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The TestOps Files, part 1: You can't mock out the operating system

DevOps is a software development method that, among other things, involves automating the provisioning and configuration of IT infrastructure. A key part of that definition is software development—DevOps is about writing software. Like all software, DevOps software needs to be tested. Like all software, DevOps software is best tested in an automated fashion as part of a Continuous Integration (CI) development process. Acquia Cloud is a PaaS for developing and running web sites. It is a software product, and a massive DevOps... Plus

Drupal 8 OOP benefit 1 of many: entity types

Many people, including me, have been blogging about Drupal 8 and its transition to object oriented programming. One question that comes up often is why?, given the extra layers of abstraction, complexity, and verbosity that often accompanies that. Dries wrote a post, answering that question at a high level. In this post, I want to quickly highlight one place, entity types, where the abstractions have what I think to be very obvious and impressive benefits. I... Plus

This Week in Drupal Core: September 18, 2013

"Cross Posted from Drupal.org" Welcome to the inaugural entry in the "This Week in Drupal Core" series, which aims to highlight cool happenings in and around Drupal core for people who don't have their home pages set to http://drupal.org/project/issues/user (as shocking as it may be to hear, apparently these people exist ;)). Overall, energy in the core queue has largely been spent around readying things for DrupalCon Prague (in just a few short days,... Plus

Sneak Peek into Next Generation Cloud Tools (they're wicked sick)

Over the course of 2013, the UX, Product and Development teams here at Acquia have been hard at work to make our systems and interfaces do more, work better and load faster. The year started with the code behind the UI at insight.acquia.com being vastly refactored to be more object oriented and more streamlined. As a result we reduced our database queries by as much as 50% on some pages. Next we created the Acquia Notify system which provides notifications about your site and displays them in the re-designed top nav bar. Following that we created a new account management site (accounts.acquia... Plus

As Egypt Goes Into Crisis, Support Team Keeps Al-Masry Site Delivering News

Egypt has been engulfed in constant turmoil over the past decade, including upheavals during the early days of the Arab Spring, and then again this summer. Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s leading independent media group, plays a critical role, serving as a vital information source for Egypt’s population in these turbulent times. And because its digital site is a key beacon of communication, the site’s stability and functionality needs to be a top priority for Al-Masry’s IT team. But what happens when your lead developer can’t get to work because of another series of riots? Acquia’s Support team... Plus

Explaining Varnish for Beginners

A short time ago I published a presentation I gave at DrupalACT entitled 'Varnish for Beginners'. Whilst the presentation itself went down well and those attending hopefully garnered a good amount of knowledge, I thought I'd share the basics in this blog post for those who would like to know more about it. What is Varnish? Varnish is a reverse proxy HTTP accelerator that is often placed in front of... Plus

Acquia Cloud Free is now generally available!

Today we are excited to launch our freely available version of Acquia Cloud to the general public -- no credit card or beta codes required! Acquia Cloud Free provides Drupal developers a free sandbox on the most secure and reliable development platform. Use it to experiment with new features, test your code quality and create extraordinary digital experiences! Acquia Cloud Free also provides an easy way to trial the features that makes our offering so special: easy drag & drop workflow integration with Git and Drush and controllable by API and Cloud Hooks code analysis and tuning with... Plus

Announcing Acquia Cloud Free

I'm excited to announce that Acquia is launching Acquia Cloud Free, a no-cost development sandbox for Drupal development. While Acquia has always had a freemium offer for development purposes, it had an expiration date, and it required a credit card. We've changed that with Acquia Cloud Free. Acquia Cloud Free comes packed with great tools including, but not limited to: A free development sandbox on Acquia Cloud with development and staging environments,... Plus

Acquia now offering training in India

Over the years, we have seen Drupal adoption grow tremendously world-wide. It started from a dorm room and today, has managed make its way into every nook and corner of the world including of course the IT services capital of the world, India. India has a lot of fantastic Drupalists. Did you know that it is second only to the United states in the number of visitors to Drupal.org? The rate at which Drupal is growing, more often than not, we are finding that there are not enough options out there for developers to learn and adopt the technology. There is a need for compelling Drupal training... Plus

Drupal Commons-Alfresco-CAS SSO Integration

For companies that need a quick and feature-rich solution for their internal data Drupal Commons may be a good fit. Simply put, Drupal Commons is a collection of commonly used Drupal modules all bundled together and themed. It provides a good out-of-the-box system with many useful features such as: user-follows, notes, wikis, events etc. For organizations that depend on use cases more traditionally served by Enterprise Content Management (ECM) capabilities such as robust document management with versioning support, or deep compliance and archiving requirements, integration with Alfresco may... Plus

Three important start-up lessons I learned

The blog post below was a guest article I wrote for Inc Magazine and was published in September 2013. It has been a while since I shared a startup lesson on my personal blog so I'm cross-posting my article here. When I started working on Drupal in my college dormitory 12 years ago, I had no idea that one day it would be used by 2 percent of the world's websites. What is even more exciting is the open source community that has grown up around Drupal. I co-founded... Plus

The Future of PHP is ... Here Already

Things are a-buzz in the Drupal community, with a major new release on the horizon: Drupal 8. It heralds many excellent features of course, but one major change is that Drupal 8 will require PHP 5.3 as a minimum platform. PHP 5.3 adds a ton of goodness for Drupal and other PHP users (see "Feature Heaven" below), but there's even better in store for you in PHP 5.4 (faster) and 5.5 (more efficient)! The Drupal project is in a great place using PHP 5.3, but if you're wishing that PHP would be faster, have more features, or make better use of your hardware, the next versions of PHP have already... Plus

