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Dedicated CMS vs Hybridization

The Advantages of the Drupal CMS over Hybridation Software

A client of ours mentioned in passing an Adobe product called Business Catalyst, mentioning that it's all-in-one approach was appealing. Adobe initially bought the product from a few Australian developers in 2009, rebranded it to Adobe's label and advertise it as a 'Web Business'; instead of just a CMS. As it ties together a multitude of features, it has been referred to as the Microsoft Office of an online business: web pages, email, hosting, ecommerce, all built on a templating system.

The downsides for products that try to be too many things is that they rarely succeed in being excellent at one particular thing. In offering everything in one package, often those pieces are often lacking in flexibility and functionality. After reading twenty submissions of feedback about the product from real-world trial and use, developer feedback reported a lack of true flexibility with the system, no real access to underlying markup code or even CSS. Like MS Office, you can get a lot under one roof, but as most hybrid "things" are in the world, you lose the strengths of each of the individual facets making up the whole.

With a dedicated CMS such as Drupal, it's strength comes from an approach which emphasizes flexibility through modularity, where modules are designed to work well with the core system and expand its capabilities. What this translates to is choice, which in turn leads to a high degree of customization. As an open-source product, of the thousands of modules available, they all have to go through a stringent gamut of tests to meet particular security and integrative features before they are considered usable by the public. The modules have to play nicely together. This has led to a hugely successful adoption rate of Drupal for various companies, resulting in adoption by the likes of the White House, Playboy, Mozilla, Nokia, The Economist, and a large spectrum of businesses and organizations around the world who put security, reliability and ease of use at the forefront. Once a business has a thorough idea of what they need, whom they want to reach, and what their end-goal for their website is (often summarized in a document called the 'Information Architecture') it is by pairing up with a Drupal developer where those goals can be met, and with the right design, speak clearly and elegantly of their brand.

In terms of matching some of the other features a product like Adobe Business Catalyst would offer, we would argue the combination of Drupal with Google Analytics, Gmail, a good CRM (we're quite happy with CapsuleCRM) perhaps in addition to MailChimp.com or CampaignMonitor bring together entities that are specialized for what they each do, to provide a strong partnership package for business owners which may not happen in as few clicks as Adobe's product but would, in the end, would result in more powerful features and scalability.