For more information on novella visit the project home page at
Also, I write about novella from time to time on my blog at
So what is novella?
Novella is a content management system that was built from the ground up to help developers give their clients the ability to update their content without any technical knowledge. It is easy to setup, use, and, most importantly, completely free. It is built
for the .NET 3.5 framework and uses SQL Server 2005 Express (both free) as its database. The software is free to use, extend, and customize for both personal and commercial use. I hope that you find the software to be useful and simple to implement with your
- Unbeatable Flexibilty: With most CMS packages it becomes the website. When you design your site you have to take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your CMS rather than just building the site that you want. Novella is the opposite.
Design your site however you want and then place the content wherever you want.
- Developer control: Other CMS software has two levels of users: Admin and Contributor. Novella adds a third, Developer. The developer is the person who is building the site so they have ultimate control as to how the content is used. They get to decide
what the admins can and can't do, such as being able to add new pages or users.
- CSS Zen Garden-esque: I am a big fan of CSS Zen Garden, and I am not ashamed to admit that I used their style of CSS as a foundation for this tool. The administration side of novella was designed to be completely customizable using only CSS. There
is no formatting in the markup so you as the developer have complete control if you need to rebrand or customize the tool in any way.
- The basics: Adding, updating, deleting content...autosaving...uploading files...rich text editing. All the standard stuff that clients need to use and maintain the site is here and easy to use.
- All .NET: Microsoft's .NET platform is kind of the red headed stepchild of the open source world. In the past this made sense because all of the tools were very expensive. Nowadays the big gorilla releases a lot of their development software
completely free. As a way to encourage the .NETers out there, I built this tool using ASP.NET 3.5 (there is also a version that works with 2.0) with Ajax, C#, and SQL Server 2005 Express.
If you are using novella and like it please shoot an email so I can see it in action! david@
Also, if you have been using it and have made updates to it, let me know so I can incorporate them into the main branch.