Acquia

Dries Buytaert's Software Powers A Million Important Websites — And He Built It From His Couch [March 24, 2012]

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Samedi, le 24 mars 2012h
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Business Insider

Dries Buytaert is programming wunderkind. He learned to program when he was six years old -- even before he could read.
Today he is internationally famous as the creator of Drupal, one of the world's most successful open source projects.
And it all happened by accident.

Drupal is a free, open source content management system that powers a million websites including some of the biggest or most important like the White House, NASA and Twitter. Nearly 790,000 people in 228 countries contribute to it.

"This was never intentional. I'm an accidental leader. I love what I'm doing but never envisioned this to happen," he told Business Insider.
Although he's been working on Drupal for over 12 years, for most of that time, he never made a dime on it. This changed about four years ago when he founded

Acquia in Boston. Acquia is already wildly successful. It provides technical support for Drupal, has a Software-as-a-Service program similar to Wordpress.com and does web hosting via a service called Drupal Gardens. The company has nearly 2,000 customers, with Drupal Gardens hosting over 100,000 websites including huge sites like Arabic news network Al Jazeera.

Acquia has raised $38.5 million in venture funding, backed by North Bridge, Sigma Partners, Tenaya Capital and Tim O'Reilly's O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.
"We've grown from two people in 2008 to over 200 people today. We're looking to add another 100 to 120 people," he says. That makes Acquia one of the fastest-growing startups in Boston and named to Forbes most-promising list.

Because Drupal and Acquia isn't enough, Buytaert also has a second startup, Mollom, a comment spam blocking service for use with Drupal sites.
And it all started because because Buytaert wanted to build a private intranet for his college roommates so they could leave messages like when to meet for dinner. It was 1999, Buytaert was 21 and experimenting with new web technologies at the time, PHP and MySQL.

When he moved out of the dorm, he put this project on the Web and blogged about it. People discovered his blog and the Drupal web site and started asking him to add features, so he released it as an open source project so they could do it themselves.

He had some experience with open source. When he was barely out of high school he stumbled across this thing called Linux being built by some guy named Linus Torvalds. Buytaert contributed code to Linux for wireless network drivers.

Torvalds would eventually become one of his advisors on how to make a living from his open source project.

At each point along the way, Buytaert was shocked to discover how big Drupal was becoming. "There were multiple tipping points," he says. In 2005 he organized the first Drupal conference in Antwerp, Buytaert's home town. "40 people showed up. I couldn't believe it. Drupal was was something I would do from my couch at night. To think that 40 people traveled to Belgium to talk about Drupal for a week -- I really felt like it was huge."

But the world really changed when he found out big users had adopted Drupal. "I remember NASA and MTV switching to Drupal. I felt additional responsibility, more weight on my shoulders. Real organizations are now using this to fulfill real business missions."

Drupal isn't the only open source CMS around: there are others, like Joomla and Wordpress. But Buytaert says that in the open source world, these projects collaborate more than they compete.

Drupal is known for extreme versatility. It's even been called "the Justin Bieber of CMS," by one of the contract developers who built Whitehouse.gov. Bieber can sing, dance, and make money.

And, now, thanks to Acquia, so can Buytaert. At least that last part.

Delivering Drupal to the Enterprise #drupalcon [March 23, 2012]

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vendredi, le 23 mars 2012h
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CMS Wire

At DrupalCon in Denver, DPCI, Achieve Internet and Blink Reaction were three of the vendors offering Drupal solutions for the enterprise.

Blink Reaction

Blink Reaction is an enterprise Drupal development company and an Elite Acquia Enterprise Select Partner. Blink Reaction's services include integrating Drupal with third-party applications, such as CRM, Alfresco Enterprise Content Management and Salesforce. In this expo floor video, Ray Saltini, Drupal Evangelist at Blink Reaction, explains how his company fits into DrupalCon.

Achieve Internet

Achieve Internet has built enterprise Drupal websites for big-name clients, including NBC Universal, Disney and Fast Company. In this video, Ron Huber, CEO of Achieve Internet, explains why DrupalCon is a good fit for his company.

