Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Choosing between Drupal, Joomla and RoR

I recently did a quote update for myself where the three strong contenders are when building community sites today. Ruby on Rails has been in news a lot as the coolest app around, in hot demand. Rails has become almost the tool of choice for startups today trying to build something quickly without fear of it getting outdated or hard to manage when they grow. A lot of rails hosting companies have also sprung up.

It may also seem that the debate between Drupal and Joomla needs to be resolved once for all. I have evaluated the two myself a few times without any conclusive results as to which one is the clear winner. I think a lot depends on what you really want to do and your goals.

For example, Joomla may be the ideal choice when it comes to quickly building up a site with nice features which come integrated or are easy to find. However if you need flexibility or are not sure how the site will evolve as time goes by (in other words if you think your website may be your business next year or so), then you need to look at Drupal and RoR. Joomla may not be a wise choice, at least based on what I have read or experimented with. So if you have a bounded task at hand, Joomla is quick, simple, elegant and beautiful.

If you are building a content site and have ruled out Joomla based on the above, then Drupal may be something you want to seriously look at. Though it is based on PhP, a not so hot technology, it has the bones to last you for a long time.

Finally, if you have a custom application you are building from scratch (so there is no previous baggage of Java or PhP)  targeted towards consumers or a community, Ruby on Rails should be your choice.

Enterprise or B2B applications may be best suited for Java and you can pick the Spring/Hibernate framework there which is probably a much more safer approach considering it is much more mature and feature rich.

Finally, here is a great series of articles on Drupal from IBM, who picked it as their platform of choice between Joomla and RoR (though that was back in 2006)
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