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Microsoft Embracing Open Source Drupal 7 CM System

Microsoft today highlighted some of its interoperability accomplishments reflected with the release of the open source Drupal 7 content management (CM) system.

Drupal 7, produced by volunteer coders, now works with Microsoft's SQL Server relational database management system products and is distributed through the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. It's also distributed from the Drupal Web site and Commerce Guys, an organization dedicated to Drupal-based e-commerce apps. Drupal is an open source, PHP-based CM system for creating Web sites, blogs and e-commerce sites.

Microsoft has also included Drupal 7 in its WebMatrix tool, which was released on Jan. 13. WebMatrix is a free Web site creation tool that supports a number of open source applications integrated with Microsoft's IIS 7.5 Express Web server.

Version 7 of Drupal was released on Jan. 5. It has been about two-and-a-half years since the last major release, according to Jim Taylor, owner of Columbus, Ohio-based Rooty Hollow LLC, in a Microsoft-produced video. Rooty Hollow provides development and IT backend support services. Taylor, one of the volunteer developers on the Drupal project, noted that the user interface of Drupal 7 has been improved and the database layer under the system was rewritten. The team added a new PHP Data Objects (PDO) layer and the CM system now works with multiple databases, both open source and proprietary.

Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (and later versions) in Drupal CM got rolling last year, according to a blog post by Jean Paoli, Microsoft's general manager for interoperability. It culminated in a SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0 with PDO support release, which Microsoft made available in August. Those who use the free SQL Server Express edition with Drupal can tap into the database management system's business intelligence and reporting capabilities, according to Paoli.

Drupal runs on Apache or Microsoft IIS Web servers and supports PHP 5.2 or higher. In addition to working with SQL Server, Drupal integrates with MySQL 4.1 (or higher) or PostgreSQL 7.4 (or higher) relational database management systems.

Four new Drupal modules were created for administrators and developers. The modules include Bing Maps, Silverlight Pivot viewer, Windows Live ID and an OData module. Schakra and Mindtree developed the modules using funding from Microsoft.

Paoli also said in the blog post that Microsoft is supporting Drupal on Windows Azure, which is Microsoft's Internet cloud platform. "We're working, for example, on bringing the full elasticity and scalability of Windows Azure cloud to Drupal and other PHP applications," Paoli stated. Drupal 7 can be deployed to Microsoft's cloud-based operating system using a tool called the "Windows Azure Companion."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Tue, Feb 1, 2011 Kurt Mackie Irvine, CA

@Larry Garfield. Thank you, Larry, for that clarification. I've removed the confusing phrase.

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 Larry Garfield Chicago, USA

"Drupal 7, produced by Drupal Association volunteer coders" Sorry, that statement is flatly false. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Drupal Association, as well as the lead developer of the Drupal 7 database layer. The Association does not direct development of the Drupal code base. In fact, we are forbidden from doing so by our own bylaws. Drupal 7 was developed by over 1000 independent contributors around the world operating collaboratively over the past three years, largely self-organizing with cat herding from project lead Dries Buytaert and Drupal 7 branch maintainer Angie Byron. None of them were in the employ of the Drupal Association. Drupal 7 is a major milestone for Drupal and the Drupal community, but please don't credit the Association for that. The Association has done a number of other important things in the past year, but Drupal 7 itself is not one of them. The community at large owns that success.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011

The Drupal Web Site link in this article crashes IE9 Beta. Is this a classic example of irony?

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