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  • Joe D 2 posts 22 karma points
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 04:58
    Joe D

    Using Umbraco with External Service

    I am very new to Umbraco and am in the investigative phase to see if it is able to do for us what we need in a new CMS project. So far Umbraco looks great, but there are a few questions in particular I haven't been able to find the answers to.

    I have noticed when setting up Umbraco that the only options for configuring a data source are with databases. Due to security policies in our web environment, we are not permitted to host a database in our external layer. Therefore all CRUD operations are handled via an API that we have available to interface our website with the database.

    Is it possible for Umbraco to use this service to store content in place of a direct database connection? If so, what would be the best way to implement this? For that matter, can Umbraco even be used without a direct database connection? I see that Contour has some capabilities for connecting to a service, however it looks like its more for CRUD operations on the actual website and not for saving content from the CMS. 

    On top of this we would also need to authenticate users of the CMS with our own identity service. We haven't developed this service yet, but it is likely that it will use either SAML or OAUTH. I do believe I've seen that others are doing something similar to this, but would be great if someone could confirm that it is possible.

  • Andy Butland 416 posts 2325 karma points MVP 4x hq c-trib
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 15:38
    Andy Butland

    I can't see how you could do that Joe - Umbraco does need a database connection for reading and writing of data and I'm not aware of any way to swap that out.

    One possible approach might be to consider Umbraco and the database as part of your "internal" layer.  So the back-office and the database would all be off your web server and installed on something inside your organisations network.  You could then build out a front-end that simply serves out the Umbraco content as JSON or XML services, and then build a front-end that consumes those services which is deployed on your external facing web server.  But that all sounds rather convuluted to me... you'd lose a lot of features (or rather have to implement a lot of things yourself) in working around the restriction in this way.

    The second part of your question though is possible - not done it myself - but you can swap the default membership provider for Umbraco users (back-office accounst) for your own.


  • Joe D 2 posts 22 karma points
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 16:16
    Joe D

    Andy thank you very much for your reply. This is what I suspected but thanks for confirming it for me.

    We're also thinking of doing a variation of your suggestion and host the CMS on the development side and push everything out with Courier. We would still need a database connection, but I could probably make an argument for that providing authentication is handled internally. 

  • Roland Ebner 6 posts 26 karma points
    Jun 19, 2015 @ 10:21
    Roland Ebner

    We would need nearly the same feature, i can swap out the membership and role provider to access active directory, but for the members (users) we would need an external identity provider wich simply provides claims to umbraco, and than we need an claims provider wich provides the available claims to umbraco so you can configure the authorization required for accessing specific parts to that identities. Also in that external authentication process there would be the access token included for providing access to data on our backend.

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