If we turn the mistakes into lessons learned it means progress for the team and the project. And we're doing our very best to learn. Here's what we've found so far:

  • First of all our test cases were too simple, too narrow and didn't change at all. We had a checklist of various editing actions in combination with testing the Runway and Creative Website Starter packages. This was very helpful in order to find and fix bugs along the way, but this should have been combined with random install of community packages in the Repository.
  • Unit testing won't find everything. With Umbraco 4.5 we finally added a testing suite with more than 100 unit tests and loads of hidden bugs were found. However, a simple test suite will never be able to cover the many scenarios where Umbraco is used and as such should only be a foundation. This is a no-brainer, yet crucial to remember. With the many things covered by unit tests, there's no longer a Core Team member not believing in Unit tests as heaven sent. But robots will always be the smartest of idiots.
  • Enthusiasm is awesome but never overshadow the pursuit of attention to detail. One of the things that always have given me the biggest thrill is when tiny details in Umbraco gets improved. In the enthusiasm of the major UI and performance enhancements added to Umbraco 4.5 it was (too) easy to forget this craving for nano management. But it's one of the things makes Umbraco special - even though it can seem silly to spend days on minor things. heck, I even wrote a blog post about this four years ago.
  • Don't live in a silo. While Umbraco might work perfect for the scenarios used by members of the Core Team, we're only a fraction of the active users. This means that we should be much better to use 3rd party implementations, packages and un-official "tricks" when testing a release. In addition to this, we should involve 3rd party package developers as early as possible and help with a plan on how to ensure that their packages work when we release. Today an Umbraco implementation is often the sum of the Core combined with a number of packages. If they don't work together it can leave a beautiful Core useless.
  • Raise the community to take even more responsibility. As a community member who's business depending on Umbraco, it's only natural to become disillusioned when a new release doesn't work, forces you to change habits or makes an upgrade impossible. Believe me, the Core Team have no intention on doing this on purpose and it hurts badly when seeing people frustrated. But we're no better than the information given us. So be active. Tell us about what doesn't work and log issues in the Codeplex issue tracker with thorough steps to reproduce. Good bug reports take a lot of effort but in return you get better software. And even better - participate in our beta programs. Many of the bugs reported and fixed the past two months could have been discovered weeks before the release if only we had gotten help with better and more extensive testing. So help us, helping you.

We'll use this knowledge while we're building Umbraco 5. You'll see more blog postings, more videos and more documentation about the next version than ever before. We've learned a lesson.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Some people (and companies and products) believes in adding loads of features. Others just get the job done:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

634145448020450000_contour-icon We've just released version 1.1 of Contour (the official form builder from Umbraco Corp), based on feedback we've gotten since the initial release we've added some pretty sweet features.

So what's new in this release?

Editing records

Edit submitted records directly from the entries viewer and you can now also place the form picker macro in edit mode, making it possible to provide edit functionality on your frontend.


Export and import of forms

Export and import forms on the same site or between different sites, as a bonus you can use these exported forms as form templates by simply dropping the files in a specific directory.


Archiving forms

Have a form that's not active anymore but you want to keep the entries? In Contour 1.1 you can simply archive the form, which will place the form in read only mode and remove it from various list (form picker, …).


Xpath option on content picker

The content picker used in various places (like the 'save as umbraco document' workflow type) has been updated with a new option, instead of just picking a content node you can also provide an Xpath query that fetches the id. Making your forms even more flexible (especially when working on a multilingual site where you want to reuse the form in different places).


Default value on fields

Most default field types now have the option of setting a default value, a nice and powerful touch is that you can use the same advanced syntax as with macro parameters so you can:

  • Insert a page value: [#propertyAlias]
  • Insert a recursive page value: [$propertyAlias]
  • Insert a cookie value: [%cookieValueKey]
  • Insert a value from request collection: [@requestValueKey]


Hidden field

There's also a new field type 'hidden field', in combination with the default value setting it can be used to pass hidden values along with the user submitted values.


Adding settings to field types

Similar to workflow type settings it's now also possible to add settings to custom field types, these settings will extend the form designer and will show up in the additional settings part of the add/update field dialog.

Record and Recordset actions

Extend the entries viewer UI with your own tools by creating custom record and record set actions. A "Record action" is a utility method you can execute in the context of a record after it has been
submitted and stored. This means you can add additional options for processing a Record or a Collection of records (a Recordset).


And more…

Of course Contour 1.1 also includes several bug fixes and small improvements

  • Additional settings on form picker macro for setting submit/next/previous button caption
  • Copy field feature in the form designer
  • Dictionary item support on field regex setting
  • Keep user on current form step when saving a form
  • Validators have inline style, should be moved to stylesheet   

get a complete overview from our changes doc.

Want to try out Contour 1.1? Simply install the trial directly from the package repository (developer section, package tree) or get it from the project page on http//our.umbraco.org (Contour 1.1 runs on both umbraco 4.0.x and 4.5.x). More in depth info on the new features can be found in the Contour developer documentation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

We at Umbraco HQ have never been more heartened than we are right now with the recent addition of several new Certified Solution Providers, bringing the number to 38.  The fact that web design and development firms around the world are making the investment in time and money to support the Umbraco project, and benefiting their business at the same time, is a fantastic vote of confidence for  Umbraco as a platform. 

While Europe retains the highest concentration of Certified Solution Providers, both North America and Australia/New Zealand are beginning to make a strong showing.  In the past 18-months the number of Certified Solution Providers in North America has gone from 0 to 6…and there are more coming in 2010 still.  Every single Certified Solution Provider has proven itself more than deserving of the title - with development of Umbraco-powered sites, community contributions, and ongoing support of the Umbraco project by participation and evangelism.


Umbraco Certified Solution Providers represent a wide-range of approaches to web development, but one common element seems to be the shared-belief in not taking ourselves too seriously.  This is seen in the whimsy of The Farm Digital's web site, the greeting committee made up exclusively of the office dogs at Definition 6, and the in office slip-n-slide at Imulus.  That's not to say that its all fun and games, as there is serious and significant work being done on a daily basis by all the Certified Solution Providers.  This is evidenced by the huge number of sites the Solution Providers have developed - the number of which increases weekly.

We at Umbraco believe that the support and participation of the Certified Solution Providers makes Umbraco better for everyone.  If you would like to know more about the Certified Solution Provider program, please feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Over the past 16-months there have been more than 80 attendees at our Umbraco Certification courses in North America.  From many of these committed folks we've heard great feedback on how we can make the Umbraco Certification courses even better.  Today we are thrilled to announce some changes based on this feedback:

  • We now have both a West Coast and East Coast trainers (Paul Sterling from Umbraco and Christopher Rushing from Webangelo)
  • We have reset the pricing to better reflect the costs and expectations of North American attendees
    • $995 per attendee for 1-4 attendees from your group, Level 1 or Level 2
    • $895 per attendee for 5+ attendees from your group, Level 1 or Level 2
    • $1,595 per attendee for combined Level 1 and Level 2
  • We have/will schedule courses based on geographical interest

We are scheduling courses in the areas where most interest is currently focused, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago - and we will schedule future courses in areas where interest is strong (so let us know).  As anyone who has attended an Umbraco Certification course knows, the courses are an important way to learn about Umbraco, to support the health of the project, and to meet other Umbraco users. 

