Drupal

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Overview

Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual, a community of users, or an enterprise to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. It is a Content Management System (CMS). CMSs are platforms for storing, managing, disseminating data of any type. Often they have been used to drive websites, particularly the now popular 'blogs'. Of interest to informaticians is that some CMSs support a number of useful concepts such as the RDF, XML and similar protocols, ontologies, controlled vocabularies and the other concepts relating to the Semantic Web. Further, CMSs often are a complete software package with tools for managing community-based data, such as users, roles and fine-grained permissions. Some are modular, allowing for users to code their our plugins and extend functionalities. Drupal is such as CMS. It is written in PHP, a language straightforward for nascent bioinformaticians to learn. It supports a number of database engines, including MySQL, Oracle and the GMOD supported PostgreSQL. Further, it is built with security in mind, has powerful user management tools, is highly modular allowing for plugins to be developed and deployed in a very standardized and streamlined fashion. Importantly, it is popular, and therefore well documented, and has a very large active community of users and developers as it is used by both grassroot communities, scientific establishments and even the United Nations, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the White House (see http://egressive.com/article/who-uses-drupal).

Drupal for biosciences

The following software currently exist for biosciences.