CMS recommendation
February 22, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Best CMS for a feature-heavy website on a budget? My go-to content management systems are Wordpress and Drupal, but here's the clincher: this website must integrate with Microsoft Access.

My NPO is doing a long-overdue site overhaul. Most of the feature requests can be handled by any decent CMS, but there's a private members-only section for viewing/updating personal information that requires two-way integration with Microsoft Access (where the profile info is stored).

My research indicates that most open source platforms don't play well with Microsoft, for rather obvious reasons. I'm not a developer, and am trying to figure out how complicated this integration really is. Should we stick with a robust option like Drupal, and just develop a custom plugin? What do I even need to look for in a developer? Are we limited to content management systems designed for Micro$oft (DotNetDuke)? I'm at a loss for what to google.

If helpful, our other feature requirements are listed below.

• Ability to accommodate rich media (video embedding, podcasts, photo gallery)
• Content pages and blog posts
• Social integration (e.g., display of social feeds)
• Responsive design for smart phone and tablet
• Search friendly, with metadata fields and sitemap
• User-friendly editing system (WYSIWYG, inline editing) for both text and media
• Google Analytics enabled
• Online form submissions for prayer requests, emails, event registration and requests
for information
• Online shopping cart with PayPal or integration with similar service
• Onsite translation to Spanish (excluding PDFs)
• Private members-only section with message board, online forum, password retrieval
assistance, two-way integration with Microsoft Access for displaying/maintaining member profiles
• Strongly prefer green hosting (not just carbon offsets, but wind/solar powered).
posted by meghosaurus to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't wish DotNetNuke on my worst enemy. I had to manage a DNN website for a year. It was hell.

Does the connection with Access have to be real time? Access does have ODBC drivers, but it might be easier to dump the dB to an excel file and batch update via export / import if doesn't have to be real time.
posted by COD at 8:53 AM on February 22, 2013

When we were looking for a cost-effective .Net CMS solution, we looked hard at Umbraco. It wasn't for us, but it was pretty impressive for an open source Microsoft-friendly CMS (we went with Kentico).
posted by General Malaise at 8:56 AM on February 22, 2013

Response by poster: The Access integration does not have to be real-time, although automation is strongly preferred.
posted by meghosaurus at 9:13 AM on February 22, 2013

Best answer: If the Access requirement is essentially because content admins use Access to update data, then I might have a tenable solution.

The names of the commands have changed in recent versions of Access, but you can use (I think) the "Move Data" feature (in Database Tools) to store the data in a proper SQL Server database while Access is still used as a front-end to update the data. After this process, the data no longer lives in the Access database, but rather in a SQL Server database which is much easier for integration purposes. Content admins continue to use the Access part in the same way as before, but the data is stored in a place that's easier to access from a CMS.
posted by blue t-shirt at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can also use Access as a front end for a MySQL database via ODBC. Which would mean that once you've migrated your data to MySQL, it makes it easy to use Drupal and have that data accessible in Drupal (or PyroCMS or ExpressionEngine etc, all of which could do what you want, but if you're familiar with Drupal, stick with that).

Alternatively, if you do just want Access as an admin front end, you could just use Drupal as a web frontend for that data once migrated.
posted by Hartster at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can execute the above SQL suggestions with Wordpress as well. We integrate WP and client databases all the time.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:15 AM on February 22, 2013

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