We're looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming courses in Boulder or Seattle.  More locations to be announced soon on the Umbraco training schedule.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Three days of Umbraco love with 250 Umbricians in Copenhagen came to a close late Friday afternoon on 25 June 2010.  A collective sigh of disappointment that Codegarden was over and a gasp of excitement about the potential for using all that was learned was felt by the crowd.  While some walked away with fabulous prizes (leather biker vest!) all left with a deeper knowledge of the Umbraco project and the technology underneath and around it.  There was no doubt the community is what makes Umbraco successful and all who came to Codegarden participated in a meaningful way.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Codegarden 2010 consisted of a one-day pre-conference focusing on ASP.NET MVC followed by a day of keynotes and sessions and a final day of open-space discussions.

ASP.NET MVC Bootcamp

We had the pleasure of hosting Simone Chiaretta, Jon Galloway and Steven Sanderson who delivered a two-track ASP.NET MVC bootcamp.  In preparation for the upcoming Umbraco 5 release, which is based on ASP.NET MVC, we offered this pre-conference day free for all attendees.  The response was very good with nearly 200 attendees present for the day.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

This day corresponded with the Scandinavian Midsummer celebration and, in true Umbraco community fashion, the entire group of attendees, speakers, and various hangers-on boarded a pair of canal tour boats for a turn around Copenhagen's canals to view the festivities from the water.  It was difficult to determine if the real spectacle was the groups of Danes gathered around bonfires burning witch effigies or the canal boats full of Umbricians flying the Umbraco Pirate flag.


Day one of Codegarden dawned bright (as expected) as the official conference (er, festival) kicked off with Alexander Kjerulf (aka The Chief Happiness Officer) talking about Happiness at Work.  The site and sound of over 250 attendees greeting each other with an enthusiastic high-five and "You Rock!" was a fitting opening to the enthusiasm of Codegarden.

Umbraco 4.5

As Niels Hartvig presented the Umbraco keynote we released Umbraco 4.5 - an amazing release that is more stable, much more performant, and has more features than any release to date.  The response was, and is, overwhelming and something the entire community can be proud of. 


Not only did we release a new version of Umbraco but we also released a new version of the Umbraco Community site, known as Our 2.0.  Taking community feedback from the past year, we gave the community site some serious attention, and it shows.  More proof that the community is the most important part of Umbraco.

Core Team Developer of the Year

While every member of the Umbraco Core Team is an exceptional developer who gives generously of his time, this year we decided to award the most productive developer (as measured by source-code commits) the title of 'Umbraco Core Team Developer of the Year.'  This year's award goes to Shannon Deminick and it is well deserved.


Most Valuable People

By community vote we awarded five Umbricians the title of MVP.  This year's Umbraco MVPs are:  Dirk De Grave, Lee Kelleher, Warren Buckley, Richard Soeteman and Doug Robar.  Congratulations to these five amazing community members!

Karma Fund

We also announced the creation of the Karma Fund.  In short, this is a 10.000 EUR fund to be awarded to the top five packages, as determined by community awarded Karma points, at next year's Codegarden.  If Umbraco Community recognition was not enough, the 10.000 EUR Karma Fund is our way of giving back to the best CMS community in the world!


Codegarden is not complete without a few rounds of Umbraco Bingo, and this year was no exception.  The fabulous prizes this year ranged from a USB vacuum signed by 'The Umbracos' to a photo-realistic painting of the core team in repose. 

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Demonstrating that we are never ones to take ourselves too seriously the bingo round was briefly interrupted by Niels shouting 'bring in the horns' and the entrance of a brass band which proceeded to march through the conference venue come bingo hall.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Open Space

This year the second conference day was again given over to the community as the day's agenda was defined by the attendees.  Forming what may well have been one of the largest open-space opening circles ever the agenda quickly filled up.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

There was some incredible output from the open-space day.  Some of our favorites are the Umbraco Core Values and the multi-node picker source

Packages and Skins

The final (official) event of Codegarden is the package and skins contest…always an entertaining exercise in how many things can go wrong in a seven-minute demo.  The package contest winner was Shannon Deminick's multi-node tree picker and the skin contest winner was Warren Buckley's retro theme.


The Best CMS Community in the World

Umbraco Codegarden is truly the community's event and the Umbraco Community again demonstrated why this is the way it should be.  We at Umbraco HQ are honored that such a large, diverse, and generous community has chosen Umbraco and supports the project and the rest of the community with generous contributions of time, effort, money, and humor. 

Can't wait to see you at Umbraco Codegarden 2011 - 15-17 June 2011 in Copenhagen.


Monday, June 21, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


Codegarden 2010 is only a couple of days away and to help you prepare we've put together a list of essential knowledge and survival tips from seasoned CodeGarden veterans. The conference SOLD OUT so we'll be 250 Umbracians together for three awesome and packed days. Here's how you'll survive:

Finding the venue

The venue is called "Kedelhallen" (The kettle hall) and is located on Nyelandsvej 75A, 2000 Frederiksberg. BUT Google Maps got it mapped wrong! Here's the street view of the venue location and the venue has a huge chimney (see the picture above), so you can use that as a landmark.

Be there before 8:45

The Conference starts at 9:00 sharp, but registration opens at 8.00. So help everyone by coming early and make the registration go as smooth as possible. We're 250 people so it may take a little time to get everyone through.

Remember cash

While food, water, coffee, etc is on the house, you might want to buy snacks or something else at the cafe. BUT the Cafe only accepts the Danish credit card "Dankort" or cash. So make sure to bring Danish crowns in cash as most places only accept Danish cash not EUR or USD.


We've done our best to ensure as good network connections as possible and we were going to get extra DSL landlines installed at the venue. But in the middle of it all the telco workers decided to go on strike and we had to improvise by buying ten wireless 3G boxes. We'll see how that goes, but as we've said before - there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get online, so if you need that bring a 3g dongle!

Sun blocker

The venue has a large outside area which traditionally is used for sessions and the weather looks good. So remember to bring sun blocker, sunglasses and a good tan

It's a festival - not a conference; CodeGarden doesn't stop at 4'o clock

There's dinner and social events on both Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we'll celebrate the Midsummer by touring around the canals of Copenhagen in two charted Canal boats with music and bar and Thursday there's the classic and classy Umbraco Bingo with the Umbracos. So CodeGarden does not end at 4 o'clock.

