Five Drupal Distributions. Overview
Drupal distibutions are gaining popularity. But you can ask me "Tim, what a distribution is?" Well, Drupal distribution is a custom edition of Drupal (preferably, built on latest stable version) tuned and extended with custom developed and contributed modules to enable desired features. Feel yourself confused? No problem at all, read on and you will understand what I'm talking about.
1) Acquia Drupal
One of the most famous Drupal distributions is Acquia. It was created and is maintained by Acquia Inc. Acquia Drupal includes most popular and necessary Drupal modules such as CCK, Views, FeedAPI, Image and so on. All modules are gathered, packed and ready to play, so you don't need to surf through drupal.org looking for modules to install. Acquia Drupal is very convenient base to start from and guys from Acquia Inc trying to keep it as fresh as possible, updating core and modules to latest stable versions available. Acquia Drupal is fully compatible with Drupal, actually it is a Drupal, but with a set of additional contributed modules added to the archive...so don't be confused, if you installed Acquia Drupal, you can live with this one as with usual Drupal. Project page: http://acquia.com/products-services/acquia-drupal
2) Open Atrium
I already posted about this one month or so ago. Open Atrium developed in Development Seed laboratories and provides a wide set of features to build corporate intranet resource in just a few clicks. It provides you with groups functionality, tasks, calendar, wiki, files list etc. The solution is very powerful and reminds me a lot of BaseCamp by 37Signals. We all know, that some companies, due their own security policy can't use public services like BaseCamp, so they can install Open Atrium in their secure network. More over, people who always wanted to extend Basecamp's features will love Open Atrium, you can extend it anyway you like (custom modules, Drupal modules), just like a standard Drupal installation. Project page: http://openatrium.com/
Drupal is a very popular solution for building news sites (for example, theonion.com was built on Drupal). Guys from australian development shop ThinkLeft decided to create a distribution for newspaper sites. ProsePoint is a software package that lets you quickly and easily publish your own newspaper or magazine online. You can upload stories, edit stories online, and organise stories into editions, all through the user-friendly and convenient web interface. The solution is pretty cool and you can find more info on the official page of ProsePoint: http://www.prosepoint.org
Drupal community is big and famous for their cool DrupalCons and DrupalCamps organized in many corners of the world. LA company ThisByThem decided to make available their own distribution DrupalCampLA which, as you already guessed, helps to build a cool conference/camp website.
DrupalCampLA.com was built on Drupal 6 using core & contributed modules to handle event registration, sponsorship management, featured speakers, user bio's, and session proposals. The website features an attendee driven event schedule where members propose sessions and only registered members pick which sessions they'd like to see (in the BarCamp style).
Everyone heard about Undercart for Drupal, but very often there are too many questions about how to configure it properly, what modules to enable and so on. UberDrupal is an installation profile designed to help you get a Drupal site running an Ubercart store up as quickly as possible. This installation profile will install the core Ubercart modules automatically, allow you to pre-configure some basic store information, and supports the automatic support and configuration of module packages for features like out of the box product image and shipping support. This profile is in constant develpoment process, so make sure you grabbed latest version from here: http://drupal.org/project/uberdrupal Be sure to install Drupal 6 before downloading this package.
The future of Drupal distributions is really bright and we can expect more cool Drupal distributions which will be able to solve common tasks in a few clicks. Horay Drupal!
Thanks for reading this, I appreciate any comments on this articles. Also I'm ready to provide consultations/programming help with any of these distributions, just contact me http://timonweb.com/about">here.