Using Drupal to Build an Application, Not a Website
My average monday typically begins with the following statement from this week's client:
"Our management wants us to use Drupal, but we typically build applications, not websites. Drupal is a content management system, not an application framework. How is this going to be useful to us?"
When I hear this, I now realize that I'm left facing the task of helping yet another team make the transition from thinking of application data as "not content" and helping them realize that everything is in fact content no matter what it is. What really matters is how you use that content!
Personally I love this kind of challenge. Typically applications are in fact 100% the opposite of a Drupal site. They do 'crazy' things that are unheard of in the Drupal community. Things like:
1) 100% authenticated traffic. contrast that with the fact that most Drupal websites are 95% anonymous!
2) Applications have a lot of sensitive information that access must be very tightly controlled. Most websites show just about everything!
3) Applications manage tremendous amounts of data for very short periods of time. Websites with node counts in the millions exist, but are relatively rare.
In this session we'll discuss why drupal is actually a fantastic application framework. I'll go over the concepts, tools and short examples I use when teaching teams how to start the process of building an application using the Drupal framework.
Of particular interest to most people that would enjoy this presentation are the following:
1) Hiding everything. Starting drupal off with the strictest access to content possible
2) Developing user and group permissions and understanding access hierarchies
3) creating complex data objects that have interdependencies on other objects
4) how to gather and disseminate data from and to disparate systems