Altabel Group's Blog

SharePoint or Drupal: What is a wiser choice?

Posted on: July 22, 2013

Today I would like to draw your attention towards Business viewpoint in comparison of SharePoint and Drupal.

So let the story begin.

 Initially SharePoint was created as a document management system and has over time, through continuous expansion and new features, taken on some similarity to a content management system. So for today SharePoint is being positioned as not only an intranet platform, but also a web framework that can power big sites and be on the same playing field as other larger CMS platforms. Drupal in its turn has been developed to provide the foundation to build something, whether it’s a corporate website, web-shop, customer portal, CRM, intranet or extranet, or all at once. So theoretically, we can admit that since then, Drupal and SharePoint has seen the light, both platforms have been more in each other’s way and the debate of Drupal vs. SharePoint  has been part of their history. Still what is a wiser choice?

Time for setup

In this point Drupal knock SharePoint out. Firstly Drupal is based on PHP that makes it very easy to run on any environment. With SharePoint, it needs to run Windows locally to be able to set up even the development environment. If you do not have Windows, you will need run it on VMware or other virtualization software. In this case you will have to beef up your local machine to manage the memory requirements.

Today SharePoint Online definitely obviates the set up hassle for companies not looking for self-hosted solutions. Even so, the configuration steps are not as easy and shiny as they might look on the surface.

Drupal allows to quickly set up an intranet site or something on a public domain in a few hours. From a business point of view, you can get rolling within a few hours!

Integration with other services

In this case SharePoint definitely has serious advantage of how well it integrates with the other Microsoft services. So, if as a company you are invested in Microsoft and its other services, SharePoint is a natural choice. Firstly, you would already have Windows developers and system administrators and secondly, the tight coupling SharePoint offers with other MS services is golden.

Though Drupal can be configured to interact with other MS services, it is much easier in a non-Windows scenario.


While SharePoint solution need to have not only developers but an in-house SharePoint system administrator to be able to carry out deployments, Drupal does not required any extra developer or CPU resources.

Activities beyond intranet

One of the claims of SharePoint is how it helps companies launch multiple websites apart from just setting up an intranet platform. Still to pull this off it requires a humongous number of human resource and the technical ability . The same can be achieved with Drupal but easier.

Maintenance against paid upgrades

SharePoint today is in a much better shape than what it was a few years ago. But  the progres has been very slow and every upgrade means digging deeper into your pockets.

With the community based model, Drupal has seen a far better progress in a much shorter time. The progress has not just been in the core platform but also the kind of plugins and extensions for rapid site assembly available to make Drupal a fuller platform.


In the market Drupal being an open source option has a lot of low cost and free available themes, that can be integrated without much effort. SharePoint  in its turn charges for the themes and plus designers have to know XSL to be able to tweak the themes.


What do you think who will have more advantages if we compare an open source option with a Microsoft product? JStill it’s important to note that, SharePoint as an online hosted solution is much more affordable than its predecessor downloadable versions. The licensing fee and the developer licenses were prohibitively high which now can be circumvented by going for the online versions.

From business point of view open sourсe solution seems more profitably than corporate one and Drupal wins. Still if we compare them from technical point of view…who knows, may be the Microsoft’s family product will gain revenge. It would be interesting to know your thoughts about it.

Elvira Golyak

Elvira Golyak
Skype ID: elviragolyak
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

6 Responses to "SharePoint or Drupal: What is a wiser choice?"

The key issue is that SP integrates well with Microsoft services, not so well with others. Drupal integrates (fairly) easily with everything, and through OSS has a large user and developer base, making updates to Drupal swift. I can see no reason to use SP, unless you are very keen on Microsoft technology and locking yourself in.

I would tend to agree with you Robert and Elvira. We are a Drupal shop and with good reason. If you are are, purely, an MS shop, then the introduction of anything non-MS is perceived as a risk. Drupal can integrate and play well with others as it has a large cache of modules and a large community base. If a module doesn’t exist, write one of your own and share.

Throw in the fact that Drupal is the #3 CMS tool in the world (Behind WordPress and Joomla) in terms of popularity but still considered the #1 platform for capability and performance. Now quite sure where Sharepoint fits on that scale. When push comes to shove, my bets will be with Drupal.

Thanks for the great article. I’m a huge fan. I also wrote a comparison on how I think they compare. Let me know what you think.

Really nice! By the method where did you get that picture?

I think choosing the right intranet solution is not per se a choice between Sharepoint and Drupal. Especially for small businesses with no dedicated IT department, a provided intranet template would suit their needs even better.

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