Sharepoint vs. Drupal comparison for library intranets

Here is a quick, brief comparison of Drupal and Sharepoint as options for a library intranet.

Allow me to preface this comparison by admitting I'm a bit partisan towards drupal and open source solutions, in general, because of their flexibility and long-term affordability.

The biggest challenge I found in creating our intranet was allowing for changes in the organizational chart by having "groups" be created at the very lowest level possible, as teams were less likely to change than hierarchies.

Big Picture

Good at managing documents & integrating with other Microsoft products; hard to customize.

Good at managing communities & integrating with other open source software; easier to customize.

Upgrade Path

I've heard it's not pretty in Sharepoint, but it's not stellar in Drupal, either.

Authentication & Permissions

Supports less methods of authentication, often harder to delegate permissions with a lot of granularity.

Supports more methods of authentication, easier to delegate granular permissions.

Resource Needs

Free, as in free kittens. You have to invest significant FTE time in learning the system up front - as well as a bit on continual learning, but it promises no licensing fees down the road and a flexible framework for building your users' needs into the system. There are many great videos now on how to get started with drupal.

Money up front per CPU and likely future licensing fees for upgrades and significant investment in learning and supporting system. However, Sharepoint provides easy integration with other Microsoft products and a certain amount of out-of-the-box functionality.


If you want reasonably-priced outside support for drupal, there are two companies I'd recommend looking into: Cherry Hill, Co. (specializing in libraries and drupal) and (the people who created drupal). Finally, there are great online groups for libraries interested in drupal ( or

I'm not sure, but I'd imagine Microsoft charges a pretty penny for support contracts.

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