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Steve Purkiss: Drop Guard - Automatic Updates for Drupal - The Road Test!

Planet Drupal - sam, 24/09/2016 - 18:27
Drop Guard - Automatic Updates for Drupal - The Road Test! Steve Purkiss Sat, 09/24/2016 - 17:27

Automating updates for Drupal has been a hotly debated topic for many years with a number of strong views expressed from all sides and some recent encouraging progress but as of yet still no resolution.

Due to Drupal's complexity, automating updates is not a trivial task however the importance of such functionality came to a head a couple of years back in October 2014 with the 'Drupageddon' where an exploit had been discovered in which users were told if they did not patch their system within just a few hours then it was likely their sites were toast.

As Drupal adoption continues, the pressure to implement such functionality grows and a sprinkling of commercial offerings have appeared, most notably Drop Guard which grew from an internal tool built by German Drupal web & mobile app agency Bright Solutions. Bright created the ERPAL distribution of Drupal, an all-in-one e-business backroom platform, so they know their Drupal and I was eager to try out their service. It also looks like the Drop Guard site itself is built on top of ERPAL.

As usual with Drupal there are a million-and-one things on my try-out list with more exciting stuff appearing each day, so I was excited when I saw a tweet from Drop Guard offering a free ticket to DrupalCon Dublin in return for an impartial review of their service - I wasn't planning on going but this meant I could just about justify attending, and I would finally get round to setting up automated updates for my new purkiss.com which I'd just started to build in Drupal 8.

I replied within a few seconds and won the prize! Of course now I had to do the work, so for the past month and a half I've been road-testing their service and below is my report. I'm actually writing this in the extended sprints on the Saturday before DrupalCon - I had planned on writing it before but one thing led to another and I ended up having to do some client work, but as luck and Drupal small-world would have it, one of the first Drupalers I met this morning just happens to be working on building a new user interface for Drop Guard so not only did I manage to gain a little more info on the service and company, but also a sneak peek at what looks like a much more user-friendly interface to this important service offering.

I must admit, my review would have been quite different if I hadn't seen those mock-ups, so I'm very glad I did - everything happens for a reason, etc.!

What's the offering?

Billed as "The update management system for automation and quality assurance", Drop Guard provides continuous security for Drupal, targeted at hosting providers, Drupal agencies, freelancers and non-profits - the latter of which they have recently offered a free of cost tier for, which in my mind is a very Good Thing. For individual sites they currently have three pricing option - €9pcm plus tax for up to 30 contrib modules covered, €29 for up to 70, and €59 for up to 150, plus tailored offerings for agencies. 

All packages offer the same functionality underneath - fully controllable workflow for updates, automated patch detection and application - provided you set up everything as needed, which can be done through their integration into Continuous Integration ('CI') tools and options for Secure Shell ('SSH') deployments. 

Seamless integration with the major Drupal-specific hosting providers is also part of the offering, so all-in-all a good offer for the price, considering how much time is spent on these tasks plus the knowledge that if there's an urgent update and you're not around, or asleep, or without a connection, your site(s) are safe. I do wonder what will happen as more companies launch similar services, whether it will be a race to the lowest price until core decides to provide it for free? More on that later...

A note on our value as a community

I'm going to be particularly picky with my review because I believe there is a space for this kind of value-added service in the market but I think over the next couple of years the landscape will be very different with a number of offerings, so hopefully by providing detailed feedback I can provide more value than just a review saying "it's great".

As an offering that has grown from the community I would very much like to see Drop Guard succeed and not be overtaken by something which comes along with bigger financial backing but perhaps no 'soul', and as a community I believe it's in our hands to support these kinds of community-grown offerings - if we just watch from the sidelines but don't join in their growth by helping out, recommending and of course using their service then we are not in a position to complain if they disappear.

I also really appreciate the opportunity they have given me to attend DrupalCon as it means I can be around kindred folk enjoying the many DrupalCon goings-on and get to run my BoF sessions (shameless plug: Co-op BoF Tuesday 5pm, Freelancers & Contractors BoF Wednesday 5pm, both Wicklow Room 3). I believe this kind of value sharing between companies and community is the way forward - "growing the pie for everyone" as I've heard time and again at various Drupal events. So hopefully my review will provide value to you too, please do feel free to comment using the form at the bottom of this article, it would be great to hear what your experiences, thoughts and opinions on the subject - don't be shy!

