1 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Three ways to capitalize o Drupal as a uified platform for low-cost, cetral maagemet of multiple websites Deliverig Extraordiary Web Experieces without Extraordiary Burdes What a eterprise expects Today, digitally savvy compaies maage a growig set of web experieces, targetig specific chaels, audieces, markets, ad outcomes. Whe promisig opportuities arise, smart firms move quickly to lauch ew experieces. But the willy-illy additio of stadaloe sites withi the eterprise typically built o a array of techologies by disparate groups leads to wasted efforts, uecessary expeses, ad problems sharig cotet or capabilities. Customers also feel the pai, as they are bombarded by mixed messages ad discoected websites. Whe jugglig multiple sites ad experieces, eterprises face the dilemma of scale: how best to leverage IT ivestmets for a ecoomical yet sustaiable solutio. Here are a few problems that compaies typically face: A pharmaceutical compay ivests cosiderable effort developig product iformatio that meets regulatory madates. To limit the risk of distributig icorrect or icosistet iformatio to various markets ad segmets, the firm eeds to cetrally maage the cotet. Yet it must also esure that idividual segmet owers ca easily produce compellig web experieces for their target audieces ad update them at the speed of busiess. A cosumer products compay maitais several lies of busiess, each with a uique braded experiece. The firm eeds to cotrol its IT ifrastructure, while esurig that brad maagers ca promote their products through websites desiged to meet their ow eeds ad publishig their ow cotet o their ow schedule. MSKU#:
2 2 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise A media ad etertaimet firm fuels fa loyalty by producig targeted websites about its various stars. Rock fas wat to groove to favorite tues ad performers, ad track cocert schedules. By compariso, film buffs are ethralled with storylies ad video dowloads. The compay seeks the capabilities of a uified platform while maitaiig multiple web experieces. Every compay eeds to coordiate cotet delivery, cotrol costs, ad optimize ivestmet across multiple websites. The solutio is a cosistet platform for cotet delivery oe that is sufficietly flexible to meet both curret requiremets ad future growth opportuities. It is essetial to rely o a scalable cotet ifrastructure that ca maitai multiple web experieces, while also reducig developmet ad operatig costs. To date, this has bee a eed ufulfilled. Drupal, however, chages the ladscape. How Drupal delivers Drupal provides a itegrated platform for powerig cotet-rich web experieces across the eterprise. These experieces, i tur, are maitaied by oe or more discrete websites. Drupal delivers the uparalleled flexibility ad extesibility for supportig a diversity of busiess activities o the web. Beig a ope-source project, Drupal does all this at vastly lower costs tha proprietary or customer-built solutios while haressig the iovatio of a global commuity of web developers. Drupal relies o a cotemporary, compoet-based architecture. As show i Illustratio 1, discrete modules ecapsulate features, ivoke actios, ad perform fuctios. A Drupal-powered site maages cotet as self-cotaied odes (or uique objects separated from pages or delivery chaels) i a database. Nodes are tagged with extesive, cotext-specific metadata. A Drupal-powered website the displays cotet through a series of views ad themes. The same text, image, or video stored i Drupal ca be delivered across multiple websites or mobile applicatios ad mashed up with other cotet i almost ay desired way. As a result, Drupal dyamically adapts web experieces to varied devices ad busiess situatios. Illustratio 1. A Drupal site icludes a predefied set of core modules together with a extesible set of cotributed modules. Drupal stores all odes ad other etities i a website database. Drupal the produces multiple web experieces o based o this cotet ifrastructure.
