[consulting] Selling Drupal to consultants

Kieran Lal kieran at civicspacelabs.org
Mon Feb 13 17:17:29 UTC 2006

May I convert this into a page in the About Drupal section of the  

On Feb 13, 2006, at 12:16 AM, Michael Haggerty wrote:

> There are a lot of reasons to want to switch to Drupal. You can  
> skin that
> cat just about any way you choose.
> Here's where you may wish to start for a list of features compared  
> against
> other content management systems:
> http://www.cmsmatrix.org/matrix/cms-matrix? 
> func=viewDetail&listingId=1050
> 1) Server Performance - Drupal stacks up nicely against other  
> frameworks in
> terms of performance. If you are into performance metrics, compare  
> a drupal
> app with something written in Fusebox, Struts, Mach-II, RoR, Plone,  
> PHP-Nuke
> or Mambo. Either you need to add another application into the  
> server stack
> (in the case of J2EE, this is very significant), deal with the  
> intracies of
> fast-cgi (which has definite performance caps), or have to put up  
> with more
> resources being used on each pageview (your mileage will vary  
> depending on
> how drupal is configured and which modules are installed).
> 2) Application Architecture - The page serving mechanism behind  
> Drupal is
> fairly transparent and well documented. Building new applications is a
> matter of understanding the framework and how to take leverage  
> existing
> functionality. The framework has many great capabilities such as  
> virtual
> servers (the ability to run multiple sites off a single codebase),  
> modular
> architecture, theming, and more. Much of the work of building  
> applications
> is already done, meaning it lends itself to rapid application  
> development.
> 3) Open Source - The GPL is a great thing when you think about how  
> many
> people are contributing to the Drupal core. Every day, there are  
> thousands
> of developers world wide working on Drupal, introducing new  
> functionality
> and fixing issues with the platform. The GPL places no requirement  
> upon you
> to release your proprietary applications to the world, meaning you  
> can build
> new modules for drupal and keep them as your own (although people  
> respect
> shops that release new projects). Drupal runs on top of a LAMP  
> stack and
> requires little or no licensing fees in order to operate. In terms of
> manpower, it would cost millions of dollars a year to try to  
> emulate this
> environment under a proprietary model.
> 4) Features - The number of contributed modules for drupal expands  
> every
> day. Besides basic content management capabilities, drupal offers  
> many cool
> things like WYSIWYG text editors, event management tools similar to  
> MeetUp,
> Image Galleries, CRM functionality, and much more. Just showing  
> people a
> complete list of modules in the contributions folder is enough to  
> open some
> eyes.
> 5) Cost to Maintain - While the initial cost of a drupal  
> installation is
> next to nothing, the cost to maintain an application is low as  
> well. There
> are a number of shops specializing in drupal that charge very low  
> rates, and
> this number is growing very quickly. The cost to train people to  
> understand
> your application architecture has a definite impact on the bottom  
> line for
> development. Hiring new developers, handing off work to a 3rd  
> party, etc.
> becomes more expensive when you have to train people on your  
> architecture.
> If your shop is ever in a bind and needs someone to pick up the  
> overflow,
> you have the advantage of working on a common platform with easily
> understandable rules for building applications. There is no need  
> for people
> to understand the semantic rules of your proprietary framework and  
> engage in
> costly rewrites, like what your shop is having to do now.
> 6) Community - If something in drupal works differently than what you
> expect, you have direct access to the architects of the product  
> through
> online forums, email and IRC. There are a variety of ways to  
> address issues
> including building custom modules, committing changes to the core,  
> etc. Try
> doing that with a proprietary application, if the original application
> architects are still employed by the company they probably have no  
> interest
> in changing their product to fit your specific needs unless  
> everyone is
> complaining about it.
> 7) Focus on the Services - This is a business decision. Why  
> concentrate on
> the application when you can focus on the services around  
> delivering it? If
> you really want to build the world's greatest user management  
> system, go
> ahead and do that. If you really want to build the world's best  
> blogging
> platform, go ahead and do that. Otherwise, do not reinvent the  
> wheel - there
