Drupal for EDU: Why universities use Drupal, but not Commerce | Acro Media
Crystal Lee

Author

Crystal Lee

, Drupal Wordsmith

Posted in Digital Commerce, Drupal

May 1, 2018

Drupal for education: Why universities use Drupal, but not Commerce

A lot of universities use Drupal in some capacity. Universities don't typically have just one site; they're made up of a ton of different pieces put together for course registrations and calendars and events and alumni and so on. So a couple of those pieces might use Drupal. Or one or two departments might use Drupal even if others do not.

Many educational institutions like Drupal because it's open source. Universities are often publicly funded and favour open stuff more than proprietary products. Plus, they need to manage a ton of content by a ton of different people, so they need a really big robust CMS.

Introducing OpenEDU 3.0

The new OpenEDU 3.0 is a Drupal distribution setup for educational institutions. The older version was mostly a set of custom configurations, whereas 3.0 actually has unique functionality. It has analytics and monitoring built right into it, for instance. A new analytics dashboard allows a central admin to see what's going on in all the different sections without having to check a whole bunch of different accounts, which is pretty cool. There's also new functionality related to content management, workflows and editing flow that universities need to handle.

The Commerce disconnect

Strangely, a ton of universities are using Drupal, but they are not using Commerce. Even those who use Drupal and perform ecommerce are typically using pretty terrible antiquated systems if they have a system at all.

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Lack of awareness is a big factor in this. A lot of universities are so focused on the publishing end that they don't even think about commerce. Another stumbling block is security—they don't want to deal with the compliance issues around online payments, so they just keep doing what they're doing (i.e. accepting cash or taking credit card details over the phone, which is even less secure).

The reality is that businesses or organizations within a university could really benefit from using Commerce, particularly if they already use Drupal. They could just tack on a bit of Commerce and easily sell club memberships and accept donations (remember: Commerce has a built-in point of sale). There could be one central system that IT could maintain and keep secure, and everyone could still spin up their own customized version of it.

TL;DR:- Educational institutions already use Drupal and so should really adopt Drupal Commerce to replace their old, antiquated payment systems.

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