I’ve looked at Orchard before, and I got the impression that it’s a neat ASP.NET MVC-based content management system. Not all sites need a CMS, but they can be very suitable for some types of applications. When it comes to CMS development, I’ve spent most of my time developing with DNN (DotNetNuke) and Episerver. DNN is packed with features, but it’s very Web Forms heavy and it has gotten quite slow. The DNN APIs seem to stay fairly consistent, so if you’re looking for a CMS that will provide backwards compatibility for a long time, then DNN might be a suitable choice. I did, however, get a better impression from Episerver. Episerver is a very well structured .NET-based CMS, and it has better support for ASP.NET MVC than DNN has. Episerver is a proprietary CMS, and it’s not free, so unfortunately it’s not exactly a viable option for independent developers or small businesses in terms of pricing. Orchard is free and open source though, and it looks like it’s heading in the right direction with what’s happening with Orchard 2.0.
In Orchard 2.0 (previously called vNext), they have pretty much rewritten the project from scratch. Nick Mayne talked about the new version in a presentation labeled “Orchard Harvest 2015 vNext” (link to the presentation on YouTube). In a nutshell: It’s been rewritten with .NET Core; they’ve worked on making it more decoupled and modular; added support for multi-tenancy; dependency injection; YesSql; MVC is included as a module, and it’s now possible to swap it out with Nancy for example.
I liked what I saw in Orchard a couple of years ago, and this new path seems even more alluring. I’m gonna keep an eye on Orchard going forward and see what comes out of it. If you’re interested in following the Orchard project, then you can check out the roadmap on their GitHub page.
There’s also a playlist with a bunch of interesting presentations from Orchard Harvest 2017 available here on YouTube.