Drupal Distributions, an Open Source Product Model

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in B301


Drupal has the ability to bundle contributed modules, configurations and settings, and custom code into a single package that can be easily installed and further configured by end users. The end result is an application-in-a-box focused on a specific set of requirements. Now that you or your business has invested hundreds or even thousands of hours creating your masterpiece, what do you do with it?


There are already some very established Drupal distributions such as OpenAtrium (project management), Managing News (aggregation), Drupal Commons (social network) and many more. The dominent business model evolving around these products is providing commercial support, much like RedHat does for Linux.

But there are other avenues as well, including getting a set fee each time a distribution is used on a managed infrastructure stack such as Acquia’s and even through acquisition.

ThinkShout has a distribution for conservation groups called WaterShed Now that is already in use by over a dozen organizations and we’re working on another one with Shomeya called RedHen, an open source CRM built natively with Drupal 7.

This talk will cover some light technical details about Drupal distributions and how they work, how some of the more prominent distros are fairing in the wild, and how ThinkShout hopes to capitalize on the one’s we’re working on.

Speaking experience