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Using Drupal For Company Intranet; What To Expect? 20

Posted by timothy
from the triplets-and-an-irs-audit dept.
jjbliss writes "I am in the beginning stages of setting-up our company intranet. I have done some research and think that Drupal is the right CMS to use for this as it is very rich-featured, free and open-source yet well-supported, has a broad user and development community, and seems to be customizable to the degree that I need it to be. My question for Slashdot is who out there is using Drupal for this purpose? What have been your biggest issues in getting up and running? What should I know going into it? I am fairly proficient with HTML, CSS, Javascript, LAMP, etc. What sort of learning curve will there be in developing within Drupal? Are there any experts out there that we could bring in when I hit a problem that is over my head to fix? Where do you recommend finding them?"
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Using Drupal For Company Intranet; What To Expect?

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  • I suspect if you had asked "I am looking into a CMS" etc you would have had loads of answers and once you had sifted through all the usual /. bollocks you might have got some useful stuff out of it.

    The fatal error was mentioning your own opinion!

    The only advice I can suggest is to try it out and see what happens. In any design/eval exercise you should do your research, pick three and give them some time.

    I suggest looking at Joomla as well and spending some time at say http://freshmeat.net./ [freshmeat.net.] For a laugh, t

    • by dov_0 (1438253)

      Best thing is probably to decide a shortlist of CMS packages that fit what you want to do and install them on a spare server. Try each one out for a few hours, read some more reviews and guides as you go, and by the end of a week you'll know which one you want to use.

      I'd use Drupal any day over Joomla! though. Apart from the annoying exclamation mark in their name, I just couldn't do what I wanted with Joomla! Drupal seems more friendly (and lacks any arrogant and annoying exclamation marks in the name), bu

  • Maybe this URL will help you: http://drupal.org/getting-started/before [drupal.org]

    If you are a normal corporatation (using Office) I would recommend SharePoint instead.

  • There is a Drupal distribution built specifically for that purpose: http://openatrium.com/ [openatrium.com] There's a lengthy article about it in the December issue of Linux magazine: http://developmentseed.org/blog/2009/nov/09/open-atrium-featured-linux-magazine [developmentseed.org] which should help you get started.

    It features groups, calenders, blogs, documentation and an issue/task tracker right out of the box.

    • by jjbliss (1677448)
      Thanks Mr. Jax. I actually looked at Open Atrium, but it seems like it's a little too specific in it's functionality out-of-the-box. I would have to pare down some of the modules, as well as add several. Also, it seems more cumbersome than a standard Drupal installation to customize / theme. Though the default Atrium skin is pretty chic, we are going to have to create a custom look-and-feel for our project, and it seems more transparent how to do this for standard Drupal. I'm going to install them both s
  • There are potentially thousands of companies using Drupal for intranets (we can't track them due to the free download / no login required). They include small and large companies from BMW to Intel to Pfizer. Much more detail can be found on drupal.org. Here is a link to one post http://drupal.org/node/588636 [drupal.org] If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Acquia www.acquia.com
  • We use it for our intranet and everyone seems to like it. As far as developing for it: what exactly are you wanting to do? There are a bazillion pre-made modules [drupal.org] for just about every task you can imagine, and you're probably better of finding something close to what you need and making minor adjustments as necessary.

    Honestly, I can't think of anything bad about it. If nothing else, why not install it on your own machine and play with it until you get everything working the way you like it, then move your

    • by jjbliss (1677448)
      That's great to hear that you've had success with this. We aren't 100% decided on features yet, but what I do know we want for sure are the following:

      Integration with LDAP
      A support ticketing system
      Wiki-like content pages (with wysiwyg editing)
      Document Management
      Video Blog
      News Feed for important announcements
      • I can think of pre-made modules (or builtin features) for every single one of those. I can personally vouch for the LDAP module, which we use to authenticate against Active Directory instead of maintaining a separate, parallel password database.
  • This may not be a popular opinion here, but why did you decide to go with open source solutions? If you aren't already familiar with drupal and are an expert at designing corporate intranets, you're probably going to spend several months of the next year building and maintaining your site. I won't try to guess your salary, but there are a lot of good solutions in the $5-10k range (some that use drupal) that could be more cost effective and give you access to people who do this every day. Drupal is an am
    • I would have to agree. I am a PHP developer for a small Design Company and I work on these types of sites on a daily basis. Out of all the sites I have created I have only used one CMS, Wordpress, and it was a nightmare to train the end user. There were a ton of menus and the majority of options she never used. Granted Wordpress is significantly more robust but in the end do you want your $tech_inept_end_user mucking about so much. My clients love the products I develop because I make it as simple and user
  • While not in the same league of usage as you (just a simple page for an organization I'm a part of), I've found developing for Drupal very easy. I knew no PHP going in, but between picking that up and the extensive documentation on their site, it's been a breeze filling in the cracks of what I need that available modules don't fill.
  • The better question is which FREE CMS you want to use. I've been using Drupal for a while, and it sucks. But, much like Democracy, it sucks less than the other (free) alternatives. Unless you're a PHP coder, you won't be able to do much with the software. And if you are a PHP coder, then why are you using an off-the-shelf solution when you could make your own?
  • At my current and previous job, we used Drupal for public-facing websites. Although you're asking more about internal sites, and my experience is as a sysadmin (not a developer), I thought I'd chip in with my two cents.

    First off, as someone above mentioned, there are modules for everything. That's great -- but when you upgrade, that means you're (potentially) upgrading every module as you go. This has caused us a few problems when, say, you need the very latest 2.x-dev version of something to go with the

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