Acquia Coverage

Drupal start-up Acquia competes on community [March 15, 2012]

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Thursday, March 15, 2012
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Information Age

Dries Buytaert, founder of open source web content management system Drupal, says his company helps enterprises tap innovation from the Drupal community
Dries Buytaert wrote the first version of Drupal, the open source, PHP-based web content management system, in his university dorm room back in 2001.

Originally a message board system, Buytaert and his fellow volunteer developers used the software itself as a platform to collaborate on the project.

“We built our community on top of our own software,” he says. “We had to be open and transparent in order to build the software together, which meant that we needed it to have features that allowed us to be open and transparent. Those features are now part of the reason that people use Drupal.”

And use it they do. According to Buytaert, 2% of the world’s websites are built on Drupal. These are not just hobbyist developers – Drupal users include US telco Verizon, whose 90,000-user intranet is built on the platform, and the White House.

Until 2007, when Drupal already had many thousands of users, Buytaert did not receive any money for his invention, instead working as an embedded software engineer and later on his computer science PhD. He would stay up all night on conference calls with US end-user organisations “because it was just so much fun”, he recalls.

That year, however, he decided that it was time for a commercial venture based on Drupal. “For Drupal to be successful as a project, I felt that it needed to be successful in the enterprise,” he explains. “And for Drupal to be successful in the enterprise, there needed to be a company that could offer service-level agreements and contractual guarantees.

“Plus, I wanted to have a job,” he adds.

Enterprise guide

The result is Acquia, a venture-backed start-up that describes itself as “your enterprise guide to Drupal". One of Acquia’s business lines is based on the support networks offered by commercial open source suppliers Red Hat and MySQL (now part of Oracle).

Subscribers to the Acquia Network receive technical support, provided by engineers that Acquia has hired from the Drupal community.

“The beauty of having the Drupal community is that I don’t have to interview these people: you can see the quality of their work, and how they work with others,” explains Buytaert, who is Acquia’s chief technology officer.

Where Acquia differs from Red Hat and MySQL is that it does not sell an ‘enterprise’ version of the software. “There is only one Drupal,” Buytaert asserts.

Another business line is Acquia Cloud, a hosting service based on Amazon Web Services that is optimised for Drupal websites. “Organisations building websites will usually have a workflow that includes a development environment, a staging environment and a production environment,” says Buytaert. “Acquia Cloud provides them additional development tools.”

The third is Drupal Gardens. This is a hosted service that allows organisations to design, stage and host Drupal websites using a browser-based graphical interface.

Buytaert describes Drupal Gardens as ‘open SaaS’ (software as a service).

“Most SaaS companies won’t let you export your data, but Drupal Gardens allows you to export a .zip file with the MySQL database dump plus all the source code,” he explains. “This allows you to switch hosting provider if you wish, so there’s no lock-in.”

One of Acquia’s core principles, says Buytaert, is to act in the interests of the Drupal community. “The central investment thesis behind Acquia is that we will not be successful unless Drupal is successful. We’re tied at the hip.

“That means that we always put the community first, because the community is what makes Drupal innovative,” he adds. “The community means that if a popular new social web service is launched tomorrow, some developer somewhere will build a Drupal extension for it. At a conventional software company, it would take months before it would even get on the roadmap.”

There have been cases when putting the community first has cost Acquia time and money. “When we developed Drupal Gardens, we made several usability improvements that we could have kept to ourselves, but instead we submitted them to the latest version of Drupal,” explains Buytaert. “That meant going through the community approval process, which made it three times as expensive.”

Acquia is designed to make money, like any business, but Buytaert plans to do so by respecting the open source ethos, he says. “Open source leads to collaboration, which leads to community, which leads to innovation.”

Drupal start-up Acquia competes on community [March 15, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, March 15, 2012
,
Information Age

Dries Buytaert, founder of open source web content management system Drupal, says his company helps enterprises tap innovation from the Drupal community

Drupal, Joomla and WordPress face challenges in Germany [March 13, 2012]

Submitted on
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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Fierce Content Management

Last week, I attended CeBIT, the enormous technology trade fair that takes place every March in Hanover, Germany. This year, as I walked through the building devoted to content management and other enterprise technologies, I spied a booth with Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and TYPO3. All except for the latter are well known in the United States, but I was surprised to find that those three are struggling to find market share in Germany.

