Nov 16 2018
Nov 16
BLT (Build and Launch Tool) provides an automation layer for testing, building, and launching Drupal 8 applications. It is the default recommended tool used by Acquia Professional Services.We use BLT in Professional Services to sync databases, manage configurations, create artifacts for deployments, and tons of other things that -- most of the time -- save us time. If you have not tested it yet I’d recommend you to have a look: https://github.com/acquia/bltDDEV, on the other hand, is a Docker-based, open source tool that helps you to quickly spin up a (local) environment in applications like Wordpress; Drupal 6, 7 and 8; Backdrop, and Typo3. Have a look at https://github.com/drud/ddev
Oct 22 2018
Oct 22
I've been interested for some time in this whole idea of decoupling Drupal and decoupled architectures: collecting links, ideas, videos, and anything that I considered useful. Here is my list. I hope you find something useful, maybe not :-).Question: Decoupling Drupal… Wait, What? Why? When?In a few words, decoupling is good because:
Oct 18 2018
Oct 18
Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of sharing insights and tutorials on decoupled Drupal, which was originally unknown territory with shifting sands but today is a widely adopted approach, including by some of Acquia's most influential customers. Nonetheless, the relative unavailability of developer-focused resources that are both authoritative and current has hindered architects' and developers' ability to evaluate and explore decoupled Drupal for themselves.Luckily, next month, my new book Decoupled Drupal in Practice will be officially on the market.
Oct 11 2018
Oct 11
Perhaps the most critical component of any decoupled Drupal architecture is a robust authentication mechanism that protects data transmitted between a Drupal site and API consumers like JavaScript applications and native mobile applications. While Drupal core makes available HTTP Basic Authentication and cookie-based authentication, both easy to use, neither of these approaches is sufficiently secure when it comes to best practices.
Oct 04 2018
Oct 04
Though there was no DrupalCon Europe this year, the European Drupal community stepped up and organized their own conference, Drupal Europe, in Darmstadt, Germany last month. An incredibly successful gathering held in the Darmstadtium venue, a beautiful convention center in the center of this college town, Drupal Europe demonstrated the unique power that grassroots initiatives can have in our open-source community.
Oct 02 2018
Oct 02
On the 28th of March 2018 the Drupal Security Team announced SA-CORE-2018-002, a serious Remote Code Execution vulnerability, which came to be known by many as "Drupalgeddon 2". Here's what we learned defending against it.
Oct 01 2018
Oct 01
“Digital Experiences” are the next big thing someone at your company is almost certainly talking about. These include visionary technology that operates based on rich data that is timely and location-based, interactions between other services and products, and perhaps most importantly: content that is not reliant on a user manually driving the experience (as they usually might on a website or mobile application). This article discusses a unique digital experience, thousands of countdown clocks, developed in Drupal 8 by Acquia for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). 
Sep 14 2018
Sep 14
Cache tags are a game changer for your caching strategy in Drupal 8.
Sep 12 2018
Sep 12
If you’re going to start a Drupal 8 project, and there are many reasons why this makes sense, you should start with Acquia Lightning.Because this flexible Drupal 8 distribution streamlines the process of building and delivering feature-rich Drupal 8 sites. It takes the guesswork out of Drupal 8 module selection and configuration for key features like media, page building, and workflow.
Aug 14 2018
Aug 14
DrupalEurope, which will be happening from September 10 through 14, 2018 in Darmstadt, Germany, describes itself as "both a technology conference and a family reunion for the Drupal community." 1600+ attendees are expected.The buzz around this event has been unusually high, especially in the greater Acquia metaverse, for 12 reasons. Here they are.
Aug 01 2018
Aug 01
Whenever you get into a situation where you are not sure which version of Drupal to use, or you expect to get challenged by a client, my recommendation is to use the approach of putting together the pros and cons, and see what insights emerge.This actually is a good follow-up to our discussion around Drupal 7 vs Drupal 8. So let's build a table for that case as an example.
Jul 31 2018
Jul 31
Sorry Drupal 7, it’s not you, but it’s time to move on... (to Drupal 8).As developers, we sometimes forget that we live in a tech bubble. In our highly technical world we assume things that not everyone sees.For example, there are still reasons that clients frequently cite to justify staying in an old version of Drupal, in this case Drupal 7, instead of starting a new project straight away in Drupal 8. This is true even when we are talking about starting a brand new project (as opposed to just migrating).
Jul 12 2018
Jul 12
In Lisbon, steep slopes and sweeping vistas towering over placid waters and crowded ports characterize the topography of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.This year, the Portuguese capital played host to Drupal Developer Days, possibly the most important event for developers specializing in Drupal. Held at the University Institute of Lisbon, it was a conference not to be missed, with innumerable insights from Drupal core contributors and maintainers.
