Further reading

This is our blog. It contains the latest news and announcements about our open-source projects, services, and products; not least, there are gripping case studies, customer projects, and much more.

Introducing our HipChat to Microsoft Teams Migration Utility

If you're a user of Atlassian's chat service, HipChat, just like us, then you've surely heard that it'll be retired in February 2019. While Atlassian recommends and officially supports migrating to Slack what if you wanted to try Microsoft Teams instead? While there is no official support from Microsoft to migrate to Teams you can try our free and open source tool that we're releasing just now! Our HipChat to Microsoft Teams Migration Utility can be used to import the contents of a HipChat export file into Teams: HipChat rooms will be re-created as channels and messages will be imported. The app is not too easy to use and this being a preliminary release it has a lot of features missing. However, if you're interested in moving from HipChat to Teams (or just want to evaluate Teams as one of the alternatives) you can try it out to get at least some of your existing content into Teams. Let us know how it works for you and if you can contribute with bug reports, feature requests or code that would be awesome! Grab the app from GitHub!

When you visit a concert, you visit Orchard: Troubleshooting Live Nation's Orchard platform

Did you ever go to a concert? Well, then most possibly you've been a guest of Live Nation Clubs and Theaters: A subsidiary of the Fortune 500 entertainment company Live Nation, Live Nation Clubs and Theaters manages a wide array of venues within the United States. But this is not what they're famous for, they also use Orchard :). Specifically all of Live Nation Clubs and Theater venues and brands, including e.g. House of Blues, The Aztec Theatre, and the Coca Cola Roxy are part of a 50-site multi tenant Orchard application. And we helped to iron out a few issues. Running 50 sites in a multi tenant Orchard app is not an extreme number (we have 3600 sites on DotNest) but if you have such high-profile websites it's still a challenge, especially operations-wise, to keep it all working smoothly. Live Nation Club and Theaters's development team got in touch with us to help troubleshoot some evasive bugs that hogged the whole application randomly when modules were enabled or disabled. We drilled into the issue and came up with a solution for the application's hosting environment, so the whole platform is much more stable now. We also helped the Live Nation Clubs and Theaters team with a few other issues and questions, and still continue to work together so Orchard serves them well. This is what Bryan Pritchard, Sr. Director Digital Development & Content Production told about us working together: There was this pesky problem that surfaced randomly when we enabled a feature on one of our sites and caused recurring (though short) downtimes. Since there was enough work on our plate already we reached out to the Lombiq team to help us fix the issue, which they soon did! We'll continue to be in touch with Lombiq as our Orchard experts. Do you also have a big multi tenant Orchard app that needs some maintenance? You found just the right team, get in touch with us!

Helping you with GDPR compliance - Privacy Orchard module

Unless you've been living offline for the last few months (in which case thanks for keeping up-to-date with our blog!) you've heard about the EU GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation. Long story short, as a user your personal data will be protected much more, and as a company you have to take a lot of care on how you use your customer's data. Part of being GDPR compliant, what Lombiq is too, is revising your public privacy policy, your internal processes and practices, and to ask your users to consent to your data processing policy. Our Lombiq Privacy module, which we released today as open source, helps you with the latter: It gives you features to display a privacy consent banner, and similar checkboxes for the registration form and custom forms, all with configurable texts. Go check out our Privacy module and hurry to be compliant, because today is the deadline! And get in touch with us if you need development, training or anything else with Orchard.

