Topics: General
Feb 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Edited Feb 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM
Hi to everyone.
I'm new to Orchard and I'm litterally impressed by its elegance, flexibility. Even if some features are missing or its not trivial to implement or handle (es: multilanguage widgets) and to get a deep integration with existing applications is not like walking in a park, it's presumible that with a adeguate knowledge of Orchard you can get what you need.
At the moment I'll like to propose Orchard as base-platform on which to re-enginer an actual big web reservation-application but I have to fight with LifeRay as competitor.
Could you give me some conclusive reasons to choose Orchard vs LifeRay in order to convince with my boss, do you know some particularly weak points about Orchard surclass LifeRay ?

Thanks in advance.
Feb 11, 2014 at 11:52 AM
Edited Feb 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM
Conclusive reasons to choose Orchard for me include:
  • Based on ASP.NET MVC = inherent clean separation of concerns + power of the ASP.NET framework;
  • True modularity: major Orchard components are implemented as modules. Any web application can be built as a module using familiar MVC concepts;
  • Content composition: a powerful system to compose reusable parts and fields into new content types (both through the UI as well as programmatic);
  • Extensibility: almost everything (if not; everything) can be extended, including implementing custom parts, fields, queries, filters, workflow activities, and much more;
  • Ultimate theming freedom: there is no HTML design you can come up with that can't be integrated; And Razor is used as the view engine;
  • Active project: vibrant community, lots of activity on this forum, and code is committed to the repo every day;
  • Open source;
  • It is fast, especially when you consider its dynamic nature, it's pretty impressive. And there are caching features that make a site lightning fast.
  • Huge gallery of modules and themes;
  • Powerful modules that come out of the box, such as Navigation, Taxonomies, Projections, Workflows, Media Library, Messaging, Queuing to name a few;
  • Built on best practices & patterns, including IoC and many others;
  • As of 1.8, much of a content item will be stored in a single record (similar to a Document DB), improving performance even further.
I don't know anything about LifeRay, so I can't compare the two.
A perceived weakness of Orchard might be that it tends to have a bit of a learning curve for many when starting module development. We do have a lot of documentation which is enough to get you started, but it doesn't cover everything. However, there are many great blogs and videos out there to help clarify and solidify the various concepts. Investing time in getting to know Orchard is well worth it though; once you're strong enough to wield it, it's a powerful framework, enabling you to build complex, custom web applications fast, inheriting content management capabilities + admin UI (which in turn is easily extensible by implementing your own controllers).
From an end-user's perspective, Orchard's UI is easy to use, but it's not as polished as for example Sitefinity. Things such as Widgets isn't immediately intuitive for new users, and this system is easy to abuse, which potentially causes maintenance and performance issues. So a successful project relies on knowing how to properly implement it.

Out of my own curiosity: you mentioned that deep integration with existing applications is not a walk in the park; could you clarify?
Feb 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM
Edited Feb 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM
Thanks for your replay, I studied your product, I bought a book about Orchard and I whatched videos from dojo. So I think to know Orchard main characteristics and design. It's the reason why I appreciate Orchard. I compared also Orchard with Sitefinity/Sitecore/CompositeC1/Umbraco and even if some of them appears more mature their design/architecture is far from what I saw in Orchard.
Said that, even if I have a clear idea (even if not so deep) of what is Orchard, I needed to compare it with LifeRay and it was the reason of my email.

About the walk in the park.

I founded a little hard to transform some functionalities of an existing application as dicrete parts of UI (converting that part in Widgets). IoC + DI provided by Autofact is a great help to mantain a high level o decoupling ( I normally use Unity but the concepts are obviously the same ) and other pattern used in Orchard helped me to create a functionig prototype to understand the effort required adopting Orchard as base-platform. On the other side converting UI functionalities of the existing solution in discrete and reusable parts with their own logics and data was too much hard for me with my current skill on Orchard.

Thanks again