Composite C1

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Composite C1
Composite C1 Logo.png
Stable release 5.0 / December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)[1]
Development status Active
Written in C# / JavaScript / ASP.NET Razor / ASP.NET Web Forms / XSLT
Operating system Microsoft Windows / Windows Azure
Type Web content management system
License Mozilla Public License

Composite C1 is a free open source .NET-based web content management system.[2]

The same version is available under both the MPL 1.1 license and Composite C1's commercial license.[3]

Composite C1 can be regarded as a CMS without database by default with an option of migrating its data store to a Microsoft SQL Server database. As the CMS without database it uses XML files for its data store.[4][5]

The CMS has an open pluggable architecture.[6]


Composite C1 development began mid-2007, it reached version 1.0 in January 2009 and until September 2010 was sold as a commercially licensed product, primarily to customers in Northern Europe.[citation needed]

On 29 September 2010, Composite released C1 version 2.0 as free open source software under the Mozilla Public License, pledging to continue development on the free core and providing paid services.[7][8]

In October 2010, Composite C1 was added to the .NET 4 enabled parts of Microsoft's Web App Gallery (Web Platform Installer 3 and WebMatrix).

In March 2011, Composite C1 version 2.1 was released, making SQL Server support part of the open source project.[9]

In December 2011, Composite C1 version 3.0 was released, improving on the developer and content editor user experience and adding ASP.NET Razor as a layout template technology option.[10][11]

In January 2012, Composite C1 version 3.1 (called a "service release"), adding support for spell checking (when using Mozilla Firefox with dictionaries installed) and .less files.[12][13]

In April 2012, Composite C1 version 3.2 was released, adding "Save and Publish" combo button, support for plugging in external media data bases (like SharePoint or images from Facebook), HTML5 video streaming. It is compatible with .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012.[14]

In July 2013, more than a year since the last release, Composite C1 4.0 was released that is considered the 2nd big milestone release since Composite C1 open-sourced in October 2010, adding end-user features such as the block selector, searchable drop-downs, freehand image resizing, new Starter sites, as well as developer features such as built-in Razor and User Control functions, Razor and Master Page templates, page template features, data tree ordering.[15][16]

In November 2013, Composite C1 version 4.1 was released, adding drag-and-drop for images and files from the desktop into page content, support for Composite Form Builder, Internet Explorer 11 support, a new "Static Datatypes" folder on the Data Perspective, a 100% customized UI for the "Function Call Editor" for custom C1 Functions, and many more.[17][18]

In May 2014, Composite C1 version 4.2 was released, adding C1 Function previews in Visual Editor (showing an image of the rendered function rather than an abstract representation of "a macro"), simplified editing of C1 Function properties, a new responsive starter site called "Venus", iPad editing support, ASP.NET Razor 3.1.1 support and more.[19][20] And in June 2014, version 4.2 update 1 was released, which contained a number of improvements and bug fixes and was a recommended update to 4.2.[21]

In March 2015, version 4.3 was released, which featured scheduled data publishing, native content editing experience with RTL languages like Arabic, enhanced password policy options, image resizing options in Razor, hooking into ASP.NET Full Page Caching key generation and more.[22][23]

In September 2015, Orckestra, a Canadian company that provides cloud-based commerce solutions, acquired Composite C1 CMS.[24][25][26]

In December 2015, a new version of Composite C1 CMS was released - version 5.0. It features a brand new C1 Console GUI, visual content navigation, data item mapping, better MVC support and more.[27][28]

Source code and community ratings[edit]

The source code, issue tracker, and forum for Composite C1 is hosted on a CodePlex site, which also contains user ratings and reviews.[29] In October 2015, the source code and issue tracker was moved to GitHub.[30]


Composite C1 comes with a large number of built-in features, including but not being limited to:[citation needed]

(This list is not exhaustive.[citation needed])

More features are available via "C1 packages" (extension modules or add-ons).[citation needed]

Modules (C1 packages)[edit]

C1 packages (also known as addons) are modules that extend the functionality of Composite C1. They include, but are not limited to:[citation needed]

(This list is not exhaustive.[citation needed])

Most C1 packages are free and distributed under the MPL 1.1. Some C1 packages are commercial. The commercial packages can be purchased via an add-on market.[31]

Both free and commercial packages can be installed from the administrative panel ("C1 Console").[citation needed]

Composite C1 and Microsoft Azure[edit]

Composite C1 can be hosted in Microsoft Azure:[32]

  • on a web site
  • in a cloud service

Composite C1 can be installed from Microsoft Web App Gallery when creating a Microsoft Azure web site.[33]

With the Composite C1 Azure service package,[34] this CMS can be deployed in a web role in the cloud service.[35]

Administrative panel[edit]

The administrative panel in Composite C1 is called the "C1 Console". It gives access to the backend via the so-called "perspectives", sections of the administrative panel that group the backend functionality of the specific purpose. There are 6 built-in perspectives:[citation needed]

  • Content where websites, web site structures and web pages can be managed and edited
  • Media where media files can be stored and managed
  • Data where data types and data can be managed
  • Layout where page templates can be created and managed
  • Functions where additional functionality can be created by using ASP.NET Razor, XSLT, C# etc.
  • System where other CMS-related functionality can be viewed and managed such as C1 packages, website languages, hostname configuration, the server log etc.

The perspectives can be extended with other functionality as well as more perspectives can be added to the C1 Console. Some C1 packages - when installed - are available from their own perspective, for example, "Extranet" or "Package Creator".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Release History"
  2. ^ Marcello Tonarelli, "Composite C1 free open source content management system", Marcello Tonarelli's Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog, December 13, 2010
  3. ^ "Two Licenses". 
  4. ^ "Should I use XML or SQL Server?". May 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ mcvjetko (2011-04-18). "Composite C1". 
  6. ^ Pauli Østerø, "How does the Composite C1 architecture work?", StackOverflow, October 30, 2011
  7. ^ Barb Mosher, "Composite C1 .NET Web CMS Has Gone Open Source", CMSWire, October 13, 2010
  8. ^ Jonathan Allen, "How Composite C1 Found Success by Becoming Open Source", InfoQ, March 13, 2014
  9. ^ Dee-Ann LeBlanc, "Alert: What's Coming for Open Source CMS in April 2011", CMSWire, March 31, 2011
  10. ^ "Composite C1 CMS 3.0 hits the streets – more user friendly than ever | CMS Critic". CMS Critic. December 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Composite C1 3.0 is here". 
  12. ^ "Composite C1 CMS - Open Source on .NET". CodePlex. January 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Alert: What's Coming for Open Source CMS in February 2012". January 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Composite C1 3.2 released". 
  15. ^ "Composite C1 Releases Version 4". June 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Composite C1 4.0". June 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Composite C1 4.1". November 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ "What's New in March for Open Source CMS". March 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ "What's New in June for Open Source CMS". June 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Composite C1 4.2". May 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Composite C1 CMS - Open Source on .NET". CodePlex. June 23, 2014. 
  22. ^ "What's New for You This April in Open Source CMS". April 9, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Composite C1 4.3". March 18, 2015. 
  24. ^ "What's New This September in Open Source CMS". September 9, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Orckestra Acquires Composite C1". September 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Composite joins Orckestra". September 8, 2015. 
  27. ^ "What's New This January in Open Source CMS". January 5, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Composite C1 5.0". December 15, 2015. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "We are on GitHub". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  31. ^ Add-on Market
  32. ^ Steve Sechrist, "Composite C1 Offers Full Cloud Support via Windows Azure", CMS Wire, November 30, 2011
  33. ^ "Composite C1 .NET CMS on Microsoft Azure Marketplace". 
  34. ^
  35. ^ Ingvar, "Composite C1 non-live edit multi instance Windows Azure deployment", Ingvar's Blog, August 7, 2011

External links[edit]