Preventing skin cancer with Orchard: The Skin Cancer Foundation's website

We should really take better care of our largest organ, the skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation, a non-profit from New York City, helps by educating people on skin cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment - it's actually the only international organization to focus on this. And as you may have guessed, their website runs on Orchard CMS! So they got in touch with us and we worked together on a series of tasks to upgrade the site a bit. The Foundation's website has previously run on Orchard v1.4. If you're not entirely familiar with Orchard's release schedule then now you'll know that 1.4 was released in 2012. That was quite a while ago, so an upgrade was due: Our first task was to upgrade the site to 1.10, the current version. Secondly the site was not very convenient to use on small screen mobile devices. To mitigate this we've implemented a responsive retrofit, only changing what was really needed and keeping everything else from the original theme intact. Now if you check the site from a mobile device it will work as you expect it. We worked together with Victoria Silecchia, Skin Cancer Foundation's Digital Content Manager and Mae Fang, the Foundation's Web Developer to deliver the updates to the site, which were rolled out at the end of 2017. Victoria summarized the project as following: Going into this project, we weren't quite sure where to start or what the best approach was to meet our needs (and our budget). From our first interaction with Zoltán and team, we were put at ease. They presented us with a number of options that would allow us to achieve our goal, and they helped us understand the pros and cons of each. Once we were ready to move forward, the Lombiq team was always available to answer questions we had and kept us informed of the progress. At the end, they delivered exactly what they promised. We are really satisfied with their work and appreciate that we have a trusted go-to Orchard expert, just an email or Skype call away! Do you have an Orchard site that would really benefit from an upgrade? Just send us an e-mail!

Helping the oldest honor society: Phi Beta Kappa and Orchard

It has a certain ring to it when you can say your company, institute or school is 50 years, or 150 years old. How about 250 years? The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest academic honor society in the US is almost that old, being founded in 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence. Having a history of even 17 US Presidents and countless other notable people being members, Phi Beta Kappa has an established presence to date - and a web presence also based on Orchard CMS. The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa's news site, runs on Orchard. Since making modifications to an existing Orchard site can be challenging to start with, we got an inquiry: Jim Roberts, Phi Beta Kappa's Director of Information Technology and Planned Giving got in touch with us to help with a few things, change the site here and there. This is what he said about our brief joint work: From start to finish, Zoltán is the consummate professional. He is more than a skilled developer but a patient teacher and project manager as well. While the project was small in scope, I always felt as if my needs were a priority. I look forward to working with him again and would recommend Zoltán and his team without reservation. Let's see how we'll continue to work together! Do you have an Orchard site that would need some love? Just send us an e-mail!

Orchard at the Smithsonian: Helping Folklife with their new Orchard sites

Everybody knows the Smithsonian Institution, because as the "world's largest museum, education, and research complex" it's kind of hard to miss. What not everybody knew until this blog post is that the Smithsonian, specifically the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage also uses Orchard to run their websites! And as you may have guessed, we at Lombiq had some part in it. Folklife has three websites, all running on Orchard: http://www.folklife.si.edu/: The homepage of the Center. http://www.festival.si.edu/: Website for the annual Folklife Festival. In 2013 Hungary was the special guest, including some wild Hungarian dances. http://www.folkways.si.edu/: Website of the Folkways record label. Since March we've been helping them with new features for these websites. The first one was quite tricky: To get single sign-on working with their NetSuite app that handles ecommerce checkout for Folkways. After that we supplied, and continue to supply various smaller features (including a widget to display related content for blog posts) and consultancy sessions. But what does Toby Dodds, Technology Director of Folklife say about all this? As the Webmaster at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, I am responsible for the technical well-being of a handful of large web sites totaling close to 60,000 pages of content. Managing the sites is a complex challenge as we employ an array of different tools and technologies. Our web applications are based on Microsoft’s .NET Framework using the open-source CMS Orchard – which we love for its flexibility, good design and performance. One of the other strengths of Orchard is its stellar community of developers which we have been lucky to get to engage with. Partnering with an open-source community of developers is key to our IT strategy. Through that network we were lucky to meet Lombiq Technologies' amazing team. This spring we completed a redesign of all our three main web sites (festival.si.edu, folklife.si.edu, folkways.si.edu). It was an enormous task that pushed our organizational capacity to its outer limits. Rebuilding web sites while maintaining existing sites is grueling and absolutely requires additional highly skilled assistance. We were fortunate to be able to lean on Lombiq along the way to clear hurdles that were too high for us to clear ourselves alone. On multiple occasions Lombiq was available to us on short notice and even at odd hours. For this reason we are forever grateful for their skilled and prompt assistance and guidance. In addition to providing on-the-fly support services to our web development team, Lombiq also distinguished themselves this year by helping us break through on a challenging task related to our integration with our third-party e-commerce provider NetSuite. As a result our customers will be able to log in to our web site while simultaneously authenticating with our commerce platform. This unlocks a very exciting door for us moving forward and we would not be walking through it without Lombiq’s assistance. In short, I can’t say enough about the high-caliber of service provided by this firm of brilliant developers and kind individuals. I would whole heartedly recommend them to anyone looking to partner or enlist similar services as I’ve described above. And since the Smithsonian is a mostly government-funded institute that can pay with United States Treasure cheques we could even say that the US government uses Orchard - and is the client of Lombiq! Is your company also ready to make the Orchard leap? Let's have a call!