Bring your laptop

To get the most out of CodeGarden you'll need your laptop ready to run Umbraco and likely be installed with tons of new stuff during the conference. For more details see the prepare for the MVC day post.

CG10 is the official hashtag

If you're adding photos to Flickr or if you tweet about CodeGarden make sure to use the CG10 hashtag (#CG10 on Twitter) so it'll be a part of the backchannel.

Make it yours

CodeGarden is all about participation and you can already start to suggest and vote topics. So if you got anything you'd like to discuss, present or learn make sure to submit a topic today!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Finally. 18 months of hard work is coming to an end as we - the Umbraco Core Team - proudly can announce the release candidate of Umbraco 4.1 - the biggest update to Umbraco. Ever.

With the Release Candidate stamp this means that we're now recommending Umbraco 4.1 for all new projects. So get yourself indulged in all there is to love (and this is just the summary!):

Performance - it's a screamer!

  • Updated XML Schema ensuring higher performance
  • Build in caching of Members and Media when referenced via the umbraco.library methods
  • Completely new Back Office tree with caching and much clever loading of data
  • Heavily reduced http requests when working in the Back Office
  • Heavily reduced SQL queries in Back Office
  • A .NET 4.0 product that works perfectly with Visual Studio 2010
  • Updated DB schema with more constraints and indexes
  • More than a 100 unit tests written to verify API methods and datalayer
Feature packed
  • Enhanced preview. Browse your entire site as it looks in the future, including out-of-the-box support for all XSLT and NodeFactory based macros
  • SpellChecker. With support for more than ten languages out of the box!
  • LINQ 2 Umbraco. More a .NET Developer than an XSLT guru? You'll love accessing data via the all brand new .NET LINQ API
  • Examine. Ultra performant and stable index-based search engine. With a fluent API that developers will love
  • New XML Schema. Not only more performant, but makes it easier to understand your data and adds future support for Intellisense in Visual Studio!
  • Improved DLR support. Faster than ever and with support for Ruby too!
  • New Datatypes: Image Cropper for editor friendly image manipulation and Macro Container for easily handling of feature areas. (Needs to be manually created in the data type section in the RC)
  • Improved Mediapicker: Preview and advanced dialog with upload is now a part of the default MediaPicker (needs to be activated on the datatype in the RC)
  • A ton of other improvements and updates!


Umbraco 4.1RC is a HUGE update to previous versions and while we've done our best for backwards compatibility we do not recommend that you upgrade any production environments until the final release. Especially if you use 3rd party packages.

However, we'd love feedback on experimental upgrades and we've made a WIKI page on Our Umbraco to sum up what's needed to upgrade.

Gotchas and logging bugs

Remember that this is a release candidate and not a release. There will be bugs, however we haven't encountered any showstoppers for long and we're using it for a good range of our own sites! The final release however, is not far away and we're constantly ironing out bugs as they're logged. When logging bugs please take the time to search the issue tracker if the issue have already been logged, that helps the core team big time! Also, before logging a bug you should also consider discussing it in our dedicated 4.1 forum, especially if you're in doubt if it's a core bug.

Final word

Enjoy! And keep an eye on our nightly builds and our @umbracoproject twitter account for latest updates. Be nice to the Core Team - they've worked insanely hard.

Monday, June 14, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

As you probably know the day before CodeGarden kicks off we have a whole day of MVC to prepare people for Umbraco 5 coming early 2011. We've been fortunate enough to get three of the biggest capacities in the ASP.NET MVC sphere to come and talk about many different aspects of MVC, from a beginners MVC bootcamp by Jon Galloway to advanced topics by the Wrox authors Steven Sanderson and Simone Chiaretta.

What do you need to know?

The bootcamp by Jon Galloway is targeted web developers and ASP.NET WebForm people who wants to transition to MVC. So this is MVC from scratch. You don't need to know anything about MVC to join. The advanced sessions by Simone Chiaretta and Steven Sanderson is for those with some MVC knowledge or people interest in some of the specific topics such as MVC Web Security and Behavior Driven Development.

What do you need to bring?

To get the most out of the sessions, we recommend that you bring a laptop with .NET 4.0, MVC 2.0 and either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer Express (free!) installed.

Most importantly

Apart from bringing your laptop and tools, make sure to bring an open mind too. ASP.NET MVC is a different way to build websites and if you come from a Webforms background you might get frustrated at first. But there's a reason behind the madness of bringing Umbraco to the world of MVC. We simply believe that it's a better way to build websites and it's a perfect fit for Umbraco.

So leave your fear of change at home and indulge yourself with a chance to enhance your skills and prepare for Umbraco 5. Because you're worth it ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.

One of the Codegarden traditions is the offical package contest, which on the last day of the conference wraps everything up with some fast-paced and entertaining presentations from community developers, showing off new packages for Umbraco.

It is the ultimate show-off place for Umbraco companies and developers who wish to show the world what they have created, and get a shot at winning some big prizes. The winner is decided by the audience, so it all comes down to creating the best Umbraco package and presenting it with style and passion.

New this year: skin contest

The package contest has mostly been for developers being able to hack together some code. But this year, there is an option for all web-designers at Codegarden: the Skin contest.

The skin contest is run the exact same way as the package contest, and with the same rules. But instead of a package, you submit a skin into the contest.

A skin for Umbraco is a very basic thing, it consists of a CSS file, some images, and a simple manifest for installation, and should world with the pre-set Runway or blog-package CSS, so if you know your css and your way around Photoshop,

then this contest is for you.

There are the exact same huge prizes for skins as packages, so go on, fire up photoshop right away.

The Rules:

  1. The package / skin must be installable on a clean Umbraco instance, using the standard package installer or the umbraco repository and integrate nicely with the Runway package
  2. You have a maximum of 7 minutes to install, show-off and leave the stage again.
  3. Everyone uses the same laptop on stage, and installs their package live during the show-off
  4. No powerpoints, graphs or other extras, extreme body language is accepted though
  5. Skins can be submitted for either the Runway Package or the Blog Package

Points are rewarded for

Besides the functionality, the show-off is rewarded for:

  1. Clean installation
  2. Consistent UI
  3. Entertainment value
  4. Documentation
  5. Originality

The prizes

Besides the fame and being celebrated by the Umbraco community on the big stage, you will also get your hands on some neato swag.

In the past we've handed out Rockband Instruments, Xbox 360's, Nazbatag rabbits and so much more.


Contest entries are accepted all 3 days, just get a hold of one of the HQ guys and we will get you signed up. The presentation will take place at the end

of day 3 after the open space sessions has ended.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Here's yet another reason to join Codegarden 10: On the pre-conference day of CodeGarden, Wednesday evening it's Sankt Hans - or midsummer eve - which is an old tradition to celebrate in Denmark.

We want to share this with all the attendees so we've rented two huge canal tour boats that'll take us around Copenhagen to watch the different parties where crazy Danes burn witches on bonfires - that's how civilized we are. However due to recent legislation the witches are rarely alive anymore.