I found it remarkable that the three open-source web content management systems that are so popular in the United States were having trouble getting the same level of recognition in Germany.

Move to the cloud? The two decisions that matter [March 11, 2012]

Submitted on
Sunday, March 11, 2012
,
GigaOm

Moving to the cloud and SaaS is easier and simpler than many executives believe and can deliver significant business gains in a relatively short amount of time. But clearly, internal politics and personal agendas sometimes get in the way of what should be a fairly straightforward decision. Otherwise, wouldn’t more small and midsize companies have made the switch to 100 percent cloud environments by now?

Drupal adoption has never been higher [March 11, 2012]

Submitted on
Sunday, March 11, 2012
,
The Marketing Blog

London, UK – March 8, 2012 – Aquia the enterprise guide to Drupal, today announced another remarkable year of growth in 2011, as its revenue has grown to nearly 150 percent, more than doubling the previous year. Acquia also tripled its client base to nearly 2000 customers including Twitter, eBay, Maxim Magazine, Brit Awards, Mercedes-Benz and the United States Department of Energy.

According to Drupal.org, since 2001 Drupal has grown into a global phenomenon with more than 777,980 registered community members in 228 countries speaking 181 languages. The open source social publishing platform has seen widespread adoption, primarily in the publishing, education, government, arts, media and entertainment, as well with a number of community, product and corporate company web sites.

Company News

  • Revenue more than doubled in 2011, growing nearly 150 percent over the year
  • Doubled employees to 200 around the world, successfully opening new offices in Oxford, UK, and Portland, OR
  • Secured $15 million Series D funding with Tenaya Capital, Northbridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners
  • Added two Board of Directors members and industry veterans Thomas Bogan, current Chairman of the Board for Citrix and Paul Sallabery, former VP at Oracle and current board member for Quest Software
  • Acquired Cyrve, Drupal migration services provider, and Growing Venture Solutions, Drupal security services provider, and introduced Acquia Migration Services and Acquia Security Services

Customer and Partner Expansion

  • Acquia has tripled its customer base in the last three quarters with more than 2000 customers, adding Twitter, eBay, Mercedes-Benz, Brit Awards, Maxim Magazine, the U.S. Department of Energy and more
  • Greatly expanded partner network to 400 partners, adding more than 100 new developer and technology partners such as Alfresco, Engine Yard, Lingotek, New Relic and VML
  • Launched Acquia U, a program to employ and train recent and upcoming college graduates, as well as career changers, in Drupal
  • Sponsored 70 Drupal community events like camps, summits, meet ups, conferences and code sprints around the world

Product Innovation and Industry Recognition

  • Launched Acquia Dev Cloud and Acquia Managed Cloud packaging options for Acquia’s Drupal cloud hosting platform, which now boasts more than 600 customers in total, serving more than 5 Billion http requests per month
  • Released Acquia Insight, an application management suite that assesses Drupal performance, security and configuration in real time, providing code level analysis and clear, actionable recommendations to address system issues
  • Enhanced the Acquia Network – an unparalleled collection of knowledge, tools, and support for assembling extraordinary web experiences with Drupal – with the following:
  • A new user experience and a content rich knowledgebase — the Acquia Library with more than 500 articles
  • Acquia Apps Market availability, with more than a dozen third party services available to operate and extend Drupal websites, including Mu Dynamics, uTest, Yottaa, LingoTek, Drupalize.Me and more
  • Announced Drupal Gardens general availability with powerful site building and WYSIWYG design capabilities; more than 80,000 sites were created in the last year
  • Unveiled Acquia Commons 2.0 – next generation ready-to-use open social business software based on Drupal with rapidly evolving social web features
  • Acquia received numerous awards and notoriety in 2011, including:
  • Forbes 100 Most Promising Companies
  • Gartner Magic Quadrant Visionary for External Facing Social Software
  • Premiere Silicon Valley TiE50 Awards Winner, one of 50 most enterprising startups
  • KMWorld’s Trend-Setting Product of the Year
  • Enterprise 2.0 Conference Launch Pad Award Finalist
  • #1 Ranking on Momentum Index Top 20 List of top open source companies
  • EContent 100 – Drupal among Top 100 in Digital Content Industry for 2011-2012

