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Your questions wanted for Distributions panel at DrupalCon Denver!

With the recent completion of major enhancements to the Drupal.org distribution packaging system, the tools for building great Drupal distributions are more democratized than ever! Next Wednesday at DrupalCon, we’ll be holding a panel discussion on Drupal distributions that includes people from several companies who are actively involved in developing or adopting Drupal distributions in the enterprise: Marc O'Brien - VP,... Plus

Introducing the Acquia Cloud API and Drush CLI

Acquia Cloud has two brand-shiny-new interfaces today! The Acquia Cloud API is a RESTful web interface that allows developers to extend, enhance, and customize Acquia Cloud. It includes developer workflow, site management, and provisioning capabilities. The Acquia Cloud Drush commands allow using all features of the Cloud API on the command line or from shell scripts using the excellent Drush command line tool. Let's start with a demo. It's kind hard to demo an API, so instead I'll use the Drush Cloud commands to deploy a site as... Plus

Using apachesolr to index custom data

Imagine you have a custom database table, storing some imported content for your nodes. This post will explain how this content can be exposed to be indexed by Solr via the apachesolr module. The example module provided was tested with apachesolr 6.x-1.6. It assumes that this custom content is associated to nodes (e.g. a custom imported text value). Hooks on the table hook_apachesolr_modify_query - to tell solr we are passing a new field of a given type. hook_apachesolr_update_index - to pass our custom data alongside (not appended to) the node object hook_apachesolr_process_results - show... Plus

Gird your loins!

With DrupalCon right around the corner my world is barely organized chaos; but now that we're starting to see some of the things we've been assembling come together the excitement is setting in. What can I say, there's nothing better than building awesome stuff--even if I end up working till 2AM for a few weeks. There's so much coming down the pike that I'm not going to talk about it all here (I'm going to wrangle some of my guys into blogging about this stuff as well), even though I'm busting at the seams to spill the beans on some of the cool things. I don't want to steal the thunder from... Plus

Using git subtree to Make a Distro Your Docroot

A cornerstone of good Drupal development is deploying your site’s code from a version control system like Git or SVN. A further best practice is to put all your code in a directory in the repository, instead of at the top level of the repository. Doing this allows you to put other things into the repository that are not intended to be served publicly. For example, Acquia’s Cloud Hooks are scripts you put into the hooks directory that run when you deploy code, databases, or files, but should never be served as site content. Using Cloud Hooks... Plus

Process Improvement for Managing Project Complexity and Scale

All projects of scale go through a phase when they outgrow the loose and undefined processes that work for small projects. With the project growing in size and complexity, processes need to be better defined to ensure they can handle the additional scale. What sets successful projects apart from unsuccessful ones is that successful teams are able to continuously identify when and where processes are breaking down, and are able to continuously improve those processes. I have recently seen how a project team recognized its quality assurance and deployment processes were starting to break and... Plus

When and how caching can save your Drupal site

This is the first of a series of blog posts debating caching strategies in Drupal. In this first post we will understand what Drupal is able of doing out of the box regarding caching, and what are the options to extend it to achieve sites that perform normally under high load. Unlike a static HTML website, Drupal pages consist of small building blocks that are rendered independently of one another before they are bundled together and sent to the browser as an atomic unit. Because Drupal is a dynamic content generation platform, there are a series of complex events that are executed behind the... Plus

Acquia Cloud has made me lazy… and I like it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been involved in setting up a number of servers with other hosting companies—none of them were tailored Drupal hosts, but they were all big, big hosting companies. Some were virtual hosts, some used cpanel or plesk, but all were unbelievably painful! I need to be fair, though, a significant portion of the pain was not their fault, but rather the fault of Acquia Cloud hosting. You see, it’s made me a bit lazy, and honestly it’s caused me to expect a bit too much from a host. Let’s start with APC (advanded php cache). Anyone who does a lot of Drupal dev will want to... Plus

