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Amitai Burstein: Zariz - Continuous Deployment for Content

I got the chance a while back to speak with Amitai Burstein, CTO of Gizra - a boutique development shop in Tel Aviv creating advanced web applications using Drupal, along with Node.js, Jekyll and other technologies. Amitai is the maintainer of key Drupal modules such as Organic Groups, Message and Entity Reference, and contributes to Drupal core. He showed off Gizra's intriguing solution to content deployment in Drupal in this jam's Drupal Camp session: Zariz. I was impressed! You might be, too.

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Moving Your Drupal 8 Configuration from Local to Server and Back

Update: a textual representation of the first half of this video has been posted.

Two weeks ago I had a great opportunity to spend a few days working with Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman), Justin Randell (beejeebus), Alex Bronstein (effulgentsia), and Stéphane Corlosquet (scor) to look at the challenges and best practices for using the new Drupal 8 configuration system (a.k.a. CMI) to move changes between a local development environment and one or more server environments. We developed ideas, considered new modules for Drupal 8, and tried to figure out if there were any changes to Drupal 8 core that would be needed to make the system better for developers.

One outcome of this was two new modules Configuration log and Configuration Read-only mode. These were written to help demonstrate the capabilities of the new configuration system and enabled us to implement key elements of possible new configuration staging and management workflows. An additional outcome was a number of enhancements by Moshe to the latest version of Drush to facilitate the import and export of configuration.

The screencast video below walks through the process of moving configuration from a local development version of a site, up to a development environment on a server and then to a "live" environment using Acquia Cloud Free. The "live" environment was detected in settings.php and that logic triggered the Configuration Read-only mode module to prevent any configuration changes in the administrative forms. We also used a Cloud Hook to automatically import new configuration when a new git tag was deployed to the "live" environment.

Effective Git for Drupal Development

Possibly the nerdiest thing that's ever escaped my mind is a reimagining of the lyrics to 1983 pop hit The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats in tribute to my favorite distributed version control system, Git, contra CVS:

"We can branch if we want to. We can leave your friends behind. 'Cause your friends don't branch, and if they don't branch, well they're no friends of mine!"