Drupal is open source software that is offered to the website developers under the GPL license. It is developed and maintained by experienced programmers and used by thousands of community users.
Drupal is very simple and doesn’t need technical expertise to install the basic framework. Drupal is specifically designed for user adaptation and customization. It is offered with plug-in modules free of cost to suit variable range of applications.
Drupal software support and updates are maintained by a large Drupal user base and the developers have a large website programming support. Drupal is designed to operate in multiple languages at the same time and this is very important if the website is developed for international viewers. The contents of the website can be easily grouped into blocks of content for customized appearance and functionality. Drupal allows the users to add information content to the website and thus comes out with updated facilities and data. Drupal website can be edited by all personnel including non-technical people thus reducing the cost incurred to expensive programmers. Even new users can add information to the website by learning to interact with the site.
Many number of users including organizations use Drupal including the Community web portals, discussion sites, corporate websites, intranet applications, personal websites or blogs, aficionado sites, E-commerce applications, resource directories and social networking sites.
Drupal features many built-in functionality combined with lots of freely available add-on modules which powers features like the electronic commerce, blogs, collaborative authoring environments, forums, peer-to-peer networking, newsletters, podcasting, picture galleries, file uploads and downloads.
Drupal 7 is in its final stages of development. It features improved security, extended usability and updated database. It also features several performance improvements like documentation, news aggregator, search, testing, open ID, theme system, file handling and image handling. New facilities like better support for multisite installations, added RDF support, better support for search engine optimization and web linking, ability to add custom fields, command line installer run and Java script changes were also offered.
To suit the small business enterprises, Drupal has inbuilt user management system where the user can assign roles to each user and with extra modules the user can restrict permission of each role in a better way. Only admin user registrations can also be done. Drupal is so flexible that the developer can offer what the customers need from the site other than logging in.
Drupal can be very useful to small business clients if they have the basic modules and setup. With the user registration system, CCK and Views, the developer can create simple web applications that can offer much functionality. In Drupal it is also easy to set up many ways to keep in contact with the customers – from notifications to simple news or Aweber integration.
Today’s entrepreneurs who own small or medium business feel the necessity to set up an e-commerce website within limited budget. They may not know the tools required to set up a website or how to hire a programmer. Drupal contains lots of features but it requires an expert to set it up for the business needs. Drupal offers many free modules and themes which can be exploited to fine tuning the website or business work flow to match the specific business model.