Last night I was about to go to sleep when I saw a tweet from Dries Buytaert, creator and benevolent dictator of Drupal, saying that he was about five minutes from delivering his State of Drupal Keynote. I really wanted to see it, so I stayed up for another hour to participate with the Londoners.
Most of the keynote revolved around the results of a survey of Drupal users and developers. Drupal’s core developers tend to follow the priorities of the community. Listed among the top opportunities for the future of Drupal was replacing legacy applications in the Enterprise. According to Dries, many large organizations grew their intranet and web presence organically and they now find themselves with multiple incompatible and expensive systems that support the main website, the CFO blog, the internal wiki, maybe a few microsites for special events, and let’s not forget SharePoint. I agree with Dries that this situation presents an excellent opportunity for companies to standardize on a single platform—Drupal—that can replace all of them. Standardizing on a single platform would make it easier and cheaper to maintain these sites.
I have been a Drupal user since 2003. I am really impressed with Drupal 7 and have been able to use it for many projects. Drupal is well-documented and extremely flexible. It is an excellent platform for small to medium-sized websites. It’s flexibility means it can do almost anything. It is extensible through plugins and the thriving developer community means that there is a plugin already available that allows Drupal to be used for almost anything.
I am looking forward to seeing where Drupal 8 takes us, but Drupal 7 is an amazing thing already. The user-centric development model Dries has embraced will continue to propel Drupal to ever-higher levels of notoriety and adoption in the Enterprise.