Drupal, a content management system, is used by a number of website owners. Drupal is mostly used to create informational sites and social media sites, and not those regular content websites that we see. But that’s not the only area where you look up to Drupal.
True, we have seen the platform make web development be a lot easier from easy customizations to lowering the cost of ownership significantly. However, the myriad range of ways Drupal can be used is what we need to be thinking about.
Did you know for instance that Drupal is available as open source? It means that you can customize it as necessary. But how effective is Drupal when it comes to using it for intranet development? For us, we need to understand that this CMS can be a great bet for even developing your intranet system.
Building your own intranet system
How does your organization look at increasing productivity? Most often, organizations tinker with working processes or buy in new equipment to boost productivity.
Yes, we have the periodic bonuses and appreciation that keep employees on track. But doesn’t your company need more? What about investing in a structure that helps increase collaboration, information sharing and continuity?
We need to look at how a reliable intranet system can benefit you. With an intranet system, employees can get access to important information easily and perform work systematically. There is a track of every work that’s due and deadlines that are to be met. Employees can share updates with others and there is an environment where team members are updated with what others are up to.
Drupal for intranet development
We suggest Drupal for developing your intranet for a number of reasons. Here is a look at what makes Drupal tick.
You don’t need to have a service provider unlike many other CMS out there. So, why do we think that Drupal is a safe bet? Let’s take a look.
- You can easily integrate Drupal and empower your staff to perform a range of functions.
- You will find it easier to maintain and not worry about those costly proprietary platform-licensing fees that you can incur if you licensed other traditional platforms like SharePoint or Jive for developing your intranet.
- With Drupal being open source, you have to pay no license fee, a reason it is becoming more popular.
- The cost of running a Drupal intranet site is considerably lesser.
Where does it excel?
Drupal can easily integrate with your employee management systems. All that you will need is to enable LDAP module or CAS module.
Drupal scores because you can do a whole number of things with it, including creating forums for better employee engagement, and file management systems ensure easier file sharing. There are a number of other features too that makes Drupal worth it.
- User management
Users will have to sign in to access the intranet if needed, a useful feature if the company is looking to keep the intranet features secure. More, the single sign on capability is just one from a number of available options – as Drupal is open source, you can create any user management function you would like. Restrict access to content or just allow access.
- Better collaboration
From forums, streams to commenting and web forms, Drupal allows easier collaboration. Team members can check in on the progress of a project and also perform a number of other activities. This includes posting to micro blogging sites like Twitter or following others. Again, specific collaborative features can be developed according to the unique needs of the organization.
- Content management
Customizations and edits to your intranet system are easy and requires no knowledge of programming. Media asset libraries can be managed easily and text added/removed within seconds. Third party applications can also be worked with to enable better content management.
- Easy integration
If you aren’t looking for unique features specific to your organization, you can always download Drupal Distribution software. For instance, Drupal Commons and Open Atrium have their own pre-configured installations and all common features expected from an intranet system that includes commenting, activity streams and more.
Where will you find it lacking?
No, you won’t find Drupal a ready-made as other traditional proprietary solutions. That means that while you do not have to pay the high licensing fees, you will have to take time in developing a good Drupal intranet system that has all the features you need. More, by default the information uploaded to Drupal is set to be visible. You will need to set it to private mode as Drupal creates files directory within the web root, which enables any user to link publicly to your files.
When setting up Drupal, you will need to do this. Here is a quick walk through of how to change the settings.
- Go to Administer mode
- Click on Site Configuration
- Go to File systems
- Set the download method to Private.
This stops others from prying into your files. These nuances, of course, mean that you need to hire a Drupal expert to ensure that your intranet remains safe, secure and having all the customized features you need.
If you’re looking for an affordable and quality solution to develop your own intranet system that’s cost effective both when it comes to initial investment as well as maintenance, look at Drupal.
If you’re trying to all yourself, you will end up wasting a lot of time. Drupal has a fair bit of learning curve and more, many integrations like those with CAS module may not be possible if you do not have good knowledge of Drupal. Instead, hire a good Drupal developer to help you take care of developing your own intranet with Drupal