Not only will it be a great way to see the Wonderful city of Copenhagen, we'll also have a great party on the boats with music and a traditional Danish alcohol policy.


Umbracians Douglas Robar, Per Ploug Hansen, Kenneth Solberg, Warren Buckley, Niels Hartvig and Casey Neehouse enjoying a canal boat tour in 2007.

Monday, June 7, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.


The Topic

If you're a .Net developer and haven't been living in a cave (without wifi), you've no doubt heard about Windows Azure.  You may have even wondered if Windows Azure and Umbraco could be combined.  The answer is that Windows Azure and Umbraco are a great match.  In this session Dirk Primbs will be discussing how Umbraco runs on Windows Azure, why using Windows Azure with Umbraco makes sense, and showing a live demo of Umbraco on Windows Azure. 

If you want to know more about Windows Azure with Umbraco straight from the official source, don't miss this session.  Feel free to bring your questions, ideas, and mis-conceptions - all are welcome.

The Speaker

Dirk Primbs works as a Developer Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Germany and is part of the partner team that works with Umbraco.  He is a fan of open-source solutions on the Microsoft stack and has a deep technical knowledge of web applications for the Microsoft platform. 

In addition to his expertise with Windows Azure, Dirk is well versed in the Web Platform Installer and other emerging technologies - some too new to disclose.  Dirk will be at Codegarden Thursday and Friday, so if you have specific technical questions he'll be around to help.

Friday, May 28, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.


The Topic

Why make the content yourself, if you can get your users to do it? The famous Danish band Kashmir are animating their fans to generate content on their website. This is done using Facebook Connect and Umbraco. Come and learn how Kashmir takes advantage of their social media and aspects of crowdsourcing on www.kashmir.nu.

The Speaker

René Pjengaard works for Skybrud, a danish web-development agency, located in Vejle. As an agency they've been lifting some pretty heavy clients in the past, including major danish municipals, the danish national postal service, Danfoss, Danish Crown, and many others, and been nominated for a creative circle award as well. However, kashmir.nu is actually their first website on Umbraco, now that's a great debut!

René and the rest of the team at Skybrud collaborated with the lead singer from Kashmir, on how to build a new site for their many fans, and how they could actually make the fans participate and add content directly to the band's website through services like facebook, youtube and twitter.

We think the solution they've put together is an excellent showcase of how to use modern webservices and communties with Umbraco, and very much look forward to hearing more about their experiences building www.kashmir.nu.

Meet René at Codegarden

If his session doesn't answer all your questions on integrating services with Umbraco. Why not setup an open space topic about it? René might even drop by and share some additional wisdom, or maybe even have some code-snippets for you, who knows?

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.


Tim Geyssens, at Codegarden 2008, photo: Douglas Robar

The Topic

Join Tim Geyssens - Core Team member and lead dev on Contour - on a guided tour on the user-friendly form designer for Umbraco.

Adding forms to your umbraco website usually means getting dirty in visual studio, but not anymore.
Build Contact forms, comment forms, entry forms, questionnaires, ... all without writing a single line of code.

Create, edit and administer your forms via a user interface that's a fully integrated part of Umbraco.

See how easy and fast it is to collect data and process it with Contours Workflow engine and dive into how you can extend and tweak Contour to fit your exact needs.

The Speaker

Tim Geyssens is located in Belgium, where he works for the Umbraco HQ. One of his main duties is leading and maintaining Contour, a form designing tool, built for and deeply integrated with the  Umbraco CMS.

If there is anyone capable of guiding your through the architecture of Contour, and exploring every possible way to make it work as you want it, it's Tim.

Tim's been involved in this project since it was just a sketch on the HQ whiteboard, and has since the initial release then been keeping busy with developer support on the our.umbraco.org forums, providing answers to a ton of developer questions on how to solve challenges with Contour.

Meet Tim and the rest of the HQ at Codegarden

Tim Geyssens will be at the conference all three days, along with the rest of the Umbraco HQ. So if you have any questions on Contour or any of our other products, don't hesitate to ask.

This is one of the few times a year the entire Core Team, the Umbraco MVPS, and the Umbraco HQ is together in the same room, so don't miss it!

Remember: there are still a couple of days left of the 100EUR ticket discount

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

I've been a big believer in running Umbraco as transparent as possible and every now and then this brings upon interesting challenges. This week I had one of the bigger ones.

When going through the CodeGarden 10 budget it turned out that I had made a number of mistakes that meant that the cost price for doing the conference was higher than the early bird price for the tickets. At the same time we had sold more than double the number of early bird tickets that the previous years. In other words, we were loosing money on CodeGarden.

We've always kept the ticket price (and therefore the buffer) low as CodeGarden is a non-profit event. We (the HQ) work for free and the money from the conference is spent on gathering the most active people in the ecosystem - the MVPs, the most active cores and the speakers - by paying for their plane tickets, hotel and arranging a pre-CodeGarden weekend where we discuss the state and future of the Umbraco project.

But I was frustrated and embarrassed beyond belief. This year it wouldn't be a non-profit event, it would be a money loss event. It was a result of me being sloppy when doing the initial budget and not adding enough buffer. It was entirely my fault. No excuses.

So last week I decided that we would take the hit in the HQ and write the loss of as a marketing expense. As such - gathering 250 people for three days - the expense was low. But it didn't feel right. CodeGarden has never been a marketing event. It's not OUR (the HQs) event, it's the community's event.

So with shaking hands I wrote an e-mail to everyone who had bought the early bird tickets, telling them the truth and letting them know that by paying an additional EUR65 the conference would mount up. I stared at the send button for minutes before finally clicking. However, my fear for the response was unnecessary. The response was overwhelmingly positive and within the first six hours 25% of all the attendees had paid the extra.

CodeGarden came back to the community. The only place it belongs. Nobody owns a movement.

Monday, May 24, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Umbraco had a presence at Gilbane SF that many folks thought was 'surprising' - in the best possible way.  It was a pleasure to be featured alongside commercial CMS vendors and other open-source vendors alike.  Nik Wahlberg from Scandia Consulting (and Certified Umbraco Professional)  joined me in representing Umbraco. 

One of the themes present in many sessions at Gilbane SF was the importance of open-source CMS in the market - it is not a minor consideration by any stretch.  Most commercial gilbane-bannervendors are beginning to mimic the best parts of open-source systems - principally the community aspects of user forums and exchanges.  Meanwhile, the distinction between open-source and commercial offerings is narrowing as open-source systems mature and accrue proven track records.  For open-source systems such as Umbraco, this is an exciting time.

As with any contemporary conference program there was much attention on social media relative to marketing, analytics, search, and user experience considerations.  I wish I'd had more time to attend some of these sessions as well.

