N2 based site goes live

Nov 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Hi N2CMS Community,

I just wanted to let you know that a N2CMS based e-commerce site was released into the wild a few weeks ago: http://www.fancydressoutfitters.co.uk

We chose N2 because we wanted CMS features, but unlike other CMS systems we didn't want the CMS to take over the application architecture. N2 offered us all the features we needed without any of the constraints imposed by other frameworks. We used ASP.NET MVC rather than WebForms and it worked very well. For those who are interested - here's a little background:

  • We ran the project using Scrum (managing the project with Scrum for Team System)
  • Delivered in 20 weeks - 10 x 2 week iterations
  • We based it on S#arp Architecture extended the core framework (support for multiple databases, ViewModels etc...)

Integrated other OSS projects into the solution:

Solution performs very well - 1000 concurrent users per webhead, generating around 180 pages per second across 2x single quad core 64bit hardware.

We've submitted one patch back to the core - to allow users to create posts and publish them in the future. I'm not sure if this has been accepted into the trunk yet.

Two of the developers in the team (James Broome & Jon George who have both posted to this forum) & myself have blogged about our thoughts & experiences developing this solution:

I wanted to say a HUGE thank-you to everyone in this community for all the passion, energy, knowledge and help you provide on a daily basis.

Many thanks,

Howard

Nov 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Cool, cool, cool! I'm really jealous =)

Nov 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Thank you very much for sharing. Great job on the e-commerce site! Just a quick question. Did you make any changes to n2cms in order to use sharp architecture or you keep it untouched?

Nov 24, 2009 at 8:29 PM

We didn't make any changes to N2 - apart from the future publishing date patch.

We used the API to plug in the CM features - worked a treat.

 

regards,

Howard

Coordinator
Nov 24, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Impressive site, and impressive work. Congratulations! It's particularly nice to read about the details and presentation of the team.

I'll have to find that patch and apply it right away.

Nov 25, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Nice project really. Compliment also to libardo for the great framework

Dec 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Thanks for sharing! Did you alter the Sharp Architecture CRUD templates to be used for N2CMS? I'm very much interested in more details about the N2/SA integration. Thanks!

May 12, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I would also like to hear more about Sharp/N2 integration!  And part with PostSharp is also interesting.

May 12, 2010 at 4:38 PM
Checkout http://whocanhelpme.codeplex.com/
Jun 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Hi Howard,

 http://www.fancydressoutfitters.co.uk is really amazing site. We are going to create a business directory site which I think this approach works for us as well.

My question is about the role of N2CMS here. Are you also managing the catalogue and products in the N2CMS or you created a back office application to take care of that? In our case there are hundreds of categories and thousands of listings and still I am confused to manage all this page in N2CMS or create my own backoffice and only create static pafes by N2CMS.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Reza.

Jun 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM
Hello, No we didn't use N2 for product management - although we did talk it over at length. The reason we chose n2 was because it was a CMS API which meant we could build a whole application, with separation of concerns at the forefront of our minds, using different components that best solved the problems of that domain. N2 worked so well because it allowed us to build application pages and weave content management into them in a way that no other CMS allowed - as all others dictate that all pages are CMS and then you have to weave your logic / framework into it. I hope that helps, Howard
Jun 1, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Hi Howard,

Thanks for your prompt reply. As a developer I also would like to have full control on my application and structure it as I like using diferrent components and technologies, That is why I consider N2 to integrate it into my OWN application.

So, if I am understanding right, even the description of the products are created and updated in another control panel ish application and you do not see each single product page in N2CMS form. Am I right?

thanks again,

Reza.

Jun 1, 2010 at 3:17 PM
Hi, product info was pulled in either via Solr (via SolrNet) or via NHibernate. NH worked out well as this is what N2 uses for it's data access. Best thing to do is download something like Balsamiq: http://www.balsamiq.com/ and sketch out your page then work out which UI elements are content managed and which items need to come from a database. If you wanted to integrate with N2 I would look at the N2 Plugin API - this would allow you to build a separate MVC / WebForms web application and host it inside the N2 Admin console - thus giving your users a unified admin experience for product / CMS editing. Howard
Jun 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Thanks Howard, You are awesome.

 

Jul 14, 2010 at 8:31 PM
This is great to see! I have also been reviewing many CMSes for all our Web sites. The biggest problem I am noticing is that they are all so heavily integrated with Web forms as their presentation layer. I for one hate them since I am a designer and these controls will often control your markup. I also cannot stand the fact that it dumps all the .adx script files on the front end adding an enormous footprint when there is nothing even happening that Jquery wouldn't be able to handle in 2 lines. It seems like just about all offer the same thing in some way for form so we are most interested in something we can customize to our needs. Money is not an issue since we have researched Sitecore, Kentico etc. I found that most of them suck and make you 100% dependent on the presentation layer they have chosen. We are still evaluating but this is definitely looking like a promising CMS since it has so much flexibility. Thanks for sharing your project and explaining it in detail it is helping me argue to use this CMS over some of the other Pigs in the market.