By Christopher Smith
Unlike a purely corporate tool, an open source project is inherently adaptable to the needs of a particular client or group.
That's partially why the Drupal WxT platform is being used to operate the Statistics Canada and Health Canada online government portals. It seamlessly incorporates the bilingual requirements of federal internet sites while remaining open to change for future updates/requirements.
Drupal has become a go-to content management systems for many professional programmers and web developers. Although it is not immediately accessible to someone with no direct Drupal programming experience, the platform reveals itself to be highly flexible and component rich once the basic learning curve is over. More importantly, Drupal's open source lineage means that it comes with a rich community of people who actively work together to solve problems.
There is rarely a problem or issue that can't be solved via group consensus, making it a reliable choice for programmers and developers. The goal of the platform is not to turn a profit, per se; the goal is to create a flawless and exceptionally fluid programming environment/platform.
Drupal's complexity, at least to the beginning user, enables it to act as a solid platform while always being adaptable to frequently unforeseen needs. Much like a laptop computer with USB portals, Drupal is built so that future modules can be plugged in.
These modules may contain functionality that as yet is not even designed or fully imagined. Drupal also has a high level of security, which makes it ideal for government operations that need to keep some information private or at least accessible in a very specific way.
When these two features are combined, a government department can create a highly functional and adaptable user interface that benefits both the public and government administrators in terms of ease of use.
As governments continue to see the benefits of making information easily accessible to the public through an online forum, Drupal will likely continue to be one of the most valued content management systems available.