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Acquia Team Drupalcon San Francisco Sessions - Vote Now

Acquia is excited to once again be a Platinum Sponsor of Drupalcon San Francisco. Its amazing to think the conference is right around the corner. It seems like just yesterday we just finished the Drupal Gardens preview session in Paris. At the same time, so much has happened between then and now.

The deadline to vote on Drupalcon sessions is approaching fast. The team at Acquia has submitted more than 20 proposals, including proposals by individuals from our engineering, operations, professional services, support, and marketing teams. Many of the session proposal are joint submissions with Acquia Partners and other Drupal community members.

Please take a few moments to check out the session proposals submitted by my Acquia colleagues (myself included) and vote for the sessions that you would like to hear. We will see you in San Francisco.

Introductory presentations

Getting started with Drupal(con)
Presented by Joshua Brauer, Kenny Silanskas, Heather James, Michael Haag and Robert Douglass

Providing support for Drupal sites large and small and users with a wide variety of experience levels means we hear all kinds of questions about Drupal. This session will cover the most common questions from users about Drupal and how it can work in your enterprise.

We'll briefly cover many topics that come up when considering or getting started with Drupal in all sorts of cases. We'll also provide pointers to where additional information about these topics can be picked up while at Drupalcon. This session won't give you all the answers but it will help orient you to what to see and do while at Drupalcon.

Drupal 7

D7UX: How to integrate the core Drupal 7 usability improvements with your module
Presented by David Rothstein and Katherine Senzee

Shortcuts and dashboards and overlays and contextual links... oh my!

There are a lot of new features in Drupal 7 that were introduced with the aim of making Drupal easier to use, but the truth is this: Although these features and tools have great potential, they won't be very helpful if contributed module authors don't use them. In order to make actual Drupal sites more usable, all the modules on the site - both core and contrib - need to work together to deliver a clear and consistent administrative experience.

This session is intended for people who are porting modules to Drupal 7 or planning to write new modules. We'll give an overview of some of the new usability features in Drupal 7 (including some that were associated with the D7UX project and some that were not), how and when to integrate these tools with your module, and general user experience (UX) tips and best practices.

AJAX and Javascript in Drupal7 (for developers)
Presented by Randy Fay, Rob Loach from Acquia and Katherine Bailey

Lots of work has gone into AJAX (formerly AHAH) and Javascript in Drupal 7.

AJAX is WAY easier to use now, and there are lots of new Javascript/JQuery features, including JQuery UI in core.

What is AJAX? AJAX was called AHAH just yesterday (D6), and in the Drupal context it most often means the ability for Drupal forms to dynamically refresh without a page load. So it means cooler forms that don't have to press the submit button all the time - they can dynamically respond to user input.

Making Drupal Simple to Use for Everyone
Presented by Jeff Noyes from Acquia and Bojhan Somers

Over the past year, the Drupal community has focused on improving the Drupal user experience; making Drupal more friendly to a less technical user-base. Join Jeff Noyes, Acquia's director of user experience, Bojhan Summers and Roy Scholten, members of the D7UX team, for a tour of the Drupal 7 UX project, and thoughts on improving D8.

Drupal Hosting

Challenges of hosting Drupal on AWS
Presented by Barry Jaspan

Cloud computing offers many advantages for hosting Drupal sites but also presents several unique challenges. This talk will discuss specific issues we've encountered while building Acquia Hosting and Drupal Gardens on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and how we address them.

Choosing a Drupal Hosting Service: What You Need to Know
Presented by Jim Salem

What should you look for in a Drupal hosting service?

Most Drupal site creators would rather let someone else manage their site's servers. Staffing a 24x7 operations team with experienced LAMP stack sysadmins, configuring servers, managing and monitoring, high-availability, etc. often takes time and money away from your focus on great applications and content.

This session will help you sort through the hundreds of Drupal hosting service providers (over 150 are listed on drupal.org alone!) From small, local data centers to the enterprise-class providers, there's sure to be one that's right for you.

Search with Apache Solr + SEO

Apache Solr Search Mastery
Presented by James McKinney, Robert Douglass from Acquia and Peter Wolanin from Acquia

This session is for those who are excited by the great power of Apache Solr search for Drupal and want to take things even further. Do you want take complete control over your search interface and offer more than the default features? Have you ever wondered what it takes to add data to your search index? Curious about defining facets, custom sorting, or making cool new widgets for filtering and faceting? Join us for a technical deep dive into the world of Solr search.

