Microsoft SharePoint Vs Drupal CMS
Initially, Microsoft created SharePoint as a document management system, but through continuous addition of new features, it has taken the form of a content management system. Today Microsoft SharePoint has grown beyond being simply an intranet platform. It is a powerful web framework which can drive large sites and be ranked on the same level with other major content management system platforms. On the other hand, Drupal 7provides the foundation to develop almost anything you could imagine be it a corporate website, online-store, customer portal, intranet, extranet or CRM. But each of these content management system solutions possesses its own advantages and drawbacks when you compare different aspects of web development. Therefore, before a business chooses one of these solutions as the ideal content management system, these factors must be taken into consideration. This is a comparison of Microsoft SharePoint vs. Drupal that can help you make an informed decision.
Local development environment setup
Setting up SharePoint on a local box is very difficult and more costly because a Windows Server is necessary to manage a SharePoint website, therefore, you must either get Windows Server on your local box or look to get a virtual machine. In this case, you’ll have to enhance your local hardware to satisfy the memory requirements. Put simply, getting set up requires heavy hardware. Moreover, using a virtual machine to develop a site in Visual Studio is quite difficult.
Drupal is incredibly easy to set up. Drupal can run on nearly every platform and a heavy-duty server machine is not necessary to run many sites. Drupal is totally free, including editor tools such as Eclipse. Moreover, all of the Drupal modules are open source and therefore are supported by the Drupal community.
Deploying a Microsoft SharePoint website will require you to have a Microsoft Server sys-admin. However, this may be a bit inconveniencing for many developers. Moreover, there are many steps to push web parts to various environments. Developers must compile dlls, add things to the Global Assembly Cache and restart IIS. However, you can streamline web parts and easily push the entire website to another environment. What is difficult is pushing a subset of data. In other words, lists and libraries cannot be exported easily.
Conversely}, it is very easy to set up a Drupal development environment. Developers can readily transfer files onto a Drupal development environment and then push their changes. This is because Drupal runs on PHP, meaning it could run in almost any environment, and you don’t need to be a server expert. Many people launch Drupal websites on shared web environments without deep technical know-how.
Theming (visual look and feel)
The theming process of a SharePoint site requires SharePoint Designer. This means you will have a larger investment, thereby accumulating towards the already huge licensing costs required to set up and operate a SharePoint site. Moreover, the check in and check out system associated with SharePoint Designer is quite frustrating. As an illustration, if a team of designers/developers/admins are working together and someone forgets to check in a file, you will need to get him or her to release the file.
SharePoint’s markup is terrible, non-standards compliant and nonsensical. Although SharePoint markup has some CSS files and classes, they’re likely to be misused. For instance long IDs, inline CSS, non-standard compliant html and embedded tables. This is often challenging to style unless your SharePoint site is an out-of-the box type or unless you purchase a pre-made template for the site.
The theming layer of Drupal is very flexible and powerful. It is designed in a way that it scales well together with the themer’s knowledge: This means that once you learn more, you will develop a better theme. However, you’re able to do a great deal with CSS and template changes. On the same note, it doesn’t require deep depth knowledge about the functions of the PHP template.
Although SharePoint’s CQWP (Content Query Web Part) should certainly enable easy pulling of content, it does not serve this purpose. |To begin with, the output is difficult to theme. On the same note, the CQWP does not allow anonymous access, and therefore getting anonymous access to some features, for example the blog is difficult.
Drupal key modules seem sensible because there is a community behind them. The Views module is far superior when compared to CQWP. Views allow for more flexibility and feature a much more powerful theming layer. To get an effective CQWP, you must purchase it from vendors that create advanced web parts.
SharePoint doesn’t provide developers with access to its SQL database. Whilst they can technically touch it, it could lead to extensive data corruption. Even though you can analyze the database, it difficult to comprehend the structure. Moreover, sharing data with another system involves many tasks.
Drupal provides you with full access to a database and it makes sense. Being a developer, it is possible to analyze the database tables and understand what’s occurring. Drupal offers you several out-of-the-box performance features, including caching, form caching, menu caching, page caching, block caching and CSS/JS caching. These default options enhance the performance of websites.
Integration with other 3rd party services
In terms of integration, SharePoint has the upper hand mainly because it integrates well with other Microsoft services. Therefore, if your company has committed to Microsoft services, then SharePoint is an ideal option. That is simply because you’ll likely have Windows system administrators and developers.
Although Drupal could be configured to integrate with Microsoft services, the integration is not as easy as in a Microsoft environment.
Microsoft features some nice pricing options in relation to purchasing SharePoint. Initially, SharePoint was extremely costly because you had to deal with endless costs, such as the upfront costs, per user costs, hardware costs and Desktop software costs. Although some of these prices are still for the server version, The SharePoint Online carries a lot less expensive and simpler pricing system. SharePoint now offers you a wider platform to accomplish more with fewer operations.
Although Drupal is utilized as a free framework, the costs of development and support can raise the overall total cost, particularly when you need solutions that offer a lot more than the basic Drupal content management system.
There you have it. I hope this article will help you to carefully consider the factors before settling on the right content management system for your business.