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Higher Education’s Equation: Simplify Digital Complexity

Colleges and universities were some of the first organizations to create websites. They are natural content generators with access to great thinkers, cutting edge research and engaged students, not to mention they embody the word community. The web, as a result, was the perfect vehicle for them to communicate all they had to share and connect what they knew with those who were seeking the content that mattered to them.
But as we look at today’s landscape and the evolution of higher education digital strategies, is the compatibility of the web and higher education too much of a good thing... More

Selecting a New CMS? Don't Skip the Proof of Concept


Would you buy a house, based only on its curb appeal?
Would you buy a car without test driving it?
Would you even buy a pair of new jeans without trying them on first? (Ok, I've done this. And it goes badly every time).
In all three cases, I hope the answer is no. When making major decisions like buying a new house or car, we invest a considerable amount of time and effort into making sure we make the right choice. 
So why are companies selecting a new CMS without test driving the product?
Selecting the Vendor with the Best Demo
The process for selecting a new CMS often seems to be: 1)... More

Project QA: With Great Power

This is part 1 of a 3 part series overviewing the Project QA Drupal module:
Introducing Project QA: Part 1 (Introductions)
Project QA: Writing a Submodule
Project QA: With Great Power
You can check out the project page on Drupal.org or even see a live demo over at projectqa.nateofnine.com.
As I developed this module I became more and more excited about what these tools I kept finding could do if I were to... More

Stakeholder Visibility Will Ensure Government IT Success

The recent BBC interview with Bill Crothers about IT suppliers in the public sector was depressingly familiar. In particular, the remark from Sir Francis Maude1 about the government department that was charged £30,000 for changing the text on a web page sent a shudder down my spine. Just to put this into context for a moment, £30,000 is almost three times what someone working for 37 hours a week on minimum wage would earn. These are ludicrous sums of money for what should be very simple processes.
The sad fact is that IT suppliers often charge unreasonable amounts to deliver (sometimes... More

Drupal 8 Wins: Avoiding the Dead Hook Blues, Part 3


Drupal 8 Wins: Avoiding the Dead Hook Blues, Part 3 - Today we wrap up this mini series with Larry Garfield, Kris Vanderwater, and me answering the question "Do I need to learn Symfony to develop for Drupal 8?", getting the lowdown on plugins, and doing a wrap-up on the important points from our whole, 3-part conversation.

In August 2013, I spoke with Larry Garfield and Kris Vanderwater in a 90+ minute live Hangout on Air about the origins, details, and implications of the big architectural changes... More

This (two) weeks in Drupal Core

What's new with Drupal 8?
Last week, in lieu of a This week in Drupal Core, xjm and wechick compiled a phenomenal This YEAR in Drupal Core, so here's a catch up of the last two weeks.
Happy 13th birthday, Drupal!
Drupal 1.0.0 was released on January 15th, 2001. Many software projects from that era are long forgotten by now. That we have stayed relevant and gotten stronger through 13 years of fast and chaotic evolution of the internet is, in my opinion, very impressive. Here's some highlights from the birthday:... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Meet Jonathan Stephen, Head of Mobile and Emerging Tech at JetBlue
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jonathan Stephen, the Head of Mobile and Emerging Technologies at JetBlue.
We talked about the shifts and strategies that are coming with brands embracing mobile as well as how JetBlue is leveraging this platform. Mobile is becoming a vital, emerging disruptor to brands and industries on a global... More

Drupal 8: Configuration Management Walk-through

Cross-posted with permission from Drupalize.Me
One thing in Drupal 7 that people have a love-hate relationship with is the Features module. Features gives you the means to export database-stored site settings in code that you can put into version-control and move from server to server. In Drupal 7, when using Features to make a change to your Drupal site configuration settings, you need to update the feature or make sure the settings are in a feature and (re)create them. When deploying, you... More

Jenkins, Puppet, Graphite, Logstash and YOU

As mentioned before, devops can be summarized by talking about culture, automation, monitoring metrics and sharing. Although devops is not about tooling, there are a number of open source tools out there that will be able to help you achieve your goals. Some of those tools will also enable better communication between your development and operations teams.
When we talk about Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment we need a number of tools to help us there. We need to be able to build reproducible artifacts which we can... More

Setting the Record Straight on the Total Cost of Adobe AEM vs Drupal

As Drupal begins to compete more often with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) in enterprise web content management selections, I'm coming across a set of common objections coming from prospects after they speak with Adobe. We’ve been told by multiple customers that Adobe had an “unbiased partner” create a total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) document to compare Adobe AEM vs. Drupal.
The TCO document claims a typical Drupal project costs nearly 70% more than Adobe AEM, with example 3 years costs of approximately $2.4m for Adobe AEM and $4m for Drupal. I’ve read the document, and the total cost of... More

Project QA: Writing a submodule

This is part 1 of a 3 part series overviewing the Project QA Drupal module:
Introducing Project QA: Part 1 (Introductions)
Project QA: Writing a submodule
Project QA: With great power
You can check out the project page on Drupal.org or even see a live demo over at projectqa.nateofnine.com.
Let’s walk through building a submodule for Project QA, shall we? There’s three main steps to implementing your own extension to projectqa:
Create a fresh module
Create entities to store your data
Implement... More

Meeting Marketing Challenges with Automation and Drupal

Often marketing's biggest challenges are long sales cycles, complex decision-making processes, and multiple stakeholders. There is increasing pressure on marketing professionals to find the most qualified prospects and build relationships with them before the lead is passed to sales.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation allows organizations to consolidate, streamline, and better manage campaigns that were once cumbersome to track and administer. Once implemented, the system enables a chief marketing officer to view a centralized dashboard to measure the ROI of various... More

