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Moderator: Today’s webinar is Setting the Record Straight: Drupal as an Enterprise Web Content Management System with speaker Dries Buytaert, who’s the creator of Drupal and also a co-founder and a CTO at Acquia.

Dries Buytaert: Yes. We'll be talking about Drupal as an Enterprise Web Content Management System. Before we jump into that, this is me. For those that don’t know me, I started the Drupal project about – gosh, like 14 years ago. I worked on Drupal in my spare time for seven years, and then after seven years decided to start Acquia - we'll talk a little bit about Acquia as well. I also co-founded the Drupal Association. I’m a techie by education and I love photography, and I do love chocolates. This is actually funny because it was magically added by our marketing team, but I do love chocolate croissants. Actually this weekend, I was officially endorsed by somebody that I know on LinkedIn as an expert on chocolates. If you haven’t endorsed me on chocolates, this will be the time to do it. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I am @dries.

Today, we'll be talking about these things here. First, I’m going to talk a little about Drupal and the market that Drupal plays in. Specifically, what our competitors are and how they compete with Drupal. Then I’m going to talk about some common myths about Drupal in the Enterprise, and then talk a little bit about Drupal 8 in the end, and how Drupal 8 will actually be more powerful and more successful combating some of these myths. Then we're going to leave some time for questions in the end as well, so feel free to send your questions in the chat, I believe.

First of all, what’s Drupal?

For those of you that are new to Drupal, Drupal is an open source platform that organizations use for building websites. It was born as a social tool, specifically as a message board. Over time, we've added other components to it like content and commerce, and so now what’s really compelling about Drupal for many organizations is that it’s a unified platform that’s really good at these three things. That allows organizations to build a very wide variety of websites on a single platform. It features easy and fun content doctoring. We have lots of integrations with other systems and platforms. We separate the presentation from the code, from the data. It makes it very easy to do certain things.

We're pretty well respected in the areas of globalization and localization. We're one of the best CMSs when it comes to providing multilingual websites and specifically with Drupal 8, multi-channel delivery is also going to one of our strong suits. On the community side, as I mentioned, Drupal was born social, so lots of social features there. Things like group collaboration and user-generated contents like commenting and polls and activity streams and things like that. More recently, we've been very focused on commerce as a community and so people are also starting to use Drupal to build commerce solutions. What’s great about having these three things integrated is that you can build great digital experiences all the way from attracting people to your website through community and social to delivering great content, and then really deeply integrating the commerce experience as well, which has proven to be very beneficial to drive transactions to your Drupal sites. That’s a little bit of what Drupal does. Obviously it does many, many more things but at a high level, I think that is a good summary.

The next question then is: Who does Drupal compete with?

We have a number of different competitors in the traditional web content management space. As Acquia, we see Drupal compete the most with Adobe Experience Manager in CQ5. But also with Sitecore, which is .net solution based in written .net. Then we also compete a lot with legacy vendors, the first CMS platforms out there – products like SDL Tridion, TeamSite from Autonomy or HP now, also, Oracle FatWire. These kinds of platforms. Then we also compete a lot – and it’s not on the slides, but we compete with a lot of do-it-yourself solutions. There are still a lot of organizations that build their own or digital agencies, web development companies that have built in-house CMSs. We see a lot of that, actually. On the socials sites, we compete primarily with Jive and Lithium in that space.

What do the analysts say about Drupal?

As Acquia, I’d say we started to build our analyst relationships I would say, really like two or three years ago, sort of upped our game. As a result, Drupal and/or Acquia has appeared in quite a variety of analyst reports. One of them is the Forrester Wave for Web Content Management that was published in 2013, so last year. Acquia is one of the younger vendors in this Wave, and according to Forrester, Acquia and Drupal are sort of in the top three when it comes to product selection increase in terms of what they see as analysts. The analysts create an overview of the space but they also work a lot with large enterprise organizations. These organizations are customers of Forrester as well and they solicit their feedback in terms of platform selection. That’s one.

The other one is from Gartner. It’s a Magic Quadrant from Gartner on Web Content Management. As you can see, Acquia and Drupal is actually positioned here as the best open source vendor. Then we have one more. This is another Forrester Wave on Social Depth Platforms. Drupal and Acquia do really well here, we're among the leaders in this graph.

One thing to keep in mind. I don't know how many analysts are on this call, but typically analysts take sort of a laggard view at the markets. Also, that’s just how it is, frankly. It takes a while. You need to have a certain size, a certain momentum for them to consider you. It’s also one thing that we struggle with as Acquia. They wouldn't consider Drupal on its own so that’s why often you see Acquia on there, which is the combination of Acquia and Drupal, which they do consider. As you can see, ever since we started our efforts building analyst relationships, Drupal has been gaining moment quickly with the analysts and we hope that will continue, obviously.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Drupal and what do we see in the market when we compete with proprietary vendors?

Obviously, there’s a lot FUD. For those who don’t know FUDs, it stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. We have great examples. Actually, just to kick it off here is one of them, some infographic from a digital agency. I’m not sure if you can actually read all the text but it’s a flowchart. Unless you are already absolutely in love with open source or are running a super simple website, all paths lead to commercial. You can see it on the right. All the arrows point to commercial solutions. Obviously, that is a little bit funny. If you know what the agency does, it primarily works with proprietary vendors. It actually doesn’t work with open source solutions at all, so no surprise there.

We see these kinds of a lot. We crated them. We sort of grouped them in five buckets, if you will, which is presented on this slide which we'll talk about in the rest of our presentation. Often Drupal is perceived as just for blogs or very simple websites. Others say Drupal isn't secure. Actually, it comes up quite a bit. “Drupal doesn’t scale and can't handle the world’s largest websites.” That is also one the things that is being mentioned often. Or, “Drupal requires tribal knowledge.” Fifth, “Drupal doesn’t work well with my marketing tools.” These are the five ones that we'll focus on.

The first one is; “Drupal is just for blogs and simple sites and not for global enterprises.” Here you see a copy of a white paper that Sitecore has on their website. I think you can still find it there. As you can read on the slide, they say things like, “We quickly discovered that Drupal's capabilities were a mile wide and an inch deep. The minute you go beyond exactly what open source can do out of the box, it gets very complex very quickly.” Suggesting that you can only do very simple things with Drupal, which needless to say is complete – beep – [Laughter].

We have a lot of great examples of how Drupal is being use by very large organizations. One of the best examples, actually, is GE. Obviously, one of the largest organizations in the world. They actually moved to Drupal from Autonomy TeamSite and from Vignette to Drupal. They have a couple hundred Drupal websites right now, I believe. They selected Drupal because it provided them way more flexibility and better velocity compared to TeamSites and Vignettes. It was very difficult for them to make changes, very slow process. Now, with Drupal, they can go much faster.

A great example of an organization standardizing on Drupal throughout the organization. Another one is NBC. They've been a Drupal user for some time now. If you know NBC, it’s actually a collection of different companies under the NBC umbrella. They’re actually standardizing on Drupal for all of their websites across all of their organizations, if you will. So all of the sports websites, all of the entertainment websites for their different shows and television channels, and even their news properties have moved or are in process of moving to Drupal. Pretty big website like nbcnews.com, websites like the Winter Olympic website. At some point, I think it was during the final hockey game – I’m not big on hockey – but I believe they were serving over 40 million pages an hour or 40 million users even, an hour. So, big websites, mission critical websites for these organizations that are sort of transferring their business to digital. These are not side projects. These are their main websites.

Warner Music is another great example. They have 300-plus websites on Drupal from David Bowie to Kid Rock to many other big artists. Needless to say, these are not simple websites, and managing 300 websites is not a simple task, either. So complexity in these two dimensions, if you will. With Drupal, it now became much, much easier to launch new artists and new brands which allowed them compete effectively in their space.

Drupal really is not just for small sites. In fact, over 50% of the top media and entertainment companies use Drupal. You can see some of the brands in here.

It’s very well established in government as well. We actually did some research and we found that over 130 nations across the world use Drupal. Both at the federal level, at the local state level, it’s everywhere basically. Not just in the US but also the European Commission, doing a lot of work with Drupal, so it’s pretty exciting in my mind.

Extremely well adopted by universities. Seven of the eight top universities are using Drupal, often with hundreds of sites. I was at Stanford not too long ago and I met with the CIOs of the eight schools that they have. Among the eight of them, they had over 2,000 or 3,000 on Drupal, so pretty impressive. That seems to be a pattern for many of the universities and they do all sorts of websites on them – departmental websites, classroom websites, lots of different sites.

Just a couple of other quick examples here. We see a lot of adoption. As of a few years ago within sort of the largest technology companies in the world. I mentioned GE already, but also Intel and Verizon, Red Hat and Alcatel-Lucent, building on very big Drupal sites. Some of these websites saved them millions of dollars actually. Again, great examples how Drupal is very successful in the enterprise with pretty complex implementations.

Emerging very rapidly is life sciences with organizations like Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson. Drupal now has 33% adoption within those, which is awesome. Financial services, same thing. Lots of large organizations like the New York Stock Exchange frankly, and Euronext in Europe. They have over 80 websites in Drupal, so very exciting. It doesn’t stop there. There are many other examples of Drupal.

If we actually look at some other data here, and this is data according to BuiltWith.com. It’s a website or a platform that tracks all the technologies that are being used on different websites online. So if you look at the top 100,000 sites, we see that Drupal runs about 3.5% of all the top 100,000 websites, according to Quantcast. That’s actually up from – as you can see, 2% in 2011. Tremendous growth in the enterprise and our two top proprietary competitors that we see, Adobe and Sitecore, as you can see, they’re run less than 0.50% or less than 1% combined even, and their growth seems to be more flat. It’s funny that these organizations try to compete with us and say Drupal doesn’t scale and Drupal is not ready for the enterprise or for big websites when, in fact, we run many, many more sites than they do. So that’s one.

The other one is: “Drupal isn't secure.” We hear that one actually quite a bit. Here’s another snippet from something that we read from Bridgeline Digital. You may not know them. I didn't know them, but they’re a small software as a service web content management company. They publish these anti-open source white paper just last week actually, so this very fresh. I’ll leave it up to you to read, but they're basically saying that open source platforms are very insecure and that’s a really bad idea to use open source. Which obviously, we don’t believe is true. We have real data and examples to back it up.

Here’s the example of We the People, which is part of the White House, so it’s sort of a sub site of whitehouse.gov. Needless to say – I don't know if you guys know on the call but there is like 34,000 websites in the government, of which there are about 10 that can never ever go down according to the government, and whitehouse.gov is one of them. This is one of the most business critical websites within the US government. For that website to use Drupal, obviously, is a great testament to open source and the security of Drupal and open source in general. It’s not even a small side project for them. We're talking about a petition website here that allows every citizen to the United States to create a petition and to sign a petition which is a fundamental right of citizens in the US. We're talking about the United States of America moving one of the core functions – it’s part of the First Amendment – from doing it through other systems to bringing that online and making that digital and making that accessible to all of the citizens of the United States. Key initiative using Drupal successfully. So to say that Drupal isn't secure or that open source is insecure seems a little bit farfetched.

In fact, here’s a quote from Forrester on Facebook to a customer. So Forrester wrote about this customer, “One interviewee from a global pharmaceutical organization believed that his open source web content management solutions were more secure than proprietary ones. And many also feel that the open code base is a particular advantage, as it allows organizations to explore potential security vulnerabilities.” This is exactly why open source is more secure. I can tell you that as Drupal project, we do take security very seriously. We have a security team, for example, which has more than 30 people on that team whose jobs and responsibilities to help make Drupal the most secure content management system.

Not just that, we also have a culture of peer review when we are developing the software. In proprietary companies, when one of the engineers makes a change, that person is most likely to just commit the change to the next version of the platform. In best case scenarios, there is one other person in the organization doing a code review. But in most software organizations, that’s actually not the case. Whereas, in Drupal, for somebody to make a change to Drupal Core, especially complex changes, some of these changes are being reviewed by 20 people or 10 people. But in every single case, every patch or change is reviewed by at least one other person. In most instances, actually by multiple people. We really use best practices in software development to help keep Drupal secure.

The other thing we do is when we do find a security bug in Drupal we're actually open about versus most propriety software vendors, they will just not mention that all. Group that under numerous buck fixes or things like that. I think that culture of transparency is actually very health versus just not being transparent, I guess. That is actually recognized. Here’s a quote from the CIO of the DOD, the Department of Defense in the United States. He says, “Continuous and broad peer review” – like I had just explained – “enabled by publicly available source code, supports our software reliability and security efforts.” That’s exactly what I just said.

The other thing that I’ll add is not just the contributors that are building Drupal that review the source code but it’s also – for example, before the Department of Defense decides to employ Drupal, I bet you they do security audits. Before another government somewhere else in the world decides to adopt Drupal in a significant way, I bet you, they do a security audit, too. Drupal has literally been security audited by expert organizations multiple times because of the scale and the adoption that we have, which the proprietary competitors don’t necessarily have.

