I had lunch the other day with a couple of acquaintances who work at a systems integrator (SI) that does a lot of work for the US federal government (a.k.a., "beltway bandit").
They pointed out that, like SharePoint of yore, Drupal was becoming all the rage among US federal web managers under the current administration. So naturally, this SI went looking for experienced Drupal talent. And could not find any. You see, as readers of our WCXM or Social Collaboration evaluations know, experienced Drupal talent comes in short supply, especially since Drupal fanboys promote it as the hammer for every nail (which it certainly is not).
So what were these SI managers going to do? What nearly everyone else does: find some PHP developers, train them up on Drupal for several months, and hope they stick around for at least a year. That's exciting for the developer community, but what about you the customer? This sort of dislocation can be very jarring to your project and is something to consider when selecting tools.
No, I'm not suggesting you select some dullard WCXM product so that you can find cheap, unemployed developers. Rather, I'm suggesting that you build hype coefficients into your longterm total-cost-of-ownership calcuations. The more hyped the tool, the more you'll have to spend to get foundational advice. In some cases, a lot more.
And foundational advice is critical to any longterm investment. Ask a developer or architect to talk about their first two implementations with any tool. They'll roll their eyes and explain what they'd do differently if they had it all over again. Fine for them -- they got paid. Tough for you the customer.
Be sure to contract with seasoned implementers with at least 3 projects under their belt with any particular vendor. That's meaningful experience. And with Drupal, it's very hard to find today...
Web Content Management Evaluation Stream looks at... Integrated Site Search in Drupal
"The integrated full-text search functionality is adequate for searching text-based content, though file-based content is not indexed -- making Drupal arguably less useful for an intranet. The default search configuration has a basic search and an advanced search that can look for keywords, exact match phrases, and can restrict by content type. Searches tend to return too many results rather than too few. Note that the index is refreshed by a scheduled script running on the server, rather than every time content gets updated. On the whole, this is quite weak..."
Learn the real strengths and weaknesses of major CMS vendors from around the world, in our Web Content & Experience Management evaluation research stream.
"I think The Web CMS Research is well worth it. Information is always key to good decisions; don't skip that step! It's also surprisingly well written and not as dry as you would expect. I have an IT background and also a writing (English Literature) background, so I very much appreciated the balance of charts, tech info, and plain-speaking, good old sentences!"
Paul Whittle, Web Manager, Memorial University
Get the Real Story bi-weekly.
USA & Canada
+1 800 325 6190
+44 (0) 20 3318 1911
+1 617 340 6464
All Other Inquiries
All analyst firms claim to be independent or vendor-neutral. We're different.
Get the real story on commercial and open source tools from a firm that works only for you, the technology customer.
Thank you for signing up for The Real Story Group Newsletter. You will receive our monthly newsletter, plus updates with new information on the technology streams you have expressed interest in below.