The open source tandem of PHP and MySQL have long dominated the Open Source CMS market. The big players of WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal have been integral parts of this PHP/MySQL advantage. However, the past few months have brought about many improvements to existing ASP.NET based content management systems as well as a surprising addition of Microsoft SQL Server support by Drupal. Are these events simply coincident, or is there reason to believe a serious shift to Microsoft and ASP.NET is in the near future for the open source CMS industry?
RedmondDeveloperNews posted an article covering this recent movement in more detail. SiteInfinity, an ASP.NET based open source CMS, released version 4.0 in mid-January. This was a complete rebuild of the CMS, and has a long list of enhancements and additions to the already capable system. Not to be outdone, DotNetNuke, one of the more popular open source content management systems in the entire industry, released version 05.06.01. This new DNN version included various implementations of new ASP .NET 4.0 and ASP .NET MVC 3 features, including the Razor scripting syntax. However, one of the bigger surprises this article discusses is Drupal’s addition of SQL Server support. Although still dependent on PHP, this improvement is a stepping stone to make Drupal integration that much easier for Microsoft shops.
Microsoft certainly has been doing their part to aide this process. Their new web development suite dubbed WebMatrix 1.0, and the release of their own open source CMS, Orchard 1.0, are both examples of Microsoft’s attempts to capture the large market share of the WordPress and Drupals of the industry. RDN referenced that the increased awareness of CMS capabilities is removing developers from the system choosing decision making process. With more and more developers out of the loop, where will the general business/decision maker demographic look for their CMS solutions? It is still too early to tell, but with Microsoft’s advertising dollar and support structure behind their products, the push may certainly be towards more ASP.NET based systems. Participation is what builds a great open source project, so this push towards ASP.NET systems will certainly equal improvement of the same.
Where is the open source CMS industry headed? Post your comments below.