Jul 10 2018
Jul 10
With a uniquely diverse community of designers, developers, and everyone in between, Frontend United is one of the conferences I find I enjoy more and more each time I attend. And this time, in Utrecht, a wide range of designer- and developer-oriented content greeted attendees both within and well outside the Drupal universe.
Jun 27 2018
Jun 27
Atop the Castle of Saint Barbara in Alicante, time sometimes seems to slow down, and words that once held grand meaning seem inadequate. I had a similar feeling both during and on the heels of DrupalCamp Spain, organized by the Spanish Drupal Association and held this year at Las Cigarreras cultural center in a seaside city that is one of the crown jewels of not only the Valencian Community but also of Spain.
May 30 2018
May 30
Revered management thinker Peter Drucker once wrote, “If you can’t replicate something because you don’t understand it, then it really hasn’t been invented; it’s only been done.” In many ways content modeling in Drupal has been done without being invented. For this reason, we’re developing a discipline for content modeling at Acquia. It’s drastically reducing both costs and defect rates for us.
May 15 2018
May 15
As we saw in the previous post, core REST only allows for individual entities to be retrieved, and Views REST exports only permit the issuance of GET requests rather than unsafe methods as well. But application developers often need greater flexibility and control, such as the ability to fetch collections, sort and paginate them, and access related entities that are referenced.In this column, we'll inspect JSON API, part of the surrounding contributed web services ecosystem that Drupal 8 relies on to provide even more extensive features relevant to application developers that include relationships and complex operations such as sorting and pagination.
May 01 2018
May 01
When Phillies hats begin to dot the landscape and one of the most beautiful train stations in the country materializes around you, you know you're in Philadelphia, a city I can never seem to stop loving. After a brief hiatus, Drupaldelphia was in full swing this year, attracting developers, creatives, and businesspeople from all over Pennsylvania and surrounding states to a conference that is always full of pleasant surprises.
Apr 26 2018
Apr 26
As we saw in a previous installment of Experience Express, because Drupal has a HAL-compliant REST API available out of the box with minimal configuration, you can easily provision an API that can immediately be employed to consume content entities and manipulate them from other applications. Now that we have successfully exposed content entities as REST resources, used Entity Access to govern permissions, and customized the formats and authentication mechanisms in use by the core REST API, it is now time to move into actually retrieving and manipulating that data.
Apr 19 2018
Apr 19
Fellow Acquian Matthew Grasmick and I just presented How to build a Drupal site with Composer AND keep all of your hair at DrupalCon Nashville, and though the session wasn't recorded, we posted the slides and hands-on guide to using Composer to manage your Drupal 8 sites to the linked session page.
Apr 18 2018
Apr 18
The Acquia blog has a fascinating and important post by Dries Buytaert and Cash Williams on the recent Drupal critical security vulnerability, and it's aftermath: Acquia blocks 500,000 attack attempts for SA-CORE-2018-002.It's worth checking out in its entirety, but here are a few take-aways if you haven't gotten to it yet:
Apr 18 2018
Apr 18
As the weather heated up last week in Nashville and the city's eponymous hot chicken incinerated tongues left and right, something else was burning in the spotlight at DrupalCon Nashville: decoupled Drupal.
Mar 29 2018
Mar 29
Perhaps the most critical piece of any decoupled CMS architecture is the API layer which exposes data in the back end for consumption by other applications. In Drupal's case, the REST module (also known as the RESTful Web Services module) in Drupal 8 core fulfills this responsibility. The REST module contains important logic that drives the availability of data through formatted responses.
Mar 28 2018
Mar 28
Easy-to-guess passwords are all too often the means by which intruders gain unauthorised access. It's useful to be able to audit the passwords in use on your site - especially for user accounts with administrative privileges.Ideally your Drupal site should have a robust (but user friendly) password policy (see my previous post: Password Policies and Drupal). However, this is not always possible.
Mar 20 2018
Mar 20
If you have decided to decouple Drupal, after conducting due diligence with regard to assessing the risks and rewards of decoupling Drupal and understanding how best to decouple Drupal in 2018, it is essential to understand how web services in Drupal 8 core and their dependencies undergird all decoupled Drupal architectures, regardless of the application you are implementing.
Mar 16 2018
Mar 16
Every time I leave the Windy City, I feel something pulling me back. This time, it wasn't the gusts that whip around the skyscrapers towering over Lake Shore Drive. Instead, it was the renewed excitement I could feel in the air on the heels of last Wednesday's release of Drupal 8.5, and the mood at MidCamp, held at the Lincoln Park campus of DePaul University, was celebratory and animated.
