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.

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.

Atlantis Programs has a new look and further updates are coming!

The relationship between Atlantis Programs and Lombiq started in January of 2014 - less than a year into Lombiq's existence - when we migrated their website from Wordpress to Orchard with regards to theming and content. We have worked on a few other tasks regarding hosting and performance since then as well. In the second half of 2016 we were working on developing a new theme based on a sitebuild that was created with Foundation for Sites and we are in the process of developing other changes to the site: Some of them small, but one of them stands out by adding localization-related changes to make sure that an even wider audience of users can browse the site with ease (the first additional language to be added is French-Canadian with a lot of translated content). Here's what Mike Chan (Marketing and Promotions Manager) said about our recent work: Lombiq has taken us the final step in the launch phase of our new theme development. Providing strong programming knowledge and resources on their team, we feel confident that they will deliver the final outcome we hope and expect. So much so, that we have taken on another project to deploy a new localization project with their team.

A new website for .NET Foundation, using Orchard of course

If you're a .NET developer, you must have heard of .NET Foundation: they basically take care of a lot of legal and administrative stuff for you if you're running an open source .NET project. They needed a new website, they wanted to use Orchard, they came to Lombiq! The old .NET Foundation website also used Orchard CMS (though an outdated version), but the project was a complete rewrite: new content structure, new theme, and new modules. Two of the modules are also open source, of course: Repository Markdown Content allows you to sync content in form of Markdown files to Orchard from a GitHub repository (much like the External Pages module does for Bitbucket repos). Feed Aggregator let's you sync content from RSS feeds. So you can hook up blog feeds for example and aggregate blog posts into an Orchard blog. The site is running on Azure in an App Service with staged publishing, using Azure SQL and Blob Storage. When due to the article about Google joining .NET Foundation the site experienced the "Slashdot effect" it was still no issue: configured with the out of the box Output Cache module the load was not even showing on the server's resource utilization. So what does Martin Woodward, Executive Director of .NET Foundation say? When looking for an Orchard expert to help us implement the new .NET Foundation site it was important that we worked with a team who had experience setting up Orchard to run at scale. We also needed some custom development done in the Orchard way, but it was important to us that the development work live on as open source modules so that all the work had some contribution back to the Orchard community. Lombiq were the perfect choice for this and I’m thrilled with the results. Martin Woodward also talks about the website in a Channel 9 video (and mentions Lombiq around 00:34:00). Are you also looking for a team to build an Orchard website for you? Get in touch with us!

Orchard in Switzerland: working with inteno ag

A Swiss company, inteno ag is some all around tech company: apart from custom software development services they offer product information management and publication management systems, as well as cloud computing resources. And they use Orchard, wouldn't you guess? That's how we met. Inteno runs three websites on Orchard: nuboserv.com, their main company website, nubosys.com for their cloud computing branch and acrossmedia.ch, a site developed for one of their customers, a Swiss media agency. These all run in a single multi tenant app. They got in touch with Lombiq to provide some Orchard expertise for these sites: upgrade them from Orchard 1.8.1 to 1.10.1, including some various content migrations from old modules to new ones, as well as to implement a localization infrastructure for nuboserv.com - as you may have noticed all the sites are in German, English versions are now due. Oh, and a fourth Orchard website is coming! This is what Matthias J. (Software developer at inteno ag) has to say: We highly appreciated that during Concept, Implementation and Support phase we had always one reliable person to talk to. That decreased the administrative effort and maximised the output. Lombiq is Orchard. They know everything about it. No Emmentaler cheese was harmed during the project!

Helping CarolinaMLS deliver a new Orchard-based web presence

The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association®, or more precisely Carolina Multiple Listing Services® got in touch with us to get some hands-on help with launching their new Orchard-based websites. The Association represents more than 9000 Realtors® (real estate professionals) in the Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) region. The new web presence, launched recently, consists of three websites: CarolinaHome.com (the Association's main website), MingleSchool.com (real estate school and training) and CarolinaRealtors.com (local Realtor® member site). Lombiq helped the small IT team of CarolinaMLS® with Orchard advisory and development: this consisted of, among others, a thorough code review, upgrading the websites' code from Orchard 1.7.0 to 1.8.1, then to 1.10.1, a data sync daemon that constantly synchronizes real estate listings from a legacy database to the Orchard site and various Orchard advisory. Furthermore due to the vast amount of content items (more than 40000) certain performance problems in Orchard surfaced and CarolinaMLS® sponsored to fix a very important issue with Autoroute. This is how Mike Caesar, Director of Marketing and Communication of Carolina summarizes it: Lombiq took the time and effort to understand our unique business needs. The work performed was of good quality and delivered on time. Response time for questions and concerns was quick as well. In summary, it was a pleasant working partnership. Do you also need some Orchard development? Drop us a line!

If you're an Orchard developer, do we have a Visual Studio extension for you!

