Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Australian Drupal developers eye further opportunities in government

PreviousNext launches beta program for new government-focussed Drupal distribution aGov

Australian Drupal development shop PreviousNext has launched a beta program for a new open source offering intended to make adoption of the open source content management system (CMS) more appealing to government agencies.

PreviousNext's aGov is a free Drupal 7 distribution designed to speed Web development and make compliance with the Australian Government Information Management Office's mandatory Web requirements easy.

Dries' vision for Drupal 8
The road to a successful open source project: Learning lessons from Drupal

The Web Guide produced by AGIMO lays out a series of mandatory requirements websites of federal agencies, addressing issues such as accessibility.

We're now effectively seeing Drupal as being the de facto CMS of choice for Australian government organisations when they're building new websites
PreviousNext managing partner Owen Lansbury

"Our incentive to build aGov was driven by the need for all Australian Government sites to comply with AGIMO's mandatory web requirements, especially in relation to accessibility, responsive mobile display and enterprise-class content management features," said PreviousNext managing partner Owen Lansbury.

"aGov allows government organisations to have a fully functioning site live in under 10 minutes, saving enormous effort and budget, and allowing them to focus immediately on content, user engagement and custom functionality."

In late September PreviousNext completed alpha testing with a "few key federal departments" and the company launched the beta version at the Gov 2.0 conference in Canberra last week.

"We hope to finalise the beta testing group in the next week, and already have more than 25 signups from departments at a federal and state level, along with a few major government funded agencies and cultural institutions," Lansbury said.

Feedback has so far been "enormously positive," Lansbury said. "aGov appears to tick a lot of important boxes for government web teams."

On of Drupal's strongest markets in recent years has been among government organisations around the world.'s list of government agencies using the CMS includes more than 150 countries, and according to Lansbury a quarter of all .gov sites in the US use Drupal.

"The main appeal is the maturity of Drupal as a true enterprise-class content management system, coupled with the enormous flexibility to use more than 5000 modules for Drupal 7 or customise functionality, and the ability of government teams to quickly migrate their Web teams' skills to Drupal," Lansbury said.

In addition, because Drupal (and the aGov distribution) are open source, there are no licensing fees, and a robust community exists to help solve common problems for the CMS's user base.

In Australia, government use of Drupal has "grown tenfold" in the last two years, Lansbury said. lists more than 100 Australian federal, state and local government sites employing the CMS.

The trend PreviousNext is seeing is that large departments, such as the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, are replacing their SharePoint, Squiz Matrix and static HTML-based sites sites with Drupal, and bringing website development and management in-house, Lansbury said.

"We're now effectively seeing Drupal as being the de facto CMS of choice for Australian government organisations when they're building new websites, and aGov should make the decision to switch that much simpler and more compelling."

Rohan Pearce is the editor of Techworld Australia and Computerworld Australia. Contact him at rohan_pearce at

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: CMS, Squiz
References show all
Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: open source, drupal
Latest Blog Posts
  • IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence
    In the second half of 2013, the advancement of security breaches across all industries continued to rise. Within this report, we’ll explain how more than half a billion records of personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, emails, credit card numbers and passwords were leaked in 2013 - and how these security incidents show no signs of stopping.
    Learn more »
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
  • The F5 DDoS Protection Reference Architecture part 3 of 3
    This whitepaper is the third in a three-part series on distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) and multi-tier DDoS protection. This section refers to case studies of different approaches to deploying protection architecture, including an enterprise customer scenario, an FSI customer scenario and an SMB customer scenario. The paper explains how these options should provide the flexibility and needed to combat the modern DDoS threat.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments