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Drupal vs. EPiServer

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CMS battle between Drupal and EPiServer.

Summary:

If online service is your core business, Drupal is a strong platform for accelerating your own type of development—even a very unique and magnificent one. It is no coincidence that media companies are big players in the Drupal camp. Drupal's model is also well applicable to extremely multi-channel publishing and performance.

If your online service is primarily sales and marketing oriented, EPiServer's product features should get you excited. Web teams producing multi-language marketing sites, in particular, should consider EPiServer as a power tool.

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Drupal vs. EPiServer

  1. 1. Drupal vs. EPiServer – CMS battle between two strong players in Finland (2014) 2014-05-19 / Helsinki, Finland Perttu Tolvanen, Web & CMS Expert, @perttutolvanen
  2. 2. CMS market in Finland North Patrol Oy2 Local CMS players Liferay WordPress SharePoint Drupal eZ Publish EPiServer Sitecore Heavy-weight CMSs (eg. Oracle, SDL Tridion)
  3. 3. Decision criteria 1. Typical scenarios (web / extra / online store / etc.) 2. Product "character" (platform / product / service / ecosystem) 3. Expectations for customer's team 4. Partners in Finland 5. Other support and service network 6. Hosting solutions and pricing 7. Developers' view (coder requirements) 8. Ecosystem (add-ons, global network) 9. The future 10. Project price range and licenses
  4. 4. 1. Typical scenarios • Drupal – Extensive online service entities comprising several sites, such as large media companies – Centralized content management typical, for example media company videos and similar common content – Extranet-type services requiring log-on that include large amounts of structured content (for example, data banks) – Custom-made community sites – Custom-made online stores • EPiServer – Extensive, multi-language online service entities, such as the main sites of large corporations – Content producers often dominate site content management as structural management and multi-language management well supported by system – Some intranets (especially in Sweden) and simple online stores (especially in Sweden)
  5. 5. 2. Product "character" • Drupal – Includes almost nothing out-of-the-box, not even a WYSIWYG editor – Package assembled for each individual customer case from the viewpoint of the service, things can be solved in many ways – Ecosystem includes thousands of versatile plugins with wide expandibility (if competencies available) – Between a framework and CMS – "Everything can be made to work with some plugin or add-on" – Aptly described as "a set of building blocks" – There is no one single "Drupal way" • EPiServer – A strongly performing product for content editing and site structure management – Has clear "construction principles" – A few dozen commercial and free add-ons, some very versatile and valuable (for example ActiveStandards, SiteAttention) – Consistent, steady product development, product management works reasonably well – The product has clear-cut models to achieve a multitude of goals, which are worth making use of—unfortunately, though, even integrators don't always know which is a good model to use and which isn't
  6. 6. 3. Expectations for customer's team • Drupal – Content producers focus on content, not appearance or optimization – Content producers usually have limited possibilities to manage things like front pages or how the site works in general – The service is a system running like a machine, preferably developed through a "product owner" like a software product – The best efficiency is achieved if in-house Drupal coding competency available, but an active partnership gets you far and gets done whatever you wish! • EPiServer – Content producers are also editors who optimize, preview and experiment – Content producers are able to, for example, manage front pages and creating "highlight systems" of their own – The service is a website that content producers and web producers can manage and develop very independently, for example build a variety of targeted content highlights, content blocks visible only in certain situations etc. (if they know how to) – Partners needed mainly for creating additional apps and customization
  7. 7. 4. Partners in Finland • Drupal – The strongest: Exove, Wunderkraut – Others: Activeark JWT, Druid, Tieto plus dozens of smaller organizations – To be noted: A relatively strong Finland- centered community that gets together, organizes, discusses; including clients • EPiServer – The strongest: Solita, Tieto, Sininen Meteoriitti, Creuna Finland, KnowIt – Others: CGI, HiQ, Tietotalo and about a dozen smaller companies – To be noted: EPiServer country office with three employees is exceptionally active
  8. 8. 5. Other support and service network • Drupal – A worldwide community that discusses, distributes code, develops the platform and organizes gigantic seminars • EPiServer – Has its own support organization that provides education and support when needed; however, rather sporadically in practice
  9. 9. 6. Hosting solutions and pricing • Drupal – Hosting requires specialist know-how, and good hosting costs money – Few off-the-shelf solutions despite platform popularity – Requires in-depth familiarization and often building your own environment • EPiServer – EPiServer's own Everweb is the choice of the overwhelming majority, the specialized hosting includes CDN support and application-level support – Absolutely not cheap but a good deal considering the price-quality ratio—which is why Everweb is usually chosen by even large corporations
  10. 10. 7. Developer view • Drupal – Learning curve several months even for experienced PHP developers due to extensive system – Somewhat similar to SharePoint in its layered construction, because many times "things just have to be done like this, because it's Drupal" – Add-on experience is developers' most valuable intangible capital, which is why developers like big companies (Drupal is not a lone rider's tool) – Best Drupal developers are front-end/back- end hybrids, because Drupal's theme layer is inseparably married to its functionality • EPiServer – An experienced .Net developer will get the hang of the system in a couple of weeks – .Net development competencies are totally applicable in the EPiServer environment (if totally customized results are sought after) – The best EPi coders are also well versed in front-end development; in general, template creation and system setup is a front-end coder's job anyway  a potential problem is that there are few such people available
  11. 11. 8. Ecosystem • Drupal – Thousands of add-ons, new ones being created all the time – Genuinely open-source code – If the community includes others trying to solve the same problem, your add-on may be taken further by others • EPiServer – Not a working market for extensions and add-ons  focuses on commercial extensions – Some code snippets and instructions available online, but not much
  12. 12. 9. The future • Drupal – Will challenge big players, with a mission to reach world dominance for big sites – Strong community, but with a very developer-driven culture  all-embracing generalism instead of precision solutions • EPiServer – Strong in the Nordic countries, no success to speak of in the US or Central Europe – Business relies on hosting, some analysts even say license business is going down – In Finland, very strong
  13. 13. 10. Project price range and licenses • Drupal – The market in earnest begins at €70k projects – Typical projects around €100–200k – Necessary to pour more money into development and maintenance than the average CMS; generally we're talking about minimum budgets of a few thousand per month • EPiServer – The market starts at the €100k level because the licenses alone require usually tens of thousands of euros – Typical projects usually around €100-200k – Price for large projects head-to-head with Drupal – EPiServer typically less expensive in the long run as clients can use product features more independently
  14. 14. To summarize: • If online service is your core business, Drupal is a strong platform for accelerating your own type of development—even a very unique and magnificent one. It is no coincidence that media companies are big players in the Drupal camp. Drupal's model is also well applicable to extremely multi-channel publishing and performance. • If your online service is primarily sales and marketing oriented, EPiServer's product features should get you excited. Web teams producing multi-language marketing sites, in particular, should consider EPiServer as a power tool.
  15. 15. North Patrol Oy15 BUYER´S GUIDE TO WEB PROJECTS www.northpatrol.com/blog

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