Acquia Commentary

“2011 was another banner year for Acquia, as we continued to aggressively expand and bring the innovative power of Drupal to enterprises that want to assemble extraordinary web experiences,” said Tom Erickson, CEO of Acquia. “We are proud of accomplishments both at Acquia and within the Drupal community, and will continue to work together to expand Acquia’s reach and further accelerate Drupal growth internationally in 2012.”
“Drupal adoption has never been higher, and the community is stronger than it ever has been,” said Dries Buytaert, co-founder and CTO of Acquia. “And I am pleased to see the surge of interest among enterprises to standardize on Drupal for their specific web and content management needs. I expect to see more growth within the community and look forward to working with them to revolutionize today’s web experience.”
About Acquia™, the enterprise guide to Drupal

About Acquia™, your enterprise guide to Drupal // Acquia empowers enterprises with the open-source social publishing system Drupal. Co-founded by Drupal’s creator in 2007, Acquia helps customers manage their growth and scale their online properties with confidence. Acquia’s products, cloud infrastructure, and support enable companies to realize the full power of Drupal while minimizing risk, as it’s done for nearly 2,000 enterprise customers including Twitter, Al Jazeera, Turner, Intuit, World Economic Forum, Stanford University, Mercedes-Benz and NPR.

See who’s using Drupal at http://www.drupalshowcase.com, and for more information please visit www.acquia.com or call 888-9-ACQUIA.

Acquia Takes Drupal Success to the Bank With 150% Revenue Growth [Mar 9, 2012]

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Friday, March 9, 2012
,
CMS Wire

Acquia, a commercial provider of Drupal CMS services and support, released 2011 financials that show nearly 150% revenue growth.

Exclusive : Interview with the founder of Drupal – Dries Buytaert [March 8, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, March 8, 2012
,
The Marketing Blog

The Marketing Blog interviews Dries Buytaert, Drupal creator and Acquia Co-Founder/CTO, all about open source, Drupal Gardens, careers in Drupal, and future plans for Acquia.

Mercedes-Benz uses social media to drive market research [March 7, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
,
FierceCIO

The 20- to 45-year-old compact-car driver is a primary target for Mercedes-Benz, and the German automaker wanted a better way to tap into this individual's needs and desires. They identified a platform provider that would deal with moderating, analyzing and reporting on the social input, as well as recruit professional support and community members.

They went with Acquia Commons, which uses Drupal for content management and publishing. Read all about the resulting social networking site.

Social Network Generates Market Research for Mercedes-Benz [March 7, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
,
Baseline Magazine

But after a year of repeated problems with stability and scalability, TNS and our team decided to migrate to Acquia Commons, an open-source, enterprise-scale social business software platform from Acquia, a company that enables enterprises to use the open-source Web content management/social publishing system Drupal. The collaborative environment includes blogs, wikis, calendars and other capabilities that enable social networking.

Acquia Commons allowed TNS to quickly build our complex Website while adhering to our strict brand guidelines, a tight timeline and budget constraints, as well as maintaining the flexibility needed to support strategic requirements. The platform provided many community features implemented out of the box (such as relationships, user points, badges) and made it easy to add features, such as member discussions enhanced with a rating and reward system. We also chose to host the site on the Acquia Managed Cloud. Commons helped get Stars Insight, our social community Website, off the ground quickly and easily, and provided us with a whole tool box of quantitative market research.

Opinion: It’s time to open-source the Big Society [March 2, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, March 2, 2012
,
Computing

The government’s Big Society initiative has much in common with the philosophy that underpins the open-source community, which has delivered innovative solutions through collaborative working.
This empowerment for the greater good fits perfectly with the government’s agenda to enable individuals, charities and communities to work together to improve society. So it is ironic that the open-source community involvement in the UK public sector is lagging so far behind other European countries, such as France.

Granted, there are some examples of open-source adoption: Drupal is the chosen platform for the Cabinet Office and the london.gov.uk site. But these are still in the minority when compared to the use of proprietary software vendors.
To its credit, the government recently launched the first formal open-source toolkit of guidance and advice to help decision makers weigh up the pros and cons of open-source adoption. This level playing field should enable developers to gain a foothold in delivering public-sector projects and allow them to be evaluated equally against the more traditional software providers.

