I chose to set up Group within two recent Drupal installations. The two sandbox installations are currently being tested for proposed new sites.
One involves Groups being used for oversees Programme Management and the other test site has Groups set up for organising the administrative needs of a complex NGO.
The setting up of Groups in effect enables multiple websites within a website. The creation of a web portal where various groups or communities can function and interact to achieve their goals.
The possibilities are endless and then there is all the great functionality that can be set up within each particular group, each can have its own specifically designed landing page and many different content types for articles, spreadsheets, data collection forms and so on and so on. The scope for development is limitless.
The setting up of Groups within a Drupal installation can have tremendous site structure/building potential but also has to to be thoroughly thought through. My work with setting up Groups as been to this point mostly in Drupal 7 but I am currently road testing Groups in Drupal 8.
Groups can be used for so many different purposes.
- Classes on a school website. With a teacher as the administrator, students as the members and the content as the learning material. Articles in the Group are created by the teacher and only visible to the students in the Group. Forums created in the Group are safe places to discuss the class as they are only accessible to the teacher and the students.
- Multiple tier subscription content access. If you have several different collections of paid for content then you can charge for access to each Group you create. Buying access would grant you membership to one Group and be able to access its content.
- Sub-editors on a magazine site. Collecting content together in a Group allows you to manage that content as a sub site and assign its own administrator. This is useful where you might need someone to produce lots of different types of content but only want them to be able to add it to a specific area of the website.
- Sub-communities within a membership organisation. The topics a membership organisation may cover can be very broad and individual members may only be interested in seeing content from a sub-selection of the areas it covers. The sub-community may have their own executive members who can add blog posts or approve new members to their sub-community.
- Conference management. An organisation which manages conferences might have a Group for each conference. Members of a conference Group might be able to submit talk suggestions. Paying to attend the conference might grant them a higher level of access to the Group allowing them to see more content. Members of a group can also be given the ability to have their own profile within the Group which might collect details about them for the conference such as their meal preference.