> are so many worthwhile Web sites people could be making instead of
> developing ancillary tools to support them.
> 8) Not Going Away - Unlike other CMS platforms, the drupal cms and its
> underlying modules are supported by an ecosystem of development shops,
> non-profit organizations, and developers with a vested interest in the
> platform's success. Short of a cataclysmic event, drupal is  
> unlikely to go
> away anytime soon. Remember Allaire's Spectra? Once considered the  
> wave of
> the future, it vanished one day when the company found it to be
> unsustainable on a profit basis. Drupal will never go away due to  
> budgetary
> concerns, because development chiefly comes from unpaid volunteers.
> 9) PHP Rules - If you are an enterprise guy, .NET and J2EE have  
> offered the
> only real enterprise level computing platforms in terms of  
> scalability and
> reliablility. This is changing. If you follow any of the Gartner  
> reports on
> enterprise computing, you will see that a lot of research is coming  
> out
> attesting to the fact that PHP scales nearly as efficently as J2EE.  
> itself is receiving various certifications for use in mission critical
> systems (the details of which I am a little sketchy on, you would  
> have to
> research this yourself) and can be deployed as both a SAPI filter  
> for Web
> applications and as a tool for building desktop applications. This  
> relates
> to Drupal as part of a larger architecture, and means that you could
> actually include it as part of a software rollout even in a military
> organization without some nitpicker screaming about SDLCs and software
> certification.
> 10) Drupal is Fun - Let's face it, you don't get people  
> volunteering to work
> on a CMS without there being something to make them want to. I have  
> worked
> within other communities centered around software platforms and  
> never found
> one as intreaguing as this. There's a whole political-technology- 
> social
> aspect to working on drupal that is a big change from the whole
> corporate-profit-sustainability vibe with other platforms. Even  
> Mambo, up
> until recently, was mainly controlled by a single corporate entity.  
> There
> are times it feels like drupal is changing the way people think  
> about CMS,
> and the people in the community around the project make it more  
> than just
> some web application.
> Thank you,
> Michael Haggerty
> Managing Partner
> Trellon, LLC
> http://www.trellon.com
> (p) 301-577-6162
> (c) 240-643-6561
> (f) 413-691-9114
> (aim) haggerty321
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: consulting-bounces at drupal.org
>> [mailto:consulting-bounces at drupal.org] On Behalf Of Larry Garfield
>> Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:03 PM
>> To: consulting at drupal.org
>> Subject: [consulting] Selling Drupal to consultants
>> The "Costs of forking" thread has focused on how to convince
>> clients that OSS software like Drupal is a good thing, and
>> that the benefits are worth it.
>> Good stuff. :-)  I have a slightly different problem, however.
>> I work at a small web development consulting company that has
>> just doubled in size in the past few months.  The developer
>> (singular) who wrote our old codebase has mostly left, and
>> everyone agrees the old CMS code is unmaintainable.  Lucky
>> me, I get to write the new one. :-)  Fun as it sounds to
>> write a CMS from scratch on a deadline and then turn around
>> and use it on a client site almost immediately, I'd much
>> rather switch the company over to Drupal then write a rushed
>> Drupal-inspired hacked-up CMS.  I've mentioned it a few
>> times, and so far haven't gotten a firm no but mostly have
>> gotten waffling "we'll see".
>> If I can get an actual discussion on the table somehow, any
>> suggestions on how to sell both my fellow developers and
>> designers and management on Drupal?
>> They made it clear when I was hired that we're not an open
>> source shop, since I'm a big open source fan, although we do
>> current use some LGPLed stuff in various places and we make
>> it a point that we always own the code, not the client.  I
>> want to wedge that door wider, for my own sanity if nothing else. :-)
>> Thoughts?
>> -- 
>> Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
>> larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012
>> "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all
>> others of exclusive property, it is the action of the
>> thinking power called an idea, which an individual may
>> exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but
>> the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the
>> possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess
>> himself of it."  -- Thomas Jefferson
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