Both Nik and I spoke to many people interested in Umbraco, and in our business model.  The interest in user centric, developer friendly, easily extensible CMS systems is quite high.  Umbraco is an easy CMS to describe and discuss since its flexibility allows it to fit many different scenarios.  All in all we spoke to hundreds of people and had some interesting discussions with other vendors, commercial and open-source alike. 

An unrelated, but exciting development, is that Nik is assuming the lead author role for the Umbraco User's Guide from Wrox press due out in 2011.  With Nik in the lead this work will take shape more quickly than it has in the past with, ahem, a different lead author.

Friday, May 21, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Get all the arguments for going to Codegarden 2010 on a single page. Easy to print and easy to place on your bosses desk.


Attendees at Codegarden 2009, Photo: Douglas Robar

In a perfect world, your boss will know that Codegarden is a good investment, both in time and money.

But the world isn't always like that. Maybe your boss didn't read all the session spotlights on our blog, he didn't notice the positive vibe on twitter and he certainly didn't explore the open space sessions on codegarden10.com, so who can blame him for having second thoughts on spending money on tickets, travel and hotels for a conference he doesn't know anything about.

A solution

So that is why we've put together a detailed whitepaper on Codegarden. It explains what it is, what you get out of it, and lists 7 solid reasons to make Codegarden 2010 a priorit. Download it now, print it, and hand it to your boss. It won't take you more then 90 seconds to do, and while you are at it, make sure to mention the 100€ discount ends on June 1st.

Download Codegarden 2010 Whitepaper


See you at Codegarden 2010.

Friday, May 21, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

A new update of Umbraco 4 is out - v4.0.4.1 - fixing 13 issues based on feedback from 4.0.3 users. Full download and upgrade instructions on Codeplex. We expect to be available from the Microsoft Web Platform Installer within a week.

Most importantly is a fix to a serious date bug where day and month could be flipped when using non English cultures. Also fixes to issues mostly related to high performance websites have been included. Lastly, using Members via /base is now back to full support. All the details is in the release notes pdf under "Other Available Downloads".

In addition to these bugfixes, VistaDB has been removed from the default distribution due to licensing conflicts. We're working on a future alternative as this was a great feature - especially for people trying Umbraco for the first time without installing from Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

This release had the honor of being know is Umbraco version not found, due to its original name version 4.0.4 when it was released yesterday. However, Darren Ferguson almost immediately discovered a bug which we fixed yesterday evening. So nemesis would be that Umbraco Version Not Found, indeed only were discoverable for less than a day.

Thank you to the community for feedback and especially Darren Ferguson - maker of the brilliant PDF Creator for Umbraco btw - to help identify this bug quickly.

If you've already upgraded to 4.0.4 you can upgrade to by simply replacing umbraco.dll and businesslogic.dll in the /bin folder. Sorry for any inconvenience - even a UnitTest wouldn't had found this bug so could you forgive us even with ALT.NET in your blood?

Thursday, May 20, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.


Morten after winning last years Package Contest, Photo: Douglas Robar

The Topic

The creator of one of the most popular Umbraco packages: " Google Analytics for Umbraco", and winner of Codegarden 2009's package contest, takes a deep dive into how you can integrate your own data into the Umbraco backend.

Walking you through the creation of custom sections, tree components, Editor pages and installation actions, he will show how every aspect of an integrated Umbraco application fits together.

The Speaker

Morten Christensen works for Codehouse in Copenhagen and should need no introduction to anyone who spend more than a couple of days in the umbraco community.

Morten attended last years Codegarden conference and blew everybody away with his slick and well-integrated Google Analytics package for umbraco, which got him the main price in the package competion, an Xbox 360 Elite. Since then it's become one of the most popular add-ons for umbraco, and downloaded item from our.umbraco.org and the Umbraco Package Repository.

We were so impressed by Mortens package, that we've asked him to come back this year as a speaker to share how he built that award winning package.

Meet Morten at Codegarden

Morten will be there on all 3 days of Codegarden 2010, sharing his knowledge and tricks learned from his work with Umbraco. Got a question on how to integrate your service or appliation into the backend? Morten is the man to track down and ask. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is the first of many session spotlights, as we prepare for Codegarden 2010, keep reading for indepth information on the topic and the speaker, you can also view the list of all the announced sessions here .


Shannon Deminick, Photo by Peter Gregory

The topic

Have you ever wanted a real search engine built into Umbraco? Well, Lucene is a powerful indexer and searcher and has been part of Umbraco for years, but it was always tricky to use.

Examine brings a new level of power to the Lucene.Net implementation by giving you a search engine that is both easy to setup and extremely extensible.

It has a fluent API, multiple index capabilities and a flexible provider model. See how Examine can give you site searching capabilities beyond what is possible with just XSLT.

Go to the session page on Codegarden10.com

The speaker

Shannon Deminick is Canadian, but works for "The Farm Digital" in Australia, and is on the Umbraco Core team. He is one of the most contributing members, making major improvements to the backend Html and javascript for a faster and more efficient user interface, optimizing the datalayer for faster content mangement, completely rewrote the search engine, and a ton of other improvements.

We have no idea where he finds the time but besides the Umbraco project he also contributes to the Examine Project, which is a managed Lucene.Net Search Engine library, and the ASP.Net Client Dependency Framework, both projects have been included in the Umbraco Core. He blogs on the FarmCode blog .

Meet Shannon At Codegarden 2010

All the session speakers at this years Codegarden will be present all 3 days, it's a great opportunity to socialize, network and pick their brains on anything umbraco. They will also take part in the Open Space topics, making it a unique opportunity to get some expert input on a topic you choose.

Monday, May 17, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


It is with much joy I can lift some of the covers on what is going to happen at this year's Codegarden, the annual Umbraco conference.

This year has our most ambitious program to date. The quality of this year’s sessions are incredible, we have been fortunate enough to get some of the most experienced umbraco developers to share their knowledge and experiences.

Today we’re announcing the overall conference format, with the pre-conference, the 3 tracks of umbraco sessions, and the open space format. As we get closer to Codegarden, we will share even more details and background on the different sessions as they get announced.

Pre-conference: MVC Bootcamp

Learn asp.net MVC from 3 of the most experienced MVC developers around. Simone Chiaretta (ASP.NET MVP, ASPInsider and author of Beginning ASP.NET MVC on Wrox) , Jon Galloway (Microsoft) and Steven Sanderson (Microsoft MVP, author of "Pro ASP.NET Mvc)  will host MVC bootcamps to get you up to speed on the new technical foundation for future versions of Umbraco.

View the details on the MVC bootcamp

Day 1: Sessions on 3 tracks

This year we will have 3 tracks, covering umbraco from all angles, with sessions on all levels, from beginner to ninja. There will be something for everyone.

Track: From 0 to 100
From 0 to 100 covers specific topics indepth and gets you up to speed in just 45 minutes, with a focus on giving attendees the tools and knowledge to start using and taking advantage of the subjects covered right away.

