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Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8: Episode 3 - Site Builder Improvements

Welcome to the third instalment of an 8-part blog series we're calling "The Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8." Whether you're a site builder, module or theme developer, or simply an end-user of a Drupal website, Drupal 8 has tons in store for you! This blog series will attempt to enumerate the major changes in Drupal 8. Successive posts will gradually get more technical, so feel free to skip to later parts (once they're published) if you're more on the geeky side. Please note that since Drupal 8 is still under active development, some of the details... Plus

How to: Responsive, Full-width Banners

As a front-end developer for acquia.com, I've had lots of fun and challenging design requests come my way. Most recently I was tasked with swapping out the static homepage graphic with a full-width, responsive slideshow banner that can also be tested and personalized using Acquia Lift. Requirements were: content managers must be able to upload graphics, edit text and create translated versions using the user interface, must include two link-able buttons for calls to action, must have functional controls, must be full-width and fully... Plus

Drupal for Brand Experience Optimization

Cross-posted with permission from Adyax World Tempus is a renowned authority on high-end watch brands. With a web presence dating back to the mid-90s, their site needed a major overhaul. This included improving performance, ad management, analytics and SEO. In 2012 they came to us asking for a modern site, cross-platform and true to their standards of luxury. Their old site was built on TYPO3, with years of accumulated content. We integrated an elegant new design – mobile and desktop... Plus

Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8: Episode 2 - Mobile Improvements

Welcome to the second installment of an 8-part blog series we're calling "The Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8." Whether you're a site builder, module or theme developer, or simply an end-user of a Drupal website, Drupal 8 has tons in store for you! This blog series will attempt to enumerate the major changes in Drupal 8. Successive posts will gradually get more technical, so feel free to skip to later parts (once they're published) if you're more on the geeky side. Please note that since Drupal 8 is still under active development, some of the details... Plus

High Availability Database Tools

Percona Live was held at the beginning of April this year and the Acquia team was there. This was a really great conference and I want to start by encouraging any DBA/database developer who uses MySQL in a production environment to go to the Percona Live conference. It's a great place to hear about new functionality, new products and how other companies are using MySQL at scale. Large companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as hot startups like Box all send representatives to share their knowledge. At... Plus

A Beginner’s Guide to Distributions: A fast-track to Drupal development

In the next few weeks we’ll be featuring distributions which can give you a fast track to developing with Drupal. We’ll be introducing a new distribution each week until our webinar on May 28th, where my colleague Jakub Suchy will answer all your questions about using existing distributions or deciding when you should build your own. Distro? What is this magic you speak of? Imagine if someone would let you download a copy of their working site so you could reverse engineer it. What modules did they use? How did the implement layouts? How did they model content types? You could get lots... Plus

How to know your site is up, and manage access in the Acquia toolset

I’m exceptionally proud to announce the general availability of some new features for the Acquia toolset: Uptime Monitoring and Teams & Permissions. Over the last several months we’ve gone through a careful beta phase; rolling these tools out to limited sets of users, gathering their feedback, refining, bug-fixing, and making sure they fit the bill. Now, with hundreds of customers using these features we’re ready to take the “beta” label off and offer them to all. Teams and Permissions Manage granular permissions at the role level. The first goal of the Teams and Permissions (T&P)... Plus

How to change your ticketing system in 20 days

There’s always room for improvement. If you’ve been with Acquia for a while you’ll have noticed that we recently switched ticketing systems. You probably also had a litany of things that you really disliked about our old system, starting with the iframe and ending with…well, there probably was no end. We were pretty tired of it too. It had worked well enough when we were a smaller company; though we all knew we could have built something better internally, as a growing company we had to make tough choices as to where we put our efforts. In December of 2013 we started a looking in earnest for... Plus

SharePoint to Drupal Migration

Cross-posted with permission from Blue Coda With enterprise adoption of Drupal increasing at a rapid rate, many companies are interested in the options available to migrate from legacy systems. For companies using Microsoft’s SharePoint as an external web platform (check out our post about using SharePoint as a CMS), the thought of migrating thousands of pieces of content can... Plus

Locking Down the Cloud: Dealing with Complexity

I love this illustration from a recent Netskope Cloud Report. The IT guy, standing in his dinghy, is estimating that he has 40-50 cloud apps running in his enterprise. But check out that submerged iceberg: it’s more like 397! That’s nearly 10x the IT estimate. You’ll notice that Netskope also points out that 77 percent of those apps are not enterprise ready. We’re talking consumer cloud apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, and so on. We’re talking all those “stealth IT” and “shadow IT” sites that employees set up on their own -- to prototype an idea, or get a specific task done, fast.... Plus

Great Examples of Amazing Digital Experiences!

