Choosing an open-source CMS, part 1: Why we use Drupal

Two companies decide that Drupal, a powerful but complex content management system, works best for them.

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"We needed to start from scratch," he says.

IDT did consider rewriting the site with Microsoft SharePoint -- which IDT was already using as its document repository -- and WordPress. But cost was a big concern: IDT's budget was $200,000, and the quote for using SharePoint came in at double the cost of using the open source Drupal or WordPress CMSs, mostly due to extra software licensing fees. "We couldn't justify paying double the cost for a similar result," Luchsinger says.

In addition, IDT's IT organization recommended going with an open-source CMS running on a LAMP ( Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) infrastructure because the company already had PHP programming experts in-house. So Luchsinger focused on WordPress and Drupal -- and came away undecided until IT broke the tie by recommending Drupal. "They said Drupal had a better security rating," he says.

IDT needed a tool that would let people easily search, filter and display the configurations they needed -- something they couldn't do easily in the firm's homegrown ColdFusion implementation.

Luchsinger admits that he didn't check any further as to whether WordPress' security would have been adequate. "We needed to make a decision quickly, so we just went with [Drupal]," he says.

Because IDT didn't have any in-house Drupal developers at the time -- a situation it has since rectified -- the firm turned to Mediacurrent, a Web development and design company. Mediacurrent brought in Apache Solr as the core search engine, built a related software module and tied everything together using JavaScript.

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