Cutting Edge: Apache Solr Search
Presented by Peter Wolanin and Robert Douglass

The Apache Solr Search Integration module has become a popular choice, revolutionizing the way search works on popular sites like Drupal.org. This session will show you the wide world of possibilities that Apache Solr offers, starting with faceted search, and going through all of the popular extensions, including Views 3.

Drupal Search Engine Optimization
Presented by Ben Finklea and Bryan House from Acquia

The earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. Join Ben Finklea, founder of Volacci, author of Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization and creator of the SEO Checklist Module and Bryan House, Senior Marketing Director, Acquia as they provide a practical walk through showing you which modules to install, which settings to use, and dozens of the most closely guarded “tricks of the trade” to get your web site optimized, higher in the search engines, and more profitable.

This will be an walk-through where we will demonstrate several modules and steps you can take on a demo site.

Drupal Gardens

Theming in Drupal Gardens
Presented by Jeff Noyes

This session is an overview of the Drupal Gardens themebuilder. In this session we'll cover:

1. Using the Drupal Gardens themebuilder to theme your site
2. The DNA of a Drupal Gardens theme
3. Exporting your theme for use on a non-Drupal Gardens site
4. Future plans - an open dialog

Technical sessions

MongoDB - Humongous Drupal
Presented by Robert Douglass from Acquia, Damien Tournoud and chx

Drupal sites live or die by their database. For years we've accepted the strengths (and weaknesses) of RDBMS, mostly MySQL, sometimes PostgreSQL, but serious alternate contenders for storing our data have not been available. The convergence of two awesome things, Drupal 7 and MongoDB (from "humongous"), are changing that, and ushering in a new era of LAMP.
Meet Mongo Mitch

MongoDB was born out of the need for three things: speed, scale and simplicity. Mitch shows you what all the fuss is about, and demonstrates just how easy it is to get started. See how developers are taking advantage of MongoDB to do things they would never attempt with a legacy relational database - such as real-time analytics, extreme scale, and distributed sharding in the cloud.

Getting It Into Drupal: Migrating an Existing Website Into Drupal
Presented by Elmer Masters and Joshua Brauer from Acquia

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) is coming to the end of a 24 month project to migrate its custom built PHP-based dynamic website to Drupal. This session will review the move that involved importing over 200,000 users, crafting a custom registration system, and incorporating a database that includes a table holding over 4 million records.

This session will show that it is possible to successfully migrate an existing website to Drupal using a combination of available modules and custom development. The spec for the move required that I retain all the features and functionality of the custom site, so that emerged as a primary goal in building the Drupal site. I'll get into some of the nuts and bolts of importing our user and organization records into Drupal while maintaining all of the permissions, group, and organization affiliations that existed in the old site.

"Don't Touch that Server": A toolkit for zero-touch production environments
Presented by Chuck D'Antonio

The more access you provide to your production servers, the more risk you have of someone doing something "unexpected" either at the shell or on an administrative screen they don't full understand. A great way to address this risk is to limit access to production servers only to emergency. But how do this and still get any work done?

Combining Drupal tools like Drush, modules like Features and Strongarm, and common build, integration, and configuration management tools (like Bamboo, Phing, and Puppet) gets us close to the elusive "zero-touch" goal. Using these tools you can eliminate the need for shell access and greatly limit the need to log into the admin interface for anything but editing content -- if we add deploy to the mix we don't even need it for that!

Git in Everyday Life: Solving Problems With Version Control
Presented by Michael F. Booth

A version control system tracks your code's history and helps you recover from mistakes, collaborate with others, deploy new versions, and detect the subtle but significant alterations that often lead to bugs. Newer systems like Git can also be used to tell the story of your work -- to rearrange your edits and group them into logical units before publishing them -- to organize personal experiments, and to share your ideas with a handful of others without affecting the "official" line of development.

This session will introduce the Git version control system and demonstrate how a Drupal developer might use it to solve everyday problems.

Save the kittens - extending Drupal the right way
Presented by Gábor Hojtsy

As a popular saying goes in the Drupal community, every time you hack core (that is, you modify the shipped Drupal source code), God kills a kitten. There is even a band called the Kitten Killers to remind you.

When starting Drupal module development, it might be hard to switch your mind into working with Drupal's hooks and altering possibilities. Therefore it is vital to start off by understanding the best ways to extend Drupal. In this session I'll share some examples and tips co-developed with my collegue Peter Wolanin to how you could do amazing things by simply adding hooks to your little custom modules. By the end of the session, you should hopefully be set to learn even more tricks yourself and continue to do even more fun stuff with Drupal.

