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Going for the jugular

22nd Nov 2011

The knives have been quietly sharpening for some time and these last few months have seen the long-awaited attack begin in fine style as Drupal’s detractors – the proprietary servers who incidentally happen to be its competitors – could stand the heat no more.

EPiServer, a proprietary content management system, was the first to explode thanks to an article published in September by Swedish Drupal Agency, NodeOne. The now infamous article set out to compare Drupal against several proprietary products including EPiServer, SiteVision, Sitecore, Polopoly and Escenic and came to the conclusion that should surprise none of us by now – Drupal is the best.

I suspect EPiServer wishes that it had tried a little harder to withstand the heat we all now know it felt under the collar at that point.  Its knee-jerk reaction was to serve a cease and desist order effectively demanding that NodeOne un-publish its comparison between Drupal and other CMSs immediately and never mention EPiServer in any form of marketing again.

Unfortunately for EPiServer its legal advice failed it and NodeOne got counter legal advice which outlined that the agency was entitled to make that comparison and was under no obligation to meet EPiServer’s demands.

In terms of victory, think David and Goliath. Not only did NodeOne make the point that Drupal is better than closed source solutions and win the right for all of us to officially continue saying so whilst attracting further attention to the Open Source cause, it proved, in the process, that Drupal is seen as posing a very real risk by the big boys. No longer is it an irritating itch that won’t go away, it is a credible and significant threat.

A recent article by Sitecore, vendor of a proprietary CMS, titled, ‘the Siren Song of Open Source CMS’ attempted a hatchet job on Drupal, summarising that all Drupal’s capabilities are ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. Founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert was quick to shoot down all the points made in the article noting that the spate of anti-Drupal material being churned out by the proprietary software vendors serves to clearly demonstrate that Drupal is now more than just a threat to these companies – it is hurting them.

It has taken over 10 years for Drupal to truly evolve. Now approximately 10,000 people work on Drupal and its momentum continues to build. Microsoft is a key sponsor of Drupal events and a supporter of its products and eBay has announced that it is moving its new X.commerce website to Drupal dropping the proprietary Jive software platform the site previously used.

And so, EPiServer and Sitecore and their contemporaries are right to panic. With the advent of one of Drupal’s most accomplished and senior member, Moshe Weitzman’s migrate module it has never been easier to pull data into Drupal. The floodgates are open in every sense and there is now no barrier to Drupal adoption. The heat can only intensify. It’s going to be a very interesting 2012…

Update - DotNetNuke goes for Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla

DotNetNuke appear tohave started an advertising campaign comparing itself against its' Open Source counterparts. Aspects highlighted in these adverts are innacurate and misleading.