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I have tried DNN and nopCommerce. After going through their source-code, I realized they are not that easy to customize and need a fair amount of time to their documentation before any changes can be made. Also, they are pretty huge, as they cover up every single aspect of a CMS, from Page to Catalogue to Menu to SEO and so on.

My requirements are pretty simple; i just need the backend to add products and categories along with store handling functions. Other things like pages and menu's need not come under CMS.

So, Is there any simple .NET CMS that can help me speed up the development process, or should I develop my own or use one of the two mentioned above ??

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

the answer is NO, but let's see why there is no CMS to support your unique requirement:

  1. As the word CMS stands for Content Management System, therefore it should be able to support almost any type of content (commonly known as content-type). The most basic content types are text, images, videos, gallery, blog, etc. These content types are almost supported in all CMSs. Thus, an application that can only work for e-commerce, is technically, and safely can be put off the shelve of CMSs.
  2. Usually, CMS software are here to speed your development. Imagine that you want to create 3-pages static site, (a common scenario for lots of personal websites). For such a site, the TCO (total cost of ownership) of adapting a CMS would be far more than simply creating static HTML pages. While this scenario was too simple, the point is, if your only need is eCommerce with categories and products, then talking from experience, I'm telling you that developing such a section from scratch would cost you less than implementing an eCommerce solution.
  3. Even when I want to change part of my colleagues code, I need to get some help from him/her first. There is almost nothing on the web that you can work with without referring to it documents. Therefore, I think that you should change your mind about not reading the manual of a CMS.
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Thanks for the valuable points. I guess I need to roll down my requirements thoroughly, and then estimate what time will I take to develop the solution from scratch and what time will i take in customizing the already existing opensource solutions – Pankaj Upadhyay Sep 2 '11 at 13:18

You could always have a look at Umbraco - that's the only other .NET CMS with any market share & traction that I know of. The biggest e-commerce CMS is Magento but that's written in PHP.

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Microsoft Commerce Server

It is very much .net based. Very customizable on the front end but the Commerce server does handle the shopping cart and orders well. It isnt cheap but it is less expensive than some of the other enterprise E-Commerce Solutions. And it is supported by MS. I know alot of people do not really like MS but if you are looking for a .net solution in ecommerce this is the MS Preferred solution.

The learning curve can be steep but you do not need to understand how to rewire the whole thing to get it going. We were able to get it in and set up our first test site in 2 weeks. We had production going in less than 3 months for one of our major customers which had alot of demands for customization. We did this all with no prior experience with Commerce server.

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