Towards a Common Platform


Technology moves fast and it’s up to us to keep up with it. The Forum and its regional association partners, in consultation with the Council on Foundations, is beginning the process of looking for a new content management system built on a shared platform to upgrade our existing Knowledge Management System. We believe that an open source solution holds many benefits moving forward including platform flexibility, community support, and overall cost.

That said, like our new content management system, we want our selection process to be open. Across the next few months, we’ll be regularly posting updates, questions, and commentary and we want your input. You can leave comments here on the blog or them directly to Dan Brady at dbrady@givingforum.org.

First things, first, we need a good project codename. Apple uses big cats, Microsoft uses cities, the military uses all kinds of macho-sounding names. We’re going to use birds of prey. That’s right. Birds! Of! Prey!

OK, the Hooded Warbler isn’t a bird of prey, but it’s still a cool name. I bet Bob Dylan has used that as an alias at one point. Maybe it’s his superhero name? By day, he is mild mannered troubadour Bob Dylan, but by night, he transforms into The Hooded Warbler!

Back to business.

We’ve just about drowned in research—reports and reviews from all our favorite sources including TechSoup, Idealware, NTEN, TERPSYS, HigherLogic, and the Real Story Group (formerly CMSWatch),and others. We’ve sat through webinars, talked to technologists, and consulted with industry insiders. In the end, the Forum network recommends adopting Drupal as the platform of choice for our common content management system.

Drupal scores particularly well in areas of critical importance to the network such as Graphical and Structural Flexibility, Community/Web 2.0 Functionality, Extending and Integrating, and Support/Community Strength. A flexible, social, and highly interoperable system with a strong support community is exactly what our network requires. In much of the research we consulted, Drupal consistently received high marks for its flexibility and ease of use. It has a devoted following among developers and continues to grow due to its core simplicity and focus on modularity.

As we envision our future platform, we believe the network can thrive by taking advantage of the modular nature and scalability of Drupal.  Pending approval by our partners, the next set will be to share our RFP with prospective developers.

So, the big question now is, have you had any experiences with Drupal? What are the pros and cons from where you sit? What might we not have thought of when weighing our options? Let us know.

Do you know of organizations that are already using Drupal? Put us in touch.

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6 responses to “Towards a Common Platform

  1. 1) Booted Eagle. Clearly.
    2) I have no experience with Drupal. I do know that SparkAction.org runs on Drupal:
    http://sparkaction.org/content/technical-help
    …but that is all I know about Drupal… other than the fact that I enjoy saying and typing “Drupal.”

  2. Thanks, Nick! I love saying Drupal, too, but I think I’ll enjoy saying Project Booted Eagle even more.

  3. I recommend that we take a good look at ExpressionEngine: http://www.expressionengine.com.

    It is used for change.gov. Here are some other big sites that use it:
    http://www.hopstudios.com/blog/the_largest_expressionengine_sites/

  4. Thanks, Celeste. Seems like a good option. This is exactly the kind of suggestion we’re looking for at this stage. Keep ’em coming!

  5. Pingback: User Scenarios for KM 2.0 | FORUM'S Forum

  6. Pingback: Top Ten Blog Posts of 2010 | FORUM'S Forum

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