Our Blog

Ongoing observations by End Point people

Drupal - rapid development

By Piotr Hankiewicz · May 26, 2017

Tags: cms, drupal, php, programming

Here at End Point, we had the pleasure to be a part of multiple Drupal 6, 7 and 8 projects. Most of our clients wanted to use the latest Drupal version, to have a long term support, stable platform.

A few years ago, I already had big experience with PHP itself and other, various PHP frameworks like WordPress, Joomla! or TYPO3. I was happy to use all of them, but then one of our clients asked us for a simple Drupal 6 task. That’s how I started my Drupal journey which continues until now.

To be honest, I had a difficult start, it was different, new and pretty inscrutable for me. After a few days of reading documentation and playing with the system I was ready to do some simple work. Here, I wanted to share my thoughts about Drupal and tell you why I LOVE! it.

Low learning curve

It took, of course, a few months until I was ready to build something more complex, but it really takes a few days only to be ready for simple development. It’s not only about Drupal, but also PHP, it’s much cheaper to maintain and extend a project. Maybe it’s not so important with smaller projects, but definitely important for massive code bases. Programmers can jump in and start being productive really quick.

Great documentation

Drupal documentation is well structured and constantly developed, usually you can find what you need within a few minutes. It’s critical and must have for any other framework and not so common unfortunately.

Big community

The Drupal community is one of the biggest IT communities I have ever encountered. They extend, fix and document the Drupal core regularly. Most of them have their other jobs and work on this project just for fun and with passion.

It’s free

It’s an open source project, that’s one of the biggest pros here. You can get it for free, you can get support for free, you can join the community for free too (:)).

Modules

On the official Drupal website you can find tons of free plugins/modules. It’s a time and money saver, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for every new widget on your website and focus on fireworks.

Usually you can just go there and find a proper component. E-commerce shop? Slideshow? Online classifieds website? No problem! It’s all there.

PHP7 support

I can often hear from other developers that PHP is slow, well, it’s not the Road Runner, but come on, unless you are Facebook (and I think that they, correct me if I’m wrong, still use PHP :)) it’s just OK to use PHP.

Drupal fully supports PHP7.

With PHP7 it’s much faster, better and safer. To learn more: https://pages.zend.com/rs/zendtechnologies/images/PHP7-Performance%20Infographic.pdf.

In the infographic you can see that PHP7 is much faster than Ruby, Perl and Python when you try to render a Mandelbrot fractal. In general, you definitely can’t say that PHP is slow, same as Drupal.

REST API support

Drupal has the built in, ready to use API system. In a few moments you can spawn a new API endpoint for you application. You don’t need to implement a whole API by yourself, I did it a few times in multiple languages, believe me, it’s problematic.

Perfect for a backend system

Drupal is a perfect candidate for a backend system. Let’s imagine that you want to build a beautiful, mobile application. You want to let editors, other people to edit content. You want to grab this content through the API. It’s easy as pie with Drupal.

Drupal’s web interface is stable and easy to use.

Power of taxonomies

Taxonomies are, really basically, just dictionaries. The best thing about taxonomies is that you don’t need to touch code to play with them.

Let’s say that on your website you want to create a list of states in the USA. Using most of the frameworks you need to ask your developer/technical person to do so. With taxonomies you just need a few clicks and that’s it, you can put in on your website. That’s sweet, not only for non technical person, but for us, developers as well. Again, you can focus on actually making the website attractive, rather than spending time on things that can be automated.

Summary

Of course, Drupal is not perfect, but it’s undeniably a great tool. Mobile application, single page application, corporate website - there are no limits for this content management system. And actually, it is, in my opinion, the best tool to manage your content and it does not mean that you need to use Drupal to present it. You can create a mobile, ReactJS, AngularJS, VueJS application and combine it with Drupal easily.

I hope that you’ve had a good reading and wish to hear back from you! Thanks.

Comments

Archive