Likelihood to Recommend
Well, I'm definitely biased, I've been working with Drupal for 12+ years, and I can say it's appropriate for any size/scale of a project, whether it's a small catalog website or a huge corporation. If I want to dial it down to a specific use case, Drupal is best what most customers/clients that have high-security standards, and need to have extensive editorial experience and control over their website's architecture. Due to its core design, Drupal can connect with each part of its own and any external third-party resources quite easily. For a less-suited scenario, I might say that if you don't have enough budget to get proper work done, sometimes just using
with a pre-designed theme might sound better to you, but if you have the budget and the time, always go with Drupal
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Harvest is well suited in a lab or a reference lab of about any size. You can customize the workflow with filters and permissions to ensure that the right people have the right abilities when they need them. I would say that it is not as great for locations that have multiple remote locations without great internet. Because of the underlying technologies, latency between client and server can cause havoc.
Read full review Pros Content Types... these are amazing. Whereas a more simplistic CMS like Wordpress will basically allow you to make posts and build pages, Drupal 8 gives you the ability to define different types of content that behave differently, and are served up differently in different areas of the website. Extensibility... it scales, ohhhh does it scale. They've really figured out server-side caching, and it makes all the difference. Once a page has been cached, it's available instantly to all users worldwide; and when coupled with AWS, global redundancy and localization mean that no matter where you're accessing the site, it always loads fast and crisp. Workflows... you have the ability to define very specific roles and/or user-based editorial workflows, allowing for as many touchpoints and reviews between content creation and publication as you'll require. Read full review Good for small labs Good support Configurable for your environment Read full review Cons Security and new release notifications are a hassle as they happen too often Allowing them to write PHP modules is a big advantage, but sometimes integrating them is a small challenge due to the version the developer is working on. Steep learning curve, but worth it Read full review User Interface - The software is like 25 years old, and it feels like it. They have added some buttons and links to try to make it easier, but it's not as flashy as the SaaS applications that are being built these days. It feels like there isn't a lot of time spent on refining the features, just adding more to it. Archaic Architecture - The application use 4D for the database. This means that you can't use SQL for queries, latency is a huge issue and there isn't a hosted option. You have to have your own in-house server to run the server application. Client is an Application - We have workstations dedicated to managing the interfaces. These workstations have to run the application as a program and can not run them as a service. This means that if you want to apply Windows updates it required manually closing and re-launching the application. Data Mining - There are some basic reports, but they do not really allow you to build complex reports about the patients or work being performed. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
The time and money invested into this platform were too great to discontinue it at this point. I'm sure it will be in use for a while. We have also spent time training many employees how to use it. All of these things add up to quite an investment in the product. Lastly, it basically fulfills what we need our intranet site to do.
Read full review Usability
It's a great CMS platform and there are a ton of plugins to add some serious functionality, but the security updates are too complex to implement and considering the complexity of the platform, security updates are a must. I don't want my site breached because they make it too difficult to keep it up to date.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
Drupal itself does not tend to have bugs that cause sporadic outages. When deployed on a well-configured LAMP stack, deployment and maintenance problems are minimal, and in general no exotic tuning or configuration is required. For highest uptime, putting a caching proxy like Varnish in front of Drupal (or a CDN that supports dynamic applications).
Read full review Performance
Drupal page loads can be slow, as a great many database calls may be required to generate a page. It is highly recommended to use caching systems, both built-in and external to lessen such database loads and improve performance. I haven't had any problems with behind-the-scenes integrations with external systems.
Read full review Support Rating
As noted earlier, the support of the community can be rather variable, with some modules attracting more attraction and action in their issue queues, but overall, the development community for Drupal is second to none. It probably the single greatest aspect of being involved in this open-source project.
Read full review In-Person Training
I was part of the team that conducted the training. Our training was fine, but we could have been better informed on Drupal before we started providing it. If we did not have answers to tough questions, we had more technical staff we could consult with. We did provide hands-on practice time for the learners, which I would always recommend. That is where the best learning occurred.
Read full review Online Training
The on-line training was not as ideal as the face-to-face training. It was done remotely and only allowed for the trainers to present information to the learners and demonstrate the platform online. There was not a good way to allow for the learners to practice, ask questions and have them answered all in the same session.
Read full review Implementation Rating
Plan ahead as much you can. You really need to know how to build what you want with the modules available to you, or that you might need to code yourself, in order to make the best use of Drupal. I recommend you analyze the most technically difficult workflows and other aspects of your implementation, and try building some test versions of those first. Get feedback from stakeholders early and often, because you can easily find yourself in a situation where your implementation does 90% of what you want, but, due to something you didn't plan for, foresee, or know about, there's no feasible way to get past the last 10%
Read full review Alternatives Considered
Drupal is community-backed making it more accessible and growing at a faster rate than Sitefinity which is a proprietary product built on .NET. Drupal is PHP-based using some but not all Symphony codebase. Updates for Drupal are frequent and so are feature adds.
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We were looking into changing to another LIS but they failed to get things done and we ended up staying with Orchard. We are now in the process of moving everything to Sequoia since we have grown so much as a lab. I don't have any other experience with another LIS to compare to.
Read full review Scalability
Drupal is well known to be scalable, although it requires solid knowledge of MySQL best practices, caching mechanisms, and other server-level best practices. I have never personally dealt with an especially large site, so I can speak well to the issues associated with Drupal scaling.
Read full review Return on Investment Drupal has allowed us to build up a library of code and base sites we can reuse to save time which has increased our efficiency and thus had a positive financial impact. Drupal has allowed us to take on projects we otherwise would not have been able to, having a further impact. Drupal has allowed us to build great solutions for our clients which give them an excellent ROI. Read full review The support provided by Orchard Software for Harvest allows me to not have to worry as much about the system. I can grant them access to my system and trust them to work on the issue while I work on other issues. The automation saves a lot of time for those in the lab. There have been a few times that the lab has been down for a couple of hours and having to catch up and enter the results from the instruments manually can take the rest of the day. Read full review ScreenShots