Aug 10 2016

How to implement a CMS for your project – Orchard

While working on a new project, I required a CMS for documentation purposes. A search on the web familiarised me with Orchard, a CMS that is simple and efficient to use. The idea is to share the details of this CMS with readers. “Orchard – is a free, open source, community-focused Content Management System built on the ASP.NET MVC platform (from http://www.orchardproject.net/)”. It can be deployed very easily and provides a simple way to upload and share our ideas, documents and workflows.

Installing Orchard

We can install Orchard in 4 different ways:
  • Install using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer.
  • Install from Microsoft WebMatrix as shown in Working with Orchard in WebMatrix.
  • Download the Orchard .zip file and install it as described in Manually installing Orchard using a zip File.
  • Build Orchard source code from the command line or in Visual Studio and publish.
The minimum requirements for running Orchard are
  • ASP.NET 4.5
  • A web server such as IIS Express 8, 7.5 or IIS 7.x.
Let us discuss about installing Orchard manually using a zip file in IIS. Do the following steps for the deployment.

Download the zip file

Navigate to the Downloads section in Releases Section of Orchard in GitHub. You will find two .zip files.
  • Orchard.Web..zip : In this file, the site has already been built and can be run without additional compilation. It does not includes all the source code.
  • Orchard.Source..zip : This file includes the source code. If you plan to develop modules you will probably prefer this one. It is easier to use with Visual Studio and you have plenty of source files to see how everything is done.
You can find the version number with the downloads and can choose the required version; each version contains more features than the previous releases. Latest version is 1.10.1.

Deploying the Site Using IIS

As a first step, we need to setup IIS in the target location.
  • Check whether IIS is installed in the machine by searching inetmgr in the search box.
  • If it is not installed, Go to Control Panel and choose Turn Windows features on or off from the left menu pane and enable Internet Information Services.
  • Restart the system after the process is complete and when the system requests you to restart
  • Copy the Orchard folder which can be found in the downloaded zip to *C:inetpubwwwroot* (it is not mandatory to place it in the mentioned directory itself, you can copy them to any folder you wish).
  • Go to IIS by running inetmgr command.
  • Add a new website for orchard in IIS:
After filling all values in the form (shown above) press OK button.

Setting up Orchard

To setup Orchard, type the entered host name in the browser. The setup page gets displayed. As shown above, we can choose a name for the site, username, password, data storage and Orchard recipe. To setup the data storage there are three options.
  • Use inbuilt storage
  • An existing SQL Server
  • MySql Database.
Let us see how to use an existing SQL server, SQL Express database option to point the application to our DB using connection string: The Orchard setup screen includes a section where you can choose an Orchard recipe. You can choose from the following Orchard recipes:
  • Default. Sets up a site with frequently used Orchard features.
  • Blog. Sets up a site as a personal blog.
  • Core. Sets up a site that has only the Orchard framework for development use. After the required information is entered on the setup screen, click Finish Setup. When the setup process is complete, the new site’s home page is displayed.

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