Most followed issues on Drupal.org - February 2012

The Drupal project uses the project module to track bugs and features on drupal.org. For a long time if you wanted to pay attention to an issue you had to comment on it resulting in the infamous "subscribe" comment. In late 2011 a feature was created to allow people to subscribe to an issue without commenting on it. The world rejoiced (see this article for history and details). This gives us an interesting bit of metadata that is not exposed in the user interface anywhere... Plus

Custom development for docs.acquia.com

Late last year, our group, the Network team, was tasked with building the new Acquia Documentation site, meant to be the central repository of documentation for our hosting platform and products. Mixed with many other requirements, there were two that required some custom code to be written, plus some special configuration to be thought through: A) The site should have a Book tree to order the content, but the tree should allow to include the same content under different parents to minimize the creation of duplicate nodes that could later be a challenge to update consistently. B) The site... Plus

Making the Switch: Drupal 4 Developers

To follow up on our post about the Security Training we're running in Denver, we now introduce you to our second training course - "Making the Switch: For Experienced Developers Moving to Drupal" taught by Jeff Beeman, Joshua Brauer, and Chris Porter. Check out the (very amateur) video below with Jeff Beeman and Erik Webb. Jeff is leading this years course, and Erik taught this course with Jeff in London & Chicago. They... Plus

Drupal Gardens adds content access control, image tools, bulk operations, and more!

This is the 21st in our series of Drupal Gardens 'What's New' posts, and we think this one is especially worth celebrating. Need to restrict valuable content on your site to only privileged users? Want to crop, rotate or resize uploaded images in your posts? Wish you could click to perform bulk delete or other operations on lists of users, content or media? Long for better control over how comments are displayed on your site? With this release, we've got you covered. A lot went into making these features simple, but powerful.... Plus

Ensure internal adoption with end-user training

This week we'll learn about the importance of end-user training. In February, I'll write about modules you can use to customize the editor user experience in Drupal, and some news about initiatives in Drupal to improve the content administrator experience. Say you’ve built or purchased a flexible, extensible application with Drupal. Because Drupal is highly malleable, it’s likely a wholly unique custom system. A downside is that this leaves end users at a loss in terms of self-teaching. They may be inclined to simply search for “Drupal” tutorials, yielding an array of irrelevant information... Plus

Site building is for coders too.

New to Drupal, but you're an experienced coder? Drop the API, and step away from the command line. In one of our most popular webinars of 2011 about developing with Drupal, developer Camilla Jensen (naxoc) admitted that- even with her experience with J2EE and PHP development, much of her work on a typical Drupal project starts with *research*. During the morning tea break at... Plus

COD 2012 Update: New co-maintainer, Drupal 7, & Acquia

2011 was an amazing year for COD, the Drupal-based solution for fully featured conference websites. - There have been several amazing sites added to the COD showcase - A new co-maintainer - Solid community commitment to helping with the update to Drupal 7 - And increasingly, more involvement from Acquia You can read more about these developments -- and Acquia's increasingly active role with COD -- in the 2012 update on UseCOD.com. Plus

Website Goals and Community Management

It seems that everyone is implementing a Enterprise 2.0/Social Business/Social Media tool inside the enterprise these days. Generally these tools are being implemented to enable better collaboration across the organization or, to be cynical, to be hip to the latest IT trend because of Gen-Y’s entrance into the work force. In the time honored tradition of the “If you build it they will come” IT attitude, IT departments are implementing tools without considering how users will interact with them. Probably for more than any other technology, collaboration tools should focus on the established... Plus

Change Mangagement with a Radical Site Redesign

The past couple of months have been exciting for the team connected with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s GlobalNET project. We have launched a number of different centers on the new platform, and so far response to the new system has been positive. This has been a large milestone that has taken us a year of hard work to accomplish. Our biggest challenge in going live was helping existing users make the transition from the old system to GlobalNET. Change management is a problem that plagues every application roll out, especially when the new application is vastly different from... Plus

