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OpenPublish Gaining Momentum, Version 2.3 Released

We’ve been working hard with the Phase2 Technology team to bring a managed OpenPublish solution to market, offering Phase2’s site implementation services along with Acquia’s hosting, support, and remote administration. This powerful Drupal distribution for the online publishing industry is one of the many different distributions that is gaining momentum and one of one of three that are part of our software publishing program and now on our “Solutions” tab. (... More

Why Varnish Rocks (and details on Boston training)

We are big fans of Varnish Cache, the incredibly fast and flexible open-source, caching software. Varnish delivers a significant fraction of the content for our Acquia Hosting and Drupal Gardens users. Traffic spikes often occur when a widely read site links to a page on your site. Varnish shines in this scenario. Since those page requests are usually anonymous and limited to just a few URLs, Varnish can deliver these pages directly and the requests are never passed through to the back-end web server and database. Of course, there are a few Drupal... More

Social business software gets common

A few of days ago I blogged about a conversation I had with an industry analyst. A key quote I heard from him that conversation was this: "The feature set for social business software is now pretty well known." And again today I heard from another well-known social business software consultant that he thinks "There's not much IP (intellectual property) in social business software; it's not hard software to create." If I were an analyst today (I was one at Forrester in the mid 1990's), I'd say... More

Acquia Expanding to Europe

Ever since Dries co-founded Acquia, having a commercial presence in Europe has been an oft discussed topic inside the company. We do have European customers today, and we have Europe based team members in our technical teams, but we have not had multi-language sales and support teams based in Europe. That’s all about to change. We announced at Drupalcon Copenhagen that we were expanding to Europe in 2011. I recently returned from a 10 day trip across the pond to finalize more pieces of our plan. I spent a couple days with a number of other open source execs in Barcelona, discussing... More

Cool Ninja SEO tricks on the Drupal Dojo

Yesterday, I listened as Tom gave a quick introduction of the suite of modules maintained by LevelTen. I left like I was watching some mad ninja SEO tricks. I got educated! Maybe you all already knew about this stuff. To me, this is like magic. I suppose there's a little librarian in me getting excited about making information more easy to find. I had no idea there was that level of keyword analysis available, and on-the-fly assistance to help you write your content better. And you can install this sweet suite in Drupal, thanks to these guys. ... More

Drupal Gardens site design contest winners

The Drupal Gardens sites submitted for our recent contest were fantastic and it was really hard to pick just one winner. The site designs were judged on their creativity, attractiveness, and complexity. The winner is Susan MacPhee who built Ipswich Ale Brewery, the website for a New England craft brewer. Congratulations Susan - enjoy your new iPad! Here's why Susan and the Ipswich Ale Brewery crew picked Drupal Gardens: "We decided that Drupal Gardens fit our... More

RestoreTheGulf.gov using Drupal in the cloud

The U.S. government recently launched a new Drupal website,RestoreTheGulf.gov, to provide information about the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico from the oil spill earlier this year and announced plans to phase out the current disaster response. The site runs on a fully managed Acquia Hosting cluster that is FISMA compliant, running on Amazon EC2. That is a... More

How to learn Drupal

Though it's not always a linear process, hopefully with training, we can make the learning process a bit smoother for you, by connecting you to development expertise. Especially for those who are new to it, learning Drupal is also a series of evaluations. Does Drupal have the right features? Does it integrate with our existing services? Most of this is discovered through site building. I drafted the minimum steps and evaluations in a "How to learn Drupal" guide posted on the course at P2PU. It's not a... More

Drupal Commons isn't dependent on using Drupal

Ok, so yes - the title is a bit misleading in one sense; but in another it's totally true. Let me explain. While briefing an industry analyst yesterday, I realized that the analyst was presuming that an organization needed to have adopted Drupal in some way before they would could use Drupal Commons. This is not the case. Drupal Commons is a ready-to-use application. It is constructed to fit into the social business software category. That is, software that lets businesses have websites of their own that provide capabilities similar to popular consumer social software... More

Acquia Hosting adds memcache support

On our quest to offer the best possible hosting solution for large-scale Drupal sites here at Acquia, we recently added support for memcache to our Acquia Hosting platform. For those that don't know memcache, it is a high-performance memory object caching system. Oftentimes it's used to speed up database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM. This is very effective in managing the load on your database, which for most web applications including... More

Teach.gov using Drupal

The U.S. Department of Education just launched a new micro-site built on Drupal: teach.gov. At teach.gov you can learn what it's like to be a teacher and get the tools you need to launch your own career in education. The site looks surprisingly crisp and modern for a government site, don't you think? These kinds of micro-sites make a lot of sense. Visitors that are looking for particular information want instant gratification. It is much better to create a micro-site for this than to embed the same content two levels deep in... More

The time is right for Drupal products

The very best session I attended at DrupalCon Copenhagen was "WordPress is better than Drupal: developers take note" by Jennifer Lea Lampton. While I disagree with the premise - comparing a purpose-built product (WP) to a framework designed to be completely flexible (Drupal) - the session was fantastic, well-presented and raised many valid points. It sparked intense, productive discussions about usability, functionality and approach... More