New Feed Aggregator module for Orchard CMS

Did you ever wonder: "Hmm, I'd really want to build an RSS reader just for myself"? No? Well, no problem, because now you can do it any way! With our new Feed Aggregator module released for Orchard CMS you can synchronize RSS and Atom feeds to your Orchard site. The module is also available on DotNest, the Orchard CMS SaaS, so you can try it out right away on a free DotNest site! The new Orchard Blogs site also uses the module to show you an automatically curated list of posts from the Orchard blogosphere.

Come to GPU Day and see how we allow .NET developers to create hardware

The GPU Day conference, organized by our partner, the Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is a now traditional HPC and parallel computing conference in Budapest, Hungary. After last year our Hastlayer project will again be a featured topic on 22-23 June. If you haven't heard, Hastlayer is the magic that can turn your .NET software into hardware, so your program is now substituted by a (faster and less power consuming) computer chip! Not just that, but this year's conference is also sponsored by Lombiq. Thus the conference now has a proper website and sessions will also be recorded. So if you can't attend make sure to check back to the conference website later to watch the recordings!

Laying the foundation of a sporty community - Lombiq's part in a new gymnasium

Here at Lombiq sometimes we "give back" not just to open source projects, but also to local communities of ours. In the town of Solymár, Hungary an initiative was started that we could support: Fészek Waldorf School together with Parthus Sport Association wanted to build a new gymnasium, which would not only serve the school's pupils but also the town's 10 000 residents. An overview of the new complex at Solymár, including the new school building (left) and gymnasium (right). Image courtesy of Parthus Association. The Waldorf education puts an emphasis on kids being physically active as well, so it's quite an issue that the school lacks a proper gym. Soon this will change however, since in February 2018 the new gymnasium will be opened. The foundation stone of the building was laid down, together with a time capsule on the beautiful spring day of 4th May, with us taking part on the ceremony too. But how come that Lombiq, a technology company has anything to do with a new gym? Well, in Hungary companies can, within strict rules, decide to support local initiatives with part of their corporation tax. Since we pay quite some of that we figured it's time to choose a project we'd like to see succeed: This was the new gymnasium of Solymár. The gym won't just stand alone: It's part of a bigger decade-long real estate development that revitalises the area of a long closed brick factory, connecting the once industrial part of the town back to the residents' daily life. Fun fact: "fészek" means "nest" in Hungarian, so I guess we could open a software development school called DotNest too? The foundation stone laying ceremony with a crowd mostly consisting of pupils and parents.

Algolia search integration for Orchard CMS

If you haven't heard of it, Algolia is a pretty neat hosted indexing/search service; it's a bit like Lucene in the cloud, but extremely fast. Now thanks to our new Algolia Search module you can very easily plug in Algolia search into Orchard CMS! Orchard has a search and indexing infrastructure built in. The out of the box concrete indexing implementation you can enable is built on Lucene. The Algolia Search module plugs into the framework similarly to Lucene: you can use all the existing Orchard search features but now in the background Algolia will index and fetch everything, not Lucene. Furthermore, we've overridden how the frontend search works, so it utilizes Algolia's key feature, its speed, presenting search results instantly. Also, the Algolia Search module is also available now for all sites on DotNest, the Orchard SaaS! So if you're a hardcore Orchard developer head over to the module's repo and dig into the code or if you'd just want to play with it, check out how to use it on DotNest!