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Building Ambitious Projects With Drupal

At Palantir, we know firsthand that Drupal connects ambition with possibility. Our Director of Professional Services Ken Rickard goes over a few projects in particular that demonstrate how.

Photo of post-it notes under the words "I like..."

Recently, Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert published that Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences. In the post, Dries calls for open discussion of what this term might mean, noting that “Stating that Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences however is only a start. It only gives a taste of Drupal's objectives, scope, target audience and advantages.”

At Palantir, we’ve been working with Drupal for over ten years now. From our perspective as a Drupal-focused team, the term resonates. A quick review of some of our Drupal projects shows what we mean when we talk about ambition.

  • Model Diplomacy
    Building an interactive classroom application with AngularJS, powered by Drupal on the backend.
  • Foreign Affairs
    Innovative interactions with decades of foreign policy expertise, with deep, contextual links to related content.
  • University of Minnesota
    A scalable, replicable site building tool that powers thousands of websites on a common platform.
  • Streaming Video API
    An editorial platform and API service for building on-demand streaming video services.
  • Long Term Ecological Research Network
    A Drupal distribution that allows environmental scientists around the world to publish, share, and discover terabytes of historical climate data.
  • The King Center
    An interactive archive of the complete letters and papers of one of the 20th century’s most important figures, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On a personal note, I developed the first version of Domain Access back in 2005-2006 as part of an ambitious project. The magazine company I was working with asked “would it be possible to spin up new sites, complete with content and custom design, within minutes instead of weeks?” That spirit of exploration and discovery fires the work we do with Drupal.

It’s that ability to do rapid iteration on new ideas -- an idea that is central to the open source movement that Drupal is part of -- that powers innovation and keeps us motivated. It’s why we’re working now on the Drupal 8 port of that module.

But that innovation isn’t just technical. The idea of ambition maps very closely to one of the activities we do during client kickoff meetings. We like to ask our clients what they Like, Wish, and Wonder about their digital marketing. It’s that final question about wonder that uncovers project ambitions and opens up new possibilities. As an open platform, Drupal excels in making those ambitions possible.

And it’s the wonder of possibility that I think is captured in Dries’ use of the term ambitious.

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