1999 April - 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

2000 March - "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

2000 March - The User Interface

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

2006 October - 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

2007 February - 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

2007 November - 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

2008 April - 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

2008 April - The User Interface

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

2009 September - 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

2009 December - 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

2010 June - 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

2010 June - 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

2010 September - Switching to Free Open Source

Composite C1 2.0 released with source code and all

  • All the features of a 3 year old commercial product
  • Live tested by partners and customers, stable, productive
  • Source code on CodePlex
  • Mozilla Public License 1.1
  • Starter site: bare bones, omnicorp demo
  • A user and developer friendly CMS
  • Most important packages
  • Decent documentation online
  • A site dedicated to user guides

2010 October - New C1 Packages

Galleries, navigation, social media and sharing

  • jQuery based AD Gallery, presenting images from the media archive
  • Facebook Gallery, presenting images from Facebook albums
  • Twitter feeds
  • More navigation features
  • A "Package Server" so anyone can publish and share C1 Packages

2010 October - SP1 released

Filling holes in the web developer experience

  • Bug fixes, speed improvements
  • New source code editor (SkyWriter/Bespin, was later replaced)
  • Inline C# Functions (code c# via the browser and run on the fly)
  • Ready for C1 Console localization (the UI in other languages)
  • Page Cache control to XSLT devs
  • More …

2010 November - New C1 Packages

Google search and SQL Server

  • Google Site Search integration (commercial Google service)
  • Wizard based migration from XML data files to SQL Server

2011 January - CompositeC1Contrib Initial Commit

A community heart beat!

  • Started by Pauli Østerø, a Faroes working as a web dev in Greenland
  • ASP.NET providers and MasterPage support, short URLs

2011 February - New C1 Packages

Google maps, Silverlight and admin tools

  • Google Maps integration
  • Silverlight Player
  • Easy "print page" from the C1 Console
  • Verbose Logging for the developers

2011 March - Composite C1 2.1

Broadening the reach

  • IE,Chrome, Firefox run the C1 Console with access to all features
  • The SqlDataProvider is made free open source after community demand
  • Package for fast migration from XML to SQL
  • Commercial packages available as fully functional 30 day trials
  • Support for hosting Composite C1 on Windows Azure
  • New source code editor (CodeMirror), works in IE and Chrome also
  • Page profiler –add “?c1mode=perf” to get a report on function execution times
  • I/O Layer enabling easy On Premise to/from Windows Azure migration
  • Data type CRUD to XSLT devs

2011 April - Composite C1 2.1.1

Like 2.1, just really stable and nice

  • A stable and bug free 2.1 that lived for 8 months
  • Better HTML 5 support
  • Best rated CMS on CodePlex, 6th best rated app of all 25.000+

2011 April - New C1 Packages

More Google search, Azure, Translators, html tools

  • Microsoft Translator integration, letting visitors translate your content on the fly
  • Google Custom Search integration (free Google service)
  • jQuery Slimbox Gallery, integrating with the media archive
  • AddThis - easy access to social media share buttons
  • Windows Azure tool for verifying correct I/O API use

2011 May - Starter sites in HTML, ASP.NET and XSLT

A better starting point when building sites

  • A starting point for developing Composite C1 websites
  • Mobile friendly clean CSS and HTML
  • Layouts, menus, sitemap and meta tags in place
  • Available in three flavors: ASP.NET Master Pages, HTML and XSLT

2011 May - The C1 Console in three new languages

Dutch, Russian and Ukrainian

  • Languages auto installed at setup, available as packages also
  • Users can select UI language independent of each other

2011 June - Across Windows Azure data centers

"Composite Start" served worldwide

  • "Dog fooding" our Windows Azure Publisher
  • Serving the "Composite Start" screen you see in the C1 Console
  • Served from Europe, North America and South East Asia
  • Using the Windows Azure Traffic Manager to direct traffic to the closest host

2011 July - New C1 Packages

Social media and community features

  • Facebook Comments on pages
  • Facebook Like buttons and feeds
  • Google +1
  • Contact Form
  • Google Picasa integration (image gallery)
  • Raty for user ratings on content
  • Simple wiki turning page content into a wiki
  • Windows Identity Foundation integration

2011 August - Windows Azure Publisher

Scale your Composite C1 site across the globe

  • Easy and cheap mass hosting for your existing Composite C1 website
  • Maintain your website locally, like on a company server, an ISP or WebMatrix
  • Move your website updates to Windows Azure with a “Publish” click
  • Publish to any number of Web Roles ("hosts")
  • Publish to one or more regions (Europe, US, Asia)
  • Use Windows Azure Traffic Manager to route traffic to nearest Web Role

2011 August - New C1 Packages

Forum, Flickr and more jQuery

  • Flickr integration
  • Nabble Forum integration
  • jQuery NivoSlider gallery integrated with the media archive

2011 September - CompositeC1Contrib keeps giving

Favorite features from the community

  • Making end-user life easier with "Favorite Functions"
  • Drag-and-drop sorting for pages and data items
  • Change history features for data types
  • E-mail API for better queuing, logging and testing

2011 September - www.composite.net gets an overhaul

No more pink?!