3 3 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Furthermore, Drupal capabilities ad cofiguratios are packaged ito specific, reusable software distributios. With a Drupal distributio, website fuctios ad services are tailored to focus o idetified busiess purposes, ad the rapidly reused ad exteded to suit ew requiremets, with little additioal ivestmet. A Drupal distributio icludes a predefied set of modules ad features, specified cotet types, tailored cofiguratios, ad a defied istallatio profile. The platform for a scalable cotet ifrastructure As the platform drivig a scalable cotet ifrastructure, Drupal ecompasses three distict yet iterrelated sets of capabilities. Drupal supports: Multiple iteractive experieces produced by a sigle website May websites spawed from a sigle Drupal distributio Various Drupal distributios maaged by a deploymet eviromet Cosequetly there are three approaches a compay ca adopt to exploit the platform-level capabilities of Drupal: Multi-teat: Oe database, oe Drupal istallatio. Multiple teats share both the software files ad database I Drupal, this is sometimes kow as the Domai access method. Hybrid: Multiple databases, oe Drupal istallatio. Multiple teats ru o oe istallatio of Drupal, but with a separate database for each teat. This is the most commo i practice i Drupal world, where it s kow as Multisite. Multi-istace: Multiple databases, multiple Drupal istallatios. Each teat has its ow Drupal istallatio ad database, although they could be maaged through a uified deploymet eviromet. Each approach highlights a differet set of capabilities for the Drupal-powered eterprise, as summarized i Table 1. Each also provides a specific set of busiess beefits i terms of optimizig ivestmets i a uderlyig cotet ifrastructure, maagig operatig ad developmet costs, ad esurig effective IT support for multiple web experieces. Let s examie how each of these three approaches work, ad describe how best to optimize Drupal for particular busiess situatios.
4 4 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Flexibility Safety Cost savigs (from sharig) Multi-teat Hybrid Multi-istace Multi-istace without code maagemet ( Cowboy model ) Table 1. Drupal supports three distict approaches for producig multiple web experieces, show here compared to a o-maaged approach Multi-teat How a sigle site powers multiple experieces With a multi-teat cofiguratio, a sigle istace of a Drupal-powered website produces a extesible set of related sites, each addressed with idepedet domais (e.g. foo.com ad bar.com) or sub-domais (foo.site. com, bar.site.com). Most importat from a platform perspective, there is a sigle website database, ruig o a LAMP (Liux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) ifrastructure. Thus a multi-teat cofiguratio features a shared cotet collectio, orgaized ad structured through a commo schema ad a sigle security model. Each related site ca provide a uique web experiece while beig maaged cetrally. Customers, stakeholders, ad other groups access various websites, desiged to meet their specific eeds. Each site has the look-ad-feel they expect ad provides them with easy access to targeted iformatio. But from a eterprise perspective, a master website produces multiple experieces o differet related sites. For istace, a local hospital ca meet the eeds of its multiple stakeholders by maitaiig several websites oe for the geeral public, patiets, ad family members, ad aother for doctors, urses, ad support staff. The public- ad patiet-facig site is desiged for easy browsig. The site icludes a lot of cotet about preparig for a hospital stay, where to park, visitig hours, ad steps for discharge. It also icludes patiet cotact iformatio, secured to be visible oly to patiets ad their caregivers.
5 5 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise The staff-facig site is desiged for rapid retrieval ad icludes the hospital phoe directory, liks to departmet-level iformatio, policies ad procedure mauals, ad other kids of orgaizatioal iformatio, all secured by autheticated access. Doctors, urses, ad support staff log ito the site ad automatically fid the cotet for their departmets ad specialties. With a multi-teat cofiguratio, the hospital s IT group oly eeds to deploy ad maage a sigle Drupal istallatio. All of the cotet is stored i the website database, idexed by relevat criteria, ad redered o related sites to produce varied experieces. Cotet is developed oce, maaged cetrally, cotrolled with multiple levels of permissios, ad published where eeded. To cotiue the example, the hospital ca promietly display trasportatio ad parkig iformatio o the home page for the public-ad patiet-facig site; this same iformatio ca be accessed as a lik o the staff-facig site. Whe a hospital admiistrator updates the parkig iformatio, he or she oly eeds to make the chage oce withi the website database, ad the ew cotet is automatically distributed to all related websites. Separatig presetatio from cotet storage ad access A multi-teat cofiguratio exploits a key capability of Drupal: separatig the presetatio ad visual elemets of the user experiece from cotet access ad storage. The Drupal-powered site icludes a predefied set of modules ad stores cotet withi a website database, as show i Illustratio 2. Related sites ca have their ow uique views ad themes icludig distictive visual desigs, display layouts, ad avigatio capabilities that are primarily applied with Cascadig Style Sheets (CSS). Related sites maage the presetatios for multiple web experieces maitaied by the master Drupal website. It is easy to cofigure ad lauch a ew site, simply by desigig the appropriate user experiece ad likig it to cotet maitaied withi the master site. Drupal cetrally stores ad maitais all of the cotet for related sites withi a website database. With a multi-teat cofiguratio, these sites rely o: Illustratio 2. With a multi-teat cofiguratio, there is a sigle uderlyig Drupal site ad multiple web experieces, each accessed with a uique URL. The master site ecompasses a predefied set of Drupal modules ad a sigle web database.
