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Developer Series

The Power of Drupal Multi-site Part 2: Hosting Infrastructure

In my previous post, I wrote about how multisite is a powerful mechanism for code management. In this post, I am going to talk about how to manage multi-site at an infrastructure level, and the considerations you should take when deciding upon your site architecture. Gotchas and misconceptions It's important to remember that multi-site is a way of managing code, not for deploying it - all of the scalability best practice that years of Drupal hosting has taught us applies as much to multi-site as it does to multi-docroot. You could have a single multi-site... Meer

The Power of Drupal Multi-site - Part 1: Code Management

Drupal has a fantastically useful feature called Multi-site - it allows you to serve many sites from a single Drupal codebase. This can greatly reduce the overhead of managing code across multiple sites, and enables great agility in launching new sites quickly. In this article, I'll go into the detail of multi-site and try to demonstrate how it could be useful for your organisation, and in a follow up post, I'll talk... Meer

Jenkins, Puppet, Graphite, Logstash and YOU

As mentioned before, devops can be summarized by talking about culture, automation, monitoring metrics and sharing. Although devops is not about tooling, there are a number of open source tools out there that will be able to help you achieve your goals. Some of those tools will also enable better communication between your development and operations teams. When we talk about Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment we need a number of tools to help us there. We need to be able to build reproducible artifacts which we... Meer

Why Does DevOps Matter?

People often ask, why does DevOps matter? The honest answer to that question is...because having the development and operations team work together is the only way IT is successful. Over the past few decades I've worked in different environments that include: small web start ups, big pharmaceutical companies, hardware engineering shops and large software companies and banks. All were trying different approaches to deliver quality software to their end users, customers, but most of them were failing badly. Operations people were being... Meer

Bridge the gap between Drupal & Non-Drupal content using RDFa/Semantic Data

Problem at hand! Search is a hard thing to achieve, it really is. Let me show this by using an example of a restaurant chain that wants to add Drupal as their homepage of their whole chain. Of course, like many other organizations they do not only have Drupal running but also a subset of other web frameworks of open and closed source systems. Now, they want Drupal to become the front-page of all that content, but would you want to migrate all of this content in Drupal just so it becomes navigable so the Drupal site could redirect all content to the right site? If we want a generic search... Meer

The Rise of the DevOps movement

DevOps, DevOps, DevOps … the whole world is talking about DevOps, but what is DevOps? Since Munich 2012, DrupalCon had a dedicated devops track. After talking to a lot of people in Prague last month, I realized that the concept of DevOps is still very unclear to a lot of developers. To a large part of the development community, DevOps development still means folks working on 'the infrastructure part' of the development life cycle and for some it just means simply deploying Drupal, being concerned about purely keeping the site alive etc. Obviously that's not what DevOps is about, so let's... Meer

BADcamp 2013 - What to expect?

We’re ready to Rock! BADcamp 2013 Preview! We’re 3 days away from BADcamp 2013 and we could not be more excited. What is BADcamp? BADcamp stands for the Bay Area Drupal camp - an annual event that happens in Berkeley California where local Drupalists get together over four days of summits, sprints, trainings, sessions, BOFs, networking, parties and more. I’m particularly excited about this year’s BADcamp because we’re making a big splash. The incredible bunch of Drupalists and engineers we have at Acquia never ceases to amaze me. Passion for Drupal, Open Source and the community rides high in... Meer

Drupal - Views & SQL Analogy - An easier way to explain Views

With over 4 million downloads, Views is the most used contributed module in Drupal. Every Drupal developer knows that Views is an absolutely inevitable part of almost every Drupal project. Using Views, one can build anything from simple list of content, slideshows, jump menus to RSS feeds, JSON feeds through to contextual blocks of information and even PDF and Excel downloads of data. That's why, in the Drupal development universe, understanding & effectively using views separates novices from experts! This blog post is by Prasad Shirgaonkar who has recently joined our Learning Services... Meer

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... Meer

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... Meer

Code Review with Pull requests

“You say Pull Requests! I say Streamlined Code Reviews! ???” Code Reviews – Hmm... The Hoopla!!! Every development team knows how absolutely essential and remarkably significant code reviews are to the quality of code that is delivered. Yet, code reviews can be reminiscent to many developers of commotion, hassles, bugs, lack of accountability; just to name a few! Most teams, as efficient as they claim to be always plead guilty in this regard. Sounds strange, yet painfully true! Wonder Why? Code Reviews, when streamlined can be a boon to development teams. Even the best developer out there... Meer

My (good) adventures with using SVN to manage my code

Back in the days of yore there was FTP, and it was OK (don’t fool yourself, it was never ‘good’). And we used FTP to upload files to our servers and we messed things up and we overwrote good code with bad and well... we made a mess. Then some genius (bless his or her soul) thought of creating a system that you could use to maintain a history of every version of your code. They also thought it would be neat if it supported more than one person working on the code and could also give you ‘diffs’ between two versions. There are a fair number of systems providing these features and they are... Meer

Getting Started: Collaborative development with Git

This post is part of the "All you need to know to become a great Drupal developer" blog series. Git is a version control system, like "track changes" for code. It's fast, powerful, and easy-to-use version control system. But the thing that's really special about Git is the way it empowers people to collaborate. All the projects on drupal.org are stored in Git, and there are millions of public projects hosted by GitHub.com. Whether... Meer

How-To with PHP

Part of the "all you need to know to become a great Drupal developer" blog series. Performing a quick search online, many vocal critics of PHP air it's perceived shortcomings in comparison to "real" programming languages. Yet if you cut through the noise, W3Techs estimates that more than 80% of websites whose server-side programming language is known is coded in PHP. So in other words, it pretty much runs the web. This post will introduce PHP in it's simplest form and explore it's evolution into a modern, mature programming language with established standards and reusable libraries. To start... Meer

Agile Software Development – Cracking the Code

Part of the "All the things you need to know to be a great Drupal developer" blog series Cassette, VCR, disposable cameras, pager, dial-in Internet, CD’s, CD-player, maps, encyclopedia, waterfall model for software development etc. Well this list represents things that make us nostalgic and remind us of the ugly truth of how things quickly become obsolete in the agile world of technology. Agile methodology is one of those things that grew out of obsolescence. It was an evolution for software teams to finally move from the conventional waterfall model to something that was more dynamic. In an... Meer

Drupal Development: A Solved Game

Part one of the All the things you need to know to be a great Drupal developer blog series Way back in the olden days (around the year 2000) how we developed for the web was a solved game. An example of a solved game is Checkers (English draughts, if you will). Given that both players play perfectly, the outcome of the game can be predicted at any point. Web development was the same: Use the lightest text editor you can find and find a good FTP program like Filezilla and that was that. The code you had to write wasn’t solved by any means, but the surrounding infrastructure, stack, and... Meer