Seven Standout Features in Drupal 7 Development

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Drupal is an open source content management system written in PHP / MySQL and renamed for its modularity, simplicity, and granular control have helped make it a immensely popular open-source solution. Drupal CMS boasts of over 5800 contributed modules and variety of themes. Drupal CMS has been widely adopted by over 7.2 million sites including social networking sites, news, blogs, forums, media, entertainment, charities, politicians, corporate and many more. Drupal won the hall of fame award in 2009, several packt open source CMS Awards and won the Webware 100 awards thrice. Drupal has a large community following with over 830,000 users and 2000 developers.

Drupal has done everything right but lagged behind in a few key areas. The upcoming release of version 7 promises to correct these shortcomings and add even more power to this amazing system. The final release of Drupal 7 is expected in the early 2011.

Usability

The usability features enhanced with more menus and panels. Previously obscure settings are now easier to find and interfaces are better organized. These UX improvements will certainly helps more users to conveniently use the CMS.

User Interface: Drupal 7 is inducted with a new user-friendly interface that makes it easier for users to navigate and work on their Drupal site.
Shortcut Bar: Shortcut Bar allows the user to add their own shortcut to handle and manage their site. It also allows saving variations of the shortcut bar, so as to utilize different shortcuts bars based on user activity.

Editing Page: Drupal 7 is now equipped with administrative links to edit existing page elements on each web page, without visiting an administration page first to edit. This feature provides a nice simple interface and seamless capability with editing the content on pages.

WYSIWYG editors: Drupal 7 provide improved support for integration of WYSIWYG editors.

Meta data: Drupal 7 agreements permissions with more meta data capabilities.

Themes

Drupal 7 has included three new themes, Bartik, Seven and Stark. Users can now install contributed themes directly from the Appearance admin screen.

Database layer

The new release also features a new database layer providing wider support for other DB platforms and it improves scalability and integrity. For developers, they have added a query builders for INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, MERGE, and SELECT queries. Advanced queries are automatically compiled to work with the appropriate database server, which also increases the portability of Drupal.

SQLite database support

SQLite allows hosting of smaller drupal installations without providing them database access.

jQuery UI

jQuery UI 1.8 added as it allows improvements to drupal's UI.

Node access control system

Node access control system has been improved and is now much better than that of Drupal 5 and Drupal 6

Popular Modules Integrated now with the Core

There are plenty of useful modules which almost every site has to download, install, enable and configure. Drupal 7 will now include some of those popular modules directly in to its core framework as they are widely used. Drupal 7 will integrate them into its core framework.

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