Thoughts that Count

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Locking Down the Cloud: Freeing the Cloud

When I started talking to cloud experts about automation and security, I thought that we’d spend most of our time discussing how automation reduces human error (and deliberate malfeasance). And how it frees up IT time for higher value activities.
It does both of those things, of course. But I also discovered a sub-theme that kept bubbling up in my conversations: by automating security, you give a power boost to one of the most appealing features of cloud hosting: rapid elasticity and scalability.
Let’s say that you need to scale up your digital capacity to handle a surge of interest and... Mehr

The best kind of learning technology

Our training is hands-on, but what that means has changed through the years we’ve run Drupal training. Now you’re just as likely to see learners drawing on paper, collaborating with someone, giving a quick demo, or of course, working hard on their computers. I was reminded of this recently looking at some photos of a client training by our partner, Cegeka with Laurens Vandeput, Senior Drupal developer and team coach. Such simple tools are a key component of our technical... Mehr

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
The Chief Digital Officer Landscape
While the CDO role is most prevalent in media and advertising, the sector where it is having the most gains is retail, with Best Buy, Walmart, Starbucks, etc. leading the way in carving out a role for a senior executive devoted to owning and innovating on the digital customer experience. Any digitally focused organization (one that relies on digital to deliver a... Mehr

How to reliably test sandbox projects using the drupal.org testbot locally

During Drupal Dev Days in Hungary, there were many sprints that took place. You can see the amazing footage of what went on there in this nice movie, but that is not what we are going to discuss now!
In this blog post, we'll talk about how to manage your Drupal 8 module upgrade while working with many people together using a sandbox. Since drupal.org does not allow you to grant per branch access to the repository, it might be risky to allow everyone commit... Mehr

Protecting Enterprise Drupal Users Against Heartbleed

On the afternoon of Monday, April 7 2014, the Heartbleed bug was made public and demonstrated that the majority of encrypted traffic on the Internet was vulnerable to eavesdropping.
In this post we wanted to provide insight into the steps Acquia took to handle this event. First, though, we want to state:
Acquia’s infrastructure is now safe and hardened
Acquia has been working to ensure our customers’ Drupal sites are secure no matter how or where they use Drupal
Mitigating Heartbleed involves more than just software updates or server patching
We are... Mehr

DrupalCon Training with the Acquia team! UX and Security

The Acquia team is getting ready for DrupalCon Austin. We're excited about the official announcement of training at DrupalCon which is held on the Monday before the conference on Monday, June 2. We have two courses on offer which we think you'll love. One will get you started evaluating your designs with users, and how to conduct usability testing. One will help ensure your site or application is secure which is increasingly important for sites of all sizes.
Sale on ticket prices until May 2nd
DrupalCon training is on sale for $75 off. And the ticket pricing is $100 off the cost of onsite... Mehr

Conference Heats Up Discussion of Customer Experiences

The warmth of Miami after a LONG winter has helped fuel the energy of the Demandware XChange Conference, but that’s certainly not the only factor. This highly engaged group is striving to keep up with the ever increasing expectations of online shoppers.
Innovation abounds in commerce, as brands work tirelessly to build loyalty and engagement through their digital channels. This challenge will continue to fuel innovation, increase the speed of commerce and drive the need for new, engaging, informed shopping experiences.... Mehr

SensioLabs UK - Lessons and chances from Drupal 8 early adoption


Part 2 of 2 - I spoke with Richard Miller and Tom Kitchin, software engineers at SensioLabs UK and its parent company Inviqa respectively, via a Google Hangout on Air recently. Here, I learn the inside story on one of the first Drupal 8 sites online, www.sensiolabs.co.uk, what their goals were, how they built it and have kept it running since May 2013, and how Drupal 8 will change... Mehr

Live tutorial on using Bootstrap with Drupal today!


Our old training site was looking a bit long in the tooth. It was not only Drupal 6, but also had an old Acquia design several versions behind the current main site. It was time for a major update.

