Home / Resources / Blog

Thoughts that Count

Recent Posts

Introducing the Acquia Cloud API and Drush CLI

Acquia Cloud has two brand-shiny-new interfaces today! The Acquia Cloud API is a RESTful web interface that allows developers to extend, enhance, and customize Acquia Cloud. It includes developer workflow, site management, and provisioning capabilities. The Acquia Cloud Drush commands allow using all features of the Cloud API on the command line or from shell scripts using the excellent Drush command line tool. Let's start with a demo. It's kind hard to demo an API, so instead I'll use the Drush Cloud commands to deploy a site as shown... More

Training + Drupal = Success!

It's that time of year again. That time when we're going to get flooded with new ideas, examples, and ways of using Drupal. Why? It's DrupalCon season of course! DrupalCon starts next week, and as we build up to that, it is a frenzy of setting up meetings, having pre-meeting meetings, and coming up with things to present to everyone in your meetings. As part of that build-up, one of our partners has been visiting us the past couple days. Owen Lansbury from PreviousNext has been in our office talking about the past... More

Choosing the right medium to present findings

Earlier this year, I was invited to be on a panel for Usability Professional Associations’ (New Hampshire). The discussion was focused on how user experience researchers report/present their findings. Do they use conventional methods such as PowerPoint or Word? Or do they use unconventional methods such as spreadsheets, video, storyboards, and/or sticky notes? It was insightful to learn how other researchers carefully consider the audience and the message to make their research findings effective. However, the discussion left one important question unanswered “How do researchers choose one... More

Drupal Gardens adds content tokens, forum access control, and improved image editing

This sprint the Drupal Gardens team added several enhancements for both Drupal Gardens site builders and content creators. Site builders can now restrict sensitive or valuable forum topics to privileged users, like can already be done for most other content. In addition, content creators now have the ability to create dynamic and personalized content using tokens, and also have a simpler user interface for cropping, rotating and resizing images.... More

Is full time co-location critical to project success?

A daily part of my job is to pitch professional services products. There are a broad array of topics raised by prospective buyers as they evaluate risk and look for the best solution. A recent encounter got me thinking about co-location strategies and the criticality of full time co-location to project success. What’s at stake? Managing risk on enterprise projects can be a full time job. With so many variables - it’s often easiest to simplify the issue of co-location and mandate it as a must do. The argument is that team co-location for the duration of an engagement means better oversight,... More

日本におけるドゥルパルの発展

まず、このポストを翻訳してくれた杉本守弘氏に謝辞を述べたいと思います。 アクィア (Acquia) の CEO として、私が ドゥルパル (Drupal) に対して情熱を抱いていることは皆様にお分かりいただけることと思います。しかしあまりご存知でないと思われるのは、私が日本 - その人々、土地、そして市場機会 - に対しても情熱的であるということです。今まで個人的に40回以上日本を訪問しており、最盛期は1999年以降のことです。最初の訪日は1993年でしたが、早くも1983年には日本というマーケットに対してのプランや戦略に取り組んでいました。 アクィアを築くにあたり、またドゥルパルの卓越した性能 – コンテンツを軸にしたリッチなウェブエクスペリエンスや、コラボレーション、E コマースなど – について広く伝えるにあたり、日本で何をすべきかについてドリーズ (Dries Buytaert) と私は思案を重ねてきました。 今その思考をもとに、次の段階に進む準備が整いました。それは日本においてパートナーを採用し、トレーニングおよびアクィアの数々のサービスを日本のマーケットで提供していくことです。パートナーは、エンドユーザーと連携してドゥルパル・エクスペリエンスをデザイン/構築する役割を担います。その彼らを基礎とする強靭なエコシステムを実現し、支援していくことこそが、... More

Using apachesolr to index custom data

Imagine you have a custom database table, storing some imported content for your nodes. This post will explain how this content can be exposed to be indexed by Solr via the apachesolr module. The example module provided was tested with apachesolr 6.x-1.6. It assumes that this custom content is associated to nodes (e.g. a custom imported text value). Hooks on the table hook_apachesolr_modify_query - to tell solr we are passing a new field of a given type. hook_apachesolr_update_index - to pass our custom data alongside (not appended to) the node object hook_apachesolr_process_results - show... More

Gird your loins!

