Intranets in 2021: Drupal 9 Leads Modern Intranet Development

Intranets in 2021: Drupal 9 Leads Modern Intranet Development

Is your school’s intranet slow, clunky, and rarely used? Is it impossible to use on mobile? Does it make remote learning harder than it has to be? Do you want to make 2021 the year to change all of that and get the most out of your intranet? If you answered “yes” to any or all of those questions, we can help. 

Keep reading to see why Drupal 9 leads modern intranet development, and why it’s the best choice for institutions of higher learning such as academies, colleges, universities, graduate schools, military academies and more.

As a Drupal 9 development agency, the team here at North Studio is here to answer any questions you may have that are not answered here. You can schedule a consultation whenever it is convenient for you.

A Word About Drupal 9


Drupal 9 is the latest iteration of Drupal, the open source web platform known for its flexibility, scalability, reliability, and security. Drupal is a popular content management system (CMS) for all sorts of industries with complex needs, including ecommerce, nonprofits, government agencies, and of course, post secondary educational institutions.


If you already have a Drupal website, designing a Drupal 9 intranet and integrating it will be super simple. But even if your website runs on a different platform, we would still recommend a Drupal 9 intranet. Our skilled team can migrate your legacy intranet information to Drupal, and then integrate your intranet with all of your platforms and applications for a great digital experience.

Top Benefits of a Drupal 9 Intranet for Universities


Your intranet can be an invaluable resource to help your administration, staff, and students communicate. But if it’s not user friendly, or is distinctly not mobile friendly, you’ve got problems. A Drupal 9 intranet has solutions. We can tailor all of these tools for your school so that everything is easy to use, and available with remote access.

drupal intranet for universities

Cost Effective

Since Drupal is open source, building and maintaining a Drupal 9 intranet is going to be more affordable than the costly proprietary platforms such as Sharepoint or Jive. 

User Management

Drupal 9 easily integrates with employee account management systems such as Active Directory through the use of the LDAP module or CAS module. With LDAP authentication, there’s no need for an additional intranet login.

Collaboration Tools

A Drupal 9 intranet excels at providing collaboration tools that bring people together. These are excellent when you have multiple campuses, or you’re doing remote learning where people cannot meet in person to collaborate. You can provide centralized access points for staff to share templates, documents, lesson plans, calendars, and more.

For students, dashboards can be personalized to include class schedules, assignments, streams, forums, commenting, voting, rating, reporting abuse, and more. 

Impressive Content Management Capabilities

Drupal is known as an easy to use CMS across the board, and that includes managing content on your intranet. Using an add-on module, you can easily tell how and when a collaborative document changed. The Media module allows you to manage onsite and external media asset libraries.

Multilingual and Translating Capabilities

Drupal 9 operates in multiple languages (approximately 100) to allow collaboration easily with international students where English is not their native language. English is the default language for Drupal, but we can add languages and translation capabilities easily.

Easy to Use and Mobile Friendly

We design your Drupal 9 intranet to be easy to use for people of all capabilities. Accessibility features are built into every intranet to be inclusive to users who use a screen reader or other assistive technology.

And Drupal 9 is mobile centric. Anyone, using any device, will have access to all of your intranet’s features as outlined in their user access profile. No zooming, pinching, or swiping necessary.

Drupal 9 Intranet Modules


Drupal 9, like other versions of Drupal, is open source, meaning people from around the world contribute new modules every day. Simply put, Drupal defines a module as “a set of PHP, JavaScript, and/or CSS files that extends site features and adds functionality.” 

When a Drupal developer creates a module they think would be helpful to other developers, they contribute it to the Drupal community, where it becomes free for anyone to use. Pretty great, huh? North Studio is a proud contributor to the Drupal community.

Some of our favorite Drupal 9 intranet modules include:


The LDAP module integrates your intranet with your Active Directory of staff and students. The Active Directory says who has current access to your systems, and therefore, who can access your intranet. Employees and students will have assigned access levels. drupal 9 intranet module


As the name implies, the Group module lets you create specific groups. We can do this as part of our initial setup of your intranet, and show you how to add/delete group members. In this way, professors can create groups just for their students, for example. Another useful group might be one for each faculty department. You can assign as many editors and administrators as needed.

You can also use this module to group content types or content authors.


Another aptly named module, the profile module allows you to add one or more profile pages for each user, with access to different aspects of your intranet. For example, a student might have one profile for classwork, and another profile for a student sport or activity. They would still have one username/password, but could access the different profiles.


The workflow module allows the administrator to manage how and when content gets published to the intranet. You determine who 

gets notified at each stage, such as Draft, Open for Comments, Editing, or Final Review.


The scheduler module is more useful for the person in charge of publishing new content, such as news articles, announcements, etc. An admin can schedule when content will be published. If you have several items to publish throughout the day or week, you can schedule several at once.


The calendar module integrates with the Drupal 9 Views and Date API and lets you put items in the calendar. The Calendar of Events can be included on everyone’s dashboard. You could also use the calendar to show room availability, for example, practice rooms or conference rooms.


Drupal’s flag module allows users to do a number of things to interact with content, including Like, Follow, Report Abuse, and more. This is helpful to keep track of popular posts, as well as get notification of when the admin needs to review a Report Abuse flag. 


Fivestar is a Drupal module that allows users (in this case faculty or staff) to rate content, using one to five stars, similar to a Google review or ecommerce product review. This helps admin and staff determine what content is working and what isn’t, and allows for improvement on what is working.


This is a fun module. Userpoints is all about positive reinforcement. An admin can award userpoints to students for completing one stage of an assignment, or a department head can award points to faculty for publishing an article.  You can then determine what happens when someone gets to a certain level of userpoints.


Drupal’s search module is a powerful tool that allows users to search your intranet and quickly get to important information. We can integrate it with multiple search engines as well, to retrieve all the relevant information they need.


Masquerade is another Drupal module that is most beneficial to an admin or IT staff member. It’s a troubleshooting tool that allows someone with admin access to log in as another user. In this way, if you can’t replicate an issue a user is having, you can log in as them to see what the problem is.

Drupal Intranet Distributions


If you’re in a hurry, we may start creating your Drupal 9 intranet with the Open Atrium distribution, as well as the Open Social distribution. Both are great ways to quickly install your intranet. Then we can add on the custom intranet design features you want.

Top Universities Using Drupal


Some of the world’s top universities use Drupal to power their websites and their intranets. They’ve learned that Drupal solutions are cost effective, scalable, and offer great digital experiences.University of Toronto


They include:

Drupal has some big fans out there!

Work with an Experienced Intranet Development Agency


As one of the oldest Drupal specialty shops in the world, North Studio is of course an experienced intranet development agency. We take the time to understand your post secondary school’s needs, so that we can build you a cost effective, custom intranet that will enhance internal communications.

We offer intranet design for your Drupal website as well as for your website hosted on another platform. The beauty of a Drupal 9 intranet is that we can easily integrate it with multiple platforms and applications. 

While we’re located in Victoria, British Columbia, we work with institutions of higher learning throughout Canada and the United States, as well as with clients worldwide.

Ready to learn more? Use our contact form to get in touch with our team of Drupal 9 experts.