What is an “Intranet”?
You may not be familiar with the phrase, but for corporate and government employees you have seen this phrase in action.
An intranet is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff not to the public.
Companies, both small and large, public and private, use Intranets to maintain continuity of information access and ease of remote collaboration. Traditionally, Intranets have been built on proprietary platforms such as SharePoint. But Drupal has become the more popular and viable option due to its significantly lower price point.
Now have we got your attention?
Drupal’s out-of-the-box user management, collaboration features, and content management capabilities make it a natural fit for use as an Intranet. It easily integrates with employee account management systems like Active Directory and Central Authentication Service by way of the LDAP module or CAS module. The latest release, Drupal 8, has brought a renewed focus on increased flexibility and ease-of-use for site administrators, an even better selling point for building a complex Intranet.
But that’s not all! Its highly configurable content and file management features provide the ability to build an Intranet tailored to meet unique asset management needs.
This functionality has even been packaged inside the Intranet module. The most useful aspect of the module is that it can be integrated with other operations performed by third party modules.
Why should you use Drupal for your Intranet?
Drupal is the most powerful, customizable CMS available but the best part about it is that developers have the ability to create a simple backend for administrators. We can tailor-make the administrative interface based on your criteria so that it’s easy for you to use.
Drupal’s rich feature set provides users the ability to exchange information in a variety of forms forums, streams, webforms and commenting. When combined with social networking modules for microblogging (Statuses), voting (Flag, Vote Up/Down, Fivestar, Rate), and following/friending (Flag Follow, Flag Friend), Drupal is capable of running as a full blown social business platform.
CONTENT & ASSET MANAGEMENT
Drupal is fully capable of file and asset management. Its out-of-the-box content versioning feature automatically saves new versions of content that can be easily rolled back, if needed. On-site and external media asset libraries can be managed using module such as Media, and have proven to be reliable. If a defined publishing workflow with sophisticated access control is required, the Workbench suite can be utilized (it seamlessly integrates with Media).
Another Intranet component that’s important when dealing with large amounts of corporate data is a strong search feature. Technologies like Apache Solr and Google Search can be plugged into a Drupal Intranet.
QUICKLY DEPLOYING AN INTRANET
If an Intranet needs to be launched quickly without any custom functionality, Drupal Distribution is the way to go. Distributions such as Drupal Commons and Open Atrium are pre-configured installations that have Intranet-type features embedded such as groups, commenting, activity streams, following, trending content, blogging, and a customizable user interface. Moreover, because Drupal’s architecture is based on the concept of overrides, these Distributions can be further enhanced with custom backend or front-end features without compromising the default features they’re packaged with.