Composite C1 .NET Web CMS Has Gone Open Source

3 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar

There's a new open source web content management system on the market today. Danish owned Composite C1 is now available under the MPL 1.1 license and available on Codeplex.

Your Standard Features are Here

Composite C1 first arrived on the scene in 2009, but the .NET web content management system was not open source. A Microsoft Gold Partner, they have a tendency to be on the cutting edge of Microsoft technologies and you see a lot of these in C1.

C1 is built using the following technologies: IIS 7 or WebMatrix, .NET 4, ASP.NET 4, XML, MVC, LINQ and Windows Workflow Foundation. This latest version was developed with a pluggable architecture and the company offers a documented API.


C1 Page Preview

A run through of the feature set for this Web CMS and you see it has everything required of a typical web content management system including:

  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Authoring workflow
  • Image Editor
  • Page preview
  • Page Template (layouts)
  • SEO assistant
  • Group/user permissions
  • Localization

C1 supports W3C standards out of the box and can be used with both Internet Explorer 7/8 and FireFox 3.6.


C1 Visual Editor

1 Version, 2 Licenses 

Composite C1 went open source at the end of September. But in addition to the open source version, the company also offers a subscription license for those organizations who want support. Note that there is only one version of the Web CMS, but two different ways to own it. 

Learning Opportunities

With the commercial license you receive automated upgrades, product warranty and end-user support via email and web-based helpdesk. In addition, if you want a multi-site license or want to distribute C1 under a different brand, you will need the commercial license before you can get the additional pricing. The base subscription for Composite C1 is US$ 3000 for 12 months.

In both cases (open source or subscription), you can also purchase additional support products and commercial modules as you like. What kind of additional modules are available? There are currently three:

  1. Extranet (US$ 1600)
  2. Versioning (US$ 2500)
  3. Newsletter (US$ 1000)

There are a ton of free modules though if these aren't things you need.

It's also good to point out that the base web content management system stores your content as XML. If you are interested in storing your content in a SQL Server database, it will cost you US$ 3500 for a Connector and Converter.

To date, there have been 382 1276 downloads of C1 on Codeplex, but you can also download load and install via Microsoft's Web Platform Installer 3.0 and WebMatrix, or on the Composite website as a Visual Studio 2010 download.

It will be interesting to see how Composite C1 fairs against the more well known open source .NET web content management players like Umbraco and DotNetNuke. But there's definitely a lot of room to play in this area and a lot of Microsoft developers who would love to be involved in an open source Web CMS project.