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Commons 3.3: Brought to you by the GRAMMY Awards & the Drupal Community

We're excited to announce the release of Drupal Commons 3.3 with several great new features and usability improvements sponsored by The Recording Academy, presenter of the annual GRAMMY awards. Drupal Commons is Acquia's social business software that makes it easy to start a collaborative community website. Drupal Commons has no license fees, is 100 percent open source, and competes directly with software from... More

Drupal 8: Building Twig Performance

(This article does not represent the current state of Drupal 8 development.) There's been a lot of excitement over Drupal 8's switch to Twig, a modern templating engine written in object oriented PHP code, but the process of making the switch happen has been an adventure on its own. The plan to adopt Twig required abandoning PHPTemplate completely, which is a mammoth undertaking requiring converting every Drupal 8 core template and theme function to a Twig equivalent. Even with a feature freeze... More

5 Steps to Success for Surviving Digital Disruption

Remember when you had to go the video store to rent or buy your favorite flick? How about having to go to the store to pick up that last minute gift during the holidays? What about only communicating with friends and family via snail-mail and email? The advent of the World Wide Web has resulted in a new Digital Age that has connected most of the world -- and in real time. Because we are linked together in this new way, individuals, organizations and companies are constantly finding better ways to do things digitally, replacing the old standards. Often this digital reinvention even saves you... More

Why should I go to DrupalCon? - The benefits of being there

I had the tables turned on me at DrupalCon Portland and got interviewed by Ray Saltini from Blink Reaction. He asked me some great questions about Drupal, and especially why you should come to Drupal community events like DrupalCon. Take six minutes out of your day and learn: How spending time in person helps long-distance collaboration, and cooperation later. Who comes to DrupalCon and why. Why you should come to DrupalCon. Why you should... More

Complying with Open Gov: The November Deadlines

(Part 2 of the "Open Gov" blog series) Federal agencies are currently wrestling with determining what they must do to comply with the White House’s Executive Order on open data. Until something more definitive is published, the best guidance might come from the Implementation Guide page on Project Open Data. The guide lists eight steps with minimum... More

The Wisdom of Crowds and The Open Source Way

What do high-speed rail, ash tree dieback, and changing world demographics have in common? These are just three projects that are actively harnessing what James Surowiecki refers to as, The Wisdom of Crowds. Open Source Design Let’s start with Elon Musk’s Hyperloop proposal for high-speed public transportation. Musk has taken an incubator approach, with Telsa and SpaceX staff involved in... More

Low-cost Drupal website brings high-end rewards for Kansas City non-profit

The journey from a dimly lit photo of a young woman with a blank stare to the smiling young man at the top of the homepage is a metaphor for the hope that Higher M-Pact brings to troubled teens, but also mirrors the journey of Higher M-Pact’s online presence. Higher M-Pact’s website enables visitors to learn how the non-profit helps high-risk urban youths strive for a better future. They did this by intervening sooner rather than later with these youths to motivate, engage and inspire. Obstacles are turned into opportunities, and a... More

What does the White House's Executive Order mean for Open Government?

(Part 1 of the "Open Gov" blog series) The White House's Executive Order of May 9, will cause a shift in the way that Federal agencies present data. The Executive Order, “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information,” mandates that, “the default state of new and modernized Government information resources shall be open and machine readable.” So what does this mean for Federal agencies? Well, that’s a bit... More

Acquia a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Last week, Gartner unveiled the 2013 edition of its yearly Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Gartner Magic Quadrants are evaluations of vendors in a specific market. As a refresher, Gartner looks at WCM vendors against two sets of criteria: Ability to Execute measures how well a vendor sells and supports its WCM products and services globally. Completeness of Vision focuses on the vendor's potential and points to its future chance of success. Gartner continues to evaluate this market based on the vendor’s ability to meet the changing needs of companies... More

Support enablement through automation - Meet Tim Hilliard

Acquia Cloud Engineer, Tim Hilliard, and I sat down at Acquia headquarters this spring to talk about ... what else? Drupal and helping people succeed with it. I find Tim's job interesting. He is part of the client advisory team at Acquia, but isn't specialized in front-line client support. He describes his role as part of the onboarding team for the Acquia Cloud platform, as "support enablement," ... "Enabling Support to do a really stellar job is one of the things that I really love and I focus on." He created a set of tools and... More

Ask not what open source can do for you,ask what you can do for open source

We've all used "closed source" products where various fees are paid to cover the cost of producing functionality, upgrades, and fixes. We wait with bated breath for the latest roadmap and complain when OUR desired features are not on it. We consistently "ask" the product to do more for us, earning that right because we paid good money for it. Ultimately though, this ties our individual rate of innovation to the vendor's. We either have to wait (behind customers who have paid more money), or accept risk by moving now and making customizations (which the vendor will not support). This... More

Open Source lies: Confessions of a former Commercial CMS Salesperson

I’m embarrassed. I believed what they told me. I echoed the lies about Open Source CMS Software that my proprietary solutions cohorts tell all their prospects. I guess I can’t blame them. The truth about Open Source CMS proves to be quite scary to the commercial world. It threatens their business. It pokes holes into all of the things that they hold sacred – their proprietary solutions, their product development roadmaps, their maintenance and support contracts, and so on. I'm here to set the record straight on my path to contrition. I need to dispel the lies that I told and evangelize the... More

Ok. We’re Responsive... Now What?