Read more: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/opinion/2156381/opinion-it-s-source-society

Acquia, Tom Erickson CEO: View From the Top [Feb 29, 2012]

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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KM World

Tom Erickson's "View From the Top" is featured as part of Acquia's place in KM World's "100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management."

KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
,
KM World

Acquia is named to the KM World 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management list for 2012!

KM World says "these 100 companies have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their customers by helping to harvest an organization's collective intelligence in order to best serve its entire constituency chain."

KMWorld's 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management [Feb 29, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
,
CMS Wire

KMWorld shared its latest picks for the 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management, and Acquia has made the list for the second year in a row!

"To be sure, these aren't the only companies that 'matter,' but these 100 companies have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their customers by helping to harvest an organization's collective intelligence in order to best serve its entire constituency chain," the announcement says. The panel of judges was a team of colleagues, analysts, system integrators, theorists, practitioners and a few users.

Bigger is not always better [Feb 22, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
,
CRN

Small technology providers can and should compete more for public sector and enterprise deals, claims Jim Shaw.

Take the 2012 .net survey! [Feb 20, 2012]

Submitted on
Monday, February 20, 2012
,
.net

In just three weeks .net's inaugural Web Design and Development survey 2012, in association with Acquia, has smashed through 1,000 responses, and looks set to be the magazine's most successful survey in its 16 year history. But we still need your help!

Drupal: from dorm room to global hit [Feb 20, 2012]

Submitted on
Monday, February 20, 2012
,
ZD Net

While open-source content-management system Drupal now underpins a huge number of websites around the world, it was created, according to its founder Dries Buytaert, "sort of by accident".

Drupal: How a dorm room tech project became a global phenomenon [Feb 15, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
,
Tech Republic

The creator of the CMS Drupal reveals how the platform got started by accident and why being open source is the key to its success.

Drupal: How a dorm room tech project became a global phenomenon [Feb 15, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
,
Tech Republic

While open source content management system Drupal now underpins a huge number of websites around the world, it was created, according to its founder Dries Buytaert, “sort of by accident”.

The software which now powers 7.2 million websites – including sites for the White House, Whitehall, Nasa and Greenpeace, was devised in a college dorm room in Antwerp, Belgium in 2000.

”All I wanted to do back then was create a message board so I could share messages with the other people in my dorm,” said Buytaert.

Rather than use an existing message board system Buytaert decided to build one himself using the then relatively new technologies of PHP and MySQL.

”I figured that I would spend a few nights building my own so I could learn these technologies, so that’s effectively what I did, although I ended up working on this for 12 more years,” he said.

That’s because Buytaert didn’t stop at building a message board, but instead started moulding Drupal into a more sophisticated offering.

”I got hooked on the web and I started watching a lot of new trends and adding these to my message board. For example, RSS feeds were just being defined back then and I was one of the first people to implement RSS feeds. Another is I saw public diaries becoming a phenomenon, so I added a feature so that people could maintain a public diary. The phenomenon became blogging,” he told TechRepublic.

”Eventually what happened was that little message board that was an experimental platform to play with MySQL and PHP evolved into an experimental platform to explore different types of emerging web technologies.”

Upon leaving university Buytaert took the decision to make his message board publicly available via the internet, so that he and his friends could stay in touch.

After going public the board attracted an audience interested in the emerging web technologies that Buytaert was building into the site, and who would suggest additions and tweaks to the CMS.

”I said ‘Instead of me implementing all of your suggestions why don’t I make it available as open source and you can use it as your own experimental platform’. I spent 30 seconds thinking about a name and uploaded to my site expecting maybe a dozen people to download and use it.”

But the community of Drupal developers didn’t stop at a dozen, and as the user base grew so did the size of organisations relying on the software: the point Buytaert realised Drupal had transcended its hobbyist origins was when he received a call to say that Nasa had begun using the CMS platform.

”It was a wake-up call, this realisation that there was this serious organisation using Drupal. I felt it was for real now because, these organisations have an important goal and are using my software to fulfil their mission.”