In general, I feel like you should feel pretty good about security in open source in Drupal. That doesn’t mean there’s never going to be a security issue, but when there is, we actually handle it really well in a transparent way that enables everyone to act very quickly.

Moving on, the third myth is: “Open source won't scale to handle the world’s largest websites.”

There’s another example from Sitecore, a white paper called, “The Siren Song of Open Source CMS.” I highly recommend you download it if you need a good laugh. They basically say exactly that – open source doesn’t scale. Of course, there’s so much proof of that not being true. Open source is, in today’s world, inspiring technology in the enterprise. Not just in the level of CMSs but operating systems with Linux, databases with NoSQL and MySQL, Big Data place Hadoop, and also digital experiences like Drupal. I think open source has shown that it creates very large platform winners that leaves proprietary alternatives. I believe that’s exactly what’s happening with Drupal today.

Needless to say, we have a lot of examples here. Here’s the website of the Grammy’s which has been using Drupal for at least three years right now, in a row. The last grammy.com or Grammy Awards show, which was a few months ago, they actually had 460 million hits one night. Needless to say, Drupal does scale.

Here’s another example. This is the MTA. During Hurricane Sandy, the MTA website, built in Drupal, was the only website that stayed up for people looking for traffic information on how to get home, these kinds of things. We served 5.1 million customers in the New York area during that hurricane and had 30k comparing visitors to the platform. So sometimes, people say, well, it’s easy to build a website and do lots and lots of pages because you cache them all. But I think both grammy.com – it’s an example where they had updates to the website every minute. It wasn’t like all static website. Certainly, mta.info, there’s a lot of dynamic parts to the site. Limited cacheability there.

Another great example, is weather.com. They’re in the process of moving from Percussion, which is a legacy CMS, to Drupal. Very exciting to me because they are one of the largest websites in the world. Everybody checks the weather and everybody goes to weather.com for that. Also the data feeds that they send out to many of the apps and things like that, it’s all going to be covered by Drupal in the end. Top 25 website in the world moving to Drupal, I think is a huge testament to our scalability.

The next one. Now we're talking about the fact that; “Open source requires tribal knowledge.”

Again, the Sitecore white paper. They’re saying things like, “Open source isn't well supported by a community of developers.” And they say, “Developers can an excellent resource for enhancements and bug fixes, but when they’re actually going live with your website, they may not have any accountability to you. They’re not willing to help you.” These kinds of things. The reality, of course, is that the Drupal community is large and there's lot of people in the community and many of who are willing to help you.

Here are some quick stats actually. Drupal is one of the largest open source platforms in the world, especially if you measure it in terms of number of people that are part of our community that are contributing. You may not have the same install as Linux but we do have an incredible amount of people that are active in the development of Drupal. Over 28,000 developers a year actually make changes to Drupal and they’re all around the world 24/7 making Drupal better.

It’s funny that proprietary CMS vendors call us out on that because – I don't have the details here, but I don't know how many developers Sitecore has. If they have 100, I think that’s probably going to be a pretty good guess. Maybe they have only 50. Maybe they have 200. Maybe they even have 500 which they definitely don’t have. It’s still small numbers compared to Drupal where we have 28,000. Where are these experts on Sitecore, for example? It’s really funny that they call us out that way because it’s not unlike Drupal where – except we have many, many more people.

For those people that do have concerns about support of open source – and that’s exactly why I created Acquia frankly, to help provide commercial great support to these large organizations. But also, we have a large ecosystem of other companies that can help build your Drupal sites and do these kinds of things. Our ecosystem is definitely much larger than that of our proprietary competitors.

Forrester, again, wrote, “As one Forrester customer told us, ‘We had some concerns about support with open source, but we felt like a commercial company like Acquia could make up for that and give us the support we need.’” What that really means is that the combination of a company like Acquia combined with open source brings together the best of both worlds. You get all the advantages of what the proprietary enterprise software vendors will sell you like support, certain guarantees around up time and all of these things, but you get that combined with then innovation that’s coming out of open source. Like the innovations coming from these 20,000 and more developers around the world. It allows you to build really robust websites but also to innovate much faster than your competitors using proprietary software. That’s exactly why Drupal is being adopted that often.

All right, so our last myth here is: “Drupal is more expensive.”

Which is funny. They often make comparisons with “free puppies” and there’s some truth to that. Open source isn’t entirely free. There is no license fee, but there’s definitely other costs to using and running software. So let’s look into some of these costs. Here’s actually a quote that was sent to us by somebody that was looking at Adobe. Adobe, in their sales pitch, made the comparison between using their stuff and Drupal. As you can see, according to Adobe, to build these particular websites with Adobe, you needed about $1 million but to do it in Drupal, you need about $2.5 million, so 2.5x more expensive. They say it’s more expensive because Drupal lacks space functionality and they gave some amazing examples like, “We like the ability to have dynamic contents or mobile or multi-site management.” Obviously, these are all things which have baked into Drupal actually for over 10 years. They are just lying about Drupal to try and win deals.

Here is another example from Sitecore, and it’s funny to see how they pitch about what they do. They say, “Well, there is no license cost in Drupal but,” and this is the first lie, they say, “The license cost is only about 5% of the total implementation cost.” Which usually it’s much more than 5%, but then they say, “Even though there’s no license cost in Drupal, the actual implementation cost is so much bigger that the license cost doesn’t matter.” They wrote, “Reducing that 5% with savings on an open source CMS can drive up the other costs significantly, usually resulting in higher total expenses.” That’s complete bullshit as well.

In fact, let’s get some numbers here of how Sitecore or Adobe compare with Drupal. The first table is Sitecore or Adobe. These are numbers we made up based on what we see in the field. Let’s say the license fee is $200,000.00, which often is much more. Then there’s implementation services, by $200,000.00, and then the proprietary vendors always add on like maintenance and hosting so let’s say that’s $40,000.00 each for a total of $480,000.00 in Year 1. Of course in Year 2 and 3, the license fee disappears but you still need to pay for some implementation services and you have to keep doing maintenance and hosting, and so for this particular example, it’s going be about $680.000.00 for three years.

Now, in Drupal, there is no license fee, so that comes zero for all three years, but there are still some implementation services. Somebody still has to help build your websites. In the case of Drupal, it’s typically going to be about $150,000.00 because the fact that there’s so many contributed modules out there, over 20,000 modules, so a lot of the features and the functionality that you need or want for your websites are there as starting points or they’re there and they can just be used. Typically, what we see is that the implementation costs are lower because of the vast amounts of functionality available in the open source projects. Then maintenance and hosting in our case, it’s bundled in what we call Acquia Clouds and so typical price points there are $60,000.00 a year. If you combine everything, you can see that the total over three years is significantly lower than the proprietary vendors.

We'll quote you, and in fact I believe the average deal size for Adobe is – I thought it was $1.4 million. They’re definitely not that cheap and we’ve seen that a lot with our customers and Drupal users. For example, the State of Georgia, they have a 10-year-old proprietary platform that they decided to move to Drupal and in doing so they actually projected that they’ll save almost $5 million over five years for about 55 websites that they have on Vignette. These numbers are real. We have the people responsible for that project to back that up with real quotes. We see that over and over again, that not only is it cheaper to move to Drupal but it actually increases their velocity as well so they can do more with less money.

Which is what a lot of people have to do, frankly, because most organizations spend to more and more websites. They go from having one or two websites 10 years ago to having to manage dozens or hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of websites. At the same time, each of those individual websites have also become more complex like we went from having static contents to dynamic contents to pretty complex websites with integrations and CMS systems and CDN systems and marketing automation tools. There are these two forces. Force one is more and more websites, and force two is the web that’s accelerating and the complexity of the websites to increase as well. Yet at the same time, the budgets haven’t sort of followed that trend. Many, many organizations find themselves in a situation where their challenged having to do all the things they need to do. So open source has been a life saver for many, enabling them to do more with less.

There’s some bonus, extra myths here. Some people say, “Drupal doesn’t have a roadmap.” Other people say, “Drupal doesn’t have an upgrade path.” These things aren’t entirely true. It’s true we developed our software differently than proprietary software, but we do have a vision and a roadmap. The way we organized that for Drupal 8, for example, is we have eight or nine initiatives like examples being, configuration management when mobile or authoring experience. We set out these big themes, if you will, and that’s effectively our roadmap.

Same thing with an upgrade path, Drupal does provide an upgrade path from one version to another. Of course, if you have custom modules, it’s not going to automatically upgrade because we do break backwards compatibility. We break backwards compatibility because we believe it’s more important to innovate and to make sure Drupal stays modern than it is to provide 100% backward compatibility. But once we make a release, that release is frozen and we will support that for many years. There’s a stable platform with security fixes and bug fixes. Basically, there’s a lot of stuff being used to try and debunk the success of open source and Drupal.

With Drupal 8 around the corner, I think once Drupal 8 is released we’ll be an even better, stronger project. We’ve been doing a lot of work around authoring experience, making it easier and better for either one author or a team of authors to publish content online by doing things like integrating WYSIWYG and adding in-place editing. These kinds of features really make it better and faster for content managers. I’m very proud that we were able to make that a main focus of Drupal 8.

Obviously mobile was a big initiative, and I did my State of Drupal keynote four or five years ago. I said, “If I were to start building Drupal today, I would build it for mobile first and desktop second.” That’s not exactly what we did, but in a way, that is what we did. So for the last four years or three years, we have re-factored every aspect of Drupal pretty much to be mobile-friendly. All the way from making sure Drupal is responsive. Not just basic responsive features but also things like responsive tables where certain columns disappear depending on screen size, responsive toolbar to make sure that the navigation works. We’ve also been working on a mobile preview feature so if you are authoring content, you can quickly preview how that looks on mobile devices. But also in the backend. Mobile is not just building mobile websites to be viewed in a mobile browser, but also native apps like iOS apps or Android apps. Everything in Drupal is also exportable through a RESTful API and that will actually enable organizations or people to build mobile apps very easily on Drupal. All of that is out-of-the-box functionality with Drupal, so it’s pretty exciting.

Multilingual has been a key initiative. I think there was a question about that and I’ll address questions in a minute here but to build a multilingual website in Drupal 7, well, it’s entirely possible but it took like 20 contributed modules or something. All of these or almost all of these modules have been moved into Drupal core, the base platform and then updated and extended even with more features and functionality and lots of usability improvements as well.

Multilingual and globalization support, we’ve made massive improvements massive improvements there in Drupal 8. As I mentioned, we’ve really adopted RESTful APIs into Drupal. In Drupal, every piece of content, whether it s an article or a discussion or a comment even on an article or a user in a user profile, all of these things as well as new things to define in Drupal using our entity system automatically become RESTful enabled. Each of these pieces T and so that’s not only good for building native apps as I mentioned but it’s also really useful to integrate Drupal with other systems.

On the right of this slide, you see the marketing technology landscapes. This is a collection of tools. Some of the tools the marketers can choose from to build their marketing steps I guess. There are literally hundreds of tools that need to be integrated with their content management system. Our proprietary competitors focus on a handful of these like the big players, like Salesforce or Marketo, but often, smaller or more specialized tools are forgotten and a lot of these simply cannot be integrated because the proprietary vendors don’t have flexible APIs or they simply don’t have the right API, whereas they can be integrated with Drupal because everybody can make changes to Drupal. We’re pretty excited about building more of these integrations and letting marketers use the tools that they want to use versus having to use the tools that happen to integrate. We’re very excited about Drupal.

Then just to wrap it up before the questions, a couple of slides about Acquia. We see ourselves as the digital business company. That’s not how we were born so to speak. Initially, we were all about being a company that provided commercial-grade support for Drupal, which is still our focus but more and more we’ve been working with large customers and we’ve been helping to define their digital business strategy and we’ve been helping them with that transformation of becoming digital businesses. We’ve been very focused on empowering companies to deliver great digital experiences that integrate content community commerce, all using Drupal.

We have done quite well so far as a company. We’re more than 440 people and have been recognized as a very fast growing private company. Most recently, Deloitte recognized us the second fastest growing technology company in the United States and we have customers in all of these verticals that you see. To do what we do to provide that support with the digital transformation that organizations go through, we use this kind of mental model where all of that is built on Drupal, it’s our platform layer if you will, that people use to build dozens of websites or hundreds of websites. On top of what, we have some proprietary software as a service which we call the Digital Engagement Services. Things like Acquia Lift which provides personalization and targeting, but also Acquia Search and Mollom that basically allow organizations to better engage with their visitors and drive them to a transaction, either an eCommerce transaction of some other transaction.

At the bottom, we have Continuous Delivery Cloud called Acquia Cloud, but also Acquia Site Factory and basically that is our platform that we use to host websites, but also to provide lots of tools to help to continue innovation, testing, and these kinds of things.

Our model as a company is sort of a sandwich model if you will where Drupal sits in the middle and then at the bottom and the top, the buns if you will of the sandwich or the hamburger are paying services that customers pays for. As such, it’s complete solution for organizations that want to build a digital business.