With DrupalCon right around the corner my world is barely organized chaos; but now that we're starting to see some of the things we've been assembling come together the excitement is setting in. What can I say, there's nothing better than building awesome stuff--even if I end up working till 2AM for a few weeks. There's so much coming down the pike that I'm not going to talk about it all here (I'm going to wrangle some of my guys into blogging about this stuff as well), even though I'm busting at the seams to spill the beans on some of the cool things. I don't want to steal the thunder from... More

Using git subtree to Make a Distro Your Docroot

A cornerstone of good Drupal development is deploying your site’s code from a version control system like Git or SVN. A further best practice is to put all your code in a directory in the repository, instead of at the top level of the repository. Doing this allows you to put other things into the repository that are not intended to be served publicly. For example, Acquia’s Cloud Hooks are scripts you put into the hooks directory that run when you deploy code, databases, or files, but should never be served as site content. Using Cloud Hooks... More

Process Improvement for Managing Project Complexity and Scale

All projects of scale go through a phase when they outgrow the loose and undefined processes that work for small projects. With the project growing in size and complexity, processes need to be better defined to ensure they can handle the additional scale. What sets successful projects apart from unsuccessful ones is that successful teams are able to continuously identify when and where processes are breaking down, and are able to continuously improve those processes. I have recently seen how a project team recognized its quality assurance and deployment processes were starting to break and... More

When and how caching can save your Drupal site

This is the first of a series of blog posts debating caching strategies in Drupal. In this first post we will understand what Drupal is able of doing out of the box regarding caching, and what are the options to extend it to achieve sites that perform normally under high load. Unlike a static HTML website, Drupal pages consist of small building blocks that are rendered independently of one another before they are bundled together and sent to the browser as an atomic unit. Because Drupal is a dynamic content generation platform, there are a series of complex events that are executed behind the... More

Security: How the world's largest open source CMS combines open & security

Drupal is a huge software project by any measure, with thousands of developers writing code for it and deploying websites and applications on it. It is one of the largest open source projects in the world, alongside Linux, Apache, and Mozilla. This infographic helps explain the important work of Drupal's Security Team. Who needs protecting and why? How the world's largest open... More

Drupal Gardens adds indicators for restricted content, Modernizr and more!

In this release the Drupal Gardens team continued enhancing our support for restricted content by adding visual indicators to help visitors see that certain users are privileged and certain content is restricted. By showing these indicators, site builders can help inform users that there are advantages to being more privileged members of a site. We also added support for the powerful Modernizr library to make it easier to crafting CSS that supports older browsers. Happy theming! The Drupal Gardens service was updated with the following new features and enhancements:... More

Innovate or Die

I just attended OnMedia in NYC this week. It was my first time attending the event. I really enjoyed the format - panel discussions on topics such as social commerce, VC outlooks, and the socialization of video & TV - interspersed with CEO presentations from startups looking for new investors or partners. This is the closest to what it must be like any given day at Menlo Park - all the ideas, innovations, and discussions around what trends we're seeing and what's going to stick... More

2012 Drupal Day #1

Drupal Day #1: Friday, February 24, 2012 As you may have seen, the Drupal Association is going to be promoting global synchronized Drupal training ("Create Blocks . . . NOW!") throughout 2012. We were very excited to hear this. In 2011, we trained almost 1,000 people in the basics of Drupal through our HelloDrupal program in 12 countries and 19 cities. So we can only imagine how many people we can train in combination with the entire Drupal community! So excited in fact, that we got ahead... More

Acquia Cloud has made me lazy… and I like it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been involved in setting up a number of servers with other hosting companies—none of them were tailored Drupal hosts, but they were all big, big hosting companies. Some were virtual hosts, some used cpanel or plesk, but all were unbelievably painful! I need to be fair, though, a significant portion of the pain was not their fault, but rather the fault of Acquia Cloud hosting. You see, it’s made me a bit lazy, and honestly it’s caused me to expect a bit too much from a host. Let’s start with APC (advanded php cache). Anyone who does a lot of Drupal dev will want to... More