Step by step tutorials

Dave Myburgh, Lead developer for Acquia.com recently gave two webinars about the experience. He shares specific tips on what modules he used to keep the development lightweight and flexible.

The first recording is now available, and you can register for part 2, focusing on Bootstrap, which is today!... Mehr

Using Composer Manager to get off the Island Now

On the eve of 2013, prolific Drupal contributor Larry Garfield put forth a challenge to "get off the island", and judging by the adoption of non-Drupal projects in Drupal 8 core I would say the community has responded. By using the Composer tool it is easier than ever to build on top of the tens-of-thousands of platform-agnostic projects in the PHP community, and it is exciting to see Drupal contribute to... Mehr

Locking Down the Cloud: Taking Advantage of Automation

I was nursing a strong cup of coffee when I spoke to Marc Boorshtein, the chief technology officer at Tremelo Security, an identity service broker that enables enterprises to integrate new applications very quickly.
The coffee was crucial, because Marc decided, as an example, to go through the manual process of deploying a new server. “First, install the OS; then install certain libraries; then install packages; then configure the packages; then lock down the server…”
“Stop!” I pleaded. “I get it!”
Marc was happy to oblige, because I just made his points for him: Rote activities are... Mehr

Jumpstarting a UX Research Program at Acquia

This April, at the Lean UX NYC Conference, Ezra Gildesgame and I will co-present a half-day workshop, Communicating the Business Value and Getting Buy-in for UX Research. In our workshop, we will share techniques for selling your internal stakeholders on the importance of research for making business and product decisions.
In 2013, one of the biggest priorities for the Acquia UX team was to revamp our customer research program to effectively involve our internal team members in our research projects. During the... Mehr

Organize Your Styles - An Introduction to SMACSS

On smaller brochure sites, how your organize your styles isn’t usually a big concern. You get in there, write some CSS, or maybe even some SASS. You compile it all into a single stylesheet with SASS’s production settings, and then you aggregate it to get all the stylesheets from modules into a nice tidy package.
However, when it comes to larger, more complex projects, how you organize your code is a key to efficiency. Not only in how how much time it takes, but also in how much code you write, and how much a browser has to load. This is especially important when you’re working with a team of... Mehr

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Digital leaders for Oprah, Lady Gaga, Rachael Ray, and Michael J Fox discuss protecting personal brands at Chief Digital Officer Summit
“It’s so different…with a person, you’re dealing with an emotional relationship and their reputation.”
That distinction—how managing fans of a personality, versus those of a product—was shared by Rosemary Maggiore, President of Rachael Ray Digital, at the 2013... Mehr

Why selecting a new CMS will just not cut it

Being part of Acquia’s Solutions Architecture team gives me unique insight into the changing landscape of Digital Marketing and the Internet in general. People are scrambling to get shiny new tools in place to be able to cope with the speed at which the Internet is changing. During the course of the last year I have reviewed dozens of RFP’s in which companies set out to select a “solution”.
But, selecting a new “solution” won’t actually solve your problem! Having an online strategy isn’t only about the tool, it’s about much, much more, as we’ll see in a moment.
Most RFP’s fall into one of... Mehr

Drupal 8 + Symfony - "This is what open source is all about"


Part 1 of 2 - I spoke with Richard Miller and Tom Kitchin, software engineers at SensioLabs UK and its parent company Inviqa respectively, via a Google Hangout on Air recently. I wanted to learn more about PHP and Symfony from their perspective and how they think the Drupal 8 and Symfony2 are going to affect each other.

