Tag Archives: drupal

Top 5 Web 2.0 development technologies to watch in 2008

I was asked to advise a budding web developer on what technologies to get into for 2008. Here’s the list I gave her. Would you agree?
1. Maps API’s – there is probably enough work around just integrating mapping into people’s web sites for them. (Google, Yahoo and 192.com all have APIs)
2. Drupal – lots of people need intranets and drupal works really well for this – most of the work is configuration rather than hard programming
3. Silverlight / ASP.net – this is the top of the range one – Microsoft release Surface next year, likely to drive demand for apps in this technology.
4. Facebook Platform – it feels like flavour of the month I know but it’s so wonderful it’s likely to be around for a while.
5. Netvibes UWA – Netvibes have a universal widget architecture that actually works on lots of different platforms – saves having to write widgets several times (see illustration)

Have your say, why not comment to this note on your top five web 2 technologies to watch in 2008.

Breast Cancer Care choose Drupal for their intranet

When you’re a UK charity you can be very creative in your uses of scarce resources.
Charities can be a great example of putting Web 2 principles of using other people’s platforms to meet your own goals. Typically you can let other people do 95% of the work and you just add your 5%.
When Breast Cancer Care picked an intranet platform, instead of going for an off the shelf intranet package or a bespoke build, they instead chose to rebrand the Drupal Content Management System, an open source community web site platform, and use it internally.
They then used an external consultant (me) to tweak the platform so it could talk to their existing internal web library services. It launched last month and is used in their 4 offices by more than 250 staff.
The installation includes forums, calendar, searchable contact list, configurable user profiles (including a popular “favourite hot drink and how you like it” field), news stories, document library and web forms.
Lisa Wade, Internal Communications Manager, explains “We did a thorough evaluation of our options and chose Drupal mainly because of the fact that it allows staff members to contribute to the intranet in a way they wouldn’t be able to with other systems. Work was required to adapt the system to meet our needs, but with Toby’s help we now have the intranet we needed.”
Cost wise Breast Cancer Care have a successful intranet that costs a 10th of what an off the shelf intranet might have, and better still they have the control over the code to make the system do exactly what they want – a great example of taking commoditised software that’s freely available on the web and adding your own 5%.
Much better than writing the whole thing from scratch. A very Web 2.0 concept.
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