6 6 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise A sigle set of cotet types A commo taxoomy of terms A uique metadata schema A uderlyig security model for determiig user autheticatio, access rights, ad permissios Thus a eterprise cetrally maages all of the cotet published o multiple related sites. There is a uified cotet productio process, a commo editorial workflow, ad a stadardized way of taggig cotet. There is also a stadardized way for maagig website security ad cotet permissios. It is easy for autheticated users withi a eterprise to share cotet across sites. A sigle IT group maages access rights ad permissios across the various sites ad web experieces. Whe a multi-teat cofiguratio makes sese A multi-teat cofiguratio works well whe a eterprise eeds to cetralize cotet goverace ad maagemet across multiple websites. For istace, govermet agecies, pharmaceutical firms, ad fiacial services compaies frequetly eed to maitai a approval process for publishig authoritative cotet o multiple sites. Marketig orgaizatios ad advocacy groups ofte eed to quickly lauch ew websites, to support ew campaigs ad promotioal evets. For these (ad other) busiess situatios, it is importat to be able to rapidly deploy related sites, leveragig the cotet stored withi a sigle website database. With cetralized storage ad cotet maagemet, a multi-teat cofiguratio helps to reduce the costs of busiess operatios. A IT group ca costeffectively support multiple web experieces, particularly whe there are beefits to sharig cotet amog sites. Furthermore, whe it comes to maagig software updates, the chages oly eed to be applied oce to the master site. Updates automatically propagate to all related sites. With a multiteat cofiguratio, a eterprise ca cetrally maage cotet, ad have the capabilities to redistribute it as eeded across multiple web experieces.
7 7 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Hybrid Spawig multiple websites from a sigle distributio A hybrid cofiguratio provides aother approach for maitaiig multiple web experieces across a eterprise. With a hybrid cofiguratio, a sigle Drupal distributio spaws may stad-aloe websites. Each Drupal-powered website has its ow website database, maages its ow cotet, ad maitais its ow set of autheticated users. A hybrid cofiguratio also cetralizes essetial IT fuctios withi the eterprise. All sites ru withi a commo applicatio eviromet, icludig a sigle istace of a LAMP ifrastructure. All sites iclude a iitial set of modules, templates, cotet types, ad cofiguratio settigs, specified by the Drupal distributio. The IT group maages the systems-level activities of the applicatio eviromet icludig the overall security for websites ad software updates. The IT group is also able to maitai the techical road map to determie the evolutio of the eviromet. Sigificatly, the IT group is able to distribute the day-to-day admiistrative cotrol for cotet developmet ad publishig to site-level admiistrators. Busiess users maitai the cotet o their ow websites, withi the parameters defied by the Drupal distributio. They ca also add site-specific cotet types ad cofiguratio settig, if permitted to do so by the IT group. For example, the Uited States House of Represetatives is ow i the midst of trasitioig its approximately 520 member, committee, leadership, ad admiistrative sites from a disparate collectio of stad-aloe websites to Drupal. Each Drupal-powered site provides a discrete web experiece, withi the hybrid-eabled cotet ifrastructure maitaied by the House s Chief Admiistrative Officer (CAO) ad a small support staff. The House has adopted OpePublic (a Drupal distributio from Phase2 Techology) for its hybrid deploymet. OpePublic cofigures Drupal to maage govermet ad legislative affairs. Each member ad committee office is able to maitai a distictive web experiece; office-level admiistrators easily create, modify, ad maage cotet for their ow Drupal-powered sites without ivolvig the cetral IT group. At the same time, the CAO ad staff are able to cetralize IT operatios, deploy a flexible platform, provide overall techical directio ad support, esure website security, ad optimize the costs of maitaiig the multiple websites across the House applicatio eviromet.
