.NET Lament

May 19, 2007

Today I'm searching for a migration path for a customer that is using Digett's original chosen content management solution, the old .NET Community Starter Kit (CSK). The CSK played a huge role in Digett's genesis, as it provided the inspiration for and the engine behind our original and ongoing mission to provide turnkey, high-end web marketing solutions. Alas, it also taught us an important lesson about how not to choose a solution. The problem, we learned, is that for a "free" solution to be worthwhile (for companies like Digett as well as for their clients), it must have longevity of support options and upgrade-ability. It must have staying power. This is where a strong open-source community - like the incredible, active community behind Drupal - comes into play. It was this community that was missing in our decision to implement many client web sites on the CSK. Despite being a great piece of code for its time, the CSK simply did not evolve with the times. Digett will likely be paying for that decision for some time now, whether it is through strained relationships with clients who don't understand the need to invest more money in migrating to another CMS solution, or in profits sacrificed in the name of keeping some of those important clients happy. I'm not at all being critical of .NET, although as I search the web for possible .NET solutions to replace our client's aging system, I'm struck by the lack of organization and apparent lack of strength of community behind many of these efforts. I guess the same is probably true for the pure open source world(s) as well. Fact is, since we identified and zeroed in on Drupal as the ideal CMS for so many of the projects we tackle, I've not been too interested in pursuing other possible solutions. Let me ask the .NET savvy out there. In the pure open source CMS world, there seem to be just a couple efforts that really stand out among the CMS solutions; namely, Drupal and Joomla. Tell me, are there similar stand-outs when it comes to community-driven .NET-based CMS tools? Any input would be greatly appreciated.