The importance of open source

For Buytaert, Drupal owes much of its success to being open source, which has allowed thousands of developers to produce plug-ins that extend the abilities of the platform.

Drupal has some 15,000 plug-ins, known as modules, that extend its functionality and is sometimes described as a “no-coding” platform, a reference to the fact that the skill in using Drupal lies with knowing which module to choose to deliver a feature, rather than always programming a module yourself.

While Drupal’s community of developers help keep the platform up to date with the latest technologies – a Google Plus module was available within 12 hours of the social network being released – Buytaert says that the breadth of plug-ins can be confusing without guidance.

”It’s very difficult for customers to figure out which of these modules they should use. For instance, if you want to build an image gallery the good news is there’re 12 different image gallery modules, the bad news is how do you pick one.”

To help guide Drupal potential and existing users Buytaert set up Acquia in 2007, a US-based firm that bundles Drupal and its modules into packages that are easy for enterprise to match to their needs.

Buytaert credits Acquia, which also provides support and cloud hosting, with boosting Drupal’s use by enterprise and national government.

”We helped get the White House on Drupal and did some amazing things that helped to get the ball rolling across the world. About two per cent of all the websites in the world run Drupal today. Things have been going extremely well. Acquia has grown from just two people when we started to 180 people today.”

However the wider growth of Drupal, Buytaert said, stems from the ecosystem of companies, which employ more than 100,000 people, building and hosting Drupal sites. These companies “have invested back in Drupal because they’re invested in the technology”, he said.

Growing pains

In some ways Drupal is a victim of its own success, Buytaert said, with demand for Drupal experts to build and support sites using the CMS currently outstripping supply.

”The biggest challenge that we have right now is scaling. The demand for Drupal is so high that we need more Drupal experts in the world,” said Buytaert.

”That’s a challenge, but if you are a Drupal developer you are in a good spot because many of them make a lot of money because of the high demand.”

Other challenges for the Drupal community relate to continuing to update the core Drupal platform. The next release, Drupal 8, has promised to introduce native support for HTML5 and improve the CMS’s ability to output content in multiple formats such as XML and JSON.

Drupal also faces competition from proprietary CMSes, such as OpenText’s web content management software, SDL Tridion and Sitecore, as well as fellow open source CMS WordPress.

The effect of success

Buytaert’s long-term goal for Drupal is nothing less than for it to “be the dominant platform for building websites”, with a more immediate aim of driving up use in Europe with the aid of Acquia.

And Buytaert ambitions for the platform doesn’t mean that he isn’t appreciative of the success that Drupal has had so far.

”You see large organisations like Amnesty or Greenpeace and governments all around the world, from Whitehouse.gov to data.gov.uk, and they are all using Drupal. It’s very rewarding for me to help enable them to fulfill their mission.”

And although it has been a long time since Buytaert was the sole curator of Drupal in his dorm room in Antwerp, he says he still plays an active role in the community.

”In the early days I did everything myself, I wrote all of the code, I maintained the website, wrote the documentation. Today it’s literally thousands of people who are helping. I’m still the project lead and lead technical architect but I’m also the spokesperson behind Drupal, so do a lot of marketing things. There’s a lot I don’t do anymore and I do miss writing code as a software engineer, but it’s just not the best use of my time. My time is best spent enabling others to write more code,” he said.

”As long as I keep learning I think I’ll keep having fun.”

Drupal Announces Two Community-Elected Board Members [Feb 9, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, February 9, 2012
,
CMS Wire

The Drupal Association held its first election for two at-large board members. Donna Benjamin and Steve Purkiss were elected by Drupal community members and then ratified by the Drupal Association Board.

Myths & Realities of Drupal [Feb 8 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, February 9, 2012
,
CMS Wire

In the decade since its quiet emergence onto the scene, Drupal has become an industry standard in the web content management and web publishing field, one with an almost cult-like following among developers.

With its sophisticated, easy-to-use Drupal Core system and thousands of modules for additional customization, Drupal has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a high-performance development team or a small business owner who doesn’t know the first thing about Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS).

The rise of Drupal has led companies of all sizes to consider it for their content management needs, and for good reason. Its open source nature makes it incredibly cost-effective, while its options for customization are unmatched for flexibility.

But there’s a catch.

Read more

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