The open source Drupal content management system is going commercial thanks to a new company, called Acquia, that's led by Dries Buytaert, the founder of the Drupal project. The new effort is aiming to bring a commercially supported version of Drupal to business users and could well end up shaking up the entire content management marketplace.
Jay Batson, who was the founding CEO of open source VOIP software company Pingtel, is also part of Acquia's executive team. Acquia is getting $7 million in funding to start from a number of backers including: North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.
"Drupal has grown organically and I think that the software has matured enough at this point that we can take it to he next level and reach out to a different class of users," Buytaert told InternetNews.com . "In order to get there we need to do distributions and support and make it easier for people to deploy Drupal. I think the timing is right. We have a large installed base, so I think all of the stars are aligned for us to jump on this opportunity and advance Drupal to the next level."
Acquia's Drupal distribution will take the core Drupal content management system and add in up to 30 additional modules from the community to expand functionality. The entire package will undergo additional testing to ensure enterprise grade stability. Acquia will also offer full technical support for their Drupal distribution. Currently open source Drupal users rely on community resources such as mailing lists and discussion forums for support.
Buytaert noted that Acquia will also offer Network Services, as hosted offerings on Acquia's infrastructure, to will provide deployment and monitoring capabilities for Drupal sites.
Commercial but open
Drupal is currently available under a GPL version 2 open source license. Under Acquia, Buytaert said that licensing will not change and that the commercially supported version of Drupal will also be GPLv2 licensed. He also noted that from a development point of view as much as possible would be done in the open.