Our plasma source project involves several teams across Europe. We wanted a centralized source of information remotely accessible. Our idea was to have an intranet where we could store the documentation, the to-do lists, a gallery of pictures and videos. And we needed a solution which fast and easy to deploy. After so quick trade-offs, we chose Drupal, which is based on a classical html/php/MySQL stack.
The big advantage is that, indeed, you get a polished solution very quickly, I mean in few weeks. Everything is controlled through the integrated administrator’s GUI and the online documentation is abundant. Its use is smooth and I had a very low down time.
So if you just want an intranet with standard features, Drupal is really the right solution. Yet, in parallel, we have developed our data processing system Gilgamesh which is based on Jupyter and thus on Tornado in Python. As a result we found ourselves with two systems with different architectures. Of course, they have different purposes but for some applications, it would be interesting that we have bridges between the two systems. For instance, in Gilgamesh, you can make references to papers in Latex style; it would be useful to reference documents which are in the Drupal system. In theory, it should be possible since the document reference is saved in a MySQL database and the document itself in the filesystem. But the architecture is so different that, practically, the interface is a nightmare to develop.
Therefore, in the future, and for the next project, I will avoid Drupal and start any Intranet on a Tornado solution. In this case it will be easier to integrate it in more complex systems like Jupyter.