DPCI

Joseph Bachana, President and Founder of DPCI, a content and DAM solutions provider, says that his company has a lot of experience in business challenges that need to be solved with digital asset management tools. I spoke with him at DrupalCon to find out more about the role Drupal plays in his company.

Bachana says that currently his company is working on refining the EMBridge module, which extends the image management functionalities of Drupal by connecting it to EnterMedia, an open source digital asset management platform.

He also has plans to integrate Drupal with Adobe's InDesign program and text editors, such as Microsoft Word and NeoOffice, which could be huge news for publishers. Imagine writing an article in your favorite text editor, which is connected to your Drupal site and with a few clicks the article is formatted with images out of your library and ready for the web. Then, a few clicks later, that same article is dumped into your InDesign template with a hi-res version of an image pulled from your digital asset management solution and ready to go to print.

Bachana admits that this is an ambitious project that could transform the way we publish across platforms. The challenge, he says, is scaling and getting partners who want to help out with the project. Frankly, I can't wait to see his vision become a reality, so check back for updates as his project progresses.

UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies [March 23, 2012]

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vendredi, le 23 mars 2012h
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Vital Online

The UK Government recently launched an open source toolkit on the Cabinet Office website, to provide a level playing field for open source solutions against traditional proprietary software vendors. But Jim Shaw, general manager for Europe at Acquia believes that cultural barriers and unfounded fears about the technology are holding departments back from making huge savings.

IT industry wants infrastructure, tax breaks and SME support from Budget [March 21, 2012]

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mercredi, le 21 mars 2012h
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CIO

Chancellor George Osborne will announce the Budget at midday tomorrow, and IT businesses are calling for useful tax breaks and good national infrastructure, with support for small enterprises.

The government needed to ensure the UK has the right technical infrastructure in place to support business growth, according to Morag Lucey, senior VP at converged IT and billing firm Convergys Smart Revenue Solutions.

"We will be specifically hoping that the government finally puts its money where its mouth is and invests more in the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK," she said.

There was "a sizeable gap between the money committed by the public sector and the private sector" for broadband, she said. "There is a questionable commercial case for communications service providers to bridge that gap alone, but absolutely no question as to the societal and economic benefits the UK will reap from universally-available superfast broadband."

Open source software providers also expressed their frustration at the perceived barriers to non-proprietary system adoption, and said the government needed to tackle the problem.

Jim Shaw, general manager for Europe at Acquia, said that in spite of the government recently launching an open source toolkit on the Cabinet Office website in order to provide a level playing field, cultural barriers were holding departments back from making the change.

"An entrenched culture of scepticism against open source adoption is still rife in the public sector and these barriers need to be broken down for the huge range of benefits the technology offers to be realised," he said. In spite of open source systems powering the Cabinet Office website and some DirectGov services, as well as Transport for London's Oystercard using an open source infrastructure, he said, the UK trailed the US and France for adoption.

"With potentially huge savings to be made through efficient public sector IT initiatives, the UK cannot afford to maintain a lukewarm approach to open source adoption."

Small businesses said the Chancellor needed to offer them tax breaks, as well as assisting with effective ways to prevent late payment by their suppliers.

David Ballard, chief executive at IT consultancy Northdoor, said the government needed to consider "lowering the threshold for entrepreneurial relief to encourage a greater distribution of stake ownerships and including smaller owners or employees". He added: "Although there is increasingly generous relief for entrepreneurs, the government has set a 5 percent minimum stake to qualify for ownership."

The Budget needed to reflect the fact that "many of the green shoots we have seen recently have come from smaller businesses, such as the tech start-ups in London's Silicon Roundabout", he added.

The Forum of Private Business said the Chancellor must tackle late payment, as well as provide better information for supporting the new National Loan Guarantee Scheme that is aimed at ensuring businesses can access credit.

"Small business owners are being expected to drive the economy forward yet find that relentless cost increases, mounting late payments and continued credit restrictions severely hinder their ability to control cash flow," said FPB senior policy adviser Alex Jackman. "Cash is the lifeblood of any business and there must be definite action in the Budget if we are to mend this cash flow crisis among small firms."

While the National Loan Guarantee Scheme was "a welcome step towards bringing down the steep cost of lending", Jackman said the UK industry needs "more competition allowing non-bank funders to compete more effectively in small business finance markets dominated by the big banks".

