Drupal, the free and open-source content management system (CMS), is 17 years old. Created in 2001 by Dries Buytaert when he was only a 23-year-old student, Drupal quickly became an open-source CMS standard …

The origins of Drupal

From Drop to Drupal

Dries Buytaert and his comrade Hans Snijder created DROP while studying at the University of Antwerp. The concept of Drop started from the need to communicate between two dormitories of the university when there was no permanent Internet connection. They therefore set up a connection and then created an internal web interface to communicate.

It was when Dries graduated that he made his site available on the Internet. He wanted to name it Dorp (Village in Dutch) but a typo when registering the accommodation turned it into Drop, which Dries chooses to keep. In 2001, Drop grew and turned into Drupal.

The birth of Drupal

Drupal appeared in January 2001, precisely on the 15th, the date on which the first version of the solution was published. Its functionalities:

  • Account management and comments;
  • Basic search engine;
  • Calendar ;
  • Support for exports (RDF / RSS).

At the beginning the versions are linked, Drupal 2.0 comes out in March, Drupal 3.0 in September, with additions of modules and functionalities. So when Drupal 3.0 comes out, it is equipped with 4 more modules than the first version, takes into account multilingualism which allows internationalization, and initiates the concept of node.

In 2002 was born Drupal 4.0 which includes a “Taxonomy” module which allows to prioritize and organize content.

Drupal, a rapidly democratizing tool

Drupal is organizing its first conference around its solution, then Drupal 4.0. Conference which met a great success.

6 years after the release of the first version of Drupal, Drupal 5.0 is released. This version will mark a turning point since it will make installation possible via web interface, which will contribute to its democratization.

Drupal 5.0 is notably equipped with cache management modules, which allows the creation of customized content.

But the democratization of the solution will really be done from 2008 when Drupal bets on its accessibility with Drupal 6.0 which will simplify the installation and actions in the back office (Drag & Drop), and which will reinforce security and add 2000 modules to his solution!

Drupal has nearly 200,000 uses worldwide at that time and is becoming an open-source CMS standard.

Drupal organized the Drupalcon – Paris, in 2008, which made it known even more. This is a major event bringing together 850 professionals in 5 days.

Drupal, a world standard marked by the birth of Acquia

It was really when Dries Buytaert co-founded Acquia with Jay Batson in 2008 that the solution became a standard.

Acquia is a commercial company which offers technical support from Drupal, and the promotion and development of the platform. It operates as a service company (PaaS Provider: Platform as a Service Provider) specializing in hosting Drupal, and then as a publisher of turnkey solutions developed under Drupal.

The solution won 1st prize in the competition organized by Packt, in the Best Open Source PHP CMS category.

In 2010 Drupal equips approximately 1% of the sites in the world (cf. Angela Byron).

Big investments for Drupal and Acquia

November 29, 2012 Acquia raises $ 30 million from Investor Growth Capital, Goldman Sachs and Accolade Partners. Total investment in the business is $ 68.5 million.

This investment will have 2 major effects:

In 2014, Acquia raised historic funds of $ 50 million from New Enterprise Associates and Split Rock Partners.

The following year, Acquia raised $ 55 million this time from Centerview Capital Technology, New Enterprise Association and Split Rock Partners.

Acquired today

Today, Acquia offers several services and products through its platform. Products that create, generate and activate large-scale digital experiences:

  • Cloud development platform;
  • Multi-site management;
  • Content and Commerce Integration;
  • Digital Asset Management;
  • Drupal 8 starter kit.

More concretely, Acquia provides you with a native cloud platform that allows you to create and provide the applications and content requested by your customers.

Now a standard in BtoB solutions, Acquia is used by thousands of organizations around the world, in IT, marketing and sales.

If you liked this article, I invite you to request a demo of our platform and to download our white paper “the ultimate guide to Drupal 8”.