February 9, 2007

Drupal + Oracle: Inside the OraDrup Project

SoftSea.com writes "The OraDrup project was set up in April 2006 to bring the Drupal 4.7.x content management system into the world of the ORACLE DBMS. This was chosen because "it was there" and to date, this lofty aim appears to have stifled those brave enough to attempt it, which seems a bit of a shame.

To date, Drupal has principally been a MySQL-oriented system. A very popular deployment choice for Drupal installations is the LAMP stack (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP). Of course, Drupal is equally at home running under any platform capable of hosting MySQL and PHP.

This is all well and good for the average implementation but sometimes the "M" in LAMP is not an option. Some organizations may not have the luxury of being able to incorporate another database server into their operations. In other cases, MySQL simply might not be the right solution for the task. In such circumstances, the adoption of Drupal is unlikely.

Furthermore, with Drupal having such an active developer community, it is difficult to see why it should not expand its horizons to include Oracle technology. In doing so, Drupal will become a viable option for Oracle-based developers and vice-versa. Were that to happen, it would be very exciting to see it taking advantage of or benefitting from such Oracle features as:

  • Data partitioning and parallelism
  • Replication and queuing technology
  • Real Application Clusters
  • Transparent Application Failover and other high availability features
  • Fine Grained Access Control at the database level
  • Automatic segment space management

Furthermore, with Oracle Database having such a huge presence, it would offer the opportunity for Drupal to gain greater exposure where, previously, it would have been overlooked.

Much has been said about Drupal's potential to support an arbitrary number of database platforms. Indeed, support for PostgreSQL is packaged alongside that for MySQL. Why, then, has there been no reported sighting of Drupal running under Oracle? Despite their good intentions, projects embarking on the path of building Oracle compatibility seem to end up in a "Bermuda Triangle." For that reason, an Oracle-based Drupal implementation has attained almost mythical status—nobody has ever seen one."

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