"Particularly, we want support for innovative crowdsourced funding models that are less dependent on automated risk criteria, the over-reliance on these being a central criticism levelled at major lenders in recent years," he said.

Annette Iafrate, managing director at online marketing firm Constant Contact, said access to credit needed to be under a "simple, clear-cut scheme" that operated quickly.

Small businesses could help greatly with national job creation, given the right resources, Ballard at Northdoor said. "I would also like to see a Budget supporting SMEs in developing and deploying their own graduate programmes, which unlike large corporations, have relatively limited resources and experiences in developing such schemes."

Gary Stewart, director at IT and business change organisation Xceed, agreed. "If the government hopes to encourage private businesses to take up the slack of public sector redundancies then they need to give them the tools to become job creators. The restrictions of red tape, regulation, poor availability of credit and tax burdens all need to be stripped back if SMBs are to help bolster economic growth."

Acquia Announces Cloud API, Global Leadership #drupalcon [March 21, 2012]

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mercredi, le 21 mars 2012h
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CMS Wire

It’s a busy month over at Acquia, a provider of value-added products and services for Drupal. The company has announced a new Cloud API and a change in its leadership team.

New Cloud API

The new Acquia Cloud API allows developers to integrate capabilities provided by Acquia’s managed Drupal service, Acquia Cloud, even if they’re not hosted in Acquia’s environment. Developers can use the API to increase architectural consistency across environments without being forced to implement foundational features such as workflow, site management and provisioning from scratch.
The new API provides a number of features:

  • Ability to integrate Acquia cloud developer tools such as continuous integration or management tools into all websites and applications, including those hosted on non-Acquia environments
  • Triggering custom scripts and commands on workflow actions using Cloud Hooks
  • Automatic provisioning to Acquia cloud from any Drupal distribution or using scripting interfaces

The new Acquia Cloud API is available now in beta for all Acquia Cloud customers by request. Acquia is planning a general availability release in April. Acquia will also be demonstrating the Cloud API at Drupalcon in Denver, which being held at the Colorado Convention Center this week.

New Leadership

In addition to announcing the Cloud API, Acquia has named content management industry veteran Joseph Wykes as Vice President of Global Channels. If Wyke’s name looks familiar, we reported about Percussion Software appointing his successor, Deidre Diamond, to President earlier this week. Wykes served as President at Percussion for ten years and led the company’s expansion in the enterprise market before joining Acquia.

In 2011, Acquia expanded its customer base to over 2000 and partner network to over 40%. Wykes' addition to the leadership team will likely further Acquia’s goal of making Drupal a more attractive option for the enterprise market. We will continue to watch Acquia to see if the new leadership team composition causes shifts in how the company markets itself globally.

Drupal: 10 Years Later #drupalcon [March 21, 2012]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 21 mars 2012h
,
CMS Wire

Later today, Acquia is releasing an infographic that illustrates 10 years of Drupal growth, from the dorm room to the boardroom — and we got an exclusive early look at Acquia's look back.

Since its creation in a dorm room back in 2001, Drupal has grown into a community of thousands of users from around the world. Acquia's infographic helps illustrate exactly how impressive Drupal's growth and community involvement have been.

Drupal Matures

This week at DrupalCon, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert gave the first keynote. In his talk, Buytaert set the tone for the week's events, which have a strong focus on mobile and the user experience. Buytaert says that Drupal 7, which was adopted faster than any previous Drupal release, has reached the maturity phase of its growth. Drupal 8 is planned to roll out in August next year, and according to Buytaert, we can expect great things from the next release. Buytaert wants to win hearts and minds, and to do that, Drupal needs to continue to be innovative, particularly when it comes to mobile.

Talent Pool

Although 16,000+ developers continue to improve Drupal, there's still a talent shortage. In fact, Acquia addressed the issue last year when the company announced Acquia U, a training and placement program for Drupal developers.

Yesterday I spoke with Bryan House, Vice President of Marketing at Acquia about the young training program. House says that eight new developers are in the Acquia U program, and currently they are going through six weeks of rotations through the engineering, customer support and professional services groups. He says the next iteration of the program will start in September, and Acquia hopes to extend the training program to the company's partners in the near future.

