umbraco_logo_07.png After 18 months of steady baking, the Umbraco version 3 release candidate has finally seen the light of public day. Umbraco is a nifty open source CMS and (gasp) ASP.NET Web CMS product driven by an energetic Danish team of developers. The version 3 release focuses on updating the WYSIWYG editor to TinyMCE and supporting the .NET 2.0 platform.Umbraco was built for the Microsoft .NET platform and is one of the open source Web CMS solutions to be built with such technologies. The Umbraco offering is characterized by its clean Danish/English userface, strong separation of content and presentation, XSL templating and general receptivity to functionality additions and suggestions from the community. Word on the street is that the upgrade is a breeze -- it reportedly takes less than three minutes to update v2.1 to v3 RC1, and the whole process is automated. On top of its other fancy features, Umbraco sports a number of friendly APIs, for which there's full MSDN-style documentation (whew!). Didn't we tell you Umbraco means .NET open source CMS? We weren't kidding! The APIs let you do pretty much whatever you'd like to with Umbraco -- expand it, build things into it and develop integratable features. Off the bat, one major benefit of Umbraco v3 is that it supports metablog APIs through a feature called Content Channels. Content Channels enable Umbraco users to edit content offline and outside Umbraco in third-party clients like Live Writer or even, yes, Microsoft Word 2007. The official v3 comes out, fingers crossed, the first week of June. That's just a hair's breadth away. In the meantime, Niels Hartvig and team encourage you curious and technically fit ones to play hard with the release candidate and report all issues so the official version blows minds. And don't forget to familiarize yourself with the latest documentation!