California's #1 RV Dealership is now running Drupal 7. ActiveLAMP completely redesigned and re-implemented mikethompson.com from Drupal 5. Several months ago we made the decision to leap head first into Drupal 7 development, rather than use Drupal 6 for this rebuild, and we're glad we did.
MikeThompson.com provides an easy way for users to find and inquire on RV's, schedule service appointments, apply for job openings, etc..., however, the real benefit of using Drupal 7 is two fold, it is a great CMS and it is a great framework.
Drupal 7 CMS Benefits
The content on mikethompson.com is real easy to manage. Inventory Managers at the dealership can login, and easily manage new and used inventory; Content Managers can manage miscellaneous content pages, announcements, and promotions; and sales staff can manage inquires on the site (using webform), the list goes on of what we were able to accomplish using the Drupal 7 CMS.
Drupal 7 Framework Benefits
Drupal is engineered with the developer in mind. We wrote quite a bit of custom code to make it very easy for users using the CMS to manage the site. For example, with the Field API we were able to add extra fields to taxonomy terms and file upload fields, the drupal hook system allowed us to easily tap into webform module to implement access control from our own modules, the Drupal 7 contextual links allowed us to make it real easy for content managers to manage various regions of the site. On top of being able to hook into the existing functionality already in Drupal, we built a handful of custom modules to bring everything together. We were able to extend Drupal 7 to do exactly what we needed it to do.
Modules we used
Some of the contrib modules we used in building the site include Views, Webform, WYSIWYG, Administer Users by Role (we ported), Google Analytics, Secure Pages, Pathauto, Context, and of course Features. We also used very heavily a few core modules such as Taxonomy -- to categorize RV Inventory several different ways, Field -- to add custom fields to Taxonomy and Nodes, and Image -- the imagecache replacement that is now in Drupal 7 core.
Modules we are releasing to the community.
We also built a few new modules that we will be contributing back to the community for Drupal 7, Themepacket and Spritesheets.
Themepacket provides a new views display that makes it easier for themers and developers to theme views output using custom theme templates, without manually registering theme hooks in your modules and themes, it also discovers any assets found within your themepacket implementation, without the need to call drupal_add_css() or drupal_add_js(). The module will also preprocess your fields for you so you can use nice looking variables in your templates.
Spritesheets is a module we developed to optimize css background images in themes and modules on to one image asset. You have the ability to configure which directories Spritesheets module will search, and it will parse your CSS to find images that can be included on a spritesheet. You can then configure which images should be optimized to a spritesheet. Spritesheets can greatly reduce page load time, bandwidth, and the tax on your server by combining.
Drupal 7 has launched, and it is ready for prime time! The #D7CX initiative seems to have really paid off. All the heavy hitting contrib modules we needed to build this site has a D7 version. That's a big win for the community! We were able to build a site that is easy to manage and maintain for the site managers using Drupal 7 core, contrib modules, and by extending the Drupal 7 platform to our specific needs with custom modules. Great CMS! Great Framework! Drupal 7 is phenomenal!!!