My UK based organisation the Association for Learning Technology launched a brand new web site on 20 April based on Drupal 6 and CiviCRM. We are very pleased indeed with the overall result and having all our membership process now running within a unified web-based environment we've been able to reduce transaction costs and give our individual and organisational members a much better service all round.
For a small charity like us, the development of the new site and transitioning across to it from our previous systsm was a major but very productive challenge; and we are now "set up" for the future.
Yesterday we held a review meeting with our hosting company Positive Internet and our developers Futurate. We considered a timetable for eventually migrating to Drupal 7 and concluded that we should plan this in late 2012 and probably do it in late 2013.
We are alarmed at the prospect that CiviCRM will cease to be maintained for use with Drupal 6 much sooner than this, and we think that other organisations that are reliant an Drupal 6/CiviCRM should be alarmed too. We know that Open Source software does not grow on trees, and we believe that users of it should be prepared to contribute to the maintenance and development of OSS, particularly if, like us, they do not do employ staff who can be part of the development process.
There is a "Make it Happen" to extend Drupal 6 and Joomla 1.5 support. We think this support will be needed, in practical terms, untill well into 2013. Though we will be contributing to the Make it Happen, and though we would urge organisations that have Drupal 6 and CiviCRM at the heart of their operations to do likewise, we think that a further 18 months of extension, to, say Septebmer 2013 will fit much better into the practicalities of the Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 migration. What do other users think?
Alongside this we are interested in liaising with other organisations using Drupal 6 / CiviCRM with a view, potentially, to some "lightweight" coordination and pooling of efforts on the migration to Drupal 7 / CiviCRM.
Seb Schmoller, Chief Executive, Association for Learning Technology firstname.lastname@example.org