  • “Reference” showing a lot more featured websites with screenshots
  • “Buzz and press” area showing all the positive feedback we got
  • Refactoring with new colors, richer home pages, omnipresent social buttons
  • Improved product presentation

2011 October - Razor Functions

A complete smash hit from CompositeC1Contrib

  • Superb markup control; a crisp syntax let you mix HTML and C# with ease  
  • ASP.NET Razor combine what is great about XSLT and ASP.NET
  • Razor Functions automatically turn a Razor web page into a C1 Function
  • Public properties become C1 Parameters end-users can easily control 

"Wow, another Open Source CMS adds support for Razor
in a really cool way!"


Erik Porter, PM on ASP.NET Razor.

2011 October - Handling massive traffic

Running Copenhagen’s “Culture Night” on Windows Azure

  • Website presenting hundreds of cultural events with personalized content (login, personalized programs), developed by 2Mind.dk
  • Moved from single server on-premise to Windows Azure very fast
  • Handled a day with 75.000 visitors
  • Peaking at 12 servers, total cost around $100

2011 October - First organic community event

WebUG Zagreb gets a one hour intro to Composite C1

  • Miljenko Cvjetko (HolisticWare) talks about Composite C1 at a user group presentation in Zagreb, Croatia
  • HolisticWare have contributed a Silverlight Player packages to Composite C1 , spearheaded a German translation of the C1 Console and are working on a number of other projects

2011 November - 3.0 Release Candidates available

Community driven testing

  • A total of 4 release candidates are released
  • End result is a very stable release in December

2011 November - Razor based starter site

Templates and navigation done with Razor

  • New starter site option based on Razor Functions
  • Templates an navigation widgets are cshtml files
  • A fourth templating alternative to ASP.NET Master Page, XSLT and HTML

2011 November - New C1 Packages

User feedback, Facebook and LESS

  • Open Graph Protocol support via page meta data. Control how you look on Facebook.
  • Disqus integration, social media intensive comment feature
  • UserEcho integration, a "give us your feedback" widget with a back-end
  • LESS CSS support, for writing way smarter CSS

2011 December - Composite C1 3.0

A rock solid user experience

  • Key user experience improvements - a lot less clicking
  • Instant image and file upload from all “select file” dialogs
  • Seamless paste from Word
  • Page URL’s are now “spot on” and customizable
  • ASP.NET Razor support: starter site and C1 Functions
  • Refactored “Build Manager” – eliminating instability and performance issues
  • Visual Editor support HTML 5, iframe and script tags
  • API for commercial packages
  • Runs seamlessly on SQL Server and SQL Azure

2011 December - ASP.NET Web Forms alive and well

User Controls can be C1 Functions too!

  • Yet a cool CompositeC1Contribution project
  • User Control Functions automatically turn a ascx file into a C1 Function
  • Public properties become C1 Parameters end-users can easily control

2012 January - Composite C1 3.1

A stable, long lasting release

  • Spell Check features for Mozilla Firefox users
  • Support for LESS CSS on websites and .less file editing in the C1 Console
  • Calibrating the “Build Manager”, improving performance and stability.
  • Fixing issues reported on the 3.0 release

2012 January - Hackathon 2012.1

Biggest gathering of 1'ers ever

  • Community initiated event in Copenhagen about Composite C1 for developers
  • Biggest gathering of Composite C1 power developers ever – from Denmark, Ukraine and Germany

2012 January - A new "Composite Start" page

Your C1 Console will start up with more than a Facebook feed

  • 4 tabs with content relevant to different audiences
  • We will remember your last tab selection
  • "Composite Start" can be easily launched from the Tool button
  • "Getting Started" with a short introduction video and starter links for users and website builders
  • "User guides" with an index of the most relevant pages on our User Guide site
  • "What's new" with upcoming events, corporate news articles and Facebook feed
  • "Developer" with an index of the most relevant pages on docs + CodePlex forum and StackOverflow feeds

2012 February - Self service shopping on composite.net

Shop, pay and get your licenses immediately

  • Purchase commercial products from www.composite.net
  • PayPal, credit cards and bank transfer
  • Get your invoice and commercial license keys immediately

2012 February - The C1 Console in German

Die menschen in Deutschland liebe auch open source!

