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Orchard modules or MVC

Topics: General
Dec 31, 2011 at 8:43 AM
Edited Dec 31, 2011 at 9:15 AM


I'm checking out Orchard and really like what I see. However I'm not clear as to when to use Orchard, as opposed to Asp.Net MVC 3 on it's own.

Take for example the Contoso University site from the MVC tutorial.

Orchard's 'in browser' editing would be great for the 'Home' and 'About' pages (plus new pages) but not necessary for the other four pages.

Is this site a bad candidate for a CM and more suitable to a custom MVC approach, or could the four pages be done efficiently as an Orchard module(s)?

Finally would the answer change if you also wished to include some webforms with 'Crystal Reports Viewer' ?

InstructorsPage StudentsPage CoursesPage

Thanks in advance,


Dec 31, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Well, that looks like a thin database CRUD editor thing. If that really is the kind of application you're building (for real?), then Orchard is probably not going to bring much, and might even slow you down in places. If your application is more like a web site, if it's more content-centric, then Orchard is going to shine.

Would you by any chance have an actual example of something you need to build, rather than a fictitious sample that was built to sell a particular technology?

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Yes I have a project in mind. My client has a part time business with three other partners. They inspect/certify medical equipment. They e-mail the details of the inspection to one guy who updates a FoxPro database. Occasional they need a full inspection history report for a client/device(s). They would like to import their data into a hosted web app that has CRUD capability and generate reports for a device/client for authenticated users.

In addition to this they need a typical small business web site with public content. Home, About, Contact, News page etc.  They don't have their content  defined yet and will probably go through several drafts before they they finalize it and possibly would need frequent updates.

My question is how could I best leverage Orchard/ MCV 3/ Webforms Crystal Reports Viewer and would it be best to host it as one site or two separate sites.

Thanks for the help,


Dec 31, 2011 at 10:08 PM

OK, great. So you will be able to do pretty much anything you'd do with regular MVC 3 with a few small differences (you're going to do it in a module, you're going to define routes against a different API). You can go against the APIs you already know, against your own database, or you can take advantage of the Orchard ones and store your data in the Orchard database (but it seems like this would not be a good option here).

And of course, besides that you'll have the full CMS for plain content.

Now for WebForms and Crystal Reports, that will be a problem, as the system is absolutely not designed for integration with those. It is possible to make it work but it's not going to be super easy. Better to keep those parts in a different web site if you can.

Dec 31, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Thank you for the fast response, yes that is the info I needed, and great to hear that the CRUD part could be built as a module.  I will weigh up the options.



Jan 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM
michaelpower17 wrote:

Thank you for the fast response, yes that is the info I needed, and great to hear that the CRUD part could be built as a module.  I will weigh up the options.



Take it from a small dev shop that is about 2 months into playing with Orchard.  For me the learning curve on orchard was a little heavy so if time is critical you might want to use Orchard for the "traditional site" and a separate app for the other functionality you describe.  While Orchard is in fact great at some things, direct access to data and quick manipulation and reporting on database data is done faster/easier with a separate database and a more direct approach to the data.