1999
APR
2010
JUN
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Closed Source for 10 years

Our history and change to Open Source...

1999April

Our company is founded

Development of our first real CMS begin

  • Composite (the company) was started in 1999
  • Back then it was a technical web agency called Limelight Interactive
  • We developed web applications and homepages on top of Microsoft technology like ASP, COM/COM+ and SQL Server
  • A large Danish electricity provider wanted more features for a very CMS like tool we had made for them
  • We asked for 9 months and started building a 2nd generation CMS
2000March

"Composite 1.0" is released

Being based on COM we called it Composite

  • Plug-in support - COM components implementing interfaces can extend actions like page rendering, page/template edit.
  • An app like UI realized with classic ASP, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX and client side XSLT
  • A commercial and closed source product, sold under warranty for a lot of money
  • Sold via local partners and own web agency¬†
  • First live customer was copenhagencapacity.com (they still use it and run v. 3.8 today)
  • Our bread and butter for many years to come
2000March

The User Interface

A page based system, later refreshed with XP'ish look

2006October

Planning for a 3rd generation CMS begin

"Customers want it to run on both XML and SQL Server"

  • Goals:
    • Enable end-users to manage their website content
    • Easy to install new modules
    • Cater to the needs of digital media agencies
    • Enable any bright developer to build customized websites
    • Must run off SQL Server or XML files
  • Reading up on software factories, dependency injection, patterns and practices
  • LINQ and Workflow Foundation - virtually unknown and in early CTP - was chosen
  • Designed with all the gotchas from the previous CMS in mind
2007February

Development on Composite C1 started

Three developers, full time

  • A complete re-write from the ground up
  • Utilized pre-beta technology like .NET 3.5, LINQ, Workflow Foundation
  • Visual Studio 2008 CTP releases (pre-beta) used
  • Internal geeky goal
    • A CMS that is easy to extend at many different levels
    • A well designed piece of software that can evolve for many years to come
2007November

Microsoft's .Net Framework 3.5 released

We no longer have to develop on top of CTPs and betas

  • With .Net 3.5 released Composite C1 is no longer based on beta-ware
  • Visual Studio 2008 became RTM the month before
  • We are developing on solid ground
2008April

Composite 1.0 is released

Truthfully, it was not even prime for beta

  • Shown off at a sales/marketing event in Tivoli, Copenhagen
  • A clean app UI with MDI support, wizards
  • Support for Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer in the admin UI
  • Great tooling for XSLT developers
  • C1 Functions enable XSLT to get at data and users to configure renderings
  • A dynamic data type system
  • LINQ based data access
  • Runs on both XML and SQL Server without code changes
  • A very open system, easy to extend for .net developers
  • Slow and buggy beyond use
2008April

The User Interface

Still page based, but with item support, MDI and lots more

2009September

First awesome version is released

Composite C1 1.2 (SP2)

  • The release the core group would have call 1.0 with great pride
  • Noteworthy changes since 1.0
    • Stable and with good performance
    • Excellent multilingual support, integrated into the LINQ data layer
    • Package system for wizard based install of features and patches
    • Huge improvements to the end-user experience
    • A front-end developer's paradise
  • Ready for prime-time website development
2009December

Planning to go Open Source begins

We had great software, but very little attention

  • The marked was filled with commercial .NET CMS products
  • Prices for a core CMS license was falling due to open source options and competition
  • We had an excellent and modern platform, but very little attention
  • We would like to see our software grow faster, gain momentum
  • Better to get a little piece of a gigantic pie than a big piece of a tiny pie
  • Only 2-3 other open source .NET CMSs of varying technical quality
2010June

The last closed source heart beat

Composite C1 v. 1.3 is released

  • Using Task Parallel Library and based on .Net 4.0 - just released 2 months earlier
  • Easier C1 Console app development and customization
  • Support for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE.
  • A ton of small and large UI improvements
  • Great front-end and XSLT developer UX
2010June

Preparing the code for openness

Refactoring, API, documentation and starter experience

  • A setup guide checking conditions and with a "demo site bare bones" option
  • Automatic sync between HQ source control and CodePlex
  • Public websites and documentation prepared
  • Heavy and breaking code refactoring
    • Nearly all namespaces change to a more API friendly structure
    • Core APIs refactored, documented towards public consumption
    • All "unchecked" classes are made internal