Introducing JUNO

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:

10 comment(s) for “Introducing JUNO”

  1. Gravatar ImageChris Houston Says:

    Great news, well done to the HQ team for getting this release out, it sounds like there are some great user friendly additions.

    I can't watch your video as I am on a train with a bad connection, but looking forward to hearing the Juno in action :)



  2. Gravatar ImageJeroen Breuer Says:

    This is perfect! Umbraco just got a lot better again :).


  3. Gravatar ImageAnders Munk Says:

    Great news.

    Are there any ways to "downgrade" an existing SQL server database to SQL CE?

  4. Gravatar ImageJukka-Pekka Keisala Says:

    Starter kits is a great improvement. But why not reading those from our.umbraco projects repository? First ones with highest highfives and featured and perhaps possibility to browse more right in the installation.

  5. Gravatar ImageHartvig Says:

    @Jukka-Pekka: We wanted something that follows a standard so we could build a skinning format. That was why we had to start from scratch (or rather build upon Runway). If we used the ones from the repo they all have different html styles meaning that we couldn't use skinning with them.

    With a standard for starter kits we can now start building an ecosystem for getting started which means that it will be improved by all whereas the previous - but great - starter kits were all silos and as such relied upon their creators.

  6. Gravatar ImageRik Says:

    Who do we talk to if we are considering contributing a skin ?

  7. Gravatar ImageHartvig Says:

    @Rik: Grab hold of Tim ( or Per ( We'll get it more formalized/automated as we get closer.

  8. Gravatar ImageBarney Says:

    Pretty excited about this development. Nice work.
    ps - I used to own a Juno in the 80's... if I grow a moustache can I join your synth band?

  9. Gravatar ImageMudasir Khan Says:


    do you have any chance to integrate FTP within umbraco, i saw package which integrates FTP inside umbraco but it doesn't work with 4.5.2, i am senior software engineer and would like to contribute in the project. i am Microsoft Certified Techonology Specialist.


  10. Gravatar ImageJohn Scott Says:

    I used to own a Juno-60, miss it, might re-tweet this every-day! Sold it to pay rent, foolish move, should have moved to the park and kept my synth. Oh happy days with headphones on.

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