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Advanced Apache Solr Example: IP-based Access

In the run-up to our talk "Apache Solr Search Mastery" at Drupalcon San Francisco, we decided that we would not have time to really cover all the advanced topics in the session. So we're going to put up a couple blog posts before hand to invite some discussion and encourage people to dig into the code ahead of time and then we can take questions at the end of the session or during a BoF.

This first post describes the elements of a module that implements a customized IP-address-based scheme for access control on Solr searches. It's a simplified version of the sort of access controls that some universities or companies use to only show (for example) journal articles purchased under license via a website for the library where the license restricts access to students or employees who are on-site. The attached module demonstrates how such a scheme for controlling which nodes appear in search results can be implemented. The code there should be contrasted with the code in the apachesolr_nodeaccess module.

Minimizing maintenance time while updating thousands of Drupal Gardens sites

In Drupal Gardens 2 month update Chris wrote about a number of the improvements to Drupal Gardens in our last sprint. I want to focus on our solution for a system that now lets us perform Gardens site upgrades with only a couple minutes of maintenance (site offline) time per site when running database updates. The problem was made a little more difficult by the custom domain feature that was also going live, so each Drupal site (database) might be referenced by multiple sites directories. I describe here the solution we worked out, which involves using Drush, the (internal) Acquia Hosting APIs, and communication with the http://www.drupalgardens.com/ site so that each site in our multi-site installs could be seamlessly moved between two different versions of Drupal 7.

Acquia Team Drupalcon San Francisco Sessions - Vote Now

Acquia is excited to once again be a Platinum Sponsor of Drupalcon San Francisco. Its amazing to think the conference is right around the corner. It seems like just yesterday we just finished the Drupal Gardens preview session in Paris. At the same time, so much has happened between then and now.

Upgrading sites from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 - time to test it out!

With the second alpha release of Drupal 7 just out the door, a lot of effort has recently gone into making it possible to upgrade sites from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 (which is obviously a requirement for Drupal 7 to be released).

What's in store? Some new features for module developers, as well as an easier time for site administrators. Here's a quick rundown:

Acquia webinars now support Linux OS

Tomorrow is big day for the Acquia webinar program - the first webinars to offer access to attendees running Linux OS on their local machines. We have two sessions tomorrow with Dries Buytaert and Jeff Noyes on Drupal 7 entitled "Making Drupal 7 Simple to Use for Everyone" - one at 9am EST, 2pm UTC and then a second at 2:30pm EST, 11:30am PST, 7:30pm UTC for people on the West Coast.

Use Apache Solr to search in files

Drupal's file handling capabilities keep getting better. Beyond the core upload module, the filefield module for CCK has enabled us to build sites with all sorts of files; documents, images, music, videos, and so forth. Searching within these docuements, however, has never been a common feature on Drupal sites. Some solutions have existed, particularly for extracting texts from PDFs and common wordprocessing documents. With Apache Solr, the attachments module, and an extension library called Tika, things can be much better. With Tika you can extract texts not only from Microsoft Office, Open Office, and PDF documents, you can also get text and metadata from images, songs, Flash movies and zipped archives. Searching for these texts is done as part of the normal Apache Solr driven site search.

The S-Files: Getting the most out of Comment Notify

Tech Support Case Studies

If Facebook has shown us anything, it's that website users like to get timely notifications via email if there is something new to be seen on the site. Acquia Drupal includes the comment notify module that can help achieve this goal for your site. It sends email messages to content authors and commentators whenever new comments are added to content. There are ample subscription options to suit everyone, and an unsubscribe mechanism so that nobody has to endure unwanted items in their inbox.

Design4Drupal Stanford: User Experience Improvements in Drupal 7 presentation

Yesterday we held the second Design4Drupal event at the Stanford Law School. This was an all day event focused on Design and Drupal. I gave a talk which was a combination of two other presentations. I used:

The S-Files: When node_load won't load, and the anonymous user has vanished

Tech Support Case Studies Use these two SQL commands to repair your Drupal 6 site to restore the anonymous user database record:
INSERT INTO users (name, mail) VALUES ('', '');
UPDATE users SET uid=0 WHERE name='';
The symptoms you'll see that tip you off that this is needed:
  1. node_load() is not loading nodes that you can prove are in the node table.
  2. node_delete() is not deleting nodes that you can prove are in the node table.
  3. The query SELECT * FROM users WHERE uid=0; returns zero rows.

Bipartisan Drupal: Scott Brown elected to the Senate using Drupal

Last night Scott Brown, the republican candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, was elected in a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate.

Drupal has strong roots in the progressive left, through the Howard Dean campaign, and CivicSpace. This certainly isn't in the first republican Drupal site, but it was a high profile site for an important election that could change the direction of the country.