Acquia Podcast 40: Jennifer Hodgdon on Documentation for Drupal

As with any open source project, documentation in Drupal is a huge task that is never complete. The Docs team is the group of volunteers that strives to keep up with the documentation need. Join me as I talk with Jennifer Hodgdon, the docs team lead, and my new co-host Randy Fay, as we discuss the current state of the team and Drupal documentation, as well as future plans for enhancing Drupal documentation. Update: Jennifer has been promoted to co-maintainer for Drupal 7 and 8. Her responsibility will be solely around documentation and code... More

How can Acquia help you grow Drupal in Europe?

Dries Buytaert, co-founder/CTO of Acquia was interviewed recently. This is nothing new, of course, as the Drupal project lead, one of the world's largest and most active open source developer communities, he's in the limelight a lot. The interview by Nick Heath appears in Tech Republic under the rubric "European Technology". The article is a good... More

Most followed issues on Drupal.org - February 2012

The Drupal project uses the project module to track bugs and features on drupal.org. For a long time if you wanted to pay attention to an issue you had to comment on it resulting in the infamous "subscribe" comment. In late 2011 a feature was created to allow people to subscribe to an issue without commenting on it. The world rejoiced (see this article for history and details). This gives us an interesting bit of metadata that is not exposed in the user interface anywhere... More

Drupal Commons 2.5 released: U/X improvements along with Question & Answers

The Commons team has released Commons 2.5 today. This is a significant release for a number of reasons, including some significant U/X improvements. We also added Question & Answer functionality which is very important for both internal and external communities. There was a significant U/X focus on this release with usability testing being very helpful. This was very informative and initiated a change in login/landing on the Activity Stream to a site landing page. This was validated in the usability testing, discussions with users and a survey of successful community sites. Here... More

Custom development for docs.acquia.com

Late last year, our group, the Network team, was tasked with building the new Acquia Documentation site, meant to be the central repository of documentation for our hosting platform and products. Mixed with many other requirements, there were two that required some custom code to be written, plus some special configuration to be thought through: A) The site should have a Book tree to order the content, but the tree should allow to include the same content under different parents to minimize the creation of duplicate nodes that could later be a challenge to update consistently. B) The site... More

Acquia Podcast 39: John Albin on Mobile In Drupal

Ever since mobile devices have become more and more prevalent, the ability to display Drupal sites correctly on mobile devices has gained in importance. John Albin is recognized as a guru when it comes to designing and theming Drupal sites, and is the owner for the Mobile initiative for Drupal 8. Join me as I talk with John about the history of websites on mobile devices, the different methods for displaying sites on mobile devices, and plans for the Mobile initiative in Drupal 8. Show notes: John's initial blog post on the... More

Acquia U week one highlights

The group had a really busy week. Everyone from the Services department was on hands at Acquia - So they got a chance to meet with Dries, Peter Guagenti (VP Services) as well as Bryan house (VP Marketing) and many others. In addition, as the group was cramming to get their work done, we got iced by the PS team. With all that extra-curricular activity, they were crammed to get their assignment in. The assignment was simple: Build a Drupal Gardens site as a portfolio of your work. Interview 5 Acquians (selected at random). Publish their interviews... More

Making the Switch: Drupal 4 Developers

To follow up on our post about the Security Training we're running in Denver, we now introduce you to our second training course - "Making the Switch: For Experienced Developers Moving to Drupal" taught by Jeff Beeman, Joshua Brauer, and Chris Porter. Check out the (very amateur) video below with Jeff Beeman and Erik Webb. Jeff is leading this years course, and Erik taught this course with Jeff in London & Chicago. They have... More

The making of a Ubie - Inside Acquia training

As you may know, Acquia has been growing quite fast. Since I joined the company in the fall of 2008, we have gone from about 25 employees to around 200 today. It has been a fantastic ride for everyone, and we see no signs of slowing. The tough part of growth for us has been keeping up with the demand for talented Drupalists. From what I understand, Acquia isn't unique in this requirement. To fix this problem, the only option is to train. We do this in several ways: Develop Drupal curriculum which is delivered by our... More

Pages