Ops Team Keeps Bassmaster Site Reeled In

Each year Bassmaster.com tackles approximately 36 live events that feature some of best anglers in the world, and with a large fanbase following Fantasy Fishing and four levels of competitive fishing events, site functionality and stability are imperative to their success. “You never know where the event will take the anglers,” said Jim Sexton, Chief Digital Officer at Bassmaster.com. “We started in Detroit for one event and some anglers went to Lake Erie and others to Lake Huron because of the quality of fishing at our starting location. This meant that reporters, videographers,... Plus

Drupal 8: A View Into Performance

Drupal 8: A View Into Performance (This article does not represent the current state of Drupal 8 development.) Templating in Drupal 8 relies on Twig, but monitoring Views performance is still an open question. Views is one of the most installed Drupal modules with over two thirds of Drupal sites reporting that they have it installed. Soon,... Plus

A Look at PHP's Continuing Evolution

Guest post by Larry Garfield – Larry Garfield is a Senior Architect at Palantir.net, a web consultancy based in Chicago. When not developing sites for clients, he can also be found leading the Drupal 8 Web Services Initiative, evangelizing good coding practices, working to bring the PHP world closer together through the PHP Framework Interoperability Group, or providing training either for clients or the Drupal community. Occasionally he remembers to sleep. PHP is not a young language. As of 2013, it's 18 years old; that's old enough to vote. Many... Plus

Getting your site ready for Drupal 8

Note: Last update April 28, 2014 The drumbeat has started. On an almost daily basis, I'm asked How do I get my site ready for Drupal 8? Here is my best answer. If you go dutifully through this list, your site will be in peak condition when Drupal 8 is released. Start giving your administrators a taste of D8 now Significant parts of Drupal 8 are already available for Drupal 7. These modules are not quite as strong as their D8 counterparts, but they are a great investment you can make today. Get your admins excited about their future by... Plus

Commons 3.3: Brought to you by the GRAMMY Awards & the Drupal Community

We're excited to announce the release of Drupal Commons 3.3 with several great new features and usability improvements sponsored by The Recording Academy, presenter of the annual GRAMMY awards. Drupal Commons is Acquia's social business software that makes it easy to start a collaborative community website. Drupal Commons has no license fees, is 100 percent open source, and competes directly with software from... Plus

Drupal 8: Building Twig Performance

(This article does not represent the current state of Drupal 8 development.) There's been a lot of excitement over Drupal 8's switch to Twig, a modern templating engine written in object oriented PHP code, but the process of making the switch happen has been an adventure on its own. The plan to adopt Twig required abandoning PHPTemplate completely, which is a mammoth undertaking requiring converting every Drupal 8 core template and theme function to a Twig equivalent. Even with a feature... Plus

Complying with Open Gov: The November Deadlines

(Part 2 of the "Open Gov" blog series) Federal agencies are currently wrestling with determining what they must do to comply with the White House’s Executive Order on open data. Until something more definitive is published, the best guidance might come from the Implementation Guide page on Project Open Data. The guide lists eight steps with minimum... Plus

The Wisdom of Crowds and The Open Source Way

What do high-speed rail, ash tree dieback, and changing world demographics have in common? These are just three projects that are actively harnessing what James Surowiecki refers to as, The Wisdom of Crowds. Open Source Design Let’s start with Elon Musk’s Hyperloop proposal for high-speed public transportation. Musk has taken an incubator approach, with Telsa and SpaceX staff involved in... Plus

What does the White House's Executive Order mean for Open Government?

(Part 1 of the "Open Gov" blog series) The White House's Executive Order of May 9, will cause a shift in the way that Federal agencies present data. The Executive Order, “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information,” mandates that, “the default state of new and modernized Government information resources shall be open and machine readable.” So what does this mean for Federal agencies? Well, that’s a bit... Plus

Following the Sun, Ops Team Keeps the Lights on for Client’s Big Media Push

(Part 1 of "The Adventures of the Acquia Cloud Ops Team" blog series) You’re in your office, feet up on your desk bathed in the luminescent glow of your multiple large screen monitors. You’re feeling good because your site is going to be getting some great media coverage, and you and your team have prepped for this based on all the projections provided by your Marketing team plus a bit of a buffer. And then... Your manager comes racing in saying that the analytics are showing the site traffic numbers are way beyond what Marketing had predicted. “How are we holding up?” he asks. Panicked,... Plus

5 Takeaways from Capital Camp

Last weekend was Capital Camp, that annual time when Drupalists descend on Washington DC for two days of conversation and sessions on everything Drupal. If you weren't able to make it, here are 5 takeaways to apply to whatever you are working on: 1. Drupal is great for .gov Woven throughout the sessions were case studies for large government entities who turned to Drupal and found success, both on the state and federal level. One example, Gerogia.gov, used Drupal to transition to a responsive site... Plus

Drupal 8: Configuration Performance Management

(Part 2 of the "Site Performance with Drupal 8" blog series). Just getting started? Check out Part 1 (This article does not represent the current state of Drupal 8 development.) Drupal sites are all about content, but the site itself is more than just the code and the data it stores. The difference between production and staging isn't just which database to point it: It's the entire configuration. Storing, updating, and accessing this configuration is a big part of what Drupal does. Each module needs to read a different... Plus

Drupal & MySQL - an open source history

(The below blog is part of the Drupal Meets MySQL blog series by Michael Benshoof, MySQL Consultant @ Percona and Andrew Kenney, VP Platform Engineering @ Acquia) Together, Drupal and MySQL run some of the largest websites on the planet. Both are renowned for having thriving developer and user communities. But how did they get this way, and what does the future hold? In this series we'll cover the history of these great open source projects, how they work seamlessly together and how best to leverage them in the cloud. In the late 90s the... Plus

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