Drupal 8 as an Enterprise Web Content Management System

Drupal 8 integrating with Traditional ECMs to enhance Enterprise Content Management Capabilities

“Shifting business requirements for digital content and new technologies are changing the ECM market. .By 2018, 50% of enterprises will manage their content using a hybrid content architecture.” - Says Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management 2016

Drupal 8 is a strong platform with it’s Strong Web Content Management System, has a role to Play in integrating with the existing Challengers/Traditional ECMs to enhance their Enterprise Content Management Capabilities.

Some of the key Web Content Management Features of Drupal that can be leveraged to provide this integrated solution include:

  1. Rich Content Management Tools
  2. Responsive Layout and Design
  3. Social Media Tools & Search Engine Optimization
  4. Integration Capabilities - RESTful APIs Support
  5. Multi Domain Capabilities
  6. Multi Lingual Capabilities
  7. E Commerce Capabilities (Capabilities to handle different type of domain contents like E-Commerce, Newspaper etc )

Rich Content Management Tools

In the context of the a large amount of today’s content being Dynamic, HTML, need for Multimedia Support the Content Management Tools of Drupal that can be taken advantage off.

The need for different types of pages in the sitemap, broadly divided into Landing Pages, Individual Pages and Functional Pages. This can be easily achieved by using out-of-the-box content modelling tools in Drupal like Content Types, Views and Call back functions. The flexibility for the editor to create dynamic landing pages with variants in UI (Image and Text combinations, layout variants) is possible by extending the content type interface.

Some of the key content management features include:

Rich Editorial Interface

  1. Interfaces with which editors could easily create and edit content. Drupal’s default content creation interface would be configured / customized to ensure that readers, depending on their roles and the categories of content they manage, can easily create content.
  2. When you need to make quick changes, choose in-context editing Better previews and drag-and-drop image uploads.
  3. The editors would be provided with a WYSIWYG editor using which content can be formatted interactively, courtesy of Aloha Editor. Edit your rich text with your theme's direct styling through the inline editor. It even works with images + captions, links directly to content in the site, and has basic support for tokenized strings.

Multimedia Asset Creation - Images and Videos

  1. Videos can be either uploaded to the site or embedded through a third-party site.
  2. Images library can be maintained within the CMS that can be accessed / used across articles. The EXIF data of the images can be read and stored in the system.

Content Publishing Workflow

Content publishing workflow allows a multi-stage publishing process involving authors, reviewers / publishers. Depending on the type of content and the publishing process, suitable workflows can be created.

Advanced Taxonomy Management

Advanced taxonomy system which would allow categorization of content at a granular level. The hierarchical taxonomy provides a flexible means to create a content structure that well represent the various categories and sections within site.

Content Promotion and Sequencing

Drupal’s node-queue system could be customized to provide Editors with a flexible interface to manage content promotion and their sequencing. For example, Editor would be able to manually promote content to the home page as “headlines” and sequence them based on importance.

Management of Social Media Posts

Editor would be able to moderate the content that would be posted in the social media platform, wherever automatic publishing provision is available.

Layout Management

Editors would be able to manage the page layouts in terms of bringing in new blocks, repositioning blocks, selecting content for the blocks etc. This aspects would need to be discussed during the design phase.

Responsive Layout Builder, courtesy of the Layout and Gridbuilder modules. You can configure layouts for separate breakpoints (e.g. Mobile, Tablet, Desktop) and even define your own grids for them to snap to.

The Panels module allows a site administrator to create customized layouts for multiple uses. At its core it is a drag and drop content manager that lets you visually design a layout and place content within that layout.

E-Newsletters Creation and Management

Editor could compose newsletters by picking the content from various sections. Alternatively, the system can be configured to automatically compose newsletters by picking the latest news headlines, most read articles, latest image/videos from the gallery etc. The reader can choose the appropriate categories to include it in the newsletter. The send-out of newsletter can be integrated with standard third party bulk mailing system.

Responsive Design

With the mobile revolution, readers prefer consuming information on the go on handheld devices. Hence the website would be able to adapt itself based on the device in which it is viewed and present a unified branding.

Responsive Design would be adopted, with a mobile reader in mind, bringing focus to the most important and relevant content. The design moves away from throwing up lots of needless information to presenting what a reader actually needs. Usability and Performance become important aspects to be taken care of towards optimizing designs for a mobile reader. Therefore, it is not enough if a website work on all devices. The website needs to respond to the device screen size, bandwidth and resolution, optimally to be responsive.

Drupal supports building of Responsive Themes. Drupal has compatibility to key concepts in Responsive design which include definition of breakpoints, integration to Modernizer and additional JavaScript libraries, Support for responsive images, videos and slideshows.

Additional powerful responsive features include: Mobile First UI Editor interface Mobile enabled, Mobile friendly admin toolbar Responsive Preview.

Drupal supports building customized user interfaces. The User Interface templates would be themed using the HTML / CSS created.

Social Media Tools & Search Engine Optimization

Sharing / Bookmarking

Content can be shared in the popular social media sites. This would facilitate “Viral Marketing” and spread the brand. Social share features are readily available as contributed modules in Drupal.

Social Media Widgets

Drupal has support for popular social media widgets like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Youtube and more.

Search Engine Optimization

The Website to support different search engine optimization techniques. These would include:

  1. Creation of different sitemaps
  2. Meta tagging capabilities
  3. Support for keywords
  4. Optimized HTML structure and page speed

Integration Capabilities - RESTful APIs Support

Using Standard APIs to integrate with existing Traditional ECM solutions like Alfresco is a possibility.

REST is one of the most popular ways of making Web Services work. REST utilizes HTTP methods, such as GET, POST and DELETE. Support for RESTful APIs and an API first approach makes integrations easier than ever. These integrations can be presented as views.

RESTful Web Services in Drupal 8 Core and include:

  1. Serialized entities using HAL
  2. Provides HTTP Basic authentication process
  3. Exposes entities and other resources as RESTful APIs

Provides services to (de)serialize to/from JASON/XML

Multi Domain Capabilities

Drupal supports different techniques to manage Multi portal architecture:

  1. Single code base varying databases - multi domain
  2. Single code base, single database – multi domain

Multi Lingual Capabilities

Drupal supports any language with built-in translation interfaces.

E Commerce Capabilities

Drupal’s Commerce Modules help build sites with Ecommerce capabilities. Some key features include:

  1. Create product types with Custom Attributes
  2. Dynamic Product Displays
  3. Order Management, line item
  4. Payment method API, allowing many different payment gateways
  5. Tax calculation / VAT support
  6. Discount pricing rules
  7. Advanced Product Search Interfaces

Integrating Web CMS like Drupal would provide the following benefits:

  1. Speed to Market - Faster Publishing of content
  2. Customer Experience Improvements by bringing a Uniform, Consistent Experience across the Different Channels
  3. Operational Efficiencies by bringing technologies that would assist in facilitating content publishing with minimal or zero support from technical team
  4. Use of single code base to manage multiple platforms to simplify management of code base
  5. Process Improvement by bringing in workflows and version control for Business approvals/compliance