On a mission to help companies and brands thrive in the complex digital world, Acquia partners with top digital agencies that are creating amazing digital experiences. This competition serves as a chance to showcase the best examples of their work. Acquia’s digital agency partners submitted more than 100 client sites for consideration across 15 categories. Acquia executives then selected 44 finalists, assessing each site on visual design, functionality, integration and overall customer experience. Finalists will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the digital marketing and Drupal... Plus

Secure Acquia accounts with two-step verification and strong passwords

Today I’m proud to announce the general availability of three new authentication and access control security features for the Acquia Network. The following features will help ensure the security of your account and sites on Acquia Cloud by securing the sign-in process and enabling subscription-based access controls on the Acquia Network: Two-step verification (a.k.a. 2FA) Strong password enforcement IP address access control Any user may set up two-step verification on their Acquia account; IP address control and password strength requirements can also be enforced for all team members and... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

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... Plus

Acquia Cloud adds PHP 5.5 (and more)

Acquia Cloud strives to be the best place to build and manage Drupal web sites. One aspect of that is providing the best, most current PHP runtime environment for Drupal. We’ve long supported Drupal 6 and 7, and we are preparing to support Drupal 8 as soon as it is ready. Drupal 8 requires PHP 5.4 or newer, so today we are announcing that Acquia Cloud supports PHP 5.5 for all sites and all subscription levels. Choosing the PHP version per environment Acquia Cloud provides multiple environments, such as Dev, Staging, and Prod, for your site development workflow. Converting your site from one... Plus

Drupal 8 performance: render caching

In late 2009, Drupal 7 introduced render caching — enabling Drupal modules to easily cache the final HTML corresponding to a subtree in a Drupal render array. Render caching already was a powerful tool in Drupal 7, but unfortunately almost nobody knew about it! This blog post will show how you can leverage it, how it's gotten even better in Drupal 8, and how you will be leveraging it directly in Drupal 8. Hopefully I can get you excited :) In Drupal 7, few modules use it… even in core! If your contributed module provides a block with the optional... Plus

Drupal 8: Forms, OOP style

Back in August 2013, I wrote the original version of this article on my Drupal Gardens blog. Drupal 8 has continued to be refined since then, so I updated the code to work against the current state of Drupal 8, and am cross posting it here. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and encouragement on my first blog post about OOP in Drupal 8. This is the next installment. In the first post, we examined a very simple controller: one that just outputs "Hello.". In the... Plus

10 Tips to Streamline Migration Review

To a project manager for large migrations into Drupal, the time scheduled for stakeholder review of migrated content never seems to be enough. In this post, I'll talk about 10 ways Acquia Professional Services Engagement Managers have streamlined this review so it works for stakeholders without derailing the project schedule. In a typical project schedule, the opportunity for project stakeholders to review and bless the content migration is sandwiched somewhere between the development team's first automated migration and the launch date. This... Plus

11 Drupal Implementation Mistakes

Cross-posted with permission from OHO Interactive If you're not careful when it comes to implementing your Drupal site, a lot can go wrong. Working with a partner who has Drupal expertise and plenty of experience can help you avoid costly mistakes that can derail your digital strategy. Here's our list of 11 common mistakes that are entirely avoidable, along with the reaction you can expect if you make them. 1. Picking the wrong host. If you picked a host who can’t handle spikes in your site traffic, you’re... Plus

Drupal vs. Sharepoint: Choosing the right platform for your site

As Drupal continues to gain significant enterprise adoption, it is competing more and more against incumbent technology in the form of commercial and proprietary software. One of the more surprising competitors in the marketplace belongs to a software application that was created for document management, not content management. That technology is Microsoft SharePoint, and it powers a surprising amount of enterprise websites. Then again, perhaps this is not as shocking as it seems given the ubiquity of Microsoft applications and the fact Microsoft will include a license for an external website... Plus

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