I was a little surprised at how dominant the topic of responsive design was at last week’s EduWeb Conference in Boston. By all accounts, it was a great conference. A wide breadth of institutions provided many perspectives and the quality of the presentations and interactions was as good as any other higher education conference that I have been to. But still, talk of responsive design – of what it is and how to achieve it - was everywhere. In fact, it was so prevalent throughout presentations and discussions that I was caught a... More

Following the Sun, Ops Team Keeps the Lights on for Client’s Big Media Push

(Part 1 of "The Adventures of the Acquia Cloud Ops Team" blog series) You’re in your office, feet up on your desk bathed in the luminescent glow of your multiple large screen monitors. You’re feeling good because your site is going to be getting some great media coverage, and you and your team have prepped for this based on all the projections provided by your Marketing team plus a bit of a buffer. And then... Your manager comes racing in saying that the analytics are showing the site traffic numbers are way beyond what Marketing had predicted. “How are we holding up?” he asks. Panicked,... More

Wanted: Drupal Core Toolbar maintainer

You may have seen xjm's call for a Taxonomy module co-maintainer. This post is a call for a maintainer of the Toolbar module. It currently lacks an official maintainer. "But I know nothing about the module!", you say. Well, maintaining a module is not strictly an undertaking of coding. Much of the responsibility involves empowering others to introduce improvements and fixes. Having a solid knowledge of JavaScript or PHP is helpful to triage issues and determine priority. But no one is an island... More

5 Takeaways from Capital Camp

Last weekend was Capital Camp, that annual time when Drupalists descend on Washington DC for two days of conversation and sessions on everything Drupal. If you weren't able to make it, here are 5 takeaways to apply to whatever you are working on: 1. Drupal is great for .gov Woven throughout the sessions were case studies for large government entities who turned to Drupal and found success, both on the state and federal level. One example, Gerogia.gov, used Drupal to transition to a responsive site... More

Drupal 8: Configuration Performance Management

(Part 2 of the "Site Performance with Drupal 8" blog series). Just getting started? Check out Part 1 (This article does not represent the current state of Drupal 8 development.) Drupal sites are all about content, but the site itself is more than just the code and the data it stores. The difference between production and staging isn't just which database to point it: It's the entire configuration. Storing, updating, and accessing this configuration is a big part of what Drupal does. Each module needs to read a different part... More

Financial Services emerge into a new agile era with blessing for AWS

Heralding a new age in technology use, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has cleared Amazon Web Services for adoption in the Netherlands’ financial sector. But, they haven’t just opened the doors to direct use – they have also sanctioned services built and delivered on AWS by third party suppliers. Suddenly these organisations have access to the vast ecosystem of solutions and suppliers that... More

Drupal & MySQL - an open source history

(The below blog is part of the Drupal Meets MySQL blog series by Michael Benshoof, MySQL Consultant @ Percona and Andrew Kenney, VP Platform Engineering @ Acquia) Together, Drupal and MySQL run some of the largest websites on the planet. Both are renowned for having thriving developer and user communities. But how did they get this way, and what does the future hold? In this series we'll cover the history of these great open source projects, how they work seamlessly together and how best to leverage them in the cloud. In the late 90s the... More

Drupal Digital Experiences and the best module ever - Meet Kevin Hankens

Kevin Hankens, Acquia Engineer, discovered Drupal 5 when he was looking to build a highly personalized eCommerce visitor experience for his then-employer's website. I was fascinated to hear an origin story of the very beginnings of the sorts of digital experiences everyone is talking about today* (see below), 6 years later. In this interview from March, 2013, Kevin and I also talk about the evolution of Drupal from developer-oriented platform to a more user-friendly experience over the last couple of releases; how Kevin joined then left then... More

Why are Mid-Market Companies Still Looking at Adobe CQ?

Since joining Acquia, I’ve been taking a close look at opportunities where Drupal is competing against proprietary content management systems, often Adobe CQ (aka Experience Manager) and sometimes Sitecore. While Acquia competes with Adobe and Sitecore across a variety of companies - from the largest in the world to smaller higher education institutions and non-profits - I’m most surprised when I see so-called “mid-market” prospects looking at Adobe CQ. Defining mid-market is a bit tricky, but I’ll default to Wikipedia, which... More

Acquia Cloud Site Factory

Many organizations have long had the need to maintain multiple websites as part of their digital marketing and enablement efforts. But when the number of sites tallied across different products and services, geographic regions, departments, and clients for just a single organization grows into the hundreds or thousands, it's easy to see why managing all of these sites with agility, velocity and freedom has long been elusive. Last week, Acquia announced the availability of the "Acquia Cloud Site Factory". I wanted to give a bit more background on this new product and possibly discuss it in the... More

Why did we redesign the blog on Acquia.com?

As the business grows your site should grow with you. We recently redesigned the homepage of acquia.com and now it was time to update our blog section. Our old design had a featured blog section that highlighted 3 blog posts. Sometimes the same post showed in 2 of the 3 spots and this featured section showed on every page of the blog. It was hard to find anything other than the featured articles. We decided with the new blog we would keep the 3 featured spots but make sure you... More

The Future of Marketing: It’s All in the Numbers

I heard the number over my morning latte: $35.1 billion. Billion. Big number? Sort of. That’s the value of the merger between advertising mega-agencies Omnicom and Publicis announced Sunday. It’s the total valuation of the two companies. Sounds big, doesn’t it. Now consider this: In a single year, Google brought in $50 billion in advertising revenue. By contrast, the two agencies only brought in a combined total of $22.7... More

Code Review with Pull requests

“You say Pull Requests! I say Streamlined Code Reviews! ???” Code Reviews – Hmm... The Hoopla!!! Every development team knows how absolutely essential and remarkably significant code reviews are to the quality of code that is delivered. Yet, code reviews can be reminiscent to many developers of commotion, hassles, bugs, lack of accountability; just to name a few! Most teams, as efficient as they claim to be always plead guilty in this regard. Sounds strange, yet painfully true! Wonder Why? Code Reviews, when streamlined can be a boon to development teams. Even the best developer out there... More

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