Track: What we've learned
What we've learned are sessions on the many nuggets of knowledge you gain while implementing Umbraco solutions. Get the insider tips from some of biggest and most experienced Umbraco developers out there, sharing cases and solutions to development challenges.

Track: Integrations
Ever wondered how you connect Umbraco to your ERP, CRM, twitter, facebook or any other application or service? The Integrations track is all about building Umbraco solutions that use 3rd party services and applications.

View all the currently announced sessions

Day 2: Open space

If you are not satisfied with the sessions offered on the 3 tracks, you can suggest your own topic for the conference open space, that invites anyone to suggest or take part in any umbraco-topic.

Go suggest a topic right now to get it on the conference agenda. Unlike the previous years, all open space sessions will be set before the conference, so hurry and suggest a topic now, and vote for those you want to see included in the program.

Remember: Discount ending on June 1st

If you order your codegarden ticket before June 1st, you will save 100€ on your conference ticket, so make sure to order your ticket today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Continuing our new what is Umbraco video series we have created an overview for webmasters.  Here we highlight content versioning, users and permissions, workflow, and notifications.



We are also updating the Umbraco TV site to feature this series in the getting started section.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

For many Umbraco professionals we never have to stop and think 'what' Umbraco is.  Having visited with hundreds of current and potential Umbraco users in the last three months I can tell you that the majority do not know 'what' Umbraco is.  Have you ever really thought about it?  Describing 'what' Umbraco is?  Its not easy.  Kind of like when your mom asks you, for the 10th time, "so, what do you do again?" 

One of my goals, along with the rest of the talented Umbraco team I am fortunate enough to work with, is to clearly define 'what' Umbraco is so that anyone can understand.  As part of that goal, I've begun creating brief videos that illustrate 'what' Umbraco is.

In the future, there will be additional videos as well as a collection of white papers outlining 'what' Umbraco is and describing in detail some usage scenarios.  As with all things Umbraco, you're input is welcome and will be taken with gratitude.

Monday, May 3, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Today is a day that I've been looking forward to for long. We can finally reveal the new identity for Umbraco. After five years of DIY we've teamed up with the brand experts at 1508 and got a new logo, logotype, font, colors, imagery and tone of voice. The old logo by Hudson Maul have served us incredibly well, but it was time to get a cleaner and more modern look. At the same time it was also time to say adios to the old Kontrapunkt font as it really doesn't work on screen. Our new font is the gorgeous Apex New.

And without more mumbling - here's how we look now:

Basic CMYK


We're working hard on our brand new website which we hope to launch before the summer - until then be patient as we implement the new identity and please let us know if we forgot to replace the logos somewhere.

You can download the new logo and logotype as illustrator files here. Feel free to use them, but remember to ask for permission if used commercially.

Here's a couple of new desktop wallpapers (1900x1080 - more sizes will come) to start the week:





Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Earlier this year we reached out to the community to help pick the 2010 Umbraco MVPs. The results have been processed and we're happy to announce the lucky five. In random order:

All five have done a tremendous amount of community work in 2009 by helping people on the forums, blogging about hidden gems in Umbraco and producing killer packages. On behalf of the HQ and the rest of the community I can't say thanks enough and I'm looking forward to giving you a cheesy diploma at CodeGarden '10.

Over the next couple of weeks we'll post profiles of each of the five along with community testimonials on what makes this bunch extra special.

Congrats, guys and thanks again!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

After I 'axed' my iPhone two weeks ago, my video of the action have seen almost 6,000 screenings and caused quite some debate. That's wonderful - that was my hope. However, some think that my action was simply an act of unconscious rage or a cry for publicity. In regards to the latter I have to disappoint my detractors with the fact that I have more publicity than I could possibility ask for already. In regards to the first, my act was quite calculated.

You see, the essence of 3.3.1 gate is not about whether to allow a certain programming language or a platform, the essence is about being a responsible platform owner. A test that Apple definitively failed with their new iPhone OS terms.

As a successful platform owner you're blessed with having a huge eco-system making your platform even more valuable. These eco-system consists of thousands of developers all believing in your platform and building their business upon your directions and by giving you trust. Sure, they benefit too and that's what makes it all a healthy and sustainable practice - a win-win so to speak if I knew how to tie a Windsor.

But trust and power goes hand in hand with responsibility and this is where Apple failed miserably. While I've always found the current constellation with the AppStore lock-in and their double moral censorship unhealthy as it gives the platform owner (Apple) way too much power of the ecosystem, it's the name of their game and not a surprise for anyone investing in the platform. But the 3.3.1 gate showed just a slight glimpse of just how huge their power is. With two tiny sentences they swipe out a ton of independent developers who actually want to contribute to their platform.

But worst of all - it's a completely unnecessary show of force. It was a proof of an arbitrary and ruthless platform leadership. iPhone apps developed using Monotouch, Unity or Adobe tools is not guaranteed to perform worse than native Objective-C apps nor are the theories about lack of full API support for new versions legit - Monotouch is already on pair even with iPhone OS4 still in beta.

I didn't axe my iPhone as an act of rage. I axed my iPhone to show my disgust for this type of leadership and misuse of power. And as a signal to the Umbraco community that you'd never see this in our eco-system. That was worth the $699!

Friday, April 16, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

We've added another bunch of the best rated/most downloaded projects on our.umbraco.org to the umbraco package repository. Here's an overview of what got added:

Google Analytics

This package adds a new section to the Umbraco backend, which gives you access to your google analytics statistics in form of some standard reports (out of the box). You also have the ability to create your own reports from the metrics and dimensions, which are available through the Google Analytics API.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.

Standard Values

This package adds a Standard Values folder in the Settings section of Umbraco, which allows you to add standard values to all your document types.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.


The Pixlr package makes it possible to edit your Media images with Pixlr, an online image editor.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.


With Taskscheduler you can schedule url's to be executed on a certain date and time. It's a simplified version of the Windows Task Scheduler, build on top of the Umbraco scheduler functionality.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.

bing Maps

This package allows you to integrate Microsoft™ bing Maps into your Umbraco implementations.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.


Remember to keep voting on your favorite projects and spread some karma on our.umbraco.org!

Thursday, April 1, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

With Umbraco 4.1 currently on its way towards RC mode, the core team is hard at work on v4.2. Last week the engineering team had a major breakthrough on one of the most requested features - support for 3rd party CMS modules.

"We're seeing more and more people coming to Umbraco from other last generation Web CMSes", Umbraco Founder Niels Hartvig says and continue "They enjoy the pure elegance of a next generation Web CMS such as Umbraco, but unfortunately they're stuck with a galore of old modules they've purchased for their previous CMS and that delays a complete transition to Umbraco".

With the new Modulizer Factory in Umbraco 4.2 it'll be possible to use modules from other systems such as Joomla, EpiServer®, Drupal®, DotNetNuke® and Ektron® with just a single click from the Web interface. It'll automatically import data and convert php, python, perl and Cobol into native .NET compatible CLR code.

