Category Archives: Drupal

CMS and Faceted Search

Faceted search and navigation has been mainstream for a while now in the larger eCommerce sites. This was partly driven by both the faceted nature of product data (i.e., most products have a type, brand, price, etc.) and the availability of the data in retailers’ existing information systems.

Interestingly enough, even though the technology is there, the use of faceted search and navigation in mostly content sites has been lagging. However, in the last year, we have finally seen an uptick in the use of this pattern beyond commerce sites. With the redesigned Bing search engine really leveraging this concept, and driving some of the innovation around search, I believe we will see the concept become a standard practice on sites that have large amounts of content.

One additional contributing factor is that there is also some traction around the lower end and open source market. Although vendors like Endeca and Coveo have been providing this capability for the enterprise for a while now, open source and low cost alternatives are emerging as well.
For example, Apache Solr is getting a lot of traction recently, and Acquia launched a hosted faceted search capability for Drupal earlier this year.

This is an exciting development, and I believe we will see significant improvements in site search in the future.

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Alfresco & Drupal Integration: Solution to Content Distribution, Agility

Image via Wikipedia

I just watched a very interesting screen cast at:

Alfresco-Drupal Integration via CMIS:

This video presents an approach to integrating Drupal 6.X and Alfresco.  Alfresco is a powerful  commercial or opensource J2EE ECM and Drupal is smaller agile PHP CMS/developement framework.  Drupal is powerful opensource solution to enable web sites with various features via modules/plugins.  Such features are such as content management, OpenId, Facebook Integration, blogging, comments, and social media.  However Drupal does not have the scalability required by most fortune 500 businesses who want an ECM to centralize/archive a majority of their content.  This screencast demonstrates a very innovative approach that leverages Alfreso ECM to centralize and govern content via workflow and its robust web content management and then push/pull/sycnchronize content using CMIS across various distributed Drupal Sites and Alfresco.  The presents a very fitting solution for managing content across multiple Drupal sites for blogging, marketing, intranets, microsites, and campaigns etc.  This further shows how to decouple content from presentation layer and even another PHP CMS solution. Can’t wait to play around with this approach, it could solve many issues revolving around the distribution of content across channels,widgets, mobile, etc..

Question: Could I get this to work Alfresco to WordPress? Hmmmm

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Jump-start CMS: Use Drupal’s Acquia for Free

By Matthew Johnson
Senior Technical Architect
Razorfish CMS Center of Excellence

In the past, installing Drupal consists of the painful tasks of downloading, unzipping, setting up MySQL, changing permissions, running setup, changing permissions again, and then spending hours researching, downloading and installing various plugins/modules.  This can create a significant barrier to adoption.  However, Drupal now has Acquia. Acquia is Drupal 6.X bundle that is aligned with the Acquia’s commercial services and technical support.   If you want to leverage the Acquia support services, it will cost you $500-$3000+, which can be attractive to some users.  Acquia provides a pre-packaged bundle of Drupal Core and plugins/modules needed for Web 2.0, Communities, Performance, Caching, Search, Blogging, Comments, and Ratings.

The best part about Acquia is you can use the distribution to jump-start your CMS project without signing up for Acquia services. Acquia has a public SVN repository that you can use to update/patch your distribution.  If you chose to, you can download the Acquia Drupal distribution and manually disable all the Acquia specific services …. before you know it you have a fully operational Drupal 6.X environment.  This directly alleviates the time consuming process of downloading,installing, and configuring Drupal Modules after installation.

Download it here:

Good Review on Acquia: