.NET based CMS Orchard has reached the 4,000,000 download mark for modules and themes (the CMS itself has 480,000 downloads), and is now readying its next release, version 1.7, for a June 2013 launch. It's a major release, and it will debut features like drag and drop multiple image imports, image processing and integrated slideshows.

Updated Media Manager

Orchard will be adding familiar media tools to version 1.7. The drag and drop image importing particularly is a popular feature, one that even WordPress introduced with its latest release, codenamed Elvin.. This tool is pretty much a must have feature these days, so it's good Orchard has decided to go live with it in this update.

The media picker has been rewritten to include multiple selection, imports that include progress bars and integrated Web search and import. Additionally, image processing tools like adjusting contrast, brightness and the like have also been built in. These are handy, intuitive tools familiar to most anybody, so they should become quite popular, we suspect.

These media management updates will be able to be extended as well, and that means third party developers will be able to integrate them into their add ons.

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Preview of updated media manager in Orchard 1.7.

Workflow Module

Another major portion of this update is the workflow module, a possible rules engine replacement. It allows for building a flexible content creation workflow such as creating, reviewing, approving and publishing with automatic notifications included, for example.

It employs a drag and drop editor for placing and connecting different events, actions and decision nodes. That means highly customizable workflows can be created in a more visual way. The workflow module is one of over 500 available to developers, and the second ever Orchard user conference has been scheduled for mid-June so those devs can get an up close look at the latest tools.

Orchard Harvest is June 13 and 14 in Amsterdam, and while the release date for version 1.7 has not been given, it will likely be ready in time for that event.