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The S-Files: Adding a custom sort to Acquia Search (Apache Solr)

Tech Support Case Studies We've received several inquiries about adding custom sorts to the the sorting block on search results for our popular Acquia Search product. This is fortunately quite easy, though it currently involves preparing a custom module that implements one hook:hook_apachesolr_prepare_query(&$query) <?php   function hook_apachesolr_prepare_query(&$query) {     // You can get the 'solr_field_name' from q=admin/reports/apachesolr     $query->set_available_sort('solr_field_name', array(       // how the sort link... More

2009 Perspective

It was a very good year As we’re just a few days away from 2010, I’ve been reflecting on the momentum Acquia has built over the last year. Based on our reception by the market, and the steady rise in enterprise acceptance of social computing, it’s clear 2010 will be a significant year both for our company and Drupal. Fueled in part by the economic crisis, open source software was one of the big winners in 2009 and Drupal was no exception. Many more businesses were looking at open source as a viable technology platform to replace legacy, proprietary software. On the web content management... More

Waking up the Brand

Marketing and Drupal in 2010: Why my fellow marketers need to get over the idea that Drupal is for "geeks only" and plan for the new year with open source in mind To be honest, I’m not even sure if marketers have had the opportunity to “get over” the technical misconceptions about Drupal. Because quite frankly, they don’t realize that the open source platform is a great marketing tool in the first place. It’s obvious to me why Drupal should be in the toolbox of every corporate and digital marketer (I’m biased), but is it to most marketing professionals? Probably not. That’s why I’ve come... More

Webinar: Search Engine Optimization for the Drupal.org Redesign

As promised, here is the recorded webinar on SEO for the Drupal.org redesign. A couple of weeks ago we prepared to do a live webinar and take questions from the community about Drupal.org SEO. Unfortunately, I was not familiar with all the features of our webinar software. The result was that no attendees were able to attend the webinar, and the webinar was recorded in a proprietary format. Fortunately, Forest Mars was able to decode it and so I've now made it available. If... More

Features used by 80% of social sites

You might have seen our plans for Drupal Gardens which will be a way to build a Drupal site very quickly. While you'll be able to build any kind of site you need on Drupal Gardens, we're spending a lot of time to make sure that we make it easy for people to build very social sites to promote campaigns, events, products, and businesses. And by social, we mean a site that encourages people to participate and that leverages other social networks. We'll include a set of social features that most all sites need when we launch: Blogs Forums User profiles... More

Open Source, Automotive Manufacturing & Obscurity

I’m very puzzled by the recent blog by Brian Prentice of Gartner. Comparing just-in-time manufacturing to open source software? Perhaps Brian is thinking of open source components like Apache Tomcat, which is often nestled inside of proprietary software solutions. But comparing an automobile which essentially remains unchanged after manufacturing to a software product that is constantly improved with new releases?... More

Open Government Directive and Drupal

On his very first day in office, President Obama directed all federal agencies to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve. Last week, the Obama administration published the Open Government Directive (OGD). The directive, sent to the head of every US federal department and agency, instructs the agencies to take specific actions to open their operations to the public. The three principles of transparency, participation, and... More

Video demo of new Drupal Gardens theme builder features

Some of you may have seen the first Gardens video posted a couple of months ago that shows a pre-alpha version of Drupal Gardens. This new demo video shows you some of the new features we've added to give you more control over the design of your site theme. We want you to be able to design a site with a home page that looks different from interior pages. It's fine for a blog site to have the same layout on all pages, but other kinds of sites need a home page that looks different. The demo also shows the fine-grained point and click... More

Drupal and the Open Government Initiative Directive: Webinar on Thursday

On Tuesday, the Federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra and CIO Vivek Kundra announced the open government initiative directive. The directive has 4 steps: Publish Government Information Online, Improve the quality of government information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government, and create an enabling policy framework for open government. CTO Chopra and CIO Kundra Launch Open Government Plan Today at Acquia we are kicking off a webinar series to address the Open Government Directive. Our first Acquia Webinar today is: The Open Government Directive and Open Source Social Publishing... More

Social Publishing Panel at Gilbane Boston

Tomorrow I will be joining a number of industry leaders for a panel discussion at Gilbane Boston entitled Social Publishing and WCM, on the intersection of the social software and web content management markets. Moderated by Kathleen Reidy, Senior Analyst at The 451 Group, this certainly won’t be the first time we’ve discussed this crossroads with her, but as we close out 2009 and... More

Webinar: Search Engine Optimization for the Drupal.org redesign

Webinar to educate implementers about drupal.org SEO Next Wednesday, Dec 9th, at 12PM EST we will be hosting a webinar to help educate the re-design implementers on Drupal.org SEO techniques. All interested members of the Drupal community are welcome to register and attend the webinar. We received word that people were unable to log into this webinar. We have recorded the webinar and will be posting it shortly for feedback Drupal.org re-design... More

Getting the drupal.org re-design implemented: Drupal companies please sponsor a section

For the last year the Drupal.org redesign has progressed quietly and steadily. Almost 200 people have participated in the redesign by commenting, discussing, reviewing, testing, designing, theming, or writing code to get it done. We have had 6 re-design sprints (2 in Europe and 4 in the US) and built significant infrastructure to get the redesign development and staging ready for the community to make the final push. We are now asking Drupal consulting shops to step forward and help us implement one section of the redesign. Many of the most important features are already available such as... More

