Have I mentioned that I loves me some Drupal?
Oh yes. I probably have. Anyway, in the last 48 hours of last week I managed to take two sites from photoshop mockup to fully functioning. Well, almost, anyway. There are of course some minor issues with Internet Exploder to deal with, and some pages to be tweaked.
We created a common template architecture for niche sites that can rapidly be reskinned with CSS to create unique sites with minimal code changes. The rest, from the Heritage site course guide to the Mom2MomSC.com multimedia sharing page was implemented with a minimum of coding, and in very short order using community-contributed Drupal modules. We plugged in our proprietary Omniture analytics module, Vmix video integration and my own Videowrapper module to round out the sites.
I'm a fan of more abstracted frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Django and the like for highly specialized vertical applications, but for a rapid time-to market general purpose application platform it's hard to beat Drupal, where most of the common hooks like authentication, access control, content organization, are already in place, and hundreds (thousands) of other high-quality modules are just a click away. And if you want to plug in your own alternate solutions (like we have for integration with a proprietary corporate registration system), you can do that too. So basically, you can concentrate on features that achieve your business goals, rather than the ancillary elements.
What would you rather do? Spend your time an energy reinventing the wheel, or building revenue and audience generating products?
IMHO, which is worth what you paid for it, I'd rather run something that got me 95% of the way on a project and let me spend most of my time on the remaining edge cases, optimization and security than spend 95% of my time just getting the framework built to support whatever business goals I have.