Drupal is not just a CMS anymore... It offers a powerful framework to manage database access, web services, users, permissions, structured content, integration with external systems and thousands of other features.
For the past 3 years, we've built several business critical transactional applications using Drupal. Using Drupal rather than J2EE or .NET offers large set of advantages:
- Lower total cost of ownership: There are more PHP developers and they are cheaper than Java/.NET ones.
- Fast time to market: you can leverage the power of 27.000 existing modules
- More flexibility: because of Panels, Views, Rules, Services or Feeds modules you can easily change your application behavior without or little coding.
- Better UI: Drupal is a powerful CMS offering the best possibilities in terms of UI and back-office customization. Easy here to do better than Swing :)
- All framework components are already available: database access layer, ACL management, HTTP routing, plug-in system, security, forms building API, web-services support, flexible theming layer, query builder, SSO & LDAP support, event-condition-action engine...
Some examples of the applications we've built:
- Trading engine to quickly find and select the best sub-contractor for a machinery rental organization: Kiloutou
- Medical spendings of pharma labs in the US, using a Drupal-based application to declare, validate and send to the US government in the right format, millions of lines of data.
- Resources management system to optimize the presence of sales teams in airports all around the world. The application analyzes air traffic to put the right salesman in the right duty-free shop based on his language skills. (You know, it's better to put a native Chinese-speaking sales consultant in a boutique near the gate from which a NYC-Beijing flight is announced...)
- Drupal E-Learning system to train 4,000 employees to the organization's product line.
- A Drupal application to select and reward internal marketing initiatives for more than 5,000 people all around the world
So it's probably time to consider Drupal as your next applications platform.