In part 2, I learn the inside story on one of the first Drupal 8 sites online,... Mehr

More Responsive Image Effects for Drupal 7

Cross-posted with permission from Isovera.com
When working with image styles in Drupal 7, there are many types of visual effects that can be applied to responsive displays. Some examples include: Cropping; Desaturation; Watermarks; Canvas Effects; etc. These examples and others can be applied per device type and/or screen width based on the breakpoints and image styles already applied as shown in the previous blog post. Building upon our integration of the Breakpoints & Picture modules from the... Mehr

Acquia Workshop at Lean UX NYC Conference

The most successful UX teams understand that their skills must extend beyond running solid research studies and producing great product designs. First, teams must establish buy-in and participation in research from the people who matter most--the other stakeholders involved in making the decisions that influence products.
Next, week, I’ll partner with Christine Perfetti, Acquia’s Senior Director of User Experience to lead a workshop called, “Communicating the Business Value and Getting Buy-in for UX Research” as part of... Mehr

This week-ish in Drupal core: April 2, 2014

What's new with Drupal 8?
The past three weeks saw some exciting progress on Drupal 8, in part due to the hard work of everyone who went to DrupalDevDays 2014 in Szeged, Hungary. It also saw the release of drupal-8.x-alpha10.
Drupal Developer Days Szeged
DevDays Szeged was a landmark for the Drupal 8 release cycle. Participants marveled at how productive and well-organized the event was, and core maintainers commented they'd never seen such momentum in... Mehr

The Rise of Digital Creates A Marketer’s Dilemma

As a product manager at Acquia, I frequently speak with digital thought leaders at many organizations, small and large. It’s clear that the digital marketing profession at these organizations has undergone tremendous change over the past decade. Digital marketers now oversee large numbers of “digital experiences,” rather than the small number of static, branded web sites that were the norm just a few short years ago. And by incorporating web, social, mobile and offline touch points, managing these digital experiences has become very complex.
This complexity has greatly increased demands on... Mehr

Drupal Development using PhpStorm

The PhpStorm IDE comes with a bundled Drupal Plugin, providing functionality for modules, themes as well as for core Drupal development for Drupal 6, 7 or 8. Combine that with PhpStorm’s excellent PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript support, automatic code inspections, debugging and unit testing support and we have a great tool for developing our next Drupal application! In this post, we will see how we can get started with Drupal development in PhpStorm.
From the Welcome screen (or by selecting File | New Project), we can choose to create a new project of the Drupal type. PhpStorm will make sure... Mehr

Locking Down the Cloud: Leveraging the Ecosystem

Ryan Scheuermann recently came up with a good metaphor to describe the difference between managing security on your own servers, and using a cloud-based service.
“When you’re working with bare metal in your own location, it’s all up to you. It’s like the wild west,” he said.
“When you’re hosted in the cloud,” he continued, “it’s like being in a gated community: the cloud service providers have many services that you can take advantage of.”
“It’s still up to you,” said Ryan, who is the chief product officer and co-founder of Ceros, a cloud-based marketing platform that is used by global... Mehr

Taking Migrations from Madness to Gladness

For every new and amazing Drupal application we build, there is almost always a corresponding data migration. This major aspect of enterprise projects can involve complex business and data analysis, detailed data mapping, migration from multiple third-party data and analytics sources, test migrations, and data validation.
Data is always an area where our clients have much more expertise than we could hope to gain during a standard professional services engagement, so they are heavily involved in this aspect of the project, including planning, validating test migrations, signoff of final... Mehr

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Second Screen is Key to Great Digital Experience
Brands today are engaging with consumers on a rapidly growing number of platforms and devices. Taking the next step in the multiplatform revolution, many have begun engaging with their audience on two platforms simultaneously, add a second screen in order to add new layers of interactivity and interest.
Chief digital officers, or digital strategists... Mehr

Second Screen is Key to Great Digital Experience

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption
Brands today are engaging with consumers on a rapidly growing number of platforms and devices. Taking the next step in the multiplatform revolution, many have begun engaging with their audience on two platforms simultaneously, add a second screen in order to add new layers of interactivity and interest.
Chief digital officers, or digital strategists with similar responsibilities, are often those being charged with developing this second-... Mehr

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