All right, so let’s wrap it up here. Of course, I think most of you have about this famous saying from Gandhi, he said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” I think this couldn’t be more true for Drupal and open source. We were completely ignored for the first 10 years, almost or less but people are clearly laughing at us as you could see from some of the screenshots and they’re clearly fighting us with FUD but we’re also clearly winning. If you look at the numbers, I think the numbers speak for themselves and that’s pretty exciting.

I think in a way, open source has already changed the industry like if you think about the traditional web content management systems that were born in ’96 and things like Vignette and Interwoven. While they’re still around, I think they have been replaced to open source alternatives, not just Drupal but other solutions as well, WordPress and TYPO and Joomla. A lot of people have migrated to these and I think what they’ve done is because they were pushed out, they kind of redefined themselves as a marketing cloud tools which is CMS tools plus additional services, additional things. I think we have an opportunity to basically also go after them and replace the Adobes and Sitecores and the Oracles of the world.

I’m personally very passionate about that because systems like Adobe, they are extremely expensive, costs millions of dollars, and this transformation of companies figuring out how to do business on the web is so important to our world that we can’t have these tools only be accessible to a few that can pay millions of dollars. I think we really have an opportunity to bring these capabilities, the right way to do business online, to the masses and sort of do well for the web and make sure that the web is on good shape. I’m very excited about Drupal going after this and I hope you guys are, too.

If you want to read a little bit more about some of the things I spoke about, in the webinar there’s some links. You can see the links on the screen and will also be shared later but definitely feel free to check out these things a little bit more. Which I think brings us to the Q&A session.

Moderator: Yes, great. Thank you so much Dries. If anybody has any question, could you please ask them now in the Q&A tab? We have a couple come in during the presentation and the first is, “What is the difference between Acquia and Drupal?” Some people just wanted some clarification on that.

Dries Buytaert: Yes, sure. I mean, I think I spoke about that just a few slides ago, but Drupal is open source software that people use to build websites and Acquia is a company that helps organizations to use Drupal effectively. I guess I’ll leave it at that. Just check acquia.com, I would say, for more details. Other questions?

Moderator: Yes. The next one is: Can you compare WordPress to Drupal?

Dries Buytaert: Sure. WordPress is an open source CMS or blogging platform. It is very widely adopted. It’s actually more adopted than Drupal and it’s typically used for less complex websites. I purposely say less complex because some of the WordPress websites have a lot of traffic but they’re typically a lot less complex. They don’t usually have deep integrated social platforms and these kinds of things. So because WordPress is open source, they're sort of part of the family and WordPress’ success is great for Drupal and vice versa. I think Drupal’s success also validates WordPress and the open source model.

Certainly, we see a lot of people use WordPress but it’s typically more in the low end of the spectrum. In our situation, Acquia, where we’re focused on larger customers. We don’t usually run into WordPress too often. It’s not one of our main competitors. We don’t see them in the majority of our deals, but sometimes we do and we can either coexist with WordPress. Sometimes people run into the limitations of WordPress and they want to move to Drupal.

Obviously, a great software. I’m personally also great friends with Matt Mullenweg, which is a project lead at Drupal. We get together and share notes. I think one last thing I’ll say is that maybe five years ago, people would also sort of say, “What will I use, Drupal or WordPress?” But I think both of our projects, we’ve found our spots. I think Drupal is clearly dominating in the enterprise section of the market and WordPress is clearly dominating the low end of that market. I think I get a lot less questions about, “What do I use, Drupal or WordPress?” That’s a good evolution.

Moderator: The next question is, “We’re interested in implementing a create, watch, publish everywhere model. Can Drupal help us accomplish that?”

Dries Buytaert: Yes, it can actually. Drupal allows you to enter contents and then publish it in multiple channels. The default in Drupal 7 is HTML, but through the web services support, they can also go through other systems. Then there are also ready-to-go integrations; that’s Twitter integration, Facebook integration, integration with other social media tools which are also channels. So when you publish something in Drupal, that can automatically get pushed out to Facebook and Twitter, to drive people to your website. That works really well actually in Drupal 7 and will even be better in Drupal 8, because we’ve made substantial improvements to, as I mentioned, the web services support but also our content modeling tools. I think it’s actually one of the reasons people adopt Drupal compared to other solutions.

Moderator: I think we’re running out of time so anybody’s questions that don’t get answered, we’ll definitely follow up and get them answered for you. For the last question, we just want to ask, “Can you expand on your cloud offering? Is it just SAAS based or also infrastructure platform as a service? Are they hosted supported? Example, 24/7 uptime, etcetera.”

Dries Buytaert: Yes, so we have a product called Acquia Clouds. It’s all built on Amazon Web Services, AWS, and we have it in different flavors, so to speak. One flavor is our platform as a service offering. In that case, you can upload your sites, your Drupal codes to our servers and we provide you all sorts of tools around that, like GIF support and GIF repositories. We will automatically provision you one or more staging environments, depending on how many you need. A development environment, a staging environment and a production environment. There’s tools to make it very easy for you to push code from one to the other, but also files. It’s really built around optimizing the developer experience of the Drupal developer.

Many organizations have to set these things up, so if you use a traditional hosting provider you have to go and build all of these things, which can take months of work really, to build the developer tools. With Acquia Cloud, you get these out-of-the-box, and you’re ready to get going from day one but then once your site is in production, there’s also a lot of tools in there. We can dynamically scale your site when there’s a traffic peak so your best day isn’t your worst day, so to speak. All of that is through platform as a service, so developers can make changes to the site and extend Drupal every way possible that they can imagine.

Then we also have software as a service flavors. We have a product called Site Factory which effectively allows you to run your own software as a service platform, so it’s optimized for multisite case studies. Say you need to bang out campaign websites or if you are a pharmaceutical company, you have to manage recall websites or something of which many exist. Site Factory allows you to do that in sort of a software as a service model. I believe we have webinars in each of those things, so I encourage you to check those out if you need more details but it is state-of-the-art Drupal platform really for not just hosting it and running it on a daily basis, but also developing it and creating your Drupal sites.

Moderator: Thank you so much, Dries. For anyone that didn’t have their question answered, we’ll get it answered for you. I want to say a big thank you for all of you for attending and a big thank you for Dries. Slides and recording will be posted to our website in the next 24 hours and we’ll also email you out a copy. Thanks, everyone, for showing up today.

- End of Recording -

What’s on the Menu? A Full Course of Drupal’s Menu System


The Menu system can be very confusing for new Drupal users. If you’re coming from a system where your site pages are created by adding content items “to a menu”, you’ll find Drupal’s decoupled menu system a bit confusing. Once you understand it, it’s very freeing and you can enjoy the flexibility. Drupal even generates menu links based on who can access or see content, so you don’t need to make user specific menus.

Just Say Yes: Reducing the Complexity of Multisite Deployments


“No," for better or worse, is part of every IT and Web professional’s daily vocabulary.

Usually, saying “no” leaves one group hanging or another strapped for resources. But what if you didn’t have to say “no” and could deliver the best of both worlds for all involved parties?

Click to see video transcript

Moderator: Just Say Yes: Reducing the Complexity of Multisite Deployments. We’ve got Gary Wu who’s the Product Manager for Acquia Cloud Site Factory from Acquia. We’re also joined by our friends from Appnovation Technologies. We’ve got Andy Mao who’s the Channel Enablement Coordinator as well as Kevin Madden who’s the Business Analyst both from Appnovation. We’re really excited to have them on the call today.

Gary Wu: Hi everyone, my name is Gary Wu and I’m Product Manager for Acquia Cloud Site Factory. Today, we’d like to help you say yes and help you reduce the complexity of delivering multisite deployments. In today’s market, what we’ve seen in speaking with our customers, our partners, with prospects is that the demand for creating new digital experiences, outpacing organizations ability to deliver and what this has led to is strain and friction between digital marketing and the IT teams. Digital marketers need to be able to very quickly adapt to the speed of their market. Oftentimes, they’ll want to launch new campaigns, new brand sites and it needs to be done immediately in order to capitalize upon the market opportunity but when they go and request the site from the IT teams - you know oftentimes, IT is in a quandary because they’ve got a number of strategic projects that they’re working on and they don’t really have the bandwidth to take on these last-minute requests where websites may need to be delivered in the next week or the next two weeks. So, that’s a really challenging spot for organizations to be in because they know that they have these strategic IT projects that need be completed but they also know that they need to help their digital marketing organizations be successful in order to capitalize on the market opportunity and for those organizations to achieve their business goals.

So, what can organizations do? Well, we know that organizations are really looking to achieve systems of customer engagement that really deliver the best of both worlds, where marketers gain the agility and the freedom to connect with their digital consumers and where the process in the approach that is used to deliver these sites scales effectively to meet the needs of IT. To help achieve this goal, what we at Acquia - is deliver the Acquia Cloud Site Factory, which we believe is the most efficient way to manage the delivery of many sites. With Acquia Cloud Site Factory, we provide agility for organizations to a scalable process and approach to delivering these sites through an efficient platform. Let me talk about each of these areas one by one. From an agility perspective, we want to help digital marketers be able to deliver engaging content-rich sites at the speed of the business without having to burden IT. Now, this doesn’t mean that IT does not play a role in this process. On the contrary, we do believe that IT still plays a very critical role in ensuring that the delivery of the sites meets their strict requirements whether it be for security, for quality of service and so on. Now, these sites can be delivered within Site Factory using a highly scalable approach where our goal is to help our customers deliver sites in days instead of in weeks or months using a repeatable, predictable site governance approach that’s based upon the use of site templates, which we’ll talk about a few minutes. Then finally, we want organizations to gain efficiency by simplifying their operational management and by removing the risks in delivering a large number of sites through a managed software as a service offering like Site Factory.

Let me talk about Acquia Cloud Site Factory in a little bit more detail. What is it? Well, it’s a fully integrated site platform that provides all the tools necessary for organizations to build engaging sites, to deliver them around the world with 24/7 availability and to manage those sites whether you’re managing tens of sites or even hundreds. By providing all of these capabilities in a single software as a service offering, then customers are able to benefit from this platform through a salary delivery of their branded experiences with their consumers. They are able to achieve, increase site governance through the use of site templates. They are also able to reduce the cost of managing large multisite deployments.

Now, we have many customers using Site Factory today. So I’d like to quickly just review with you some of the benefits that they’ve seen as a result of being able to create large numbers of websites within Site Factory through the site template approach. For a large global consumer pharmaceutical located here in North America, this organization was able to reduce the time it took for them to deliver branded sites for their global consumers for a matter of four to six weeks down to about 14 days as a result of standardizing on a common framework for their consumer branded sites. Warner Music Group is also is another user. They were able to deliver over 300 artists sites built on top of Site Factory though the use of three site templates. So, with three site templates they were able to deliver these numbers of sites and also decrease the time it took for them to complete the delivery. A large hospital campus located in the South East of the United States was able to consolidate many web properties across 22 of their hospital campuses onto a single platform in order to provide a more consistent branded presence for the health practitioners. They were able to achieve this again as a result of using templates to standardize the presentation and the content of their practitioner websites.

Now, with Acquia Cloud Site Factory, you’re really able to leverage the power of Drupal to build engaging online experiences that are responsive. You’re able to do this as a result of a version of Drupal that we include by default with the Site Factory platform and we call this the Drupal Gardens distribution. It really includes a best of collection of some of the Drupal communities most well known and most popular features including the use for creating dynamic queries, web forms, media, and more. We literally have hundreds of some of the most popular modules already included within this out-of-the-box Drupal experience. In addition, we also provide the Theme Builder, which is a point and click theming tool that’s embedded within the Drupal Gardens distribution. It enables you to point and click and create a very compelling and very dynamic visual presentation, and just to show you some of the experiences, as you can see some of the sites that have been created within Site Factory on screen.

Now, in addition to using the out-of-the-box Drupal experience that we provide by default, customers are also able to bring their own version of Drupal to the Site Factory platform. If you already have a new Drupal-based application or you’ve worked with a partner or other technology specialists to create a tailored Drupal experience for your own use cases, you can feel free to bring those into the Site Factory platform to use those as the starting point for the new sites that you create.

Now, one of the key capabilities of the Site Factory platform that enables the IT organization to rapidly scale and to deliver sites at the pace of the business? It’s through this notion of the site templates. With site templates, you’re essentially capturing website patterns that enable marketers to quickly instantiate new sites based out of successful patterns of sites that have worked very well in the past. Once you create this new site templates, then you can very easily launch hundreds of websites by simply duplicating new sites from those templates. Let me just talk about that a little bit more detailed because this really provides an incredibly powerful capability for you to: one, rapidly deliver sites to markets much more quickly; and two, to also ensure that you have consistency within your sites whether they be from the branding perspective, to ensure that you have a very consistent presentation of your organization’s brand and also from the perspective of how you configure your sites because how you configure your sites also determines how easy it can be going forward managing and maintaining those sites going forward. Through the use of site templates, you are able to essentially use Drupal to capture the core informational architecture of page layouts, roles and permissions, feature configurations, content types and so on that you believe are necessary for your sites. So for example, you may create one template for perhaps marketing campaign sites that you want to be able to rapidly spin up and then, you may create a second site template for the key brand sites that you may want to create. Once you have your set of templates identified, when you want to spin up a new site for any one of those site types, then it’s just a matter of configuring a site that’s been instantiated from any one of those templates with site-specific content and material and you’re done. This is really a very important way for organizations to very easily launch sites but also ensure the degree of consistency that may be desired.

