We've upgraded cloudscribe to integrate with the new Google Analytics 4, with a seamless transition from Universal Analytics, which Google are retiring at the end of June 2023.

If you have an existing cloudscribe site (at version 6), simply build and publish your site - the updated cloudscribe code will come into your solution automatically so long as you have a reference like this:

<PackageReference Include="cloudscribe.Core.Web" Version="6.0.*" />

Then, in your running website, visit Administration > Site Settings ( /siteadmin/siteinfo ) and add the GA4 Measurement Id into the Google Analytics Tracking Id setting. You should find that GA4 starts receiving information immediately.

Find out more about the integration here https://www.cloudscribe.com/google-analytics-ga4-integration

Google Analytics 4 screenshot

We are pleased to announce a new release of cloudscribe that now targets .net6.0, Bootstrap5.0 and Visual Studio 2022.

We've released a new version of the Visual Studio template. Please do leave a review!

We recommend that the VSIX template should be installed into Visual Studio 2022. Although it will also install and create a template site in VS2019, you may encounter difficulties building and working with a .NET 6.0 application in VS2019.

See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/whats-new/dotnet-6 for information about what's new in .NET 6.

There is one key potential breaking change to be aware of: if you are targeting PostgreSql database, please note that changes to the Npgsql Entity Framework Core Provider at version 6.0 now mean that the recommended way of handling Timestamp values is to migrate any "timestamp without time zone" columns to "timestamp with time zone", and always use either DateTime with Kind=Utc or DateTimeOffset with offset 0. See details here: https://www.npgsql.org/efcore/release-notes/6.0.html?tabs=annotations

This release of cloudscribe will implement the above migration on some key columns in the database (e.g. the cs_user table, and SimpleContent cs_page and cs_post) but you should be aware of the potential for timezone offset bugs in any similar columns of your own. We would recommend that you take a backup of your existing application database before applying this major version upgrade.

Older versions of the VSIX template remain available here: https://github.com/cloudscribe/cloudscribe.templates/tree/master/Archive.

As always, feedback welcome in the forums or on GitHub.

We've completed the upgrade of cloudscribe to .NET 5 and released a new version of the Visual Studio template. If you try it out, please do leave a review!

See our previous post for some more information and useful links.

And one of the first things we did was upgrade this site to run in .NET 5 - really easy and everything works beautifully so far. We've also upgrade some client projects without problems.

cloudscribecom home page in .NET 5
cloudscribe.com home page in .NET 5

Next we'll work on Bootstrap 5 views, and after that, .NET 6! As always, feedback welcome in the forums or on GitHub.

This is our first post here since our adoption of cloudscribe from Joe Audette! And it's to let people know we're starting the upgrade of all cloudscribe components to .NET 5. This is a significant upgrade, so we expect it to take a few weeks, and we'll post again when it's complete.

Find out more about .NET 5 here, and the list of breaking changes we will have to look out for!

Side by side with this work, for release shortly afterwards if everything goes to plan, we'll be working on a new Bootstrap 5 presentation layer, that will then become the default for a new cloudscribe project built using our Visual Studio project template

We should probably also mention some of the improvements we've made to cloudscribe:-

  • SimpleContent now has more sophisticated handling of versions and drafts, especially when using Content Templates.
  • We gave the TalkAbout Forums product a bit of a makeover, fixed lots of bugs, and added a configurable file upload capability.
  • When using multi-tenancy we added a new mode to help administrators, called "RootUserCanSignInToTenants Mode"  - see the documentation for more details.
  • We've fixed NoDB bugs that prevented using markdown.
  • We improved the registration page experience and fixed a bug that could cause hangs.
  • And we've fixed a load of other niggles and made lots of small improvements thanks to the feedback from cloudscribe users. Please do post in our Forums, comment on any of our documentation pages, or post issues in the various cloudscribe component GitHub repositories!

And of course we've been using cloudscribe components to build some great new applications for clients, such as the York Historic Environment Record. They love that their projects are built on a fully open source stack, and using cloudscribe means we can focus our effort on what's unique about their requirements and deliver best value. If you'd like help building an application on cloudscribe, please feel free to contact us.

City or York Historic Environment Record website, built with cloudscribe

Wow, it has been 11 months since my last blog post. Time flies, and a lot has been accomplished in that time. I really should have been blogging about various things along the way, but today I will try to provide a summary of news and progress for cloudscribe.

Open Source Improvements

Dynamic Authorization Policies is a new open source project from cloudscribe that started life as an add on product but was recently made open source on github. It allows you to manage ASP.NET Core authorization policy requirements from the UI. cloudscribe Core always provided management of user role membership and custom claims, but typically authorization policies are coded up in startup code which means that in order to change them you have to change the code, build, and redeploy your application. So you could create new roles from the cloudscribe core UI but you could not use the new role in a policy without going through build and deploy steps. Dynamic Authorization Policies lets you manage policies from the UI and therefore provides the final piece of the puzzle for managing access to your site content and features.

cloudscribe Core has some new improvements, including support for LDAP authentication, this work was sponsored by Exegesis Spatial Data Management. We also added an option to force only one web browser session per user, and an option to require 2 factor authentication.

PwaKit is a new open source project that facilitates building progressive web apps that work offline and support push notification. This work was sponsored by our friends at Exegesis Spatial Data Management.

A whole new way of doing localized content has been implemented in SimpleContent but needs documentation and a sample project. There is a github issue about it here and it was sponsored by Domain Integrators.

Commercial Products

In addition to our open source progress, we've also shipped several commercial add on features.

cloudscribe Forms and Surveys Solution provides a super user friendly drag and drop form designer, and provides a content template for SimpleContent that allows you to put a form/survey on content pages. This youtube video gives a tour of the product.

cloudscribe "TalkAbout" Comment System provides a self hosted GDPR friendly alternative to 3rd party comment systems such as Disqus. If you use a free service chances are that you and your web visitors are the product. Such services add numerous 3rd party tracking cookies and collect data about you and your users for their own purposes. All these extra tracking cookies complicate your ability to meet GDPR requirements. By using a self hosted comment system instead you can avoid all those 3rd party tracking cookies and more easily achieve GDPR compliance.

cloudscribe "TalkAbout" Forums provides a self hosted, GDPR friendly question and answer style forum to help you build a community. We just launched our Community Support Forum recently using this.

cloudscribe Membership Paywall provides the tools you need to monetize your premium content. You protect your premium content with roles, and users who purchase membership get automatically granted the needed roles to access your content and automatically removed from the roles if their membership expires. It provides automatic membership renewal using stripe for payment processing.

All of our add on products are free to try, and are included in our latest project template for Visual Studio, so you can easily create web apps with the nuget packages for these features all wired up for you. They do have some nag alerts that are shown every few web requests, by purchasing a license file you can remove the nag alerts.

cloudscribe project template for Visual Studio