Step 1: Creating an account

So, on to the system itself - I was particularly interested to see how this worked as many projects I've worked on utilise CI, however apart from playing around with Jenkins for a while some time ago, I'd not had a pressing reason to set anything up for myself - it had always been something someone else had done. I soon found out I was not going to be Drop Guard's 'usual' customer as for me when I read 'Automated patch detection and application' I naively had the impression I was just going to enter a few login details and Drop Guard was going to magically work everything out for me whilst I get on a plane to go lay on a beach somewhere. As usual though, there's a little more than that to do to set everything up, but once it is then yes, perhaps it's ok to go catch that plane!

The account creation screen to me has a few too many fields to fill out in this current day and age where quickly lose interest - not that it has too many questions, but really all you need is an email address - the rest can be added later. For mission-critical required information, sure, but other questions seem more relevant to what Drop Guard want in order to profile you as a customer type, which don't seem to have any immediate effect on what I'm presented with after login, so I would say leave them out and let users choose once in the system. There's also a 'Promo Code' field, which to me just makes me feel like there's a promo code lying around somewhere I should be searching the net for. As I also found out later, it defaults to the account creation screen, so when you come back to the website you have to click the 'I have an account' in order to log in, I would say switch that - it's how most other sites work and if I want to create an account I have no problem in clicking a tab but it does get slightly annoying having to click every time I log back in.

There's also a link underneath the registration form to their slack channel which slightly worried me as I'm not a user of slack due to its proprietary nature - as a developer of Free/Libre Open Source Software many of my answers come from searching the web for similar situations, and unless you pay slack a lot of money, that history is not available for search so although it's a nice user-friendly interface I would much prefer to see people adoption more open solutions such as Mattermost. I presume here there are other options for support so carry on my journey.

As previously mentioned I'm going to be picky, but it's what I felt, so it's what I'm going to type - also remember with a redesign on the cards things may have changed by the time you read this!

Step 2: Adding a project

Once you've registered and confirmed your email by clicking on the link that's sent to you, a screen is presented where you can set up your first project. There's only a few fields to fill out - a name for your project, the URL of your code repository (Git only, but I'm unsure of any value supporting other code versioning systems, if they still exist) and a field for tags. This tags field threw me a little as there was no description as to how the tags would be used, I'm presuming they're if you have a number of sites then tagging is useful but I wouldn't necessarily have the field here.

I was encouraged to see the link to the support chat, now I know I don't have to use slack to get in touch with Drop Guard if I need any help. Of course being me it's now a little annoying as I go from screen to screen as if these chat things auto-open I often think someone's there waiting for me to talk so I always end up clicking to minimise it!

I experienced problems with the system not accepting my Git URL which, after a few conversations with the Drop Guard team turned out to be browser caching issues which I believe perhaps came from the heavy in-development phase the system was at the time, and all worked well after clearing my cache so if you do by chance experience issues. Saying that though, I've just tried to add another project and it's come up with the same error - 'Git username can't contain ":" and "@" characters'. I cleared all my caches (which is a pain now I'm going to have to log in to everything again!), so no doubt I'll be approaching the Drop Guard at DrupalCon to see what the deal is - go see Drop Guard at booth #105 if you're attending!

Step 3: Site config

To enable access to your Drupal site, Drop Guard has its own module on drupal.org which you download and isntall on your site. This module provides you with a User ID and Access Token which you enter into this screen, along with the URL of your site. All very simple & has my specific details so no screen shot for this step.

Step 4: Update behaviours

You now get to choose what type of updates you want Drop Guard to do anything with and how to handle them. I found this a little overwhelming to begin with and although there is a 'Reload best practices', I believe there could be perhaps three options available in order to provide different levels of security based on best practices. You could then delve deeper into the individual settings. I was encouraged that you can apply changes to different branches, this system really does cover all potential update workflows.

Step 5: Events

Once you've selected your update behaviours you now get the opportunity to attach actions to these events - request a URL, send an email, execute an SSH command, merge a branch, and create a task in project management system. You can add any number of these to each event depending on your particular workflow - for me at this moment I'm happy just being sent an email, but I can see how easy it's going to be to hook into my CI once I've set it up(!).