Acquia's Robert Douglass interview: Digital Marketing

On October 22, 2009, I gave a keynote presentation at a digital marketing conference in Brussels. After my speech I was interviewed by the organizers of the conference. Here is the video. Note that my grandmother is actually 88, and really is on Facebook. More

Growing by fostering the right culture

Today is a special day at Acquia: customer service day. We grew so quickly that our support team often find themselves working until after midnight to meet customer demands. Everybody in the company, from sales to engineering, including myself, will be helping in support today. Talking to customers, helping them where we can to make sure they are successful with Drupal. With products like Acquia Hosting, Acquia Search and Drupal Gardens, Acquia is very much a technology start-up. And yet, when we launched the company, the... More

Debunking Drupal myths - Part two: Community controls

In installment one of this Debunking Drupal Myths series, I mentioned that the proprietary software companies who are starting to see Drupal on their competitive screen are worried. They're using the classic FUD technique -- trying to raise Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about Drupal's capabilities. And so I started this series to start to debunk the FUD. Our first case dealt with Content Control. The vendors raising the most FUD around Drupal sell "social"... More

GOSCON: Drupal rocks 50 national government sites

"GOSCON is the the premier annual government open source conference for government information technology leadership". This Thursday, Acquia will be helping with the Drupal booth at GOSCON. We are going to be joined by Ian Cairns from Development Seed, Kurt Voelker from Forum One, Douglas Morrison from World Zhulu, and Bryan Colligan VP of FinalView.com. It's great to have a diverse representation of the Drupal project after we put out a call for volunteers. We are also going to be... More

Building the Drupal.org re-design community infrastructure: Administrators wanted

One of the biggest challenges in working in a large community like the Drupal community is removing bottlenecks. All too often the community can seem to come to a grinding halt on just one issue that can only be managed by one person. On Monday Dries gave a presentation at MIT and talked about how some of the Drupal community’s biggest problems have helped create some of our best solutions. In particular, he cited how our drupal.org server melt down in 2005 lead to the creation of the Drupal association to proactively manage and plan for our infrastructure growth. Today the community... More

Beyond Social Business Software

Acquia issued a press release today contrasting Social Publishing platforms represented by Drupal and the growing number of Social Business Software products. At first glance it would seem that we don’t like those products, but that’s not the case. The products have some nice capabilities and many organizations are using them daily. What is hard to understand is why businesses are spending hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions... More

Debunking Drupal myths - Part one: Content control

Acquia has quickly become successful in increasing the exposure of Drupal to "CTO-level" conversations at larger enterprises. Despite the fact that there are numerous examples of big companies using it, Drupal is really still pretty unknown in big organizations - at least when you compare it to commercial, closed-source content management systems (the "incumbents"). As Drupal starts to make inroads in these larger organizations, the incumbents are forced to defend why their expensive proprietary software is better than that "little Drupal... More

CCK and Views article in PHP User magazine

This month's issue of the print magazine and website PHP User (in German) features an article on Drupal's CCK and Views module. The article was written by Meinolf Droste of MDWP, an Acquia Silver Partner. There are at least four magazines in Germany that sometimes feature Drupal in print articles. This puts Drupal onto the news stands in kiosks, grocery stores, and train... More

Drupal at Digital Marketing First conference in Belgium

Yesterday I gave a keynote presentation at the Digital Marketing First 09 trade show in Brussels, Belgium. Drupal was out in full force with four Belgian companies joining forces to make the conference a special Drupal-themed event. There were also a number of other companies present who are using Drupal. To prepare for the event I made a micro-site that focuses on Drupal and interactive digital marketing (the theme of the... More

Robbie Williams using Drupal

A couple of weeks ago, Robbie Williams made his comeback on British television music talent show The X Factor, where he performed his new single "Bodies" for the first time live. With his comeback also comes a website refresh using Drupal: see http://robbiewilliams.com. The site was developed by an Acquia partner based in the UK. More

Speaking at MIT

I will be speaking at MIT on Monday, October 26 at 5pm in the Stata Center in Cambridge. I plan to talk about the state of Drupal, Drupal 7 and Open Source development in general. After the presentation, there will be some time for social networking. The event is free so you're all invited to attend! On a somewhat related note, we have some intern positions open at Acquia to give people the opportunity to come and learn about Drupal -- students from MIT,... More

CCK & Fields UI improvements

I've spent a bit of time looking at the CCK UI for D7 and it has some real pain points. For starters, all content types have custom fields, yet upon submitting the basics (title and publishing options), we send users back to the listing of content types vs. port them into fields. I could go on, and gladly will if you call me out on it. For now, I want to focus on how I've tried to make it better. It's lofty, and probably still needs some tweaks, but I think it's a huge improvement. To begin, I went about tackling this UI with some guiding principles in mind: Use existing interaction... More

Climbing a mountain

The Acquia leadership team in October 2009. From left to right: Kent (support), Jay (co-founder), Bryan (marketing), Warren (sales), Lynne (marketing), Chris (engineering) and myself. Unfortunately, Tom (ceo) is missing from the picture, because he took the picture. Growing is learning to climb bigger mountains, so at the latest Acquia Leadership Off-site, we decided to climb an actual mountain! More

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