In addition to being able to use site templates as a means of tailoring your sites, you’re also able to customize the Drupal instance that you have deployed within Site Factory as a starting point. You’ll be able to customize with confidence because Site Factory provides a continuous integration workflow experience that enables you to validate new modules or new features that you’ve enabled for your Drupal instance work well against sites that are already live in production and you’re able to test these changes within a staging environment without affecting your production sites. Once you’re comfortable that the new features or that the customizations you’ve made through Drupal work well, then you can deploy the changes from staging into production at which point will automatically enable whatever new features or modules that you’ve added to the codebase to all of the sites within Site Factory. Now, this is a core concept of Site Factory because unlike other platforms where each site is truly unique and may end up becoming a snowflake in its own right. With Site Factory, our goal is to help you deliver large numbers of sites by leveraging a consistent Drupal codebase, and then leveraging patterns of sites for the highest degree of consistency. So, if you have a need to create sites where there’s uniform configuration, but where you may want the highest degree of flexibility in creating really unique themed experiences, then Site Factory is going to be a really capable solution for your needs.

Now, with Site Factory - I’ll finish up by saying that we have three different service tiers available depending upon your specific needs; depending upon whether you’re looking more for convenience; or for more control and customizability. If your needs are perhaps simpler and are perhaps more oriented around brochureware types of sites, then we have the Acquia Cloud Site Factory SaaS edition where you’re able to leverage a rich out-of-the-box experience in building your sites. This tier doesn’t allow you to add Drupal modules but you really have a really easily to use out-of-the-box Drupal experience at your fingertips. Acquia will maintain the platform and manage the Drupal codebase for you. All you have to focus on is building great sites through the Site Factory platform. If you want the maximum degree of control on the other hand, then we offer the PaaS edition which allows you to experience all the benefits of Drupal with all of its capabilities and customize ability. With the PaaS edition, you’re able to customize the default instance of Drupal that we provide as part of Site Factory to your heart’s content, or you can bring your own Drupal distribution to begin with and of course extend that as necessary. Now, if you’re looking for a balance between convenience and control that is you recognize that you may need some number of Drupal modules but you may not necessarily have the resources at hand to maintain those modules, then we provide the SaaS+ subscription tier where after undergoing a module certification process, Acquia will maintain the modules that you want added to your Drupal distribution on a go-forward basis. Okay, we can definitely provide you with more information around those. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. At this point, I’ll now hand over control to Andy.

Andy Mao: Thanks, Gary. Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining the webinar. My name is Andy Mao and I’m the Channel Enablement Coordinator of Appnovation Technologies. To give you a brief background of what Appnovation is, we’re the world’s leading open source development shop with over 150 clients, having delivered nearly 400 projects since our inception. We have six different office locations and we’re headquartered in Vancouver, BC; our US operations are running all of Atlanta; and we also have an office in London, UK. Through these offices, we have been able to serve companies around the world. The technologies we use include: Drupal, Alfresco, MuleSoft, SproutCore, HTML5, Mobile App, MongoDB and E-Commerce. Some of our more notable clients include: NBC Universal, Intel, Pfizer, NBA, Google, Fox News, American Express, Reebok, and the US Department of Defense. We also have some great experience with open source technology as we’re the only company in the world that holds enterprise for like Acquia partner, a MuleSoft partner, and a Platinum Alfresco partner. Today, our speaker is Kevin Madden who is our Appnovation Business Analyst with the background in digital publishing dating back to 1999 and here, I will pass the ball to Kevin.

Kevin Madden: What you can now see I hope is a website that we called “[Any State]”. It was based on some thoughts we had around local government sites. So, state sites, county sites and business what I would describe as the user experience for the home page. It got a big slideshow at the top of the page. It has a very clear navigation across the top and some of the information you might want to put into a site. Further down the page we’ve got: department pages, we’ve got blog content, we’ve got obviously – it’s a pretty standard display. What I’m going to do is I’m going to create a duplicate of that site. Now, I’m going to - in order to do that I need to be logged in. This is the same site. I’m now the logged in administrator. What I do is quite simply is I click on my site’s button and you’ll now see my background. You can see we created a number of sites in different guises as Gary mentioned earlier. It is an incredibly agile piece of kit and it works fantastically well unlike my screen.

What I’m going to do now is get the group sites that we’ve already put together - and this is the site that you were looking at. What I’m going to do with that site is I’m going to create a duplicate site. It’s quite straightforward and I click - or click on the button. I have to name that site, so I’m going to call it “Today’s Demo”. I get a choice essentially of two elements. I can create a clean copy of the site, which means that I get core functionality, core uses and no content. What I’m going to do this time is to create a clone of the site, so you could see the exact duplicate site. I’m going to hit the duplicate button. At the bottom righthand corner of my screen, you’ll see my email. It will send me an email at the site. It’s generated. It’s not instant but it’s very, very quick and quite impressive.

In the meantime, what I wanted to show you was the fact that the site is fully responsive. We put in, if you look now, I’m now logged out and I’m on a slightly different browser but you could see this is my desktop experience on the left and I can run through those sites with my big menus. I can go to various departments, get my information - classic sites and the noble sites, you can see presentation is instantly, same site, same URL but picking up every element of the site - say, again with a simple mobile navigation. In the meantime, I just want to check if my site is ready yet. It’s not there yet. We can still see Catherine on the right-hand corner. I was really hoping that I could ask if anybody had questions about the site. Are there any features or elements that you’d like me to demonstrate because it really is that easy to create a second or third site?

Moderator: Sure. We can open it that up to Q&A at this time. There’s a Q&A tab in the WebEx UI for anyone on the call. If you have a question, please submit it there. We have a couple ones waiting already, so we can get started. This is just more a general question about Site Factory. Is there a limit to how many site templates you can create?

Gary Wu: I can take that one. There are no limits to the number of site templates. Our users are able to create within the Site Factory platform. Whether you have a handful or you have tens or more, we don’t really keep track of nor do we care how many templates are created as long as users of Site Factory are able to satisfy all their business needs in launching new sites quickly.

Moderator: Okay. Next question, can you [Audio Gap]?

Kevin Madden: I will say briefly again to slightly help Gary. I think we’ve created something like 21 separate sites already and we’ve created them into groups. Not great designs as you can see from the screen but, yes, it’s very, very straightforward to create more sites and - you just keep adding basically. You can create different functionality with each site.

Moderator: Great. Next question, sorry I thought you are from here. [Laughter] Can you base a template off of an existing website?

Gary Wu: Yes. We really have seen two approaches for users creating site templates within Site Factory. The first is that from prior experience in creating new campaign sites or brand sites. An organization may already have a sense of the types of site patterns that they may want to create. As a result, they may already have an idea of that site template structure and its contents. They’ll just create that off the bat. Now, alternatively we’ve also seen users of Site Factory create patterns or identified patterns of sites after they’ve created a number of websites. They may have deployed, one - the first, second, third, fourth or fifth site. Then, after having done that number of sites they may recognize that, “Ah, yes. One of these sites actually would be a great starting point for new sites going forward.” I think that you saw during the demo that there is an option as part of Site Factory site duplication action to actually copy an existing site and to make it a starting point for a new site template. Organizations have been very successful using their existing sites as a starting point, and then using one of those existing sites as a site template for future sites.

Moderator: Great, okay. This next question is for Appnovation. This is the last question I have in my queue, so if anyone on the line still have - bringing questions, please ask away. We have plenty of time to get to your response. So, here we go with the last question. This is for the Appnovation folks. To build the site that you demoed, did you use the Site Factory distro a custom one?

Kevin Madden: Sorry, can you repeat that please?

Moderator: Sure. To build the site that you demoed today, did you use a Site Factory distro or a custom one?

Kevin Madden: We used Site Factory distro and the SaaS+. We have some modules in there that we’ve used ourselves - that we did for ourselves, but essentially it’s the SaaS product not the PaaS product.

Moderator: Okay, great. All right, well that looks like all the questions that we have for today. We’re wrapping up a little early for you guys giving you about a half [Laughter] an hour back in your day. Hope you enjoyed that. I just want to say on behalf of Acquia, thank you everyone for attending. Thank you Gary, Andy and Kevin for the excellent presentation. Again, on my end of side will be posted to SlideShare, and the recorded webinar will be posted to Acquia.com within the next 24 hours.

Kevin Madden: Okay, we’ll [Crosstalk]. Sorry.

Moderator: Yes?

Kevin Madden: What I was going to say, we haven’t quite seen these sites yet, but here’s one that I did prepare earlier just in case it didn’t come through because this is copied from the same sites about half an hour ago and one duplicate site. It took about 15 minutes to get it up, I mean it’s there. It’s ready to rock and roll.

Moderator: Yes.

Kevin Madden: That’s how fast - it really - I can’t emphasize enough what quite an amazing piece of kit Site Factory is. It really works incredibly well and the speed of delivery is amazing. It really is. Thank you.

Moderator: Fantastic. Thank you so much. That was really nice to see you. It’s just a little treat at the end. Thanks everyone for joining. Like I said, the webinar will be posted to our site in the next 24 hours, then we’ll email out a copy. Take care.

Bad Websites Kill Fan Loyalty: Do Digital the Right Way


Media consumption has quickly shifted to the online world and entertainment brands face unique challenges managing the digital spotlight. Fans are active across a variety of channels looking for celebrity news, the latest TV episodes, album releases and then sharing this content across their social networks.

What's the best way for your brand to stay engaged with these fans? In our upcoming webinar, we'll show you how to create the best content strategy to help you innovate faster and deliver a unified digital brand experience. You will learn about:

You will learn about:

A Development Springboard: Using Drupal Distributions


Learn about the latest distributions for Drupal 7 and find out how you can get started on your next project quickly. A Drupal distribution is built specifically to solve one problem: organize a community, provide a government service, build a publishing platform.

You Stay Classy Panels Module


There always seems to be a divide between the styles applied to the site regions, and the styles applied to the content itself. Where the "theme" ends and the WYSIWYG editor begins. And what about layouts within the content area? What do content editors do now that responsive design is a major factor in all of this?

