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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

What is Umbraco: A Quick Overview

What is Umbraco: A Quick Overview

Umbraco is one of the most deployed Content Management Systems (CMS) built with the .Net framework. Niels Hartvi invented Umbraco in 2000 and launched it in the market in 2004. In 2009, Umbraco became one of the top .Net based leading open-source CMS. And it was the most admired top five download via the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. The Umbraco CMS creates an integrated workflow that kicks off the entire hurdle that can hamper your creativity.

What is Umbraco?

Umbraco is written in C Hash (C#) and it empowers you to publish content for both internet and intranet. From Umbraco 4.5, it has been running the license of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) as free software. This open-source CMS ensures infinite editing.  The Umbraco community features 200,000 registered users.

Umbraco Releases:

Version 4.1 Beta II

16 February 2010

Version 5 (codenamed "Jupiter")

January 2012

Version 6

31 January 2013

Version 7

21 November 2013

Umbraco 8

February of 2019

Why Umbraco CMS?

  • Umbraco is the fastest growing CMS. It is known as "The Friendly CMS" for its user-friendly features like flexible content management strategy, intuitive editing experience, cloud hosting, extensions, extreme responsiveness, and cross-platform.
  • The Umbraco CMS offers a flexible environment with tremendous functionalities that are easy to learn. It gives the best platform to work for developers as well as for designers. And there are no restrictions and difficulties in learning new& more processes in Umbraco.
  • If a customer wants to update new features in the Umbraco CMS from their end, Umbraco makes it easy for them. Besides, a non-technical person can manage Umbraco backend efficiently. Especially, content editing/adding is easier in Umbraco over the other CMS systems in the market.

Also, read about Umbraco’s competitor Wordpress here.

Technical Overview and Features of Umbraco

C# empowered Umbraco features a relational database (Microsoft SQL Server) and it works with the Microsoft Internet Information Services. (Microsoft IIS). As it uses ASP.Net as front-end, it features ‘master pages’ of ASP.Net and it facilitates the building of reusable page layouts. Besides, Umbraco has an e-commerce plugin called Merchello, which is known for its high customization and multi-lingual support.

1. Infinite Editing

Once you have overcome the writer’s block you might want a zone, where nothing can stop you.  In Umbraco CMS, we call this flawless workflow as ‘Infinite Editing’. 

The Umbraco infinite editing is more than whatever we have mentioned already. Being an integrated Backoffice workflow, this CMS system allows creating pages by adding text via a WYSIWYG editor. You can also upload & crop images, write over whelming SEO titles as well as descriptions at the same time without leaving the page you are currently working on.

Besides, the great side-by-side Umbraco mode allows you to edit two content pieces at the same time with visible live translation. Thus, it supports you with tremendous multilingual support.    

2. Umbraco Tree StructureUmbraco Tree Structure

Image Courtesy: umbraco.com

The technology infrastructure of the Umbraco CMS resembles a tree data structure. It allows you to view all the components in a hierarchy. The tree data structure says that Umbraco is a smarter CMS with an abstract data type, which is a mathematical model of a data type. In such a tree structure, data’s behavior defines the data type from the user’s POV (point of view). 

3. Searchable Trees (ISearchableTree)

The searchable tree is one of the prominent features of the Umbraco CMS. When you type any search item in the Umbraco Backoffice search field, you can view the search results from the whole Section Trees that are under your access permission.Searchable Trees (ISearchableTree)

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

4. Umbraco Main Sections

Umbraco backend can be divided into three main parts:Umbraco Main Sections

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

  1. Menu - From the main section, you can quickly access the main pages like Content, Media, Settings, Developers, Users, Members, etc. This panel is the main menu from where you can find all the sections, which the Umbraco backend provides.
  2. Tree structure - You will have all your list of pages and elements. If you click on a particular page/element, the tree view loads here. The tree structure makes everything clear at the first look.
  3. Publishing- Publishing in Umbraco is a versatile thing. Apart from real-time publishing, you can schedule release of any asset in this CMS system with predefined date & time.Publishing in Umbraco

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

5. Timezones

In the Umbraco CMS system, it doesn’t matter where your server is located. You can always select the Timezone as per the locations.Timezones

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

Some of the main features of Umbraco are:

6. Templates

Umbraco gives you all the control over the design via its customizable templates. You can add a new template, update or delete the existing with ease. These templates are pre-made sets of HTML web pages.Templates

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

As per your selection, any document you create in the Umbraco CMS features an

Individual template. Then, it builds a public class in Umbraco Backoffice.

You can access the document type properties in the template via IPublishedContent.

7. Document Types

In Umbraco, document types refer to the data definition of your content. The sole purpose of the document type is to define the data.

figure-7-creating-a-document-type-v8

Image courtesy: umbraco.com

In document type, we also define properties and quantities in Umbraco.  The number of properties will be the format of that property, i.e text, rich-text, dropdown box, etc. Even we can do validations on every property to figure out whether the property is required or not. We can also define the templates we want to use for any document type.

8. Content

To create new content in Umbraco, you need to list down the document types. You can choose the document type and add content to each property. After adding all the contents you can "Save and Publish" to see changes done on your site. If you don't want to make changes directly on your site, then you can add/update your content and do "Preview" to see the changes in before publishing. You can also restrict the users from accessing the content using different access permissions.

9. Razor Support

Umbraco also has Razor support, which is a programming syntax of ASP.Net helps building dynamic web pages with C#. Razor is an MVC view engine. We can add HTML to our code logic into Razor’s view. In Umbraco, to get the Dynamic Node we use the Razor view engine.

Umbraco Tutorial

Conclusion

In short, Umbraco is one of the most popular cloud-based CMS systems. It is flexible to run anything right from brochure sites, small businesses to complex applications. This is also a cloud-based CMS system widely preferred by developers and users across the globe. Besides, with fully customization feature, Umbraco CMS provides you a blank page with immense independence to do whatever you want to design and code.

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