We are working with Umbraco for some time now. The more I use it, the more I like it.
If you look at Umbraco for the first time, you might be dissappointed. It has not as much plugin’s as other CMS’s. (That is until now of course.) In contradiction to what everyone says, my believe is that we cannot call Umbraco a “Web Content Management System”. Or in short CMS. I know, they call it a CMS, it looks like a CMS, it smells like a CMS, but it is NOT a CMS.
Let me look up the definition of a Web Content Management System.
Web content management system is a bundled or stand-alone application used to create, manage, store and deploy content on Web pages. Web content types can include text, graphics and photos, video or audio, and application code that renders other content or interacts with the visitor. WCM may also catalog or index content, select or assemble content at runtime, or deliver content to specific visitors in a personalized way or in different languages. (from wikipedia)
An application you say?
Umbraco is not just an application. Although, it can be used pretty good as a stand-alone application, it always need some customization. It contains a very brought base to start from. That’s why everyone loves it so much. It can be used as a starting point to build a web application.
Web pages and web content?
Umbraco can be to create, manage, store and deploy a lot more than only web pages. You can use it as a back-end system for you CRM software. That has nothing to do anymore with web pages. If you think about Hive provider in Jupiter (umbraco v5), it’s not too hard to imagine you have a project without a real website but only use the back-end to manage the database.
Index, select and assemble!
That is true. Umbraco has no difference in this part. It is a monster in indexing and selecting. It masters assembling new information very good thanks to Razor, XSLT and Deep .Net integration. It handles multiple languages. And you have even packages which help you in personalizing information. And it goes much further than many other CMS’s with the caching policies, /Base extentions, Events, usercontrols, …)
So what is Umbraco
It has a framework which helps you to DRY (don’t repeat yourself). It has lots of help what enables to do funky stuff with it. It’s something you use to build web applications on. I agree, mostly websites.
I call it a Web Platform.