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Drupal: Content Management Made Easy
By: Bruce Coker
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    2009-03-18

    Table of Contents:
  • Drupal: Content Management Made Easy
  • Features
  • Modules

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    Drupal: Content Management Made Easy - Features


    (Page 2 of 3 )

    Drupal's core features include the following:

    • Collaboration tools
      Drupal contains a range of tools to enable and enhance group work. The most important of these is the Collaborative Book, which is a set of related pages for which multiple users may be given permission to write, edit, review or rearrange the content. Books can easily be provided with navigation menus, content from elsewhere on the site can be incorporated, and Drupal will generate print-friendly versions of books on demand. Drupal also offers Version Control, which allows changes to content to be tracked in detail and rolled back.

      Collaboration is also enhanced by Drupal's role-based permissions system. This applies fine-grained security permissions to roles as well as, or instead of, to individual users, allowing permission sets to be created and applied quickly and easily.

    • Customization tools
      Every individual site's implementation of a CMS will be unique. To accommodate a wide variety of requirements, Drupal includes a powerful template-based theming tool that can be used to personalize many aspects of the look and feel of the system, such as the underlying style sheets (CSS), the JavaScript and whether certain page elements are displayed or hidden. Themes may be applied to an entire site, to certain sections of it, or even to individual pages. Obtaining the best from Drupal's theming tools ideally requires a basic knowledge of cHTML, CSS and PHP.

    • Multiple content types
      Drupal provides support for a wide range of content types, both static and interactive, including blogs, news feeds, discussion forums and threaded commenting, as well as the standard text, image and multimedia content types supported by the web server. All of this content is fully indexed and searchable with the use of the integrated search module.

    • Platform independence
      Drupal has been developed from the ground up to work on multiple platforms. On the web server side, these include both Apache and IIS running on all major operating systems. The CMS is built on a database abstraction layer, meaning that it can be run with either MySQL or PostgreSQL out of the box. It can be ported to other databases relatively easily with the development of a custom fourteen-function database back-end and matching SQL database scheme. Full instructions for this are provided in the Drupal documentation.

    • Performance cache
      When it is used to run a busy site, Drupal's performance can be enhanced by the use of the included configurable caching mechanism. By reducing the number of database queries that have to be handled, this can boost performance in the region of up to a factor of a hundred or more. With caching disabled, generating each individual page may require dozens or even hundreds of database queries. With the cache turned on, all of the information required to generate a particular page for an anonymous user is temporarily stored as a complete entity, which is then served in response to just a single query.

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