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On July 17 Open Atrium (news, site) was introduced to the world. The software is a distribution of the popular open source Drupal CMS framework (news, site) packaged up in the form of an intranet and knowledge management tool.

A mere 75,000 downloads later, Open Atrium now support 31 languages at varying levels of translation. The team behind this social business software used by small groups working together as well as large, geographically distributed organizations, has some firm ideas about the future.

What they Won't Do

Development Seed Lead Developer Jeff Miccolis is pretty firm on what they won't be putting into Open Atrium's core:

  • A WYSIWYG editor
  • Version control integration
  • Alfresco integration
  • A full clone of BaseCamp
  • SharePoint integration

That said, he also points out each time that there are modules that allow you to add such features, or there are videos available that show you how to do so.

Open Atrium's Roadmap

The features Miccolis does say they're targeting are:

  • Clearer branding, such as removing both Drupal and Atrium jargon
  • Drag and drop dashboards
  • A better admin experience, using a lot of the D7UX work
  • Pluggable search, "everyone wants to use Apache Solr ... they hate Drupal core search"
  • Improved internationalization support, Open Atrium can only support one language at a time
  • Upgrade to use the Context and Spaces modules
  • A calendar with use case-appropriate features rather than one just generically dropped in
  • A rewritten case tracker so people can customize the kinds and states for cases
  • Move to Drush Make drupal.org/project/drush_make to use Drupal.org's new packaging system

A look at drag and drop dashboards.

While Miccolis promises that there will be upgrade paths, he points out that some of these big changes might make upgrading a bit painful (Drupal upgrades are generally not simple). He also reminds people that the project is marked as in beta and that they really mean it.

Ultimately, he hopes that Open Atrium attracts more people to Drupal. It's certainly possible that some might find the need to extend Open Atrium to the point that they have to choose to do a lot of custom programming, or just go with its more feature-rich parent.