"With the Modulizer Factory®, the new Umbraco users will have access to more than 53.000 modules which means that they can spend all their time evaluating modules that replicates what was hot last year instead of using the Umbraco building blocks to release new innovations in record time. As such, users coming from these systems will feel at home in Umbraco 4.2" states Niels Hartvig.

Umbraco 4.2 and the Modulizer Factory® is expected to be available in Q4 2010 with a working preview available for Umbraco CodeGarden '10 attendees.

Friday, March 26, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

The number one question I always get asked is how Umbraco is making money and how on earth we can be profitable when we give things away for free. Our business philosophy is internally coined as "Profit through generosity". Not only do we believe that generosity - not to confuse with philanthropy -  leads to business, but we've also walked the walk and proven for almost two years that it's sustainable.

Let's start with some tiny facts about Umbraco HQ (the company):

  • We have been profitable since Q2 2008
  • We're four employees
  • We see ourselves as an equal part and participant of the Umbraco community
  • We make our money by adding value to the Umbraco CMS ecosystem
  • We use the profit to work on the core of Umbraco CMS

And here's some on the Umbraco CMS:

Our sources of revenue are three:

Our mighty training/certification empire
We've developed a very successful and appreciated course system. In the beginning all courses were run be ourselves but now we've started to franchise the system to other key persons in the Umbraco CMS community.

Why this adds value: We ensure that people learn to use Umbraco CMS in the very best way, we take responsibility in terms of setting a standard for what makes a skilled Umbraco Developer/Solution Provider which makes it easier for companies to screen the market. For Umbraco HQ it gives a stable and predictable income which in returns gets invested in the core product.

While the above is awesome for the people attending, it's not for all. Not only do the courses (almost) always sell out, but the price tag and regional availability can prevent it from a broader appeal. This is why we introduced umbraco.tv in the fall of 2008. It doesn't replace the courses, but enable us to share our knowledge with many people at a very low price while still ensuring a revenue flow.

Why this adds value: It makes it easy for everyone to get started with Umbraco CMS at a price less than a book. Being a service it also lets us add more and more content to people who subscribe ensuring that they can keep improving their skill sets also on very narrow topics which makes it an awesome supplement to the courses. For Umbraco HQ it's a source of income that both scales and is attractive for the huge and constantly growing user base. For me - this is likely the product that I'm most proud of.

Umbraco PRO
This was for a lack of a better name and I hope it'll change in the future. Umbraco PRO is our supported and guaranteed version of Umbraco CMS. Today it's a mashup of different services and products we had in the beginning, but we're starting to release the product in the bundle as individual offerings with our successful form designer - Umbraco Contour - being the first. At the very heart of it, Umbraco PRO tries to solve some of the concerns we meet from bigger companies. With Umbraco PRO they get better bug fixing warranty than any standard Web CMS EULA meets and with the support option on top, they get stellar tech support from the very people who make the software.

Why this adds value: The bug fixing warranty brings great comfort for companies and the support not only ensures that companies and solution providers can get solid answers in very short time but also ensures that we - the company - get a great sense of what areas of Umbraco CMS need more attention.

As our revenue sources clearly show, our business is not rocket science. We use the power of our brand, trademarks and knowledge to ensure revenue. The more people using Umbraco CMS, the bigger market for our services. Hence a strong motivation for a solid core product. Hence a motivation to invest back directly on the product [generosity] as it makes the platform more attractive.

And while some might argue that our business is small, Umbraco is fast-forwarding towards one of the biggest install bases for Microsoft based Web CMS. This while being strongly profitable. Something very few VC-backed projects can boast. You don't need to be big to make change. But you need to be profitable to be sustainable long term.

Our business model is a perfect mashup of ongoing trends such as Freemium, Transparency and Open Source and at the same time we get to do what we love - being part of a stunning change backed by the most wonderful community.

That's sustainable change.

Friday, March 19, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


Dear Tony!

I wanted to mail you, but the pissedoffWithgreadyUmbraco.com doesn't seem to be a real domain.

Our videos are free for everyone who bought Umbraco PRO, but for everyone else it's a 19EUR (29USD) bargain! How about that - we provide the a product for free, yet you're able to gain access to the same quality training materials that the paying customers get for less than a book cost.

The reason that we post partial videos as teasers is to ensure that people get a chance to evaulate the .tv product in case they want to buy. Not only do we offer ten essential foundation videos for free, but we also make sure that you can get a sense on what's going on in the other videos from more than just a title and an abstract.

I don't think your metaphor around the partially assembled product holds water. Honestly - you haven't bought anything. If you think we're greedy, I think the world needs more greedy people.


Thursday, March 18, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

As the umbraco team heads home we consider what MIX means for umbraco - and its all good.  MIX is a fantastically exciting event for web developers and especially for those of us who have based our solutions on the Microsoft stack.  A great collection of smart and talented web professionals attend MIX and we were thrilled to be part of it.  Many MIX attendees also head home in possession of a shiny new umbraco logo sticker - these were found in a variety of surprising locations throughout the MIX venue.  Look for them to appear on the laptop lids of umbraco users soon, sort of the new hotness for the cool umbraco kids - at least that's what we told folks at MIX!


The Team

I, Paul Sterling, had the pleasure of attending MIX in the company of Per Ploug Hansen from Umbraco, Alex Nordcliffe from Xeed, Peter Miller from Condé Nast Digital, and Benjamin Howarth from Code Gecko.  Our days were packed full of meetings with current and potential partners and very interesting sessions covering a broad range of topics from Silverlight to Windows Phone 7 Series to MVC v2.0 and more.  We had scant time for a break, but we did manage to see the sun once or twice all the same.


Day 1

Umbraco's success in the Microsoft Web App Gallery was prominently featured in the Day 1 keynote.  Umbraco has been downloaded more than 100,000 times from the Web App Gallery and the total number of downloads is more than 10 million - all of this in the last 12 months.


Day 2

The Day 2 Keynote was not without its umbraco tie-in as well.  Microsoft launched its oData protocol and related technologies all presented on the odata.org site - which is powered by umbraco and built by the talented folks at Vizioz.

Its no secret that more than a couple of current and future Microsoft sites are built using umbraco.  To further the great relationship umbraco and Microsoft share we are developing a deeper partnership in 2010.  Much of the results from this partnership will not be seen in the immediate future but rest assured we are working hard together to ensure the growth and stability of the umbraco installed base.  If you've been waiting for the time when Microsoft recognized the unique and valuable combination of umbraco's technology and community - that time is now.

The Dinner

On Tuesday evening umbraco hosted a dinner for 35 MIX attendees.  The response was overwhelming and we were forced to use a highly complex and proprietary algorithm to select the lucky dinner invitees. 


In addition to a host of interesting and hungry people, a number of virtual celebrities joined us and participated in the lively discussion.  Among the attendees were Scott Hanselman, Sara Chipps, Pete Brown, Chris Woodruff, Jon Galloway, and Jim Minatel

The End

Talking with current umbraco users and partners is a huge rush but meeting people curious about umbraco is even more exciting.  Of all the people we spoke with at MIX we were most impressed with the open-mindedness and willingness to consider an approach like umbraco - one that is open-source, friendly, and maybe a little bit of an underdog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

We've just opened registration for the first round of official Umbraco courses (both level 1 and level 2) held in Antwerp, Belgium.

Level 1 is running on 3rd & 4th May 2010
Level 2 is running on 5th & 6th May 2010

Both courses will be be taught by umbraco HQ team member Tim Geyssens who brings more then 3 years Umbraco experience to the dojo.

These are the same courses taught throughout Europe and North America, the training will give you everything you need to know to attain your Umbraco Certification at either level 1 or level 2.

Secure your seat here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


Our annual Umbraco Conference - CodeGarden - is here again. On June 24-25th 2010 web developers, designers, editors and other Umbracians from all over the world will gather in Copenhagen for the sixth time. We opened registration last week and we're already past 70 attendees which means it took less than 48 hours to outnumber the number of attendees from 2005-2007!

CodeGarden is a phenomenal conference and THE conference to attend if you work with Umbraco or consider doing it. We've managed to keep the early bird price at EUR300 and that's a *steal* for three full days of talks from all the numero uno Umbraco experts and the fee is even including swag, awesome organic food and loads of surprises along the way.

ASP.NET MVC Pre conference

As we revealed last year, we're transitioning to Microsoft ASP.NET MVC for the next version of Umbraco - Umbraco 5 - which we're aiming to release Q1 2011. At last years CodeGarden, I also promised that we'd help to make this a smooth transition for everyone. And action speaks louder than words, so I'm proud that we're not only thinking about how the software works but also in how to raise the level of competence for people in the Umbraco community by arranging an MVC pre-conference day on the 23rd.

We've somehow managed to convince MVC experts Simone Chiaretta and Jon Galloway to come and do MVC bootcamps on the day before CodeGarden starts (June 23rd). It's free for all attendees and it's an absolutely stunning chance to get up to speed with the next generation of ASP.NET and the foundation of Umbraco 5.

Simone Chiaretta is an ASP.NET MVP and ASPInsider as well as the author of the Beginning ASP.NET MVC from Wrox. Jon Galloway is working at Microsoft and is the author of the coming Professional ASP.NET MVC 2.0.

Ensure your ticket today!

All the previous CodeGardens have sold out and the ticket sale this year has obviously blown us away. Make sure to register today - either before the price goes up or before CodeGarden10 is sold out.

Monday, February 22, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Hello all,
It's Warren (The CWS guy) here I haven't blogged for Umbraco Corp for quite a while now, but its good to do a guest post again.

Last week Adam Shallcross from The Cogworks and myself from Xeed hosted the 5th Birthday party on 16th February 2010 in London and I'm glad to say it was a huge success, with around 75-80 people turning up to watch a jam packed day full of talks, birthday cake and mingling.

Some attendees at the 5th Birthday
Photo: Douglas Robar

Adam and me organised the day to be a fun day as possible, with each attendee getting a birthday goodie bag that included:

  • Umbraco pen
  • Umbraco & Our.Umbraco button badges
  • Umbraco paper pad for all those important notes
  • Drink Voucher
  • Party popper
  • Party hat

Umbraco button badges that attendees received
Photo: Warren Buckley


The day's schedule was as follows:

  • Per from Umbraco - The history of Umbraco & what is to come in the future
  • William Coleman & Mark Quirk from Microsoft UK - Upcoming tech (.NET4, Azure, Silverlight)
  • Chris Houston from Vizioz.com - CMS Mailer
  • Paul Marden from Orcare.com - Google Checkout
  • Adam Shallcross & Tim Saunders from The CogWorks - Integrating systems not just CMS
  • Benjamin Howarth - Medium Trust
  • Neil Tootell & Julien Decaudin from SAS Design - SAS Design 2009 Projects
  • Alex Norcliffe & Peter Miller from CondeNast - Cloud computing & scalability
  • SWAG Raffle


Chris Houston from Vizioz.com - CMS Mailer

Paul Marden from orcare.com - Google Checkout

Benjamin Howarth from Code Gecko Developments - Medium Trust for Umbraco

Neil Tootell & Julien Decaudin from sasdesign.co.uk - 2009 Projects

Alex Norcliffe & Peter Miller from CondeNast Digital - Cloud computing & scalability


Paul Marden from Orcare has done a great job of recording these videos and putting them up onto Vimeo.com

Want to see photos of the event?

As always our budding "umbraco" photographer Douglas Robar of Percipient Studios has put his photos online at Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/percipientstudios/sets/72157623392288216/

Want to watch a room full of developers sing Happy Birthday to Umbraco?


Would like to say thanks again to The Cogworks and Xeed to help fund the event and also thanks to Microsoft UK for giving us some nice SWAG to give away.


Warren :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

We got a lot of users in North America - in fact it's the number one visiting country on this website - but we've never had a good (official) way to support them. So to find a way, we went on a company retreat and had some unexpected help:

More (serious) details coming next week.

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Umbraco got the worlds most friendly community. Period. With more than 5.000 individuals helping each other every month it can be hard to pinpoint who's doing more than others, but there are Umbracians who're putting an almost unbelievable effort in answering questions on the forum, producing killer packages and sharing knowledge in the wiki and blog posts.

To show how much we appreciate their work, we made the Umbraco MVP - Most Valued People (*not* professionals) program in 2007. If you take a look at the ten different people who've previously received the MVP award, I'm sure you'll find out that they helped you when you started with Umbraco and that your Umbraco sites are using their packages.

Previously it was Per and I who decided who got to be MVPs, but last year we decided to change that. Let the people who've received help be the ones who choose the MVPs. So we invented the Karma system on Our and we've used that to make a shortlist of the twenty candidates for the 2010 MVP award:

Cast your vote before March 1st 2010

To narrow this down to five MVPs, please take your time to vote for your favorite candidate. For more details, please check the voting page on Our Umbraco.

Congratulations to all twenty people who made this list and let the best five win!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Today we've done another update of the umbraco package repo (that's available from the packages tree in the developer section of umbraco). Again we've added some of the best rated/most downloaded projects created by our amazing community.

FamFamFam Icons by Shannon Deminick

Extends the document type icon dropdown with a massive number of icons.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.

Log Manager by Immo Wache

Adds a new tree to the developer section that can be used to manage the umbraco log.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.

Char Limit

A  datatype that allows you to set a limit on the number of characters that can be entered in a textarea.


More details on this project on our.umbraco.org.


Remember to keep voting on your favorite packages and spread some karma on our.umbraco.org!