Rocking your forms with Drupal
Presented by Gábor Hojtsy

You have a complex form to implement with dependent fields, lots of items, and a look that is alien to how Drupal would lay out its forms? At this session, you'll learn to apply theming tricks to Drupal forms and add features like AHAH updating fields and intuitive drag and drop controls for straightforward user interactions. You'll see how you can tame this form beast by using Drupal theming, CSS and Javascript tools, all while keeping your user input handling secure.

Come by if you are familiar with the Drupal form system and intend to take the next step.

Multilingual Drupal

Bringing Drupal to all the world's languages
Presented by Gábor Hojtsy

Call me an ignorant Hungarian, but without http://localize.drupal.org/, I'd not have known that languages like Telugu, Malayalam or Amharic even exist. Let alone that they have people translating Drupal to these languages. These three are a few of the lesser known languages on our web based translation interface that was launched little before Drupalcon Paris in 2009. There are already over 50 language teams and the list is ever growing.

Our technology behind the site is pretty impressive, and is constantly evolving. We are working on more granular operations and permissions, nicer user interfaces, easier imports and exports of data as well as distribution to direct import in Drupal installations and module/theme additions. The session will cover the current state and see how can you install a localized Drupal setup using data from our services. There are also some interesting tidbits to share in how our organic groups setup is organized for better effectiveness and delegation.

Parlez vous Internet? Ignore the rest of the world at your own risk.
Presented by Robert Douglass

This session will discuss the many moving parts involved in creating a multilingual website. We will also look at the business advantages and challenges involved in going international, as well as some solutions. You will learn what Drupal can do (and what it can't), and you will get to see how one company, ICanLocalize.com, is changing the game by lowering the cost and effort involved in owning multilingual content and addressing the other 9 (or more) top languages on the web.

Drupal in Government

The Future of Drupal in Government
Presented by Jeff Walpole and Chuck D'Antonio from Acquia

In the past year, there has been much discussion about Drupal as a platform to serve Government. As we strive to help governments improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and participation, it becomes more apparent that Drupal is naturally equipped to solve many of these challenges. But at the same time, there are incredible counter-forces at play, and implementers need to be aware of them. For instance: transparency is at odds with security, participation is at odds with privacy, etc.

This session will explore the topic from several angles, including what implementing Drupal in government can mean for the community from consultants experienced in the largest of government implementations.

Drupal Security

An enterprise approach to securing your Drupal sites
Presented by Chuck D'Antonio

Like any new technology, introducing Drupal into your organization is bound to raise questions and objections from a host of vested interests. One of the initial objections is often security. This concern is often more acute when your organization doesn't have a history with the rest of the stack -- so Linux, PHP, MySQL, and/or Apache are new and unknown as well.

This session focus on the types of risks that your Drupal initiative is likely to face, the controls you should put in place to mitigate that risk, and the process you should follow to verify those controls. We'll take a holistic approach to security that stretches beyond the specific of Drupal code and configuration and addresses how the entire system is subject to exploitation.

Drupal site security for coders and themers
Presented by Greg Knaddison and Peter Wolanin from Acquia

When you put your Drupal site online you expose it to a wide world of hackers who have the potential to attack your site. In this session you can learn about some of the most common problems with code in a
Drupal site so you'll recognize them and be able to protect against them. Join Drupal security team members Greg Knaddison and Peter Wolanin as they gives you the tools to hack your site and the knowledge to protect it.

You will specifically learn how to exploit a Cross Site Scripting vulnerability and Cross Site Request Forgery vulnerabilities and then also learn how to protect your code/sites against them.

eCommerce and Drupal

Building a viral marketing and customer rewards e-commerce site
Presented by Mike O'Connor and Robert Douglass from Acquia

You have a killer product - best in its class. You build a great website with the best CMS in the world (Drupal of course!) You make a slick jQuery widget that makes people go "oooh!" But you have no money to waste on expensive advertising and marketing. How then, do you increase sales exponentially and let your customers do all the talking?

In this case study we show you how one German bodybuilder, plus Drupal and Ubercart, plus embed widgets and a simple customer rewards system based on Userpoints, led to a 1000% increase in sales in a matter of a few months.

Comments

Posted on by latestnews (not verified).

Nice post. Thanks for sharing with us.

Posted on by driesk (not verified).

I don't think it's healthy to advertise a Drupal Association talk as an "Acquia Team Session", even when Acquia employees that also happen to be DA board members or permanent members organise the session. It could lead (or add) to the perception that the DA isn't independent or neutral.

Posted on by Bryan House.

Good point, my bad. I removed the Drupal Association session from the Acquia Team list.