Drupal Gardens adds video support with media galleries

Four weeks ago, the Drupal Gardens team introduced the image gallery feature to all Drupal Gardens sites. While that was great, we wanted galleries to be true media galleries, and so last week the team introduced video support to galleries in a seamless way. Built on top of the awesome Media module and supporting Media: YouTube module, it's architecture is easily extended to support video from many other sources in the future. Read on for the details:... More

Acquia Podcast 22: DevSeed On Mapping in Drupal

Being able to display maps in Drupal is a powerful feature, and can also be confusing to implement. Join us as we talk with Ian Cairns, Tom MacWright, and Robert Soden from Development Seed about how it is done and the different options available for displaying great maps. More

Drupal 7: let's get it done

Despite a great effort from many people, getting Drupal 7 released has proven to be a slow and arduous process. What remains is not trivial. The release of Drupal 7 is important to all of us, our businesses, and growing both adoption and our community, so something more must be done. Effective today, Acquia is committing one full-time engineer to help to fix critical bugs in Drupal 7. This is in addition to the regular work that our staff does on Drupal 7 as part of the development of Drupal Gardens, and the core work... More

Install Drupal localized without further user effort - a new distribution

I've been involved with Drupal localization since the early times I'm with Drupal and was looking at ways to keep improving language and translation setup. Still, if you need to install Drupal 6 localized, you need to download Drupal 6 in English and when prompted in the installer, go and grab a package for your language. That has a structure resembling Drupal core itself, and if you extract it to the right directory, each translation file will fall into place. Then if you go back to install Drupal, it will go localized. While many people learned the tricks of the trade, this is not entirely... More

Marketers - what's in your toolbox?

There will always be debate over which tools will best serve marketing efforts. Wordpress for blogging, Facebook for networking building; the list goes on and on. As I find myself in the crux of these discussions more and more (most recently I attend OMMA Social in New York) my answer is always the same: there isn’t just one tool that can do it all. Sure there are technologies that market themselves as all-you-need solutions: “Wordpress is not just a blogging platform it’s more … ”. “... More

20,000 Drupal Gardens sites

We hit another milestone today: twenty-thousand sites have been created with Drupal Gardens. It was only two months ago that we hit the 10,000 sites milestone. Who would have thought that we would have doubled that number so quickly? This is really a gratifying moment for us. It means that we’re on the right track, building a product that people value highly. There has also been an increased interest by enterprise customers in Drupal Gardens. It seems to be filling a need for large... More

Where is the Media module at or why I spent DrupalCon in a corner w/ my laptop

Like many Drupalcons, I spent nearly the entire conference preparing my presentations. This is no fun, but we’ve been so busy trying to get the new gallery feature in Drupal Gardens released that it was the only way.  Anyone else have this experience? My Agile presentation got the pretty slides and practiced talking points... More

What do you do at your Drupal Meet up?

At DrupalCon, Barry Madore & Allie Micka from Advantage Labs organized a BoF: Drupal x10 inspired by Dries’s keynote. There were some interesting examples given. Growing the community is really a learning gap. At Acquia, we’re working with partners to roll out Drupal training... yet we need to seek out more avenues for learning. I see one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for growth is the local user group meet-up. What works in... More

Expanding Acquia's Partner Program in Europe

2010 has been an inflection point for the Acquia partner program. We are doing more business than ever with partners, including case studies with Palantir.net, Blink Reaction, and IBM Global Services. Earlier this year, we made a number of changes to simplify the program structure and introduced new partner levels... More

How Drupal improves and evolves, the basics behind the community

It is that phase of my life! I'm just turning 30 in a month, working with Drupal for 7 years and just had my third Acquia anniversary a week ago. Time to look back and evaluate how things went, all the good and bad things; even better if the wisdom can be shared with others. This was part of my thinking when I submitted the session titled "Come for the software, stay for the community" for Drupalcon Copenhagen. I was interested to distill and share how Drupal came to be as unstoppable... More

Facet queries? Making custom Solr facets for fun and profit.

It sounded like a really simple request: "Is it easy to add a search filter for 'My posts'?". In other words, add a search result facet for posts by the current (logged in) user through the Apache Solr Search Integration module APIs? But then the wheels start turning - we want not just one blind link, but a real facet link that tells us how many results we'll get. Also, if we are filtering by 'My posts' then we probably have an equal use case for the opposite filter 'Posts not by me'. So we really need a facet block with two links and... More

Using OpenScholar for Collaborative Research

Open source is not only a growing movement in the software industry. Open source philosophies are being adopted in many other verticals such as education, government, and scientific research. One recent example is in collaborative drug research. Now, thanks to a “rare sharing of data”, there are over 100 new studies underway that are accelerating the progress of developing drugs to slow or stop Alzheimer’s disease. A recent New York Times article,Rare Sharing of Data Led to Results on Alzheimer'se, chronicles the... More

Drupal 7 Apache Solr Search Mastery

It is day two at Drupalcon Copenhagan, and Robert Douglass and I presented this afternoon on Apache Solr Search Mastery. While the concepts in this talk apply to the Drupal 6 versions, all the code examples are taken from the Drupal 7 port of the Apache Solr module. Changes in the Drupal 7 version include wrapping all the data for the Solr query into the $query object and transforming the CCK integration from 6.x-2.x into an integration with the Drupal 7 Field API. Of... More

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