  • A HolisticWare and Thorsten Hoffmann contribution
  • 98.000.000 people speak German natively according to Wikipedia
  • Bringing the number of C1 Console languages to a total 5

2012 February - Composite C1 v.4 beta (early)

The core product will not change that much

  • Expect a "Feature Palette" making it easy to insert functions and html snippets
  • Expect key technology from CompositeC1Controb to be absorbed (like Razor Functions)
  • Top community requests. Go vote on CodePlex - we listen :)
  • Most of our efforts will go towards the setup and hosting experience, to come later

2012 February - Unified Windows Azure core

Supporting all our deployment models

  • A common (commercial) code base for running on Windows Azure
  • Support for single site and multiple sites on one WebRole
  • Support for "push" (Windows Azure Publisher) and single server live edit
  • Make switching models more of a "configuration switch"
  • Easier maintenance for our core group

2012 February - Our own websites on Windows Azure

Serving composite.net word wide

  • More dog-fooding our own Windows Azure
  • Serving our websites from different geographical locations
  • Making the visitor experience much better when visiting from outside Europe
  • The www and shop site kept on-premise to begin with

2012 March - A quick status on Composite C1

What did Open Soucre do for us?

  • Composite's last fiscal result was the best in four years
  • Best rated open source CMS on CodePlex, ahead of other .Net based brands
  • 50.000 downloads, 10-15 sites going online daily
  • Runs on both Windows Server and Windows Azure
  • Support ASP.NET Razor, Web Forms, MVC and XSLT
  • A living CompositeC1Contrib project giving advance access to features
  • Massive positive feedback, code contributions and a growing community
  • Now used by high-end agencies and companies, including Fortune 500

2012 March - Package, product and feature info

Get an overview of what we offer

  • Way better of free / commercial packages, features and services
  • Get an overview of what Composite C1 can do for you - one way or the other
  • Descriptions, screen shots and access to resources like guides, install info
  • All package info collected in one place

2012 March - Buy high-end hosting via Composite

6 data centers world wide ready to host you

  • Widows Azure based hosting, with a simple interface
  • Purchase hosting via composite.net
  • To catapult to the cloud, install a C1 Package
  • Choose a location(s) - Europe, US and Asia
  • Choose a server size - XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Live edit on single server sites / publish to multi server sites

2012 April - Buy cheap hosting via Composite

Share a server with others and get price price

  • Cheap hosting for sites that don't need a whole server just yet
  • Easy move via a C1 Package
  • Still Windows Azure, still world wide hosting options

2012 April - Composite C1 v.4 beta

C1 Package presentation improved

  • Improved navigation and presentation of C1 Packages from inside the C1 Console
  • Giving access to the rich package info available on-line

2012 April - Launch a free trial on-line

Create and set up your website without installing anything

  • Get a free trial of our hosting product, launching with a starter site
  • No install requirements, so Mac users can create new Composite C1 sites too
  • Still based on the v. 3 core, mostly relevant for very easy evaluation

2012 April - Composite C1 v. 4 beta (stable)

Start your site closer to your goal

  • The setup wizard replace "starter site" with "tailor your site"
  • Choose between x arch types of sites (deep content, blog, campaign, gallery, ...)
  • Choose most popular features with minimal configuration and no setup
  • Some design tweaking allowed, upload your logo etc.
  • Possibly good enough for simpler sites like blogs and galleries
  • Heavy emphasis on .less for easier skinning, Razor for
  • Clean options for the web professionals that hate clutter
  • We deliver high quality css, html etc. no matter what you choose

2012 May - Composite C1 v. 4

Build websites a lot faster

  • Setup wizard that bring you closer to your goal
  • C1 Package browsing in the C1 Console improved
  • Feature Palette
  • Key tech like Razor integrated
  • Top community requests - seriously - go vote!

2012 June - Our C1oud is ready

The hassle-free setup experience with the new starter wizard

  • Launch a free trial on-line using the v.4 start wizard
  • Cheap hosting options if you like what you see
  • No technical obstacles for evaluating Composite C1
  • No technical obstacles for getting on-line with Composite C1
  • No technical obstacles for setting up simple personalized Composite C1 sites