Chris Jolly, CTO Ontraq Europe, and his company have a strong technical background, going back to "old school" (pre-internet) IT. Their main focus until now has been eCommerce, Symfony, and solving hard problems like legacy-system integrations. Now, thanks to its use of Symfony framework components, they've started using Drupal 8 as their content management technology of choice! Chris and I talked at DrupalCon Amsterdam about getting there and what they're up to now.
Two years into the development of Drupal 8, Dries Buytaert announced that Drupal 8.0 might ship without an upgrade path.
This unorthodox decision was made to support substantial improvements in Drupal’s major version upgrade process by introducing a robust new sub-system based on the popular contributed modules Migrate and Migrate D2D. The sub-system includes the Migrate module, which provides the basic framework and API, and the Migrate Drupal module, which provides the upgrade paths and framework to enable other Drupal-to-Drupal use cases in contrib.
The substantial wins with this new approach include the ability to move directly from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 – as well as the possibility of providing more fine-grained control over the process – and the option of continuous content migration.
The migration team is working extraordinarily hard to be ready by the time that D8 is ready for beta. As of March 31, Migrate API has been committed to core. The last blocking issues for Migrate Drupal were resolved during the DevDays sprint, and the team will begin submitting patches for the D6 to D8 migration path to the core queue any day now.A Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 upgrade without Migrate
Without the new API, an abbreviated move from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 would have looked something like:
- Backup your database
- Update core and contrib to the latest version of 6
- Disable all contributed modules and switch to the core theme
- Delete the D6 code and replace it with D7 core code
- Run update.php
- Download the D7 contributed modules
- Enable the contrib modules
- Run update.php
- Repeat to upgrade from D7 to D8
For Drush users, the 'drush up' command would vastly simplify this, but two full upgrades — from 6 to 7, then 7 to 8 — would still have been required, inevitably losing data in each step.
I love Drupal and end up undertaking most of my programming projects with it. I have been using it for so long that I find it far easier to push out projects with Drupal than with anything else, despite it’s infamous learning curve.
Whether you want to call Drupal a CMS (Content Management System), a CMF (Content Management Framework) or a CMSomething, the ‘C’ always stands for Content. Content is where Drupal shines and is what it’s designed for.
When an organisation is at a stage and mindset that they also want to manage their contacts and interactions effectively they will often need tools designed specifically for that function. These are generally referred to as a CRM, which stands for Client Relationship Manager or Constituent Relationship Manager, depending on the sector (For-Profit or Not-for-Profit respectively). CRMs are big business, with many free and paid options available, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Often these interactions that people have with your organisation will include things such as registering for an event, making a donation, becoming a member, expressing interest in a product or receiving a newsletter. This all sounds quite simple, but often representing a business rule in the digital realm is very difficult as everyone thinks ‘their way’ is ‘the only way’ and that surely every off-the-shelf system should represent them out of the box.
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