Feb 28 2019
Feb 28
In this final installment of our series on conversational usability, we dig into a case study that brings together all of the ideas and best practices we have discussed so far: the Ask GeorgiaGov skill built by the Acquia Labs team for Digital Services Georgia.
Feb 13 2019
Feb 13
In this fifth installment of our series on conversational usability, our focus shifts to conversational usability and the process of evaluating and improving conversational interfaces that often differ significantly from the visual and physical interfaces we normally use to test with end users.
Feb 11 2019
Feb 11
In this fourth installment of our series on conversational usability, we're turning our attention to conversational content strategy, an underserved area of conversational interface design that is rapidly growing due to the number of enterprises eager to convert the text trapped in their websites into content that can be consumed through voice assistants and chatbots.
Jan 31 2019
Jan 31
In this third installment of our series on conversational usability, we look at conversational design, an already well-explored area that is still burgeoning with emerging best practices.
Jan 28 2019
Jan 28
In this second installment in our series on conversational usability, we dive into a relatively overlooked area of conversational interfaces that can have an outsized impact on the eventual user experience that results: information architecture.
Jan 18 2019
Jan 18
To kick off 2019 properly, the Experience Express is taking a break from Drupal and web development to consider an oft-forgotten component of new digital experiences in the conversational space. Though many organizations, some of Acquia's customers included, have leapt headlong into building conversational interfaces, sometimes it can be difficult in such a newfangled paradigm to consider all possible angles where things can go awry.
Jan 17 2019
Jan 17
Drupal 7 core, together with Drupal contrib, has the ability to ship a powerful platform for our digital requirements in the enterprise world. The multilingual feature is one of the prime reasons that Drupal is a distinguished and a preferred solution to achieve business goals. Drupal 8 includes the multilingual package in the core itself, but Drupal 7 requires some extra amount of effort to build this package as a whole to make Drupal multilingual ready.
Dec 10 2018
Dec 10
Although JSON Web Tokens (JWT) is a younger specification than its more well-established cousin, OAuth 2.0 Bearer Token authentication, JWT has been adopted by quite a few in the Drupal community due to its relative simplicity. In this installment, we explore JSON Web Tokens and how this authentication mechanism can benefit your decoupled Drupal architecture.
Nov 28 2018
Nov 28
No two Drupalists are exactly alike. But just how much do Drupalists differ from one another? What trends are emerging in the adoption of tools and user behaviors throughout the Drupal community? Take the Drupal user tools and trends survey to help Drupal better serve its community.
Nov 26 2018
Nov 26
If you’ve been reading about new -- and promised -- easy-to-use page builders, you many not be aware that the Drupal community has been working on a super ambitious visual design tool, Layout Builder, that will be included in the next version of Drupal, Drupal 8.7, scheduled to be released this Spring, 2019.
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.

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About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web