Step 6: Integrations

The last setup screen is if you want to connect to your project management system, which I don't have so can't really comment on the functionality other than to say I'm sure it's useful for those who do - the options at the moment are for Jira and Redmine.

Step 7: Sit back and relax!

And that's it, now it's time to sit back, relax, and let Drop Guard do the hard work for you! Although I'm only using it on a very small site it's still very useful as the Drop Guard system emails are far more descriptive than the out-of-the-box Drupal site ones so I can judge better as to whether I need to do something or not. I look forward to setting up continuous integration for my site and configuring Drop Guard to do a lot more for me. I guess I could start by just setting up a few SSH commands to run on specific events, we'll see if I have some time once I get back after DrupalCon...

Conclusion

I've really enjoyed testing the system out and communicating back and forth with the team and as mentioned look forward to integrating my own site more into the update system than it is right now and feel very confident Drop Guard will be able to deal with a number of different scenarios in any which way I want it to. That's if I manage to get to the bottom of my original issue of not being able to add a site - in this day where more of these types of services are appearing on what seems a daily basis, if I find one that works for me out-of-the-box first time, that's probably going to be the one I end up using. I do feel that you're kind of dropped in the deep end straight away and this could perhaps be split up a little more depending on the audience. In a way I felt that if you had all that knowledge already then perhaps you have your own system set-up so it's going to be a choice whether you pay for a system like this or continue down your own path.

Currently I don't see the value differential between the various services, but then as said I'm not their typical client. If the aim is for hosting companies and agencies then they also have the added issue of eventually it being more cost effective in the long term to develop their own systems, but I don't really know enough about what's involved in running this service so can't comment any more than I know a site builder who's built a system that suits their needs, on their own, which manages hundreds of sites. Obviously not everyone's capable of doing that, but it's a case of hunting out that niche where this system hits a sweet spot and then developing your market from there. Or if the idea is to simply build the 'best' system then sell to some large hosting provider then I guess that's a way forward too.

As well as creating a few simple options to ease people into the service I did wonder why they don't market the system on the code security side too - as they have access to your system it would be easy to see whether the code has been changed since they last checked - to me as a user knowing if my code has changed is kinda important and could be a good 'value add' service to market - hacked protection!

It will be interesting to see this market develop, momentum is certainly gathering as I see a seemingly similar offering launched recently, plus more Drupal-specific agencies offering this service as part of their packages. With Drupal core also potentially offering at least some of this then companies in or thinking of entering this space will seriously need to think about what their USP is as there's nothing here which is 'secret sauce', it's all Free/Libre Open Source Software. Let's hope it doesn't become a race to the bottom in terms of price-point, and if it does then let's do it all in core because you can't beat Free.

Once again I'd like to thank Drop Guard for this opportunity and encourage you to try out Drop Guard for yourself, and if you're lucky enough to be in Dublin for DrupalCon then go see them at their booth!

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DrupalCon News: Extended Sprints Info

Planet Drupal - sam, 24/09/2016 - 11:00

We are up and running at the Extended Sprints location.  Join us at DoSpace for lots of natural light, coffe/tea, and wifi!  

When you arrive you will see the DrupalCon signs as well as an Aikido space and we are just up the stairs.  Come across the Harp Bridge by the Convention Center, keep straight on Macken Street, and look to your left for the DrupalCon Extended Sprints signs.  If you cross under the train bridge, you've gone too far.  

Come on in and sprint from 9:00-21:00 both Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

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Wuinfo: A Drop of The Deep Water

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 23:32

"Someone is looking for Drupal developers. Are you interested?", I asked one of my friends. "I will never touch Drupal again.", That is the most negative statement I have heard so far. Yes, Drupal has an interesting learning curve. It is not easy to master quickly. When we talk about learning Drupal, There are some of us left Drupal after many years as a Drupal developer, disappointed, frustrated. It is a sad truth some of us have worked with Drupal for many years, and still not find the beauty of her. I want to discuss how we can avoid it and how to obtain the power of Drupal quickly in an exciting way.

Here is something interesting