Mar 09 2018
Mar 09
One of the common issues I've noticed when working with customers is the tendency to treat non-production environments, such as dev or stage, as less important with respect to security.This is understandable since these environments are effectively disposable and could be rebuilt from production at any time. However an important consideration that should be taken into account is what data lives in these environments.
Mar 06 2018
Mar 06
Perhaps the most fascinating single fact of the Cambrian explosion is that life on Earth diversified from largely unicellular organisms that occasionally bunched into colonies to multicellular organisms that came to represent much of the present-day animal kingdom — all at a single discernible moment 541 million years ago in the fossil record. As we approach the end of this decade, we're experiencing a similar Cambrian explosion — not in life forms, but in form factors.
Mar 01 2018
Mar 01
At no point in the history of digital content has there ever been such a dizzying proliferation of devices in our lives, and experiences we encounter and consume. Long the most critical element of an organization’s digital presence, the website is increasingly treated as just a single facet in a kaleidoscope of content channels and form factors. Many of today’s users, in the course of acquiring content or data, never touch a desktop web browser at all.
Jan 19 2018
Jan 19
Acquia Headless Lightning provides an API-first back-end content repository that allows for easy ingestion by front-end applications.Front-end developers requiring a headless or decoupled CMS have immediate access to a cloud-hosted content repository service for development, delivering, and production.
Jan 19 2018
Jan 19
Acquia Headless Lightning provides an API-first back-end content repository that allows for easy ingestion by front-end applications.Front-end developers requiring a headless CMS or decoupled CMS have immediate access to a cloud-hosted content repository service for development, delivering, and production.
Jan 10 2018
Jan 10
Mike Madison, a Technical Architect in Acquia Professional Services, recently completed a Drupal site build for a major public transit agency in the United States. We spoke with him about his experiences using BLT -- an open-source Acquia product that provides an automation layer for testing, building, and launching Drupal 8 applications -- on this project. Mike said that BLT has been a critical component of the project’s success, and has especially helped in three primary ways: by accelerating project spin-up, improving developer onboarding, and increasing development velocity and delivery consistency.
Dec 19 2017
Dec 19
“The most compelling advantage of API-first Drupal is not the way it negates Drupal's presentation features, it's the way it enables the capabilities of the CMS to power multiple applications and devices. Leveraging Drupal as a centralized data source enables authors to deliver content to multiple devices outside of Drupal, while leaning on the strength of the CMS editorial workflow and patterns.” -- Jason Enter, Manager Technical Services, Acquia.
Nov 28 2017
Nov 28
Acquia’s Professional Services team recently released an open-source application that demonstrates how Drupal and Node.js can easily be paired to create beautiful and functional decoupled applications. See how easy it was to create the Drupal backend using a combination of Acquia and Drupal community projects such as Lightning, BLT, and DrupalVM. This will allow you to follow the same process to rapidly create your own custom decoupled applications.
Nov 09 2017
Nov 09
Ah, the config system. Crown jewel of Drupal 8, amirite?Well, yeah, it’s fantastic and flexible (as is most of Drupal). But if you have advanced use cases — such as building a system that alters config dynamically — there are traps you should know about.
Oct 06 2017
Oct 06
In my role as a Solutions Architect at Acquia, it’s exciting for me to be working with a growing number of customers who are moving from agile development processes to Continuous Integration (CI) and even Continuous Delivery (CD) processes.Acquia Cloud CD provides the platform to enable this migration, however customers often ask us for best practices on their journey to a fully automated Continuous Delivery/Deployment model.
Sep 26 2017
Sep 26
If you've been hearing a lot about decoupled, or headless Drupal, but have been wondering when and how to start figuring it out, we have good news: the time is now, and the how is watching this DrupalCon presentation by Preston So.
Sep 25 2017
Sep 25
If you’ve been following the Acro Media blog, you probably know that the digital agency (and Acquia partner), based in Kelowna, BC, Canada, has a special interest in Drupal Commerce.So with the recent launch of Drupal Commerce 2.0, it made sense to check in with them.
Sep 07 2017
Sep 07
The topic was “Distributions” at the September Boston Drupal Meetup, which was held at Acquia HQ in downtown Boston, and attendees were treated to an unusually comprehensive session.That’s because Drupal Project Lead Dries Buytaert kicked off the meeting by going waaay back, to the very first Drupal “distro.”To back up a bit, a distribution is a combination of Drupal core + modules + configuration + documentation -- all bundled up and optimized for a particular purpose or group of users.
Aug 31 2017
Aug 31
In part one of this two-part series, I explained why my Hackathon team wanted to build an open source photo gallery in Drupal 8, and integrate it with Amazon S3, Rekognition, and Lambda for face and object recognition.In this post, I'll detail how we built it, then how you can set it up, too!

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