Microsoft recently certified the first open source web application to run on Windows Server 2008 R2. That application was SilverStripe, a Content Management System (CMS) originally developed by a team in New Zealand. There are many excellent CMS and other open source web projects but Microsoft saw something they liked in SilverStripe. Ibuildings are certified SilverStripe partners and have been working with it for quite some time, so I thought this was a great time to shed some light on this excellent product.
SilverStripe has put a lot of work into achieving good performance on Windows and IIS, but it also works well on Linux or Mac Servers running open source web server software. There is also a wide variety of databases which SilverStripe supports including SQLServer, MySQL, Postgres and SQLite.
What SilverStripe Offers
Every web site has different requirements, but a CMS application aims to provide a lot of the features needed while at the same time being easy to customise and extend. Database abstraction is particularly suited to a CMS since the schema is fairly simple and based around a page. SilverStripe has an advanced abstraction layer with an elegant syntax that effectively frees you from defining the database schema and instead lets you define models. In this article, I will show you how to define a new page type with custom fields by extending the Page model, and we'll also take a look at some of the areas that are particularly nicely done by Silverstripe.