A long time ago you had to write Orchard code by hand, like cavemen. Then the era of code-writing code came when Orchardizer was released. Now we add our own take on an Orchard developer's Visual Studio extension, introducing Lombiq Orchard Visual Studio Extension with an enterprise-level long name! Lombiq Orchard Visual Studio Extension contains tools for some of the most common but mundane Orchard development tasks, like injecting a dependency, creating a new module or adding a new content part. Of course it's free and open source with a source repository on GitHub. So give it a try: you can install it from inside Visual Studio easily. And if you don't like something tell us on GitHub!

Big Orchard Project for Big Company from the UK

More than 10 Orchard developers, net 120000 lines of code and 17000km flown between Hungary and the UK - all this within 5 months. What are we talking about? Our latest Big Project! The Big Project (that shall not be named because of our NDA) was about migrating over an Umbraco app that used certain backend services to Orchard and to use a different set of backend services. Fair enough, but Big Project was really big: it's the app of the number one brand of its sector in the UK, is used by tens of thousands of people daily and the original Umbraco app was initially developed for 3,5 years! The parent company is also a Big Company by the way, traded on the London Stock Exchange as part of the FTSE 250 Index and made around GBP 700 million in revenue last year. It was quite a challenging ride: very tight schedule (3,5 years for the original app vs less than 5 months for the re-write), the biggest team of Lombiq's history working on it and an huge amount of code produced. Also lots and lots of Orchard bugs fixed. Some keywords on what the project consisted: Orchard, SASS, LESS, Bootstrap, all-nighters, web API integrations, Slack, JIRA, Octopus Deploy. Phew! While we can't disclose more details of the project or the names of the other companies involved references are available upon request, just get in touch with us! We can deliver the same power of Orchard development to you. Update: Rob King also talked about this and related projects at Orchard Harvest 2017 in New York:

Lombiq Fields Orchard module released with some useful content fields

Fields in Orchard are simply to use ways of building your own content: you can enrich content items to store a variety of data in the available fields. With our Lombiq Fields module we now add two new ones: Media Library Upload Field and the Money Field. So what are these two fields doing exactly? Media Library Upload Field: with it Media items can be uploaded attached to content items, all this in a very customizable way. Money Field: with this field you can store amounts of money, including the currency in a semantic way. You can also see the module in action in the Orchard Communtiy Meeting's podcast. Check out Lombiq Fields on GitHub or see it in action on DotNest!

An Orchard module development sprint for Aristotle

"No time to explain: get into development!" Roughly this is how we started to work with Aristotle, the award-winning creative agency from Arkansas. In a sprint of two weeks we had to deliver two Orchard modules for listing local businesses and managing their deals. ...which we did on time. The Business Listings module's task is to store and display local businesses (e.g. hotels, restaurants) in a searchable manner on websites aimed for tourists. The second Orchard module, Packages & Deals builds on Business Listings, enabling business owners to compile their offerings and show them to visitors. Both modules utilize the latest features of Orchard 1.8.1, efficiently storing and querying data, and presenting them in a manner that can be overridden for every website in a flexibly. This is what Jennifer Peper, President of Aristlotle says: "When Aristotle needed additional Orchard advice and application assistance, we interviewed and partnered with Lombiq. Aristotle had a very tight turn-around for the production of key Orchard modules that involve complicated query structures and access legacy data. With a very rough draft of the specifications, Lombiq’s team started immediately and independently worked in a compressed timeframe to develop a key application for our company. They asked important questions, provided in-depth and long term solutions, and used the most advanced features of the latest version of Orchard. We look forward to our next project with their team. It is so rare to work with such professionals who commit to a deadline and meet it or beat it!" Update: since then we've delivered another orchard module for Aristotle: the Trip Planner module lets you select businesses from the Business Listings module to build a trip, visiting each one. Want to get an Orchard job done? You can count on us, just drop us a line.

Use Orchard in any application: introducing Orchard Application Host! Get your imagination going!

Orchard is not just a CMS but also a great framework too; and it would be awesome to use the capabilities of the Orchard framework not just in Orchard web apps, but... Any application? This is exactly what the Orchard Application Host enables! The Orchard Application Host, or Orchard App Host is a framework that enables you to run your code inside the scope of an Orchard shell, but from any application: thus you can write a console app, a cloud worker, a desktop app, a Windows service, etc. and use the awesome features of Orchard like automatic dependency injection, caching, data access, shapes, logging... After you developed with Orchard everything else feels so low-level, right? Now you can supercharge any app with Orchard App Host! See it in action in the below recording of the Orchard Community Meeting (from 22:55)! Do you have a lot of ideas for using Orchard App Host now? Here's a deal! Create some cool implementation that uses Orchard through Orchard App Host and we'll personally help you if you have any issues. If you find something missing from Orchard App Host we'll implement it. And when you're done we'll post about your project here, we'll tweet about it and also feature in on the Orchard App Host project page. Just get in touch with us when you're ready!