Drupal Stats

Drupal now boasts more than 1,400 themes on Drupal.org and 15,000 available modules, with availability in 181 languages. DrupalCon events have been held in Amsterdam, Portland, Antwerp, Brussels, Sunnyvale, Barcelona, Boston, Szeged, Washington D.C., Paris, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Chicago, London and Denver. Forty Drupal developers attended DrupalCon in Antwerp back in 2005, whereas 3,000+ developers gathered in Denver this week.

Buytaert says he wants Drupal to win hearts and minds, but according to its success laid out in an infographic, Drupal already has.

Drupal Growth Infographic

Warner Goes Drupal: A Q&A With Paul Sinclair, SVP, Digital Media, Atlantic Records [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
,
Billboard

Warner Goes Drupal: A Q&A With Paul Sinclair, SVP, Digital Media, Atlantic Records

Warner Music Group is among the first companies to use a new platform by Acquia called "Enterprise Drupal Gardens."

In short, Enterprise Drupal Gardens offers clients the same advantages as proprietary "software as a service" (Saas) models without being confined to a proprietary platform like Cisco's Eos. Warner started using Eos for some of its artist websites back in 2009, but Cisco decided to discontinue Eos in 2011.

Acquia has been working with Warner for six months to tailor the platform to the music company's specific requirements. A wide range of artists websites are already on the platform, including Cody Simpson, T.I., B.o.B, Portugal. The Man, Stevie Nicks, Iron & Wine, Surfer Blood, JaneDear girls and Gloriana. Websites for Jason Derulo, Waka Flocka Flame, Shinedown, Paramore, Wiz Khalifa and Trey Songz are among those due to be on the platform in the coming weeks.

In a conversation with Billboard.biz, Paul Sinclair, SVP, Digital Media, Atlantic Records, explained the benefits of using a Drupal-based platform and how it plays into the role of today's record label.

Billboard.biz: What does this partnership mean from a practical standpoint for Warner's websites?
Paul Sinclair: Here's why this matters to us and why it matters to artists in a nutshell: the thing we've learned over the last few years doing the direct-to-fan thing, both on the website side and the ecommerce side, is that there are a couple things that are really important. The website needs to stay up, and that's no trivial task. The other side of it is the world keeps getting more innovative and keeps changing faster. The [platform] needs to change with it and be almost infinitely flexible. Having done this for a number of years at Warner and Atlantic, the platform we were on before [had] a sense of robustness. During the Grammys, when other websites were non-accessible because some artist had an amazing performance on the Grammys, Bruno Mars' website was still up. That was one of the things we got out of our old platform.

The next great thing that we find to be interesting, we need to be able to tie it into the artist experience - the artist website, the ecommerce store, whatever it is. Warner has been doing things with Drupal for years and open source is great, but in my opinion we're ultimately an innovative record label, not a technology company. So we should focus on great products and innovation and marketing, but that doesn't mean we're running a bunch of servers and stuff like that. This [partnership] gets us the best of both worlds for artists. The website stays up and they get the benefit of open source because there's a zillion developers out there giving cool little features back to the Drupal community, but without the headache of running all your Drupal stuff.

Was lack of flexibility a problem with Cisco's platform?
It wasn't a lack of flexibility, it was [the platform was] proprietary. You had a big team but there are only so many people to build new features for Cisco. Drupal is a worldwide platform where everybody from a kid in his bedroom through to big companies is building stuff [for the platform]. Ultimately it opens up the world. Cisco, as big as they are, can only put so many resources against anything. Artists love to be at the bleeding edge. One of my jobs is to help them decide [if something] is a great idea or if it's not. If it's a great idea you don't want to be handcuffed. You want to be able to plug it in and try it.

