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Acquia Drupal Cloud Levels Up: 5 Key Innovations

Learn how Acquia's Drupal Cloud empowers businesses to increase velocity and eliminate complexity.

At Acquia, we're innovating everywhere. Recently, at Acquia Engage, our annual conference, Dries Buytaert and I took to the virtual stage to share critical updates to Acquia’s Open Digital Experience Platform (DXP) portfolio. Dries took the audience through 10 — that’s right, 10! — innovations coming to market across our Drupal Cloud and Marketing Cloud platforms. You can view that full presentation below.

I also want to recap and dive deeper into the ways we're continuing to drive value to our customers. First, I’ll tackle five updates to our Drupal Cloud.(Marketing Cloud will follow shortly after.) So, let’s GO!

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But before we talk about the specific product updates we're bringing to market, I want to step back and review why we’re focusing on them. I always think it’s helpful to pull back the curtain and provide some context for how an organization with 3,000+ customers prioritizes its product roadmap to stay innovative. While we have a responsibility to our customers to deliver value every quarter, it’s also critical to focus on the overarching, undeniable macro trends that we see in the space. When it comes to building sites and digital properties, there's one undeniable trend that our solutions must help solve: increasing complexity. 

Complexity rears its head in two primary ways. First, your sites are no longer static. They're dynamic, personalized experiences meant to serve different devices and modalities to more effectively engage with customers. Second, you have more sites: a corporate website, e-commerce site, event sites, intranet, microsites, blogs — the list goes on and on. Typically, they're on different platforms (often legacy systems) and don’t integrate well. 

To fight this battle, you need to simplify your operations to reduce that complexity where possible. You can do this by standardizing your operations on Drupal, the world’s most flexible content management system that can meet the unique needs of these different sites — helping you simplify training, reduce maintenance costs, streamline security, and optimize resources. But you need to do more to fight the never-ending battle against complexity. You need to enable your teams to move faster and to do more. That’s what our five Drupal Cloud innovations are all about: increasing velocity across your organization.

1. Acquia Migrate

One of the most exciting things to happen for Acquia in 2020 was the release of Drupal 9 (D9). Drupal 9 is brimming with new features, and we believe from the bottom of our hearts that it's the best CMS in the world. So what we need to do is simple: Get as many people on to Drupal 9 as quickly and easily as possible. 

There are three primary ways to migrate to D9:

  1. Upgrading from Drupal 8 (D8) to D9
  2. Switching from another CMS  to Drupal  
  3. Migrating from Drupal 7 (D7) to D9

So we’ve launched a family of migration products to help organizations get onto Drupal faster than ever. First, the Drupal community has solved and simplified the path from D8 to D9. To migrate from non-Drupal to Drupal, we’ve launched a partnership to produce Acquia Migrate Replatform, a set of tools that makes migrating from a legacy CMS to Drupal five times faster.

For the D7 to D9 method, a critical path for many Acquia customers, we’ve built Acquia Migrate Accelerate, which reduces up to 50% of the time and effort required to migrate from D7 to D9. See it in action below:

Watch Drupal Cloud: Acquia Migrate Accelerate on YouTube.

We're incredibly excited about the ways we're making it easier and faster for organizations to experience the awesome power of Drupal to build sites and applications. 

2. Acquia CMS

I could go on and on about how Drupal is the most powerful, flexible CMS in the world. While this flexibility powers experiences that aren’t possible on other platforms, for years, many of our customers and partners asked us for a more opinionated version of Drupal. For certain use cases, some customers and partners want fewer things to put together themselves and to have a better out-of-the-box (OOTB) experience for marketers.

So . . . we did it. This is huge news: Acquia CMS comes with lots of OOTB capabilities and is pre-integrated with Acquia products. It’s an extension of our long-standing distribution of Drupal, Acquia Lightning. But Acquia CMS is easier to use, faster out of the box, more enterprise ready, and faster to get started with. Take your first look at Acquia CMS here:

Watch Drupal Cloud: Acquia CMS on YouTube.

3. Acquia Cloud IDE

For developers, setting up a local development environment is, well, hard. You need to research, download, install, configure, and troubleshoot a stack of technology. Even when you set your environment up, the local environment might not exactly match the production environment in Drupal Cloud, introducing additional roadblocks. All of this takes a while and slows you down. It can even take weeks —  all before you can actually write any code!

We built Acquia Cloud IDE to solve this very problem. It's a cloud-based development environment that enables developers to write code and use a CLI from their browser with no setup required. It’s fully optimized for Drupal’s development environment and is ready to go with developer tools OOTB. Cloud IDE implements all of Drupal’s best practices and is similar to Acquia Cloud’s production environment, cutting the average time to get your site going from over a week to 60 seconds! You could have a demo environment up and running before you finish this demo video that shows how awesome Cloud IDE is:

Watch Drupal Cloud: Acquia Cloud IDE on YouTube.

4. Acquia Site Studio Page Builder

Site Studio is one of the newest products in the Acquia portfolio. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for low code/no code site development. Since introducing Site Studio, we’ve seen great momentum. Customers like Mars, CVS, Fidelity, and many more have already adopted Site Studio. One feature Site Studio offers is page builder functionality. While this feature was no code, it wasn’t WYSIWYG, so it was really more suited for site builders than marketers and content creators. We fixed that with a new front-end page builder that's completely WYSIWYG. With Site Studio Page Builder, you can see changes being made in real time exactly how they show up on a page. It couldn't be easier or faster. See what we mean:

Watch Drupal Cloud: Acquia Site Studio Page Builder on YouTube.

5. Acquia Cloud Next

Acquia Cloud Platform is the best cloud platform for hosting websites on the market today. Full stop, bar none, end of story. That said, it doesn’t mean we're satisfied. We're announcing Acquia Cloud Next, the evolution of the Acquia Cloud Platform that makes everything we already do better, faster, and more secure. It’s more elastic, scales farther, and is built for helping our customers adapt, thrive, and build a more resilient digital-first business for the next 10 years just like we have over the decade.

We couldn’t be more excited about all of the innovation going on in Drupal Cloud to increase velocity so our customers can move faster and do more than ever before. Check back soon for my next post covering the 5 key updates to Acquia Marketing Cloud. 

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