8 8 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise A Drupal distributio for assemblig a web applicatio A hybrid cofiguratio exploits aother key capability of Drupal: the ability to assemble a specific Drupal distributio ito a customized web applicatio. With Drupal, it is easy to produce a cotet rich web experiece, icorporate both structured ad ustructured data sources, ad bled published iformatio with user-geerated cotet. A Drupal distributio assembles a predefied set of cotet- ad commuity-eabled modules ito a iteractive applicatio for a busiess purpose, as show i Illustratio 3. A Drupal distributio icludes: The core ad cotributed modules that create the applicatio-level features The iitial set of cotet types ad taxoomy terms for defiig ad maagig cotet withi a website database. Multiple views ad themes for displayig cotet ad providig the user experiece Illustratio 3. With a hybrid cofiguratio, a sigle Drupal distributio spaws a extesible set of Drupal-powered websites. All sites have the same set of modules ad their ow website databases. A Drupal distributio also icludes a predefied set of user profiles for defiig access rights, roles, ad permissios, as well as a stadardized istallatio profile. (Idividual site admiistrators ca chage these later o their ow sites.) As a result, a IT group withi a eterprise ca easily roll out multiple Drupalpowered websites from a sigle Drupal distributio. The IT group ca maage the uderlyig techical ad systems ifrastructure, icludig the overall sitelevel security. But beyod the eterprise-level coordiatio, each Drupal-powered site fuctios idepedetly. Site-level admiistrators have the flexibility to defie the capabilities for their specific sites. They ca maage access rights ad permissios. They ca tailor the user experiece to meet their eeds by adaptig the graphic displays provided by particular themes ad views delivered with the distributio. They ca customize the cotet types ad taxoomies provided by the distributio to create site-specific items. They ca decide to tur o or tur off various features ad modules, ad thus tailor the capabilities of their ow sites without IT support.
9 9 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Whe a hybrid cofiguratio makes sese A hybrid cofiguratio works well whe a eterprise eeds to maage core IT fuctios, while also supportig multiple websites. For istace, multiple marketig groups withi a cosumer electroics firm may wat to promote ew bradig iitiatives. Similarly, differet busiess uits withi a fiacial services firm may wat to feature their uique products ad services o their ow websites. I these ad other cases, the busiess groups withi a eterprise operate autoomously from oe aother. They expect to maitai idepedet sites, at a affordable cost. But these self-cotaied ad autoomous groups also rely o a eterprise IT group to provide techical support ad policy-level guidace. At the same time, the eterprise IT group eeds to optimize ivestmets, reduce operatig expeses, ad coordiate the overall growth of the web ifrastructure. The IT group eeds to focus o the systems-level operatios: maitaiig the security for a etire collectio of sites, ad cetralizig their updates ad evolutio. With a hybrid cofiguratio, Drupal delivers the busiess solutio for the eterprise: distributed cotet maagemet with cetralized IT support for essetial system-level activities. Busiess uits have the flexibility to deliver the egagig web experieces that drive their busiess strategies. They ca admiister ad promote their ow Drupal-powered sites at a fractio of the cost ad maagemet overhead of stad-aloe sites. From a IT perspective, there is a sigle Drupal distributio with a cosistet set of features ad modules, ruig withi a sigle applicatio eviromet. IT support ad maagemet costs are cetralized ad optimized. I short, from a eterprise platform perspective, there is rapid payback to spawig multiple Drupal-powered sites from a sigle Drupal distributio, with each site desiged for a specific busiess purpose.