Click to see video transcript

Female: You Stay Classy Panels Module with guest speaker Kendall Totten who is a Drupal Designer & Theming Specialist at Mediacurrent, and Derek Deraps who is a Drupal Developer at Mediacurrent. Thank you so much Derek and Kendall for presenting to us today.
Kendall Totten: Well, hello everyone and welcome. I am Kendall Totten as Hannah said. Both myself and my team colleague Derek are from Mediacurrent. We're here today to tell you about the Classy Panel Styles Module which we're really excited about. Derek and I also want to give a little bio about ourselves, so go ahead.
Derek Deraps: Yes. Sure, my Twitter name is not mysterydude. Kendall just put that in there because I have no Twitter or anything like that. I am intentionally hard to track down so if you do want to find me you can do, so through drupal.org, derek.deraps is my username or through the Mediacurrent website. I've been doing Drupal for three years which half of that has been with Mediacurrent and my first say year and a half was spent with Georgia Tech working on some of their departmental websites. Now I'm at Mediacurrent and have been working with panels for since the beginning of my time but really, really heavily with panels since I came to Mediacurrent because we are a pretty much panels 100% shop. So about two years ago, they made the decision when we had to choose that we were going to go and build all of our sites and just standardize around panels. So Kendall is an expert with panels, I am becoming one and I'm really getting to dive into Chaos Tools and learn all about all the different plugin types and how all those work together. So we're going to show some of that today and hopefully it's something that's going to be really useful to you all.
Kendall Totten: Well, I myself is just that I begun with graphic design and kind of move into the wide world and I've been working with Drupal for about six years now then with Mediacurrent for three years. So I have experience as both a themer and a site builder, and then I've also done a lot of training of clients and that's all becomes important because of the style, the Classy Panel Styles Module really came about is because often we find out that there is an issue, there is real a big divide between themers and content editors. It's also hard to know where we draw the line between the layout styles that we're applying to like the Drupal Regions and how we're structuring the site and some of the styles that are applied to the content itself a lot times that comes inside the Wysiwyg which as themers we tend to dread the Wysiwyg. Most of us are working from something like a Photoshop MockUp and we're really trying to make the site look exactly like that MockUp, oftentimes pixel per pixel. Sometimes like I said, that content is controlled by the content editors, so really we kind of got a divide here and we still have to give the content editors creative control because they're the ones that are doing that work day to day. So how are we supposed to give them the ability to create layout within their content? A lot of times you don't want to put everything set in stone, you want to give them some freedom, some flexibility because sometimes the images themselves change shape or maybe they require a different layout or a special page or special blog post that day. So you want to give them the ability to change their layout and float their images and give them proper padding from the text wrap around it, but it's hard to communicate that kind of thing. You don't want to necessarily have to teach your content editors how CSS works down to the tiny detail; it can become a real challenge. A test that sometimes it's hard for developers too to know what you're doing and there's jumping in, in trying to apply a style. So even more so this becomes a bigger issue because now responsive design is really what it's all about. It's 2014 and you can't really turn a blind eye to the fact that your site is going to be visible, lots of devices, lots of sizes - from smartphones, tablets, desktops, giant monitors, even TVs. So this is a big deal. So are we supposed to teach our content editors how to make their content responsive? You could teach them about media queries and CSS, how to clear float and that kind of thing, or…
Derek Deraps: I suggest perhaps you try using the Classy Panels Styles Module which takes all drag and drop freedom that panels provides and allows the editors to apply some ready-made styles that the themer has whipped up for them. So they can take these classes and apply them to their panels panes and regions without having to remember class names or fuss with the Wysiwyg editor. So here's a little about how it works. Editors can pick styles from the Standard, what you see here is the Standard Style Editor for CTools, so imagine you're on the backend editor or perhaps in the in-place editor and you've clicked the Settings button for your selected pane style or region style. This window pops up and this is a customized set of options that a themer has entered which provides a sort of human readable set of options that each options corresponds to different CSS classes so these CSS classes get injected to both the backend editor and on the front-end where the content is being displayed. So they can do things like edit background colors or panel regions, they can change the layout of the panel panes without having to actually change the layout that's associated with the panel pane or excuse me, with the panel variant so that you can get a lot more functionality out of the same panel layout. You don't need to have a hundred different panel layouts to achieve the desired effect. You have a lot more flexibility in how you can layout your content.
Kendall Totten: That's a really good point, Derek. I don't know if you have ever used the Panopoly Distribution which is an excellent distribution. I have to recommend checking it out. At first glance, it seems really cool because it comes with a lot of different panel layout that you see here, these are some mails that kind of indicate the kind of layout styles you might want to apply to your panel page. It seems really cool because you're like, "Wow, I could achieve anything with these panel layouts," but by closer inspection when you try to actually make your Photoshop document look like one - try to utilize one of these panel layouts to look like your Photoshop document. You also find that it's close but it's not quite there so you still need modification. So you're starting with like 30 or so layout and then you still end up having to create custom ones anyways for your content editors to us. So when they're creating - maybe they're panelizing a particular note or they're creating a custom panel page, they're kind of stuck spending a lot of time figuring out which one is going to best suit their needs and it doesn't always get down all the way there, and even more so if you end up using something like a flexible panel builder you end up with some really yucky markup. The flexible panel builder is kind of a solution to try to get content builders to build up a panel layout themselves but this is not going to be responsive or mobile friendly because really you have to build in media queries which the Panopoly layouts are responsive inherently but if you use flexible panels also, there's not going to be and so let's just say no to divitis and avoid this altogether.
Derek Deraps: Kendall, what I'm interested in is why is this so awesome?
Kendall Totten: Well, you want to tell us about some of the reasons why Classy Panel Builder is awesome?
Derek Deraps: Okay. Sure. It allows the easy application of styles without having to remember the class names. It provides an extreme flexibility in creating your customized pages. It provides the ability to update pages without having to edit your CSS and you can create custom pages without having to actually push any code to production. So can it get any better?
Kendall Totten: Well, I don't know. I mean that usually one of the big hurdles that we're trying to overcome with people are editing - they're editing live content on their site, they're creating new blog posts and they're adding new images and things like that, so sometimes you need a new layout or you need some kind of new custom styles on the fly but with Classy Panel styles you don't necessarily have to push any code, you can just have readymade style sitting in the background for content editors to use and it doesn't require a code push which is really nice. You don't have to clear the caches, or varnish or any kind of - that sort of thing.
Derek Deraps: So what we got here, I'm showing you a little gift of how this looks on the backend. So you'll notice this is the backend panel's editor interface and normally you don't get to see any of the styles applied in real time on the backend. All you see is the panel panes take up the full width of the region that they're in and you can rearrange them but you don't get to see any of the styles applied. What we're showing you here is an example of how with the Classy Panel Styles Plugin, when you define these styles and the class to go with them, they get applied not only on the front end to the end user but also on the backend to your editor so that when they change for example in this case, the width of the pane, that pane then snaps the 33% width and it fits nicely in that layout. So you'll see we're using a one column layout but we're able to achieve a three column design even though we're using the one column layout which provides a lot more flexibility and again reduces the number of layouts that you need to define in your system.
Kendall Totten: Right. This does actually work with the Panels In-Place Editor as well. It's not perfect yet. I can show you here, I've got a panel page where if I click on Customize This Page, I'll see - this is the typical Panel In-Place Editor interface where you see like a way to a five tile or maybe to customize the settings for a particular panel or even add new content. So if I want to customize the layout here, I can click on the style icon and load up the Classy Panels interface here. Let’s say I’m going to apply Classy Panel Styles and I can change my - the layout or the width of this panel pane, I'm going to change it to a 50% width and save. You'll notice that it does actually change the content, but the Panels In-Place Editor has some extra markup going on here and so we're not technically modifying the In-Place Editor stuff but it can still give you a good preview of what's going on. If you're applying colors or font styles and that sort of thing, you'd be able to see it relatively easy, and then as soon as you save you'll see it snap into place and the text go back around but that's normal. So what about, Derek, do you know about Panels Extra Styles or Semantic Panels? How are those modules compared, are those pretty similar to what we're talking about?
Derek Deraps: I'm glad you asked, Kendall. That is one of the very first questions that we get asked every time we talk about the Classy Panel Styles Module. The only thing they have in common is the word panels and their module name. So the - let's start with Semantic Panels. What it provides is a really flexible, a very powerful tool to be able to customize the markup of your panels, of the panes and the regions. You can change the container that it uses, you can add classes and IDs, and completely alter the markup that gets out into your panels and regions, your panes and regions. One really good benefit of it is that it cleans up that markup a lot so it reduces some of the clutter and the extra divitis that goes on your standard panels region template. So that's good. Our region template and pane template is also pretty minimalist so it really cuts out some of the markup as it injects those classes. What the Panel Extra Styles does is the idea of the module was to have many contributed styles given to the module owner so that they would be vetted and approved, and say, "This is a really cool style. People might want to use this." So the idea was you install this Panel Extra Styles modules and then boom, you get a bunch of pre-set, readymade styles to use. The last time I checked I think there was only one style coming with the module but it's a really neat idea. What ours does though is empowers the themer to provide a really excellent set of styles out of the box that corresponds with the design that their editors need to be implementing. So we do provide some base styles that come with it called the CPS Example Module when you enable that. It does provide some sample set of styles but really the idea is to either build off of those styles or creates your own from scratch that empowers your users to do this in a way where they don't have to remember class names or IDs, or really understand how the markup works. They just know - they see the human readable language on the style settings page and then they can choose appropriately to get it to match whatever it is that they're working from.
Kendall Totten: Wait, so how do the themers get to define using a style set?
Derek Deraps: Well, with this fancy transmogrifying box called Drupal slash Chaos Tools, that's a really amazing form builder that we put together and as you can see Kendall is demoing here, this is the Classy Panel Styles Admin interface and it implements the Chaos Tools Export UI Plugin also known as a Chaos Tools Object Plugin. If she clicks on one of the items, viola, you can see that it provides a set of - it provides a definition for each of the styles that show up on the Styles Setting page so you give it a title, you give it a description and then you specify the options and their corresponding class name so to give a black background, Kendall, the themer, has defined through Sass and CSS, has defined a style class called region-bg-black. So when the user, when the editor is getting to choose they just see black, they choose it and boom, that class is automatically applied.
Kendall Totten: So I can tell you as a themer, this is a much easier interface to use than something having to dig in to PHP and use something like Panel Extra Styles which I think that they have really good intentions and this is what they were envisioning but there's no interface for it. So PHP is not my first language. As a themer I'm much more comfortable just in Sass, the CSS is where I like to spend my day and so if I have an interface to help me connect the dots between the classes I'm defining and how my content editors can use them, this is a super useful tool, this would really help me get my job a lot faster and beyond being able to just defining styles up here, Derek, went the extra mile and allowed us to specify where we can apply these styles. So we have the option of specifying he want to apply them two panel pane or panel regions, or both. This really come in handy because again you don't want to overwhelm the content editors with options and sometimes your style are specific or maybe you have a background color that you only want to apply to a region, you want this to go from one page edge to the other page edge. You don't wanted to apply to the themes in between so it's nice if you can kind of limit the options if they don't – accidentally use the wrong style on the wrong pane. Additionally you can specify what style set are allowed to be used on different panel layout, so for example if you had a panel layout special for your homepage and you had a handful of styles that only were supposed to be used on the homepage, you could say, "I only want the styles that leaves on the following layout and choose whatever layout it is, maybe you've got a custom one for your homepage here. I will pretend that it's a three column stacked one.” So this style set is only going to be visible when editing a panel that is utilizing this layout. So again limiting the options, less confusion. So this is a really awesome tool that allows us to kind of like say connect the dots between themers and content editors. So how - as I'm defining all of these custom styles, how would I go about moving this over for my development environment, my production environment?
Derek Deraps: Well, actually I want to back up one second Kendall, and talk about one other thing on this page is that I want to mention some functionality that's coming in the very near future which is the ability to define multiple style Plugins. So currently, if you install the module and you're editing your panel page, you get just one style Plugin called or I guess as one style grouping called Classy Panel Style. What we're going to be implementing in the future is the ability to group your styles into however many style groupings you want. So from the admin interface you'll be able to use, kind of a cooperation’s type selection and you can specify at that level these all belong to this group and this other group, and they can belong to multiple groups and you can assign the panes or regions and the allowed layouts at the level of the groups as well. So I just want to let you know that that's coming in the near future which I think will be really useful.
Kendall Totten: Yes. Alright. That is exciting. Also, one thing that I'm hearing so I just wanted to briefly mention is you're a themer and you're defining brand new set, unless that you don't even start with the example one. You definitely want to notice that this is a CSS style sheet that Classy Panel is loading and using so if you're defining your own style you probably want to create a separate style sheet in your theme, this is important. Don't put it all into one big style.css and load that in Classy Panel because you don't want to load all of those styles where you probably got thousands of lines out inside your Wysiwyg or inside your panel editor. So you want to just load the important ones that you're distinctly assigned with Classy Panel Styles so split those out and load it here. So back to migrating our styles to production.
Derek Deraps: Absolutely. So if there's any developers on the call or anyone who is familiar with using features, or even themers, I won't leave you out, "Hey, you all can do a lot of amazing stuff," because we've implemented this. Using the Chaos Tools, Export UI Plugin, it provides feature support out of the box and so it makes it really simple and easy to migrate or to featurize your styles and push them through your development workflow from local dev test prod, and it works just like with views or panels, or any of those other things that you use to featurizing through Chaos Tools, CTools. It makes it really easy.
Kendall Totten: One important note too is just you do want to utilize the example styles that come with the Classy Panels Module. You want to make sure to clone this. First enable that example style, clone them and if you want to modify them and make them your own and then export them through the feature, you can export these because these are part of the module but you can definitely clone and modify as needed, which is great.
Derek Deraps: Good point.
Kendall Totten: So I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the CSS specifically since that being part of this module and we are giving you example styles to work with so we're including a Sass file. So if you're not already using Sass, I definitely encourage you to dig into that and it's going to make it easier for you to write styles quickly and easily. So we've included the Classy Panel Styles on Sass files and then there's also a gem file and CURD to kind of help you get starting compiling that if you need to. You can change these as needed like I've got my width style settings in here, I have them set up that they're already using breakpoint, I'm using the breakpoint gem and it's a quick and easy way to write media queries, and I basically decided that if someone specify that a panel change would be 25% width, it's only applicable when you get to a certain size in your window. If your window is on a tablet portrait size or larger then great, you have enough space that a panel pane can reasonably be 25% of the screen and not be too tiny. Although below that I've made the executive decision as a themer that really you only have enough space to make it 50% width maybe of a Smartphone size or below that. I just want to stick with 100% width. This is something that you probably want to modify on a size to size basis depending on what you're mock-ups look like or maybe create something totally custom, but I wanted to make sure that you have the ability to modify these as easily as possible. We've got some good styles for views browse layout, if you've got like maybe a big listing of a bunch of items on your blog page or your showing up some mail and a title, then you want to quickly change it from a five column layout to a three column layout, it's easy to do that. Then just so simple ones in regards to like images, background colors, that kind of thing. So these all sounds pretty astounding, right? We talked about Sass here so I'm going to hand it over to Derek to kind of explain a little bit about how it works behind the scene.
