Someone recently posted on the [FarCry-User] mailing list asking questions about comparing the open source CMS Drupal (which runs in PHP) to the open source CMS product FarCry (which runs on ColdFusion). Of course there are differences in platform support and price when it comes to comparing PHP and ColdFusion, but that was not his question.
I am just trying to create a website for one of our customer with FarCry for latest 2 weeks. But today one of our developers used Drupal and created same site within some hours with lots of extra features. Now I need some tips to explain situation to our boss here. What would you suggest to me as argue tips? :)
Although I haven’t used Drupal I have heard great things about it. So I just took a quick peek at their features page to do a quick comparison. At first glance it does have a couple more features built-in. I see a polling tool, blog, threaded comments, and module plugin capabilities.
Drupal Features FarCry is Missing
I'll try to break these down. If I missed something its not because I am dismissing them on purpose, rather it would be my unfamiliarity with the Drupal CMS system (note to self: I should check it out someday. It really does look like a nice product).
There was a tutorial put out by Daemon on plugging in a flash-based polling tool into FarCry a few years ago. I'm not sure what happened to it. Needless to say, it should be easy enough to build one from scratch. But alas, Drupal has one up on FarCry here.
FarCry does not come with a built-in blog. It has been a request in the past by a few people, but please keep in mind that FarCry is aimed at the Enterprise market (which generally doesn't care for blogging on their corporate website). As for building one (a blog) it should be fairly simple. Drupal says that it can syndicate content from its blog module. FarCry has one up there in that it can syndicate any content object built in the FarCry framework (which should make it fairly easy to build a blog library in FarCry). Still, being that the blog is built into Drupal they have a leg up.
Not sure what to say. I mean, with FarCry a tool like that should take about 5 minutes to build. I've never seen it requested before, but could see it being useful on the right website.
Module Plugin Capabilities
Although this has always been a feature in FarCry (called "custom types") FarCry 4.0 makes it even easier now. FarCry 4.0 (when released) will have a new feature called shared libraries. It's essentially an easy way to share and deploy custom types among FarCry projects (much like modules).
FarCry Features Drupal is Missing
Now let's point out some things that FarCry "might" have some advantages over Drupal (I say "might" because I am not familiar enough with Drupal and may be making assumptions).
Drupal says it supports MySQL and PostgreSQL. FarCry supports both of those plus 2 more (MSSQL
and Oracle) covering more of the Enterprise market.
Because FarCry runs on ColdFusion (and takes advantage of Verity) it has tools built right into FarCry that allow you to start searching your new custom type within seconds. Drupal's feature page isn't clear what it uses. It says that it is "indexed and searchable" which could mean many different things (like indexing DB
columns and then doing simple LIKE searches in SQL
). I'm hoping its something decent like Lucene
Module/Custom Type Build Times:
One of the great Features of FarCry (especially in FarCry 4.0) is how quickly you can make custom types (or modules). With the introduction of new wizards, formtools, and even scafolding in FarCry 4.0 we can now build custom types (modules) in a matter of minutes. You want to deploy a new custom type (module) on a page quickly? Try FarCry's built-in rules and containers in design mode. I have no idea how long it would take to design a module in Drupal (a lack of reading their docs on my part).
Module/Custom Type Deploy Times
Again, I have no idea how long it takes to deploy a module in Drupal (I'm assuming they have some neat tool to do it quickly). FarCry has a feature under the COAPI
management tools to deploy a custom type (module) in one click (not too shabby).
The List Goes On
There are many more features built into FarCry that are not listed on the Drupal feature page (like XML
export of any content type, or built in image manipulation like thumbnails, a media library, and more). But like the current FarCry site the features page is possibly out of date, so I would hate to make assumptions.
In all reality it looks like the FarCry CMS website needs some content updating :) (especially an updated feature list page). And once FarCry 4.0 is released Geoff promises to open up a shared library resource section on the FarCry CMS website where people can share libraries (modules/plugins) like drupal, Typo3, and other successful CMS systems have done in the past (and hopefully have a social rating system where people can vote on libraries and post comments... one can only hope :)).
Drupal looks like a promising product. If you're locked into use PHP I'd definitely consider it as a possible choice for a CMS. But if ColdFusion is still on the table, don't dismiss it as a contender just because it's missing a polling tool and a built-in blog (unless if that’s what you're specifically in the market for). Those features are great markets for non-corporate environments, but alas it may be something we need to consider releasing as a pre-packaged library in FarCry to appease the masses.
As always feel free to post comments, but please keep the flame wars to another website. This blog post wasn't meant to say one product is better than the other. Both products are great open source CMS
products that fill different (and similar) needs. I'll apologize ahead of time and say that if I said anything that sounded offensive to the Drupal CMS
product it was unintentional and I still believe it is a good product worth looking into.