Microsoft has released an early version of an open-source content management platform that developers can use to build sophisticated blogs or large Web sites.
Called Oxite, its creators describe it as a standards-compliant and highly extensible content management platform. They built it not because there is a need for another blog engine, but because they were building the MIX Online site for Web designers and wanted to offer an example of a use for ASP.NET MVC, according to the Oxite Web site.
ASP.NET MVC lets developers use ASP.NET to build Web applications using an architecture called model-view-controller. Microsoft released a preview of the ASP.NET MVC framework, designed to make it easier for developers to test applications, late last year.
Oxite includes a number of important blog functions that can be complex to implement, according to Microsoft. The framework offers many features common in blogs, including pingbacks, trackbacks, anonymous or authenticated comments with the option to moderate comments, RSS feeds for any page and a Web administration panel.
It's also designed for users to easily add new Web pages and sub-pages.
At first glance Oxite appears to compete with established blogging products including those from Six Apart. However, Microsoft says that Oxite is designed for developers, rather than less-technical Web users wanting to set up a blog.
“Oxite is targeted at developers who want to learn ASP.NET MVC,” according to a brief FAQ on the Oxite site. “If the community decides to build this to work well for consumers down the road we won't stop it.”
The Oxite Web site calls this a sample, or alpha release. The code was posted on Friday and had been downloaded by 300 people late Monday afternoon. The MIX Online site is the only one listed so far among sites using the Oxite code base.