Derek Deraps: So it's really complicated but thankfully we have Frank, Kendall, Cat who monitors all the pretty lights and make sure everything keeps humming along. No, just kidding. So the way that we do this as I said we're using, I'm using a CTools Export UI plugin also known as a CTools Object Plugin which creates a database table and the structure of the database table there that you see, those fields are a little bit out of date, the schema has changed a little bit since then and but don't worry the schema is really stable now, it's not going to be changing anymore. We have worked really hard to go ahead and get the schema into the final state so that upgrades in the future are going to be really smooth. So what this CTools Plugin does is it provides full CRUD UI for adding, removing, cloning, deleting those style settings that we showed you before on that admin page. What you're seeing here is the style plugin and this is one style plugin definition to rule and law. So it provides a parent style, this screenshot is probably out-of-date but this is one parent style that defines any number of SubStyles that inherent from it so that's what allows us to have any number of style groupings that show up in that list of when you're editing your panel page and you click on a region or a pane and you say change style and you see the list of style, they're like rounded corners, use no style, all those different things. Currently it just has the one that says Classy Panel Styles so in the future it's going to have any number of sub-styles so you can then find the name, you can modify it to your heart's content. Yes. So just one quick note about what it would take to the sort of standard way for - if you were a themer or a developer and you wanted to set a custom style plugin which is actually where this kind of originated from was we wanted to have our own custom style plugin for our editors to be able to apply styles, that Kendall was defining for them. So we are working on this, on a couple of different projects and every time Kendall wanted to add a new style setting to the form, she had asked a developer basically to go in and modify the settings for him that's defined in code, and so finally we got to the point where we said, "You know what, let's make this dynamic. Let's allow the definition of this settings form for the style plugin, let's create a user interface for that," and that's kind of where this module will be for. So here is a look at the some of the Jquery magic that really provides, I think for me it's one of the coolest features of the module and what that is, is the ability for the styles to apply on the backend in real time so you'll see the first image there is the style settings form with the different settings associated with it, and when you change that and you click save it in real time with Ajax apply those settings to the panes and regions that it affects. So you'll see in the div markup there, you'll see that there's towards the end of the first line you'll see one class called bg-blue, and then at the beginning of the second line width-50-100, and so you can see that the region behind it has a green background but the pane within it, it's got the blue background with light text and then a 50% width. So I just think that's so cool that it is something that's never been done before and it's I think really useful and helpful for editors.
Kendall Totten: Pretty sure. So I just want to take a minute to kind of dig in to showing you in real life like how this could actually work on your site and some tips on how you might utilize this really well. So for an example here, I have a basic article mode, and I've got a couple of pictures, there's of course my cat, Frank, and we've got a nice picture of Italy here. Let's pretend that this is an article that I written where of course the first paragraph I specifically am talking about Frank and I'm continuing talk about him here, and then this last paragraph I'm talking about Italy which is why I've loaded the second picture. You can see that on my basic article layout. Here's how you might ordinarily set this up with panels, we've got just like a basic two column layout, we have the image on the left side of the body and the right side, and what happens is you kind of get this misalignment where the image is much further below the content itself, and it doesn't matter how big or small the page gets, you kind of get a clear - it doesn't line up and then also you got this gap on the side because it's not flowing around the content because there are two separate regions. So this is less than ideal and this is kind of what you're stuck with ordinarily panels. So what I would suggest doing is utilizing panelizer so you might have something set up like - you got defaults for all of your content types and you can customize on a CURD note basis as needed. So let's pretend that I'm doing with this panelizer, I just wanted to show you kind of an example here though, what I'm going to do instead is use a brand new panel page to demo but you can do the exact same thing with panelizer. So the difference is, is I'm going to utilize the image field and the body field, and I'm going to split them up and chunk the content. What I mean by that is when I'm editing, this is the actual article content type, let me draw backwards for a second here and I'm going to show you on my field, this is something you don't ordinarily see, on the body field itself at the bottom here I have it set so that the number of value to the body field is unlimited so that I can split it up depending on what the content dictates. So if I go to that piece of content where I was writing about Frank and Italy, I'm going to edit this, and you can see I've got the first paragraph is about Frank and I continue to talk about him and then I've got that paragraph about Italy in actually a separate body field, and then here down at the bottom I have the two images, you just have two write Frank and Italy, and if I wanted to I could add additional paragraph and additional images so I just got to illustrate the point. So back to my panel page what I'm doing here is I'm loading the image field and the body field, and then I'm loading the second set-up for each of those. So I'm going to edit the settings for this panel pane, as you can see that the first one what I had to do is I'm limiting it and I'm saying, "At most display just one of these items," so if there's more than one item, more than one image just to play the first image, or more than one body field to play the first one. On the second set, and this could continue to as many images or body fields that you have, you say, "Get the first one and then just play one of those items," so the nice thing here is that since of both of these pieces of content; the image and the text lead on the same region, I can use Classy Panel Styles, I'm going to change the style to this image here to Classy Panels, and I'm going to say, "Set the image layout," or rather I'm going to change pane's width to something like 33% width so that it's a little bit smaller, I'm going to save this and you can see it looks like there might be a little bit of CSS not sure talking about 50% width but I'm going to save this. As I show it on the page, you can see that the text actually does wrap around the image and then the paragraph about Italy lines up with the image of Italy. So if I squish this down, you'll see that we get some nice wrapping here. We're taking advantage of the space; you don't have any of those big gaps. There's a little bit of space here, I've just got some margins between my fields but I could easily remove those. So I have the ability or the content editor to create a layout like this which is just me kind of deciding how big or small I want that image to be, if I want the text flow around it and I don't have to worry about the response and stuff because my themer has all done that on the backend. So if I go back, you remember I was showing the Sass and how it was actually defining breakpoints within each of these so like my 50% width breakpoint, it just stays 50% all the time, but if I set something to be 25%, you remember, at mobile it's actually a 100%. So if I bring the image all the way, let's me see, I'm going to have another one open; I can't get it any smaller. Give me just a moment, I'm loading the page. Frank is actually going to stay 50% width and it's going to make me look bad but this is why I'm not supposed to do a live demo. [Laughter] Let's go back out and try another one. I'm going to change it to 25% width, we're going to change Frank to 25%, let's save. There we go. Okay. So at the mobile size frank is actually 100% width because I've decided that a tiny little 25% width image would be way too small and then my mobile users would be kind of missing out on prepaid. So as a themer I get to make those decisions but I'm giving some of the controls to my content editors to how they want to do that layout. For anybody out there who has ever done anything the latest responsive design and images, you might be thinking, "Well, yes, that sounds nice but really you're just squishing the image and you're not actually changing the size," and we don't want to load an enormous image for mobile users, right, unless we actually need it. In this case I'm using a responsive retina - I'm sorry, I'm using a retina display so I do want it to be twice the normal size but on an ordinary mobile device I want to see it small. So what we're also doing is we're tapping into the powers of the Borealis Image Module. I definitely recommend checking that out. What Borealis does above the other responsive image modules it is does a query of a parent container rather than element queries. So instead of asking how wide is this page or how wide is your browser width, it asks how wide is this container and then it serves up the appropriate size image. So this image is actually, I think it's at least 1,000 pixels wide but it's serving up the version at 626 pixels wide because again I'm using a retina display so it's kind of double of what I actually need in terms of like visual pixels but if you’re going to load this on like an older iPhone or something that's not a retina display, you would see that in fact it is loading 200 to 300 pixel version of the image rather than the enormous version. As it gets bigger, make the screen, Frank is going to stay small, or yes let's try this one, now reload the page, and we need a better example, I'll try this one. There we go. So this one says natural 306 pixels and again this is a very large image, I think it's like a soft pixel naturally. The Borealis is scaling that for us and doing the work for us. So if you can kind of set up your content size ahead of time so that you can show your content editors how to chunk their contents then they can have this really dynamic control over the layout, the responsive images, everything falls into place really nicely. So with that I think we have a little bit of time to take any questions that anyone has.
I saw that we have one question from Shane who asks, “What themes would you recommend using with this module? Would you also recommend using panels everywhere or just panelizer?” So at Mediacurrent, we pretty much use the Omega Theme exclusively, we were using Omega 3 years ago and now we switched to Omega 4. So Omega 4 is really nice and that it rewrites a lot of the core Drupal stuff and then it gets out of your way, it gives you a lot of tools to get going but it doesn't come with a lot of CSS, it's basically bare bones and you're writing custom styles from scratch so I like that about it, and I don't think that - it's not an interfere, I'm not using any of the layout functionalities so like if you've ever gone into the settings for Omega 4 you'll notice that it comes with something called layout and so I'm just kind of, I don't even enable that extension since we're just using panels exclusively. Yes we are using panelizer a lot so like as my example here, when I was kind of showing how you might have a basic layout for an article, in real life if this is what I was - if this was the layout that I was trying to achieve, rather than creating a separate panel page for it and kind of like having to note and then a separate panel page to maintain it separately, I would actually just panelize this particular note and I would change the layout, I would change the content and move things around just like I was showing you here.
Female: Great. The next question is, is this a free module?
Derek Deraps: Yes. I was going to jump on the other one first. I kind of posted a little quick answer there for it, but so, is it a free module? Yes. It is absolutely free, I was trying to think of something witty like you can donate to or get tips or something like that, but no, absolutely free. The other question from Eric Norris, where can we download the module? When do you expect to release it? That's where you can get it, it's currently on my Sandbox page, and we are - I am working furiously to - not really furiously but in whatever spare time I have working to get this ready to release, the code base is essentially ready to be released but I have a kind of some hoops to jump through and some boxes to check before I can apply to elevate it to a real module status, but it's at the point now where it's stable enough. It's fine to install and play around with and even start developing with, like I said the schema and just the way the module works is pretty stable at this point. I'm going to be adding in some features but nothing is going to be taken out so I think like I say for sure you're safe to start using it.
Female: Okay. Thank you. The next question is, can this work with Clean Markup Module?
Kendall Totten: That is a great question. So I actually tried to use Classy Panels Module with there's Clean Markup, there is Semantic Panels, there is Fences, various kinds of modules that are basically trying to get in and rewrite the markup of your panel pane themselves, and right now they don't play nicely together. Ideally in the future, one the things that I like to do with Classy Panel Modules is to be the ability to kind of modify your markup as needed. So the idea that you have like a panel pane title and you've got the content itself, you want to change if there's an H1 or an H2 wrap around the title or if you want to make this a paragraph or a block code or something like that, you want to actually change the markup. Those modules give you the ability to do so. So right now that functionality doesn't exist with Classy Panels but perhaps in the future.
Derek Deraps: I'll jump in there too. I just pasted a link to a screenshot of Clean Markup and what you'll see there is that in order to use Clean Markup with Panels you have to select it as a style. So this is the same place where you would ordinarily be selecting one of your Classy Panel Styles groupings that you've defined. So it's kind of one or the other, however this is something that Kendall has asked me repeatedly for like, "Is there any way to kind of inherit from another style," and I have some ideas, I have some thoughts about how that might be able to make that work but at present no, you have to pick one style or the other, you can't use both.
Female: Alight. Great. It looks like the last question is the Borealis Module seems cool. Does it cause any issues if I'm already using the Picture Module? They seem similar.
Kendall Totten: That is a great question. They are very similar. The main difference and this is something absolutely worth considering is the Picture Module is what we're using going forward, the future of the lab, they're utilizing it in Drupal 8 and so I'd absolutely recommend looking into it and because you want to familiarize yourself with where the web is going. Right now there's a PictureFill JavaScript you basically make older browsers understand this new element and is literally a brand new element. You render images in kind of the same way that you're seeing Borealis do it which is like loading multiple pass to the same image that are all at different sizes. The main difference is that Borealis is doing it with JavaScript and additionally it's doing – remember it’s doing element queries as opposed to media queries. I have been searching high and low into trying to figure out if anybody working on a way to use element queries with the Picture Module. As far as I can tell there's only one, there's an Indiegogo Campaign where someone has raised money to basically work on the development of this to make the Picture Module have a nice fallback and he mentions specifically using element queries. So I'm hopefully that, that will work out because element queries are much smarter, they're a much better way to load your images because as you can see here we do a queries of page and we're talking about over a thousand pixels but Frank is only a couple of hundred pixels. So we definitely only need to load a smaller image here so it's much smarter. The other things to consider is that right now Borealis only works on image field, it does not work within the Wysiwyg so again if you're taking this route you want to encourage your content editors to chunk your content and to use the image fields and use the body fields like so, and not actually load the images inside the Wysiwyg which is more ideal anyways. I think that there is some support in the works between the Picture Module and the Media Module which is kind of a plugin for Wysiwyg too. So it's all very new so it changes every day, so keep an eye on it.
Female: Great. We have a couple more questions coming. The next one, Derek, do you want to take it away, the next one is, are there any pre-built classes available or do you need to find your own theme or themer?
Derek Deraps: Yes. So Kendall can speak more about the classes, the style groupings that come with the Classy Panel Styles Module, but my thought is that even if you're not a true themer like if I were using this, I was just kind of doing some of my own work or something, I could put - even though I'm not a true themer, I could put together the whole site so probably it wouldn't have the responsive images and the Borealis integration, and the element queries and all of that fun stuff, but I could put something together that would make it easy for the editors to do simple things like floating images, applying different basic styles, background colors, text transformations and stuff like that.
Kendall Totten: Yes. So I'm working to round out the example ones because I want to make sure these are as clean as possible before it goes into full pledge module mode. So these are a little bit under construction but they - like Derek said, it's working, it just needs to be maybe tidied a little bit but you don't have to use the Sass, don't let that intimidate you. You could absolutely just go in and write some really fundamental classes or background colors that you need with your colors, and then just point to your brand new path here.
Female: Great. The next question is, if that feature becomes part of the Picture Module please write a blog post letting the community know.
Kendall Totten: I guess it's not a question. [Laughter] Sorry about that. I would be happy to do that. Yes. I really hope that pans out and if anybody is curious this is a campaign that I was talking about, I’m using the picture element implementation and they did reach their goal so this is definitely in the works right now and I think if I can find element queries, yes, this is one of the things that he was going to include if he reached the goal.
Female: Awesome. Well, a huge thanks to Adam or to Derek and Kendall. Thanks everyone for attending. Slides and recoding will be posted to the website in the next 24 hours and we'll also email you out a copy. Derek and Kendall, do you want end with anything?
Derek Deraps: Just thanks a lot you all. We'll be at Drupal Con Austin; we'll be doing a little buff on this. Actually we’re doing a little presentation at the Mediacurrent booth on Classy Panel Styles so hopefully by then we'll have official module status and have some more good updates for you.
Kendall Totten: We're definitely open to ideas too. So if anybody wants to add comments on it or – you can at least tweet at me and I'll be happy to hear you ideas for me if you're interested too. So thanks.
Derek Deraps: The issue queue is up and running so if you want to add anything to the issue queue of the Sandbox site you're more than welcome to do that as well.

