Simply put, Umbraco is an opens source content management system for ASP.NET and written in C#. It's distributed under a MIT License (Wikipedia) and, as it requires Microsoft's .NET framework, it's usually deployed on Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services, which is Microsoft's web server. However, that is likely too simply put as Umbraco is far more than that including implementation of full MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. One of its key attractions for developers and clients alike is that it is very "developer friendly". The CMS is primarily a skeleton install, meaning that there is no theme or lots of plugins that are default and have to be stripped down. Out of the box, it does include very powerful query helpers for anything from grabbing media content to tags and also has a very extendable and detailed administrator and developer area called "backoffice". Or course, like most CMS's, permissions can easily be set for the client to manage content by only having the "Content" and "Media" tabs available. The Umbraco community have many packages to provide additional functionality, if the developer is not writing it themselves, such as blogs, calendars, and more.
Other ASP.NET based content management systems include DNN (formerly "DotNetNuke") and Kentico. These are paid but do require subscriptions in some cases such as for different editions, addons, and so forth which can become quite expensive. Sitefinity is another popular choice, however it is premium only and is quite costly to start, starting at $899/yr for the standard edition and $8,000 for the first year of the Enterprise Edition when rates change in January of 2018 (Source).
Key features and benefits of the Umbraco CMS (for the developer, client, and end user):
- Media Types and the Media Document Library
- Macros and Partial View Macro Files
- Support for XSLT Files
- Data Types and installable Packages
- Document Types (includes declaration of parent nodes and children)
- Templates and Partial Views
- Support for many languages, accessible from a simple drop-down menu
Umbraco's Backoffice: Umbraco 7.6
Photo courtesy of Umbraco.com