TYPO3 vs. Drupal
In contrast to TYPO3 or Joomla! as straightforward Web Content Management Systems, or Wordpress, which is designed as a Blogging-Software, the Drupal approach combines simple Web Content Management and Social Community Software.
Mixing Social Software and simple Web CMS
Alongside the basic functions of a Web Content Management System, Drupal’s main priority is the provision of comprehensive Social Community tools. This includes such elements as a Blog system, forums and various other Web 2.0 functions, designed to facilitate the publishing of User-Generated-Content. The strengths of the system are clearly in this area.
Drupal is used by many companies as a Community Tool in the context of a micro-site. To this end, various distribution models are available, such as: Stand-Alone-Blog distribution, Community distribution, a distribution mode for use in educational institutions and others. These pre-configured distribution models make for faster and simpler installation. Together with the option of choosing a layout for one’s micro-site from a palette of possible “themes”, distribution models offer so-called Out-Of-The-Box solutions.
Drupal currently exists in several versions between 4.x and 7.x. Drupal can be hosted on either an Apache or a Microsoft ISS server. As databank server software either MySQL 4.1 or PostgreSQL, from Version 7.1 may be used. Since version 7, PHP 5.2 is used.
Slim basic package
The basic package from Drupal is very slim indeed and many functions, such as the text editor, can only be integrated after installation. For such modules professional help is needed with the implementation.
The system makes a strict separation between Design/Layout and CMS functionality. In addition it offers useful features such as multi-site capability, a mature caching concept and the possibility of connecting Drupal to an LDAP server for authentication purposes, many of which have to be integrated via extensions though. However, a significant difference in comparison with either TYPO3 or Joomla! is the lack of a backend for website administration. This means that editors either have to work directly in the frontend or through a hierarchy of menu fields in a menu list. Although this might seem cumbersome at first sight, a variety of extensions are available that improve its ease of use.
As with other CMS, functionality can be augmented by adding extensions, so-called modules. The odd particularity of these modules is that they are not compatible with all three currently active versions of Drupal. As a result, one must first ascertain whether the extension required is actually available for the “new” version of Drupal one has just installed and then whether it is able to run stable enough for business-critical environments. As a result, an automatic core update is not possible, as all the extensions must then be re-adapted individually. In addition, Drupal-Modules have to be installed and activated by hand. Particularly difficult for the developers and maintainers of a Drupal instance are the high depencies of extensions, so it is quite common that a Drupal site will run with 50-60 extensions, which all need to be regularly updated, checked for security issues and sometimes are no longer supported by their authors. This makes the usage of Drupal in the Enterprise increasingly difficult.
CMS and Framework
Drupal, like TYPO3 is a framework. This means that, in principle, it is possible to develop an extension or application for any particular type of use. Thus Drupal programmers can realize a variety of solutions that interconnect with your current IT infrastructure and which are compatible with the business-critical needs of larger companies, administrations or associations. However the Drupal architecture is neither object-oriented, nor does it support modern patterns such as MVC (Model View Controller) making it a less likely choice for developers that value code quality and enterprise development techniques.
- Conclusion: TYPO3 vs. Drupal
Drupal was not developed for use as an Enterprise Web CMS, but as a comprehensive social Community solution. Installing Drupal certainly makes sense if the primary use is a combination of Social Software and a simple Web CMS solution, and thus with a clear focus on the Social Community aspect.
The clear recommendation at this point would thus be:
- Social Publishing: Drupal
- Enterprise Publishing: TYPO3
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