Acquia Lightning Turns 1

Just Drupal It: Hit the Ground Running with Acquia Lightning

At the intersection of design and technology lies Acquia’s greatest purpose — to create innovative and accessible products that allows everyone to create compelling, content-rich digital experiences.

Across every design discipline, there are essential building blocks that set the foundation for success. For site developers, we believe Acquia Lightning is the best starting point to embark on Drupal 8 projects that will ensure users are poised to achieve innovation at the highest level.

Lightning and Drupal 8, Explained

Drupal 8 is a powerful solution for building websites and digital experiences. Continually, there are new capabilities for Drupal 8 brought to market, including the recently released Drupal 8.6. It has been adopted by brands, enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Lightning is an open source Drupal distribution that enables developers to create great enterprise authoring experiences and to empower editorial teams with the best capabilities that Drupal 8 has to offer, providing leading-edge functionality through opinionated module selections to drive innovation.

What Developers Want

Acquia Lightning was designed for the developer community as a developer-focused distribution of Drupal 8 to accelerate the site-building experience and delivery time.

David Aponovich, senior director of product marketing at Acquia, notes, “Web developers and site builders today need to work at warp speed to keep up with the demands to build scalable, flexible websites and new channels of engagement for organizations that prioritize digital experiences. While there are many considerations to take into account, speed is a critical measure of organizational success, as they build new sites and applications to meet the needs of their customers and address competitive markets.” Lightning helps solve major site-building challenges so you can focus on the specific needs of your application.

...and What Editorial Teams Want

Marketing and content teams increasingly require higher-level enterprise authoring capabilities to create engaging communications and content for user-focused digital experiences. With this in mind, Lightning was developed to include features such as easy-to-use creation and editing tools; workflows tools for process and collaboration; and publishing tools to release content to market quickly and efficiently to facilitate real-time customer interaction. Your moderation dashboard will provide you with complete visibility into your Drupal content status.

Moderation Dashboard

Ultimately, Lightning enables developers to deliver sites that streamline processes around delivering feature-rich and powerful enterprise authoring capabilities. While Lightning was created for developers, it was designed also to enable other contributors, such as page builders, content creators, editors, and publishers to more easily build rich experiences.

Lightning as a Roadmap

For those who are familiar with Drupal may know, the platform includes a vast, feature-rich module ecosystem that provides new features and functionality, including more than 2,000 production-ready modules and themes for Drupal 8 and thousands more in development testing. Trying to work through all the selections can be so daunting!

Jeff Beeman, senior director of technical services at Acquia, explains, “Selecting the right modules and integrations to building your application requires time, effort, and what can be a complex analysis. Drupal distributions are designed to help address this challenge. They combine Drupal 8, a preselected collection of modules, themes, libraries, and out-of-the-box configurations to provide an accelerated starting point for projects.”  

Lightning, acting like a GPS, ensures you are heading in the direction you envision in building your site.

Lightning’s key capabilities include four main areas of functionality that enable developers to build powerful authoring experiences faster, including layout and page building; media; workflow; and APIs. It has also been developed with a strong focus on security, integrations, and application testing.

With a framework that allows developers a common starting point and sharing of best practices to make key decisions about projects, developers are able to meet business needs and scale sites at an accelerated pace. To illustrate, a number of developers have reported a 30 percent time-savings when using Lightning.

“Everything we build at Acquia is built around Drupal and Acquia Lightning,” said Acquia’s cofounder, Dries Buytaert. “As an open source platform, everyone can download it. Everyone can use it. As an Acquia customer, there are also powerful tools you can subscribe to that enables marketers to increase engagement on their sites that drives users to sign up for a newsletter; download a white paper; or purchase a product. Over the years, our team has built a rich set of tools that really empower organizations to build powerful digital experiences.”

To learn further about Acquia Lightning, Drupal 8, and other Acquia products that can help you get started, check out the resources below, or contact us for additional information.

MJ Johnson

MJ Johnson

Senior Director of Product Marketing Acquia

M.J. Johnson has built his career as a product marketing leader in pursuit of three goals: focusing on the customer, collaborating with great technologists, and sharing compelling stories.

Beginning his current tenure in 2017 heading Acquia's product marketing team, he has had the opportunity to help define and establish Acquia's digital experience platform go-to-market, while working closely with members of the Drupal open source community.

He previously held product marketing and product management leadership positions at Akamai, Adobe, Vignette, AltaVista, and multiple early stage startups. In addition to his passion for technology and storytelling, he loves discussing moviemaking, funk and jazz, and the Red Sox. He is also a proud solar system ambassador for NASA/JPL. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.