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The Pylon is Live

The Umbraco Pylon project has been sat on the back-burner for over 6 months now as we've been tweaking it and evolving it alongside the redevelopment of this site. This week that all changed and the newly refurbished Umbraco Pylon project was isolated and pushed up to Github and NuGet. You can read all about Pylon here.

Why Pylon?

The documentation itself can be fairly daunting so, as a primer, why would I want to use the Umbraco Pylon framework in my project?

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Umbraco Published Content seems wrong

I've recently had an issue with an Umbraco project when deploying my dev database to staging. Everything looks fine on dev but, every now and then, after deploying to staging something odd seems to be left over. This usually takes the form of a piece of content which has been moved or deleted refusing to go away.

The content management back end all looks as you would expect it yet the front end is wrong. Obtaining the XML will reveal that the XML cache is indeed wrong.

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Open Source Products - Refreshed

Open Source Products - Refreshed

The Ministry of Technology Open Source Products have been refreshed.

Our other open source repositories can be found here...

Most of our content is stored on BitBucket, but we also do some Umbraco related projects and with Umbraco itself hosted on GitHub it made sense to host the Umbraco projects there too. Eventually we plan to have a section on this website dedicated to our Open source projects with copies of documentation etc. and a review of our active projects was a necessary precursor to this. Our active projects are all available on NuGet, simply to a search for 'Ministry'.

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Testing Web API Routes with Ministry Open Source

We are have recently extended the functionality of the Ministry Test Support libraries. The Wiki provides more detail on the capabilities of these supporting libraries. In a previous article, I explained how the Test Support libraries could help test routes in MVC. This feature has now been extended to include testing Web API routes.

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Azure & Umbraco - Friends at Last?

A while ago I wrote a rather damning article concerning my experiences trying to bring an Umbraco site to bear on the Azure platform on a budget.

Since then the landscape seems to have changed somewhat, as well explained by Darren Fergusons seminar at the Umbraco UK festival.

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Entity Framework Repositories - now on nuget

We've been working with T4 templates for use with Entity Framework for a couple of years now. T4 templates are great because they actually let you write code to generate code so you can say goodbye to a load of unnecessary boilerplate.

We really like Entity Framework as an ORM tool, but where it's always fallen down has been in an ability to easilly unit test the applications that use it (particularly back when we started, before the common usage of POCOs and DbContext). In order to mitigate these problems we began work on developing a T4 template that would auto generate a repository pattern infrastrucre from the EDMX file generated by Entity Framework. You can then use the repositories for accessing data, a Repository Factory for accessing the repositories themselves and maintaining save state and all with built in interfaces that can be easilly mocked. This also allows you to add alternative data sources to the same model by adding additional classes. 

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Azure - Not a lean solution

Azure - Not a lean solution

I have spent the last two days investigating the potential of Azure as a hosting environment for this Umbraco site. The intention was to wade through the, seemingly endless, documents out there to try and put together a very simple Azure migration article and to remove the need to kep my Virtual server running.

What I got to in the end was nowhere near that.

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Migrating Umbraco 5 to Umbraco 4.11

It's taken nearly a year, but the Umbraco 4 codebase had finally reached a point where I felt that migration of this site off of the, now dead, Umbraco 5 product line and back into a line that would continue to grow.

I stopped adding content to and maintaining the site about 6 months ago, as the Umbraco 5 platform on which it was built struggled more and more and the site slowed progressively as I added content. My attempt to add new elements to the site was halted when the development copy of the system started intermittently failing to spin up at all. At this point I knew that I needed to migrate but I needed to both have the time to invest in making the switch and I wanted to minimise my changeover time cost.

The New Year seemed like just the right time to address this; with the business taking on new services (more about this to come) the site needed to be reworked but I couldn't do any of this without switching over the platform first.

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