Automate tests and more with Acquia Cloud Hooks

Acquia Dev Cloud is the Drupal cloud hosting platform for developers, and today I'm really psyched to announce availability of a frequently requested developer feature: Acquia Cloud Hooks. Of course, since Dev Cloud and Managed Cloud run on the same technology, Cloud Hooks are fully supported on Managed Cloud as well. If you'd rather try Cloud Hooks instead of reading about them, you can sign up right now and use coupon code BJB111209 to get the first 30 days free. What are Cloud Hooks? In my... Plus

Upal - a proposed test framework for Drupal 8

Meet Upal. UPal is a PHPUnit based test framework for Drupal. I hope it can replace Simpletest as the test runner in Drupal 8. It aims to run all existing tests with little or no modification. To do so, it provides DrupalWebTestCase and DrupalUnitTestCase classes which are built upon PHPUnit instead of Drupal’s Simpletest. Motivation In my opinion, there is an intractable problem with Simpletest. Namely, even experienced developers get confused between the two Drupal sites that are in use during a... Plus

Gaining Insight: It began with a port...

After I joined Acquia in January, I was given the task of assisting in the port of the Acquia.com/Acquia Network web properties to Drupal 7. Although other people were involved in the process, including Jakub Suchy and his team, there was a lot that needed to be ported. One such item was the Acquia Network Connector module, which links a website to the Acquia Network and passes website data after it validates its keys. On one fateful gardening day, I began the task of porting its existing code to Drupal 7, and I found myself quite impressed... Plus

How Acquia Tests Software (via uTest)

I started at Acquia 6 months ago, having previously worked for larger, process-heavy corporations that sold packaged proprietary, software with long release cycles. Our QA teams consisted of over 50 people (sometimes a lot more), and were always the long pole in the process, whether it was Agile or Waterfall. Not so at Acquia. At Acquia, I manage a lean QA team of 4 people (we have another team that tests usability), and we support 5 products. We work in an Agile environment, release every 3 weeks, and meet our quality goals for each sprint. Our QA testing strategy at Acquia is to perform... Plus

Acquia migrates the World Economic Forum to Drupal

Introduction The World Economic Forum (the Forum) runs WELCOM, their internal collaboration platform on Drupal. The Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders. It is best known for its annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. These world leaders use WELCOM during and after the conference to work on major issues such as climate change, world health, poverty, etc. It is vitally important for our planet that WELCOM serves its users well. Before... Plus

Acquia Cloud UX improvements, free 30-day trials

We released Acquia Dev Cloud at Drupalcon Chicago and so far it has been an incredible success. Thousands of Drupal developers, small and large development shops, and businesses have been successfully building and deploying production Drupal sites on Dev Cloud for six months—and we have learned a ton from them about how to make the system even better. We've been pretty quiet for the last six months, but now we're ready to start talking! If you'd rather try Dev Cloud instead of reading about it, you can... Plus

Building a world-class security program at Acquia

Hi, I'm Mike Lemire, and it’s been three months since I’ve joined the Acquia team as Director of Information Security, and I wanted to share some of the what is happening here in the realm of information security. A little about me. I began my career in IT in the publishing industry during the mid-90s. As manager of IT at InStyle magazine, I built one of the first intranet sites at Time Inc.’s magazine division. I moved into the financial services sector working at a hedge fund, then at JPMorgan, eventually ending up at RiskMetrics Group, a rapidly growing financial services firm.... Plus

A new kind of Drupalcon session

What is the purpose of sessions at Drupalcon? Why do speakers put in the effort to give them? Why does anyone attend them? I believe that the purpose of sessions at Drupalcon is to spread knowledge about Drupal. The speakers put in the effort because they genuinely want to teach the material, and people attend because they genuinely want to learn. I've attended the last ten Drupalcons, and I've presented sessions at nine of them. To a large extent, every session I've given has been the same: I give a lecture based on some slides for about 40 minutes and answer questions for about 20 minutes.... Plus

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