How to Maximize Drupal Implementation Success with Lifecycle Adoption Strategies


Deploying a new technology can be a stressful and disruptive experience. The project development process is often full of unknowns and vague vendor promises, and end users may be anxious and resistant to change.

Personalization How-To: Driving Conversion with Acquia Lift


Today’s digital marketers and site owners are being asked to do more with less to engage customers, segment their audiences, and improve conversion rates across all their digital properties.

We understand that data rules, but manually mining and interpreting data can be frustrating (read: near impossible!) to scale.

Bâtir une plate-forme communautaire avec Drupal Commons: Etude de Cas


Le succès des organisations passe par les communautés.

De plus en plus d'entreprises et administrations souhaitent mettre en place un Réseaux Sociaux d'Entreprise (RSE) ou une plate-forme communautaire afin de fluidifier leur communication, développer leur créativité ainsi que la participation communautaire.

Développer des plates-formes collaboratives pour dynamiser ses réseaux se révèle un choix gagnant pour les organisations qui prennent les bonnes décisions en termes de technologie (open source ou non), de stratégie et d’investissement.

Click to see video transcript

Heather James: This is the Drupal 7 Search Configuration Preview Webinar. This is a preview of our search online course. I’m also going to walk you through some demos and some exercises so you’ll learn about what the course is like and you can actually learn a little bit about search in Drupal 7.

My name is Heather James and you can find me @LearningDrupal on Twitter. I’m the manager of Learning Services.

This webinar is for people who obviously want to know more about Apache Solr Search Integration in Drupal 7 and if you’re curious about Acquia’s Search Service and how it works and how you can get the most of out of it, and of course if you’re curious about Acquia’s training program.

Learning online is a new service that we’re offering and this gives us some self-paced options that we can offer to our various clients. It’s a little bit different from our classroom training. I still really love classroom training. We have a very busy calendar of events. So, please do check that out, but even still, for certain topics, it’s very hard to get a big class full of people together. Of course, something like a search or something like project management, and some of the other courses you’ll see coming online soon it’s difficult to get say 20 people or 10 people in a classroom for a topic like that. Whereas, we can get that online very easily and offer that to more people. Of course, you want to increase access to training so it’s not possible for our partners to make it to all corners of the globe. So, hopefully we can increase the reach that way for Drupal training as well. I’d still – like I said I really believe and love classroom-based training. If you have access to it it’s a lot of fun. We do more than just sit at the computers all day. There’s a lot of group interaction and ways that you sort of deal with all this new information in different ways. So, please – I’ve actually just written a blog so you can check that out if you’re more curious.

Our online training program is a little bit different. You can go to our training site and see some of our new Acquia product courses that are available. Then you can look at the catalogue and you can purchase the courses there. Most of our courses right now are just product specific.

We do have partners that I really love their services like Drupalize.Me. They have a video instruction which I love to use and work through but we find that some people also want alternatives. Our video instruction also includes the text details of what’s happening. We have some other content as well. There is, for example, in the search course, an interview with Nick Veenhof who is the maintainer of the Apache Solr Search Module and all of the activities are written out step by step. The videos are shorter than they would be. So, we don’t video everything, we actually just video say an introduction and then you follow through the steps and you can kind of mark off where you are.

We also have challenge exercises so that the material lets you sort of deal with things at your level. If you found something you’re able to get through more quickly you can give yourself a challenge exercise and get a little bit more out of it, but we try to streamline the course to show you what’s the most important thing you need to do, we know people’s time is very precious. We also have some fun quizzes that are in there, mainly just to sort of test your comprehension and give you a sense of progress, to have a feeling that and understanding of what you’ve actually learned.

Before we look at the course I wanted to take a second and think about search because I want to sort of bring to mind why you probably want to take this course. You’re probably already going through some – having some experience of having a site with a lot of content and people need access to that content or they want to get more out of it.

So, some research that KISSmetrics offer is a result of a survey that they did about people’s perception of their own behavior. People say they prefer to drill down. They like to see their options and keep their options open. You may notice this even yourself you might like to start - if you don’t know much about an area, you might like to start with a very broad topic and see the options available, and click to filter out those results. Even the filters start to give you some information about the content. So, some examples might come to mind if you think of shopping and you may know that you want to get a sweater but you’re not sure if you want it to be a cardigan or a pull over or you don’t know what color, and you don’t know the length. You like to see a variety of options.

Once you know what you want, it gets a little bit easier to make a very specific search but initially you might like to be very broad and the same probably goes for cars or for maybe a law document or something very specific that you’re looking for. So, what we can say is that users love facets. That’s something everybody starts to expect or has started to expect.

There’s another good article here on Intercom’s blog and it’s about Seven Things I Wish Every Search Box Did. So, I’d recommend reading that article. There’s a link you’ll be able to follow when you download the slides. This article is talking about some of the best search pages out there. It’s even funny to see something like auto-complete topped the list here, because Google only recently introduced that feature, maybe two years ago. Now, we’ve come to expect it and we don’t just want to see it on Google, we want to see it in all of our websites, as well as searching across multiple fields. It’s something that seems so obvious. Of course as a user you don’t really care if content is in the body field or maybe an attribute field of some content type, or even if it’s in an attachment. You just want access to that content. So, people just expect this.

People also expect that the results are ranked in some meaningful way and as well you can see some of these options here as well from number five people expect meaningful filters. We’re going to talk about filters in a little – next but what I wanted to say is that people expect that the filters relate to the content and the ranking relates to how they perceive the content.

So, in the example of ranking results it may be very important that more users are commenting on certain contents. You may want that to be more important. Maybe that’s what’s most important. Even if it’s something that’s two years old if there’s more user activity it may have more importance in your realm. Whereas, you may have very time sensitive information and you want some of the content that’s been published more recently to come up to the top. So, people just expect that to work and when it doesn’t and it’s unexpected it’s a very poor search experience.

As well, people expect typo correction. The last point says, “Mobile first,” right? People are typing away with their thumbs. They’ve got a baby in one hand or a drink in another, and a train ticket in another, and they just want the search to be a little forgiving.

The Nielson Group also offers some data about search dead ends. People want to make sure that – I mean, if they’re not sure what to look for they want to be offered alternatives and suggestions. They don’t want to be mocked like with silly pictures of like, “Oops, there’s nothing here.” That’s going to be a frustrating experience and the humor is not probably helping. So, the whole search experience should be very smooth even to the point where search just happens automatically. Maybe you’re looking at an article and you start to see more like this, “Oh, you’re interested in this content? You might want to see that.” So, the search experience is really built in throughout site and it’s something just almost automatic.

So, let’s look now at what Apache Solr can do. Now, this is really a preview of the modules that we’ll actually use in the course and what solutions they provide. Apache Solr has intelligent options as we spoke about. So, Apache Solr Auto Complete will provide suggestions and spelling corrections, and even tell you the number of the results per query. It’s something quite amazing. I probably will say this again as we do this presentation but the complexity here is masked because we will literally be able to install and enable a module and it just works out of the box. The Apache Solr has a lot of sister modules you can enable – or sorry, download and enable to extend what Apache Solr does because the index itself is very powerful.

Another option we’ll look at is files and attachments. Like I said end users don’t really care where related information is whether it’s in that attachment or a body field. Later on of course you can offer them filters when they have a better idea of what’s available but this just gives them access to all of your content. So many organizations have a lot of very important data and really great content that’s locked away in documents and PDFs. If they’re especially moving over from other systems into Drupal, something like this is going to reveal all that great content and value that people want.

Of course, sorting and filtering. So, like we said, users like to start broadly looking for some content and then drill down after seeing what options are available. So, the filters themselves will start to provide people information about the content you have. For example, these facets here might show exactly how much content is related to a specific country and what is the greatest – maybe the greatest population in this case is going to be city content, what’s the city with the greatest population on your site or the least population. These are available to us through using Apache Solr Sort and the Facet API.

The Facet API is sort of a hub and spoke model like some of our other sort of ecosystem modules in Drupal. It will actually let you choose how you want to display. So, we’ve got here a list with check boxes. You can have multi-faceted search or this slider. It depends on how you want to display the data and Apache Solr will be able to understand and make that more useful to you. As well, we want to provide those improved results and boosting.

In the course, we’d look at core search boosting which you can – there are options definitely with the basic core search. There’s far more options available with Apache Solr. You can even extend that with this Apache Solr Term Proximity. It literally looks at the distance between two or more terms. Is it much closer? Then we’ll rank that up in relevance. The fact is with site searches you don’t have the information that large search engines like Google have available to them. Google knows all about the inbound links and it’s got a huge index of the entire web and billions of pages. What you may have on your site is just a product description. You may have very small amounts of content. In that sense, tweaking those biases and making those – sorry, boosting those results can actually have a very important impact on your content. So, a lot of the things we’ll do just come with Apache Solr out of the box with result biasing and field biasing for example, but the Term Proximity is very useful.

As well people expect the results to be easy to read. They want to see the data as it should be displayed. If I just displayed location results as lat and long or latitude and longitude, it wouldn’t be very useful to me because I can’t really remember where’s 52 degrees [laughter]. I’m like, “Huh?” We do expect that data to show up. For example, on a map you want images if the images are in the content you want images to show up as images. So, that’s a really important part of the search experience that we will be looking at.

When we get to the custom code part of the course we can look at making intelligent suggestions. So, if someone does search for a location or maybe they even spell it wrong or maybe there isn’t any content directly there we can see and start to suggest locations that are near to their results and that’s done with a custom code example. All of this amazing technology as we’ll be using it is like I said, “The complexity is masked,” because we’ll be doing everything mainly within the UI with the exemption of this example. A lot of that is all based on the work that is in Apache Solr and I just wanted to go through really quickly and explain what an index is. This is really what makes Apache Solr very fast. Why wouldn’t we just pull from the database? Like we could make - with Views for example we can make a list of all the countries or each of the countries and use contextual filter, and display the results for each of those countries. Or we could use taxonomy terms and we can combine those things together, and we can do joins and bring it various data together. That actually would be very slow and it’s known to be a very slow approach.

Apache Solr actually creates indexes of that content. So, these inverted indexes – if we just take these three example documents over here on the right you can see that maybe these are just like body – let’s say this is like the body field or snippets from the body field of three different notes as an example. So, if you look at the words or where the words occur in each of those phrases like, “Where are you visiting? Are you visiting museums? I enjoy history museums.” You look at the index that results from that analysis or how it’s organized we see the word “where” shows up in the first document in the first position. The word “history” shows up in the third document in the third position. This is what really makes it so much more or much quicker to look up. This is how Apache Solr is doing some analysis and trying to understanding what’s there.

I guess it’s just useful to think about this so you understand that when we start to talk about optimizing those searches that you understand – you’re actually optimizing the index so, you have control over this. We can just look really quickly at how Apache Solr – how the index actually works. We’re using Acquia’s search service so we have some content on our site and we have to send that content to get indexed. As it gets queued and it comes back we can actually see what’s happening in the search index results here. This would happen even if you had Apache Solr installed locally on your machine you would still have to send this information over to your Apache Solr search server.

