The Future of Acquia Drupal
I stumbled upon an old post on Acquia.com about the future of Acquia and one comment particularly struck me about use of Drupal in the enterprise. The comment was from Sept. 2008 and here we are in January 2010 and we still don't have these features.
It struck me just how closely these points would mimic my own. The original post can be found here, but here are the main points:
- A reliable and secure manner with which to set up a dev -> qa -> production workflow that does not involve node id hacks.
- There needs to be a true wysiwyg solution that handles images and intrasite linking (think page browser) as easily as an office package.
- There has to be an Office document (both ODF and Microsoft formats) import/export (at least for word processor and spreadsheet files) capability.
- And finally, true document management.
Dries, when will these make it into the Acquia Drupal roadmap? Until these features are in, Drupal will lose out to Microsoft Sharepoint on the intranet space where it could be making in roads. As I move departments towards Drupal, the first question I am almost inevitably asked is, "But what about documents?". Sure, Alfresco can handle this and compete with Sharepoint (and for that matter Google Docs is viable competition now), but why should users have to decide on somewhere else to collaborate on documents instead of doing it in Drupal itself?
At the very least, perhaps we need a retrospective on why past document management efforts in Drupal are abandoned or stagnant. The Unified Document Management proposal is another good resource to draw ideas from. And if we have to use another solution then perhaps the somewhat recently release alfresco module in combination with alfresco and a single sign on solution would be the answer. There is word2web under development but the versions I have used are definitely not the answer. The answer we took was to use the docvert library and make it into some custom modules, but that was a specialized case and we need something that works for the 80%. Whatever the answer is for this problem, Acquia would do well to take the lead.