Preventing Drupal Headaches! The file field

In our structured Drupal training program, we teach the "right way" to do things. We listen to our support team of client advisors who see all the permutations of "you're doing it wrong" in Drupal, and make sure we're leading learners in the right direction. When there's something particularly essential we use words like "Important" and set off warnings with a little exclamation mark icon. What we don't do is surround particular instruction in skulls and cross-bones and "Ye shall not pass" signs explaining the hells that will... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Favecast Unites User Recommendations, Video
Recently, I met Alex Zito-Wolf, content manager for FaveCast, at Boston's WebInnoMobile2 event. Favecast is an app that allows users to share positive video recommendations about great places they've discovered. I think of it as the convergence of Foursquare and Yelp, with a splash of video. In this interview, Alex talks about the future of FaveCast and... More

A Helpful Guide to Your First Drupal Sprint

Cross-posted with permission from Genuine Interactive
It’s almost time for your first Drupal Sprint, but you’re not sure what to expect and what you do to be prepared. Here at Genuine, we want all contributors to be prepared for the 2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend so we’ve put together answers to some key questions.
If you still have questions, feel free to contact... More

DrupalSouth Preview: Technology, Community, a Superhero, and a Homecoming

Sheep ... and the Lord of the Rings movies. That's what typically comes to the minds of most people when they think of New Zealand. Sheep outnumber Kiwi's (the local term for human New Zealanders) roughly seven to one: 4+ million humans, 28+ million sheep. When I was growing up there as a kid, there were more than 50 million sheep, though ...
As Acquia’s open source evangelist, I feel honoured to have been asked to keynote the biggest Drupal event in the Australasian region and I will do my part to make DrupalSouth an... More

Drupal 8 Wins: Avoiding the Dead Hook Blues, Part 2


Drupal 8 Wins: Avoiding the Dead Hook Blues, Part 2 - In today's conversation, Larry Garfield, Kris Vanderwater, and I go over the Go PHP 5 project as the first seeds of cooperation between different PHP projects, how the Symfony2 framework became part of Drupal 8, why we aren't building Drupal 8 on Symfony full-stack, CMI, abstraction in Drupal, and the future of Features in Drupal 8.

In August 2013, I spoke with Larry Garfield and... More

From content management to digital experience management

Cross-posted with permission from buytaert.net
Happy 13th birthday Drupal! It’s hard to believe so much has happened with Drupal when it really just started as a little hobby project. I'm super proud of what we accomplished. After all these years, it continues to be a passion and labor of love to grow, maintain and sustain the larger community.
A birthday presents us with a great time to look back and reflect. Though there are many things... More

10 Ways Acquia Cloud Hooks can help you sleep at night

Cross-posted with permission from iKOS.com
If you are working on a project with multiple developers, it's likely the topic of Continuous Integration has come up. Whilst not the academic definition, I find a useful way to describe this is the ability to completely destroy and rebuild your site without losing anything.
When you start researching this topic, you will hear about tools such as Jenkins, Puppet, Chef and various hosted services that offer similar... More

Global Companies Can’t Afford Not to Integrate Their Content Workflow

There’s a new truth when it comes to content: Integrate or drown. As more companies go global, social and mobile, the amount of web content they must deal with multiplies exponentially. In order to stay productive (and sane), marketers and others who deal with content must streamline their workflow. Given the volume of both consumer and business apps used in the enterprise today, the only way to streamline is to integrate.
Streamlined workflows don’t happen naturally. In fact, the world seems to conspire against them. From social media channels to mobile apps, cloud storage to CRM, every new... More

This YEAR in Drupal Core (2013)

Co-authored by xjm and webchick
Welcome! For Drupal's 13th birthday, in addition to Give Drupal a Birthday Present: Tackle a D8 Issue!, we wanted to celebrate the occasion with a retrospective of the year 2013 as it relates to Drupal core development!
Here are some stats to get us started:
1,120 unique Drupal 8 patch contributors during 2013, bringing the total number of contributors for the release to over 1,800!
4,175 Drupal 8 core patches committed (... More

2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend

Cross-posted with permission from Genuine Interactive
Come and be a part of the 2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend at Genuine on Saturday, Jan. 25!
Drupal 8 has been making great headway in the last few months and we’re aiming to push it further! Join us from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. to contribute to the Drupal community and help prepare Drupal 8 for beta release. Genuine and co-sponsor, Acquia, welcomes anyone who has built a site in Drupal, including non-programmers.
We’ll kick... More

Introducing Project QA

Ever wish there was a better way to keep an eye on a project you’re working on? After being inspired by a presentation at Drupalcon Portland called “Development, By the Numbers” I decided to create a Drupal module to help automate the code evaluation process: Project QA.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series overviewing the Project QA Drupal module:
Introducing Project QA... More

Maintaining your installed Drupal distro


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Drupal.org provides a number of pre-packaged distributions (e.g., Drupal Commons, DKAN, etc.) that allow users get a fully-featured Drupal installation up and running in no time, but maintaining an installed distribution can be tricky. You may need to juggle distribution updates with contrib module updates, core updates, and your own customizations. If you aren't careful, it can be come a maintenance nightmare!
The Drupal community has a few tools for dealing with common maintenance problems,... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Big Data and the Soles of Your Shoes
There has been significant ink killed in the name of Big Data over the last few years. Much of that slaughter is justified; Big Data represents a massive generational shift in the way we think about data and its impact on every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
But I don’t think people really get it. Big Data is too big and too abstract for most... More

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