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.

Git-hg Mirror is now open source!

The code behind our two-way Git-Mercurial sync service Git-hg Mirror is now open source! We're quite an open source company with dozens of projects on GitHub but up until now the code of Git-hg Mirror was private. Why? Simply because we didn't think it's worth open sourcing (being a very specific solution) and it was just easier not to do it. But suddenly several people nudged us in the last weeks so it's now all open source! Check out the Git-Hg Mirror Daemon and Git-Hg Mirror Common repos on GitHub!

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 improvements arrived to the Liquid Markup module

Our Liquid Markup Orchard module now got a lot smarter! The module enables you to create templates (from the admin or from code) in which you can use the Liquid Markup language. This is a bit more restrictive than e.g. Razor what you may usually work with when developing Orchard. However still it's quite powerful and now we have the following new features: Variables, not just fixed strings can be used when passing parameters to tags. So e.g. you can create a custom dynamic title for your pages. Accessing items of collections in the view model are now supported. E.g. from a template now you can selectively display the second and third image attached to a content item, not just the first one as before. The antiforgery token can now be displayed so you can write completely custom forms. Orchard-aware relative links can be easily constructed, so you can construct dynamic URLs that will work in any environment. Custom link and meta tags can be registered. This way e.g. you can add multiple shortcut icons for your site or add custom meta tags for Facebook sharing. Custom CSS classes can be added to shapes to improve how you can style those elements. Furthermore CSS classes can now also be added to the HTML document. For the whole list of features and examples covering every scenario take a look at the module's Readme. The modules is also available on all sites of DotNest, the Orchard SaaS. Did you get some inspiration to try Liquid? It's a safe templating language, you can even give it to non-developers. Check out the module on GitHub!

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!

Collecting Orchard usage telemetry with Azure Application Insights - module released

You can't base decisions on assumptions. What you can't measure you can't manage. Familiar? Of course, and what you want to do with your software is specifically what's hinted: measure how people use it. Azure Application Insights is a tool for this, being an application telemetry service. Now we created an Orchard module for it for easy integration! The Orchard Azure Application Insights module lets you send usage telemetry from Orchard easily: just install the module, configure the AI instrumentation key and that's it: server-side request telemetry (e.g. response time, log entries) and client-side telemetry (e.g. client-side processing time, JavaScript exceptions) will be sent to Azure and you can explore it from the Azure Portal on charts like above. With all this integrated you can get valuable insights, not just raw data but also answers to questions like "What was the request when this exception happened?" You can also chek out an overview of AI and a demonstration of the module on the Orchard Community Meeting's recording. Azure Application Insights is a very useful tool when operating Orchard applications and allows you to response to any issues quickly. Check out the module!

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!

Two Orchard module releases: Orchard Liquid Markup and Associativy Taxonomies Adapter

We haven't told you here yet but recently we released two new Orchard modules! Orchard Liquid Markup is a module that extends the built-in Orchard.Templates module and allows you to write shape templates right from the admin by using the Liquid Markup language. The module is also included on DotNest sites! Associativy Taxonomies Adapter is the other new module: extending the Associtiaty knowledge graph engine it provides an automatic way of building cool graphs by using existing taxonomies (coming from the built-in Orchard.Taxonomies module). Which one got you interested?

Our User Notifications Orchard module released!

Ever wanted to send some persistent notifications to the users of your Orchard site? This is now very easy with our new User Notifications module that we developed for RealtyShares: with User Notifications you can send notifications to individual users or groups of users, regardless the number of recipients. Tracy Gonzales, the Lead Engineer of RealtyShares said this about our work: This module has been in production on www.realtyshares.com for several months, and it runs without a hitch. Not only is it easy to use, but it's also very efficient. RealtyShares is able to send batches of notifications on the order of tens of thousands without straining the web server or interrupting the user experience. Scaling isn't a concern either, as the module was designed to handle much higher volume. The notification content is also token aware, so it's possible to send personalized messages addressing the user by name. This feature is very handy. If you're looking for easy ways to engage users on your site, this simple yet powerful module is an indispensable tool. Check out User Notifications so your users always can know what's up!

Making simple Orchard development tasks simple with Abstractions

Orchard, the beloved content management framework we built Lombiq on admittedly has a steep learning curve. Well, with great investment into learning Orchard comes great power or something, but still, how can we make some simple, everyday development tasks in Orchard easier? Can we also give beginner developers a tool to quickly flush out some simpler modules with only understanding the basics, leaving some more time to learn the whole system? We created the Orchard Abstractions module as a proof of concept. The module enables you to write content parts extremely easily. You remember (or if you're beginning with Orchard: you'll soon learn) that to write a custom content part you have to think about not just the part itself, but also about data storage (either with records or through the InfosetPart), migrations, drivers, handlers, you have to understand shapes (with intricate but awesome details like shape factories) and placement. With Abstractions we made this easier: as the bare minimum you only have to write a content part class (basically a simple POCO with virtual properties) and a display and/or editor template for it. That's it. If you want to be more advanced and display something through the part that should be calculated somehow you can attach such logic by implementing a simple interface. All this is what we called Quick Parts. On top of that Abstractions also contains Quick Widgets: by deriving your content part from a specific class you'll get your part set up as a widget for free. How about that? :-) Also everything you write using Quick Parts or Quick Widgets uses standard mechanisms in the background. So if you decide to go hardcore and customize everything you can do that by gradually enhancing what you've written to the point where you have the whole module done in the standard way. Your parts' data won't get lost, there is no data migration needed. Most of your code will remain intact and the remainder should just be copy-pasted elsewhere. If you feel adventurous take a look at the separate samples project and begin to write your parts - quickly.

We've broken the Internet with downloadable content items

Our new Download as... Orchard module brings the ability to download content items as files: currently HTML or PDF. This means you can give automatic download links for your contents on your Orchard sites (something that's our profession to develop). The module even cares about flattening hierarchies of content that are defined with container-contained connections. We already use the module so you can download the vast knowledge collection of Orchard Dojo Library. You can see a demo of the module on the Orchard podcast.