10 10 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Multi-istace Simultaeously supportig several distributios I some situatios, a hybrid cofiguratio is oly the begiig. Sometimes a eterprise committed to a web-wide digital presece eeds multiple sets of Drupal-powered sites, geerated by several distributios. There is a third approach for producig the web experieces across the Drupalpowered eterprise. It is importat to chael the flexibility of Drupal ad focus o the overall deploymet eviromet for buildig distributios. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, developers workig withi a IT group are able to simultaeously assemble ad evolve several Drupal distributios. A multi-istace cofiguratio icludes sychroizatio tools to maage the build ad deploymet processes for a distributio, together with quality assurace (QA) tools ad testig haresses to verify ad validate the various releases. The IT group thus maitais a uified deploymet eviromet that supports the build, test, ad release activities required for rollig out Drupal distributios. Why should a eterprise cosider a multi-istace cofiguratio? Let s cosider how a media ad etertaimet compay with several divisios ca use Drupal to power differet sectors of its overall web presece. It s essetial to focus first o the busiess purpose for a web presece. The studio divisio eeds to cotiuously promote ewly released movies while they are available i theaters. Movie sites seek to build the buzz of fa awareess with social media liks ad trailers. The home etertaimet divisio eeds to offer DVDs ad digital dowloads of the movies, ragig from recet releases to oldies. Home etertaimet sites eed to market digital products i multiple formats ad laguages, ad iclude e-commerce capabilities for maagig digital rights ad doig busiess o the web. Each divisio relies o particular sets of websites ecompassig some differet capabilities, deployed by various Drupal distributios. Each divisio may have idepedet iteral or exteral developmet resources. At the same time, the IT group eeds to maitai the overall eterprise architecture ad ifrastructure, optimize developmet activities, ad reduce ogoig support costs.
11 11 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Coordiatig the assembly of drupal distributios A multi-istace cofiguratio leverages the modular ifrastructure of Drupal. It coordiates the assembly of modules ito a Drupal distributio through a uified deploymet eviromet, as show i Illustratio 4. Each Drupal distributio cotais a predefied set of modules, cotet types, ad features for powerig various websites. Specifically, a distributio icludes: A commo set of core Drupal modules required to ru withi the eterprise applicatio eviromet A varied set of cotributed modules desiged to support specific busiess tasks Illustratio 4. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, a uified deploymet eviromet supports multiple Drupal distributios ad maages the differeces amog them. Site-specific modules ad site themes that exted the capabilities of cotributed modules i uique ways Sychroizatio provides the eviromet for coordiatig the assembly ad release of Drupal distributios. Each distributio icorporates the commo set of core Drupal modules together with particular cotributed modules. A multi-istace cofiguratio is desiged to automate the build ad deploymet activities for discrete distributios. It leverages the capabilities of a revisio cotrol system (RCS) together with cotiuous itegratio (CI) tools. Withi this uified deploymet eviromet, the tools perform such fuctios as: Maitaiig a ivetory of all modules Scriptig the build ad deploy processes for distributios Loggig ad registerig all modules that are icluded i a build Maagig the versio updates to modules i the build list
12 12 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Modules that developers check ito the RCS-maitaied repository are automatically icorporated ito the build ad deploymet process for the relevat distributios. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, the IT group ca automate ad track may labor-itesive activities. The IT group is able to rely o the scripted build, test, ad release processes to assemble modules ad other elemets ito various Drupal distributios. The IT group implemets predefied workflow sequeces to cotrol the steps for maagig chages, ad thus cetralize the overall maagemet ad testig of Drupal distributios. As a result, the IT group is able to maage the release cycles of multiple distributios i a cosistet fashio ad improve its overall operatios. Whe a multi-istace cofiguratio makes sese A multi-istace cofiguratio works well whe a eterprise maitais a webwide digital presece ad eeds to marshal resources for producig Drupal sites. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, a eterprise ca accelerate Drupal deploymet ad release activities, ad produce uique web experieces for multiple busiess uits, while also limitig depedecies amog websites. Specifically, the IT group ca improve the coordiatio ad automatio of its build ad test processes. Developers have the added resources of a uified deploymet eviromet. They ca work o projects over the Iteret ad easily add their modules to the shared repository withi the eterprise. I additio, the IT group o loger eeds to track depedeces amog Drupal distributios ad release cycles. With a multi-istace cofiguratio it s easy to keep track of multiple versios of modules ad to upgrade distributios o their ow schedules. The IT group ca automate the routie ad repetitive tasks of the build, test, ad deploymet processes, ad ca more efficietly assemble Drupal modules ito uique distributios. Fewer developers are eeded to complete routie tasks ad activities. They ca sped more of their time creatig ew capabilities that meet busiess eeds. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, a eterprise builds busiess value from its ogoig Drupal ivestmets ad haresses the uderlyig flexibility of Drupal. A eterprise is thus able to reduce deploymet costs while streamliig key busiess processes. I short, whe makig a web-wide commitmet to a digital presece requirig distictive experieces, a multi-istace cofiguratio provides the fuel for the Drupal-powered eterprise.
13 13 The Drupal-Powered Eterprise Calculatig the Drupal Differece For large-scale deploymets across a eterprise, Drupal supports diverse web experieces. With its modular ifrastructure ad its attetio to all thigs cotet-related, Drupal combies a easily extesible platform with a broad set of cotet services to rapidly assemble a compellig web presece. Drupal reduces the costs ad complexity of applicatio developmet while optimizig ogoig maagemet, maiteace, ad support ivestmets. There are three approaches for buildig the Drupal-powered eterprise: multi-teat, hybrid, ad multi-istace. Each ecompasses differet sets of capabilities to leverage Drupal i uique ways. Multi-teat cetralizes cotet maagemet with Drupal by maitaiig a cosistet set of web experieces withi the eterprise. With a multi-teat cofiguratio, a eterprise ca easily develop cotet oce ad rapidly distribute it to multiple audieces ad devices. Hybrid distributes multiple Drupal-powered sites across a eterprise to produce a cosistet experiece, while cetralizig the admiistratio, security, ad cotrol of key IT activities. Cotet ca be maaged locally while web site deploymets are coordiated cetrally. With a hybrid cofiguratio, a eterprise ca rapidly develop a comprehesive web experiece, easily redistribute it to various websites, ad cotiue to maage ad evolve the uderlyig IT ifrastructure. About Acquia Acquia empowers eterprises with the ope-source cotet-maagemet system Drupal. Co-fouded by Drupal s creator i 2007, Acquia helps customers maage their growth ad scale their olie properties with cofidece. Acquia s software, cosultatio, cloud ifrastructure, ad services eable compaies to realize the full power of Drupal while miimizig risk, as it s doe for Twitter, Examier.com, Al Jazeera, ad over 700 others. See them at ad lear more at Multi-istace exteds the distributed capabilities of Drupal by maitaiig the multiple experieces produced by several distributios. The cotet ad iteractivity of Drupal ca be further distributed across a eterprise, ad customized for specific busiess situatios. With a multi-istace cofiguratio, a eterprise ca easily maage the deploymet of multiple Drupal distributios, each ecapsulatig uique web experieces, while optimizig ad expeditig the work of Drupal developers to produce them. Usig Drupal, a eterprise solves its dilemma of scale i a flexible fashio based o busiess requiremets. As a result, a eterprise ca profit from a easily extesible cotet ifrastructure, maitai multiple web experieces, rapidly itegrate with disparate eterprise systems, ad substatially reduce both developmet ad operatig costs. I short, the Drupal-powered eterprise ca readily capitalize o the cotiuig opportuities for doig busiess i today s digitally drive ecoomy. Copyright 2011, Acquia, Ic. Acquia, Ic. 150 Presidetial Way Suite 310 Wobur, MA USA