Building social websites with Group and Open Social


A lot of Drupal sites are run by only a handful of people. A few power users receive the rights to administer other user accounts, some others can post and publish content and everyone else can just view content and “use” the site. It’s when this scenario doesn’t suit your needs that you might want to have a look at the Group module.

Group allows you to give people similar permissions like those above but only for smaller subsections of a website. Say you run a school website and you want students to be able to only see the courses that are available for them to enroll in, but nothing else. Or you want to run a social network where users can post content, but only within their sandboxed area on the website. Group’s got you covered.

This session will be a brief description of the Group module by its author Kristiaan Van den Eynde (Deeson) and explain its key concepts. We will demo how to configure it and then show you how Group is used in the wonderful Open Social distribution.

Joining us for the second part of the presentation, Jochem van Nieuwenhuijsen (GoalGorilla / Open Social) will explain how Group enabled a team of talented developers to build a social network using Drupal 8. He will list some of the challenges and show you some of the cool stuff they built on top of the Group module.

Open Social is a distribution for building social communities and intranets. The distribution is positioned as the successor of Drupal Commons, taking full advantage of the new possibilities of Drupal 8. The Open Social distribution comes with some extra group configuration. There are two predefined group types in place:

First there’s the Open Group type: This group type is configured so it covers the most common use case for your community. Users of your platform may join without any approval, and all content placed within this group is visible for members as well as non-members.

Second we added configuration for a Closed Group type. Closed groups is configured so that its content is hidden to users who are not a member of this group. In this instance users can only join by invitation of a Group Manager.

We will demo our default configuration of the entire group ecosystem in Open Social, how we’ve set up both group types, the group roles we’ve pre-configured and some of the lessons we learned from this.

This sessions is suitable for developers with some experience with Drupal 8 site building, but most of the presentation should be easy to digest for even the most junior site builders.

Session Track

Site Building

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 - 10:45 to 11:45
Lehar 1