So, here we have for example every single time the cron runs which is basically a task. It’s basically a list of tasks that the server will run. It will actually, “Queued 200 items,” send them, and process them at once. So, we have over 2,000 items have to get processed so it’s going to take some time and a couple of returns to get that processed. So, you could see what’s happened here is that we’ve – 200 items have been indexed. We have 200 sent but haven’t yet been processed. At this time we can see 14% of that content has actually been sent to the server. So, we’re waiting for this round trip search and we’ve just run cron successfully about three minutes ago. So, what we’ll do here is refresh the index and see what has changed. So, right now we can see those items have come back 400 things have been indexed and we have a bunch remaining.

So, what we’re going to do is actually just choose to index all queued content. This will take some time and you can come back when it’s finish. It’ll take a few minutes. So, if your curiosity is piqued and you want to see how to use some of those features I’d like to show you a quick peek at the actual course. You can see what it’s like.

[Pause] So, this is what it looks like when you log in and you can see that there are instructions and there are various sections on the course. It basically, brings you through all the steps of setting up and installing your site, installing Solr, connecting your site to Acquia hosting. Basically, understanding sort of those - how things work and then you start to configure your search. Then you optimize your search, configure your facets, and then generally improve the user experience.

So, what we’re going to do now is actually look at some of those exercises and those activities. I thought it would be good to give you a bit of a preview of how things work. If I just show you the search features - I’m going to show you the site as it’s finished after we’re – after you’ve developed it within the course. I just want to show you basically what’s available and how things work.

[Pause] So, this is my sample site as it’s installed on Acquia hosting. You can also use the Dev Desktop and so you can work on it locally if you like. If you do it with Acquia hosting it’s fully online. You don’t have to install anything to do the course. So, we can conduct a simple search on the site. Actually before I show you that, let me just show you what comes with the site. You get some sample content because it’s just a little bit easier – we just want you to get started as quickly as possible. So, we have all this content in there and we’ve got some articles, and some cities, and we have for example, content types. We’ve got a custom content type in there. The city content type and this gives you sort of an idea of the type of data that’s available on the site. So, let’s conduct a quick search on the site and see what we get.

You can see that the results are laid out in a meaningful way as we spoke about before in which you learned how to use the Display Suite Module to actually arrange how the search results show up. You can see how the maps are appearing and we’ll look at using a couple of different modules. Let me actually show you what modules we’ll be using in fact.

So, I’m going to go back into the course here and show you the modules that are used. Of course, here are all of the Apache Solr search modules that you’ll be looking at and the display modules like Display Suite and we’ve also compared that to Rich Snippets which kind of makes like a Google looking type search just out of the box. Of course the Facet API and these excellent widgets that we saw like the slider or the check boxes, et cetera, and the location modules. So, we look at location and how we collect that data, and then how we display that data with Gmap.

So, let’s look at these search results here. We can see that they’re listed in order. Somehow they’re ranked. We don’t know yet. We’re going to look at how these are – the biases that are set but you can also see we have as well active still the core search results and you can just compare what those look like. Pretty straightforward with the core search results and you can compare what those advanced search options look like. You’ll notice when we did the search we set the Apache Solr Search as the default.

So, one thing we’re going to do right now is we’re going to make it – well, actually I just want to show you what it looks like with spell correction. If I search for “nurban” we’ll be getting a suggestion, “Did you mean, urban?” You can actually search for those results that way. We can also improve these results.

Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to show you the Auto Complete Module. The Auto Complete Module will give people instant results. It will also make a suggestion if it maybe thinks it sees a typo and it will say, “Did you mean this?” It will show us – it will be that intelligent search experience like I said people just want now. The facility for this is kind of so easy. We’re just going to go to Modules Listing. I’m going to select autocomplete and enable it.

[Pause] I want to go back and I attempt to do a different search. You could see I was starting to get some suggestions, the word pops up, and we start to see how many times that phrase occurs in the various search results. So, this again completely hides all of the work that has gone into this but for you it’s literally making the choice that you want the feature, installing the module, enabling it and it just – it does what you want it to do.

So, let’s look at something that might be complex and difficult with other systems, Custom Search Pages. So, take for example you may want to specify a preset filter on all of your content. Set a scope for search. You may want to have a search for a specific country. That relates to our content but you may be able to bring to mind some examples from your own site where you know that people just want to search your book of content or they just want to search your product’s content. Or they want to see your articles, something like that - some way that you’re actually filtering on something.

You can even specify a taxonomy term and that’s what we’re going to do in this case. We’re actually going to make a search based on a particular field, taxonomy field. So, in order for us to do that we have to assemble the custom filter that we’re going to create and search for what filters – we’re going to look at what filters are available and then we’re going to show you how to actually assemble this. So, first thing we’re going to look at are the custom filter options available. One of them is the country field because that’s what is on our content type or the tags field that’s for example available in the article’s content type. We can look at the unique term ID as well. So, we’ll actually find out what is the unique term for a specific country. So, I’m going to do a quick demo making that search page, locating the field ID, and writing the custom filter, and creating it.

So, let’s look back on our search page again. We’re going to see that – right now we have a tab with the content tab and the site search tab. The content tab is of course the core search we’re keeping around. Now, we’re going to add our own search page. So, I’m going to call this my Country Specific Page, just for that example. The search environment is Acquia Search and we’ll call this the Ireland Search tab. The Custom Field is what we’ll actually be looking at and let’s fill out the tab. I’d like it to be something like search/Ireland and we’ll select a custom filter. This is sort of where you stop because you need to know what that custom filter is going to be. There’s no way you would know this off the top of your head. I certainly couldn’t remember it.

So, I’m going to go to my Administration List, Reports, and look at my Apache Solr search index. This will actually give you some insight into how Apache Solr is looking at your content and what’s available to actually filter on. The thing we’re looking for here is this country field. This right here, field_country, is actually the name of the field. I’m going to show you the content type just so you can see is actually the name of the field on the city content type that is my country taxonomy term field or term reference, I should say.

So, this is the filter we’re going to use. Now, what’s missing in this case is the ID. The way we find that out is by going back to look – I’m going to go back to structure and look at my taxonomy terms, and the list of terms that are available. There are quite a lot of countries here. It turns out that Ireland’s on the next page. We’ll get the term ID. You can click edit. You can see the term ID or up in your browser you’ll see. It’s 107 in this case. So, that will be the custom filter we’ll be working with. So, I’m going to save that. I would expect now if I click on this link that I’ll get my Ireland search.

So, what’s happening now is that I’ll start to get a limit of filters available. I’m going to search for houses for example in Ireland. Now, instead of getting all of the other countries you can see I’m only getting results within this one country. Although this is amusing it looks like this may be mismarked, maybe the latitude and longitude is wrong here. There you go. These are just some examples. Okay. That is basically how you make a custom search page. You probably have some ideas now that you’ve been watching it and how you might be able to use that in your own examples.

Next, let’s look at optimizing search. Improving bias is probably one of the most important things you’re going to be doing on your site. You know what you have to think about I suppose is how people are searching your content and what’s the most important thing about your content. For example, if you want more recent time sensitive content to show up to the top that’s a bias you’d want to improve. The only way you really can be able to do this is through actually starting to analyze your search logs once you get them so it’s not like build it, set it, and let it go. You probably want to build it, see how people are responding to it and constantly tweaking and improving your search, and taking in customer feedback, and watching their behaviors.

One thing I’ll say and we’ll talk about this when I do the demo is just to be very careful about how you tweak these boost settings. Don’t always put everything to the highest setting because then everything is just flat. What you want to do is really through testing and learning you’ll get an idea of how those results are improved. So, the factors are multiplying the relevance. So, 8.0 would be eight times boosted over the regular value. So, start very low and test as you go.

As we’re playing around you may want to just do something very exaggerated just so you can see your result but it’s not necessary on a live site. So, we’re going to first conduct a test search. We’re going to keep that page open just so you can see the direct change and we’re going to change the bias, and we’ll look at the index again, and see what changes are going to be made.

So, let’s start here under – yes, sorry. We’ll do a search actually that’s what I mean to say and we’ll search for [pause] flowers. We can see these two cities popping up. What we’re going to do is improve the search so that more recent content shows up. So, I’m going to keep this open and one thing I’m going to change is the date of this. [Pause] I’m going to edit that and change this to one year ahead. [Pause] Okay. At this time they’re exactly the same time I suppose so it won’t actually make any difference. We’ll just refresh there. You can see that Glovertown is up top and Ura is just underneath that.

So, let’s improve these search results. [Pause] Go back to configuration, search meta data, Apache Solr search, and under Acquia Search we can work on the bias. Here we’re going to set the result biasing. So, if something is more recently created we’re going to boost it by two. So, we’re going to double it and save it. So, we’re changing the settings and it also means we have to re-index because now one item hasn’t been sent to the server. So, we’ve actually changed the value of that item. So, we’ve changed the date of that item. So, it’s something new in the index and plus we’re changing the settings. So, we’re going to [pause] index the [QH] content which goes off to the server as you know. One thing you can do is actually go over to administration [pause], configuration, and cron, and you can run cron. So, that will take a few minutes and we’ll go back to configuration again. Search and look at the status of the index. So, one item has been sent and not processed. This is going to take a minute. So, when the cron job is complete and it has run around you can see finally zero items remaining and that means that updated content has been searched.

So, let’s go back and look at the results again. It was Glovertown versus Ura. I changed the date and changed the bias. So, we’ll do that same search again for flowers. You can see Ura which is more recent content is now coming up to the top. Actually all of the results now are rearranged based on how recent something was. So, that is just a little peek at bias.

There are so many options so there is the result biasing as we looked at. You can see how you can improve things again by how many comments, maybe more recent comments. Whether something is promoted to the front page and then you can even have specific field biases. So, there’s already some that are set by default. Some things - a header one or heading two in your body text. That’s going to get more boost and seen as more important. As well you can make certain types of content get improved as well. That’s just what Apache Solr is offering us out of the box which is quite brilliant.

So next, we’ll look at facets. Facets are the way that people can filter through their search. We can get a peek at the some of these facets, for example, on the site. [Pause] So, let’s look now at facets. Again, we’re talking about how people search and how people look for content on your site. Like I said, “You’ll have to listen to your users.” There’s a good article here from Smashing Magazine a couple of years ago still very effective and important is about looking at your query logs to define what those facets are going to be. Using what’s already going on in your industry, that’s obvious, right? You want to see what people expect and what’s done already. You want to choose something that’s very important to your users and important to you. So, how are people influenced to find certain content? Maybe you want to encourage certain content or behaviors and to get active in their community or to purchase something. It depends on what you’re working with. So, we can keep that in mind when we look at the city content type you can see there’s some information available. Location data or information about the population, et cetera.

Facet API offers you some options you can see here on the left. For example, you can have a list of links. You can have links with check boxes, and get that multi-faceted search. Or you can add additional modules like the Facet API Tag Cloud or the Facet API slider which will let you give people some options based on the kind of data they have. So, if it’s more important or more – if a term is showing up more in the Tag Cloud, it gets bigger. With Facet sliders it bases it on, for example, numerical information.

You can also do things to improve the user experience. As we’ll see, you can decide where you want those Facet blocks to appear. You can simply rearrange them in your layout. So, in our case we’ll put the Facet API slider up across the top so we have a nice long slider to use and you can put things in the sidebar for example. So, this is what we’ll be doing.

In the course you’ll actually set these in an exercise and then you’re given other challenge exercises to explore some of the other ones. This is again an example of we’re going to teach you something that is most expedient and quick, and efficient for you to learn. Then we’re going to give you a bit more if you have some more time. If you want to dig in a little bit deeper, we’ll give you some advice and some hints about where to go next.

I’m going to show you that really quick. Under Structure, Blocks. This is again with all the modules that need to be enabled and downloaded as we looked at in some of the course material. That’s assuming that you’ve simply installed and enabled the modules and they become available in this disabled list here.

So, I’m going to take the population slider and put that into the content list up here and make sure it’s at the top of the content list, and save it, and go back to our search page and refresh and see what changes we’ve made. Again, this is on the same search and you can see the sliders available, and I can limit to cities of a specific size or population like that. Again, this is something that just works out of the box. There are just so many different options and once you start getting familiar with it you start to master it.

The great thing is that because all this technical complexity is sort of pushed into the background you can focus on the stuff that’s important for your site, and the user experience, and how that search experience works. You don’t have to spend time writing custom code and doing complicated things. It basically is this easy.

So, what’s next? I’d recommend if you want to check out a webinar that my colleague did in August, you can watch to get some tips on how to configure Solr search for your site. Of course, you can take this course online. You can check out our Acquia Product Courses on our site and go through these step by step in much more detail. So, if you are new to Drupal and you’ve watched this webinar, you probably zoomed through a lot of things very quickly, you probably have a lot of questions. That’s basically what the course is all about. It’s taking you through these things. Self paced in a way that you can go at your own pace but hopefully in enough detail to get a lot out of it.

Thank you. I hope to see you online.