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Go Big or Go Home

By John | February 25, 2008

The other night, I was at a local Atlanta AITP meeting, and the topic of enterprise search came up. A gentleman sitting in front of me said that enterprise search is the “new data warehousing.” During the break, he told me that his clients, Coke and Cox, both use enterprise search to answer the old data warehouse business intelligence “what if” questions. The old cumbersome ETL1 and ETL2 processing is being replaced by search indexing tools similar to how one would search for something on Google. When I asked him what technology he was using, he said Sharepoint.

On the ride home from the meeting, I started thinking about a blog conversation that Jeff Whatcott, VP of Marketing at Acquia, started a few weeks ago about how Drupal is being pigeon-holed as yet another CMS system. Whatcott wants Drupal to be the next big social networking tool.  My suggestion in the comments section was that Drupal needed an enemy, for example Sharepoint. After hearing the gentleman at the AITP speak about his experiences with Sharepoint and business intelligence, I ‘m thinking that Whatcott’s “magic slipper” of making Drupal will be the next big social software platform might be too small.

Gartner says that enterprise search is going to be a $1.2 billion market by 2010. One of Sharepoint’s strengths in enterprise search is the integration between taxonomy management and content management. Now, with its pending acquisition of Fast, Sharepoint is clearly positioning itself to be a leader in the content and search space. IMHO, you can’t have one without the other. You need a strong taxonomy management front end to be the portal for all of the “data” that have to be managed. One of Drupal’s clear strengths is its taxonomy management and its ability to cohesively connect and render content. A well-designed Drupal system can manage images, documents, wikis, blogs, and just about any defined data item on the internet or in the enterprise. If you look at some of the emerging project work being done with open source enterprise search and the Apache Lucene project, you can see some possible synergy between something like Drupal and Hadoop/Nutch/Solr. A combination of these technologies could be the first big open source competitor to Microsoft’s Sharepoint.

Now, if you had just received 7 million dollars to create the next magic slipper, would you spend it on tools to manage spam and analytics on Drupal sites, kind of like what WordPress does, or would you plan on using that money to “GO BIG” and take on MS?

Topics: acquia, cms, drupal, enterprise search, other | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Go Big or Go Home”

  1. Boris Mann Says:
    February 25th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Actually, to take on a much bigger challenge, one the entire community has been aiming at for quite some time. How do we enable the democratization of communication, data sharing, and collaboration on the Internet for all people?

    That means multilingual, among other things. Oh, and we kinda think that the Semantic Web stuff is going to be a big deal, too, so we’re working on commoditizing that. An RDF data store in every pot, I say!


  2. John Says:
    February 25th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Oh yeah, there’s that too :)

    Drupal Rocks!

  3. Jeff Whatcott Says:
    February 27th, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Hi John. Good stuff. I wanted to clarify that social publishing is much more than social networking, so I published a response over on my blog at:

    I’m very interested in Lucene/Solr/Drupal. Robert Douglass recently joined us, and he’s passionate about the topic.

    Jeff W.

  4. John Says:
    February 27th, 2008 at 5:27 pm


    Thanks for commenting on my blog. Actually I found Robert’s FOSDEM presentation the next day. Wow, you guys have some really killer Drupal guys. I think social search and CMS in the enterprise is a killer app. I know others want to take of the world and stuff like that but the 7 billion enterprise market is ok with me.


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  7. Social Publishing ≠ Social Networking – So What Is It? « The Observation Deck Says:
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