What kinds of things can we expect from artist websites on this new platform?
There are some very cool social networks out there that allow you to have apps that upload content and that's why everybody loves social networks - they build tools to allow you to upload content very easily. In the past we've tried to replicate those. With Drupal we've figured out it's faster and easier to do that. So in the near term we're going to be rolling out apps for artists to be able to get content. I was sitting down with Shinedown at lunch yesterday and they said to me, "Hey, we love our website and we love social but we really do love our fan community on our website. We want to figure out easier ways while we're on the road to be a part of that, because it's hard while we're on the road." And we said, "We think the solution is we're going to have this app for you and it is going to work on your phone and you'll be able to get content on there without having to pull out a Macbook Air." I point that out because everybody should have an app to put stuff on their website, but it's more challenging that it sounds.

We're thinking through if there should be a deeper fan rewards program [on artist fan clubs]. By being there for the artist, should you be rewarded when you tweet, when you log into the website, when you buy something whether it's from us or a retailer? The openness of this platform [means] we try it and it works, awesome, we can do it with other artists when it makes sense. And if it doesn't work, then no harm no foul, you can move on and try something else.

The last couple months, everybody's been talking about Pinterest, right? When there's a new thing, this platform allows us to plug in the new thing for one or two or a hundred or however many artists want to try out the new thing, and figure out if it works with their fans or not. It doesn't require us to wait six months while we miss the opportunity to get in there because the platform itself is flexible. You can also make sure that every artist website is not the freakin' same. Every artist wants a unique experience. Artist websites can't look like templates. Artists want to feel like it's their experience.

You've said that Warner is a music company and not a technology company, and on the hosting side you're not a technology company. But it sounds like to some degree you have to be a technology company now. Is that true?
Yeah. Look, we have lots of people who do this. We have lots of people at Atlantic who do digital. There are lots of technologists in the company. I just think our focus should be on leveraging technology for artists - experiences, products - and not on managing servers. We should be working on the edge cases and letting people like Acquia worry about the boxes that power the thing, and the core platform that powers the thing. Therefore we can focus on the artist experience, the fan experience, the community, the things you should do as a 2012 record label. I think there was some thought over the last decade that record labels were going to be technology companies. I think we're leveragers of technology, we're not technologists - even though we have lots of people who live and breathe tech all day.

Fans of Drupal software connect in Denver [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
,
Denver Post

The Mile High City will host about 3,000 "Drupalers" this week for a three-day geekfest.

Drupal, free and open-source software that powers websites such as Twitter, eBay and Whitehouse.gov, will be the focus of DrupalCon, which will attract people from around the world. Members of the ultra-passionate Drupal community from as far away as Australia are set to visit Denver.

"Drupal is a platform to make building websites easier," said Matt Tucker, a Drupal developer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "There are thousands of Drupal developers from across the world that have contributed functionality for Drupal websites that you can simply drop in place and use."
After a two-year planning and development process, CU switched some of its sites to Drupal in January, including the main colorado.edu site.

"Our old website was basically a static HTML website using very outdated technology," said Joanna Bertrand, Web manager at CU.
Drupal allows the university to publish more engaging and up-to-date content, as it did shortly after the men's basketball team won the Pac-12 Conference tournament. The CU Drupal team will speak about its transition to the software at DrupalCon on Wednesday.

The conference kicks off today at the Colorado Convention Center with a keynote from Drupal founder Dries Buytaert and runs through Thursday. It is open to the public, though there is a $450 registration fee.

Buytaert started Drupal as a dorm-room project in 2000 while he was studying computer science in Belgium. He initially set out to create an online message board so his college buddies could easily stay in touch.

As Buytaert added features such as RSS feeds and public diaries (better known as blogs), Drupal evolved from a simple message board to a content management system.

In 2007, Buytaert co-founded Boston-based Acquia, a company that maintains Drupal-backed

websites for enterprises. Two years earlier, he organized the first DrupalCon, attracting 40 people.
The nonprofit Drupal Association now holds two conferences annually, one in North America and the other in Europe. This is the first time Denver has been selected as the host city.

Tucker, who helped organize the Denver event, estimated that roughly half of the attendees will be from the Rocky Mountain region. He said there are several hundred Drupalers in the Denver/Boulder area, and many simply enjoy helping newbies out.

"People who use it absolutely love it, and they want to share that knowledge with everybody else," Tucker said.

Cost cutting: the open source solution? [March 20, 2012]

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mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
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Electronics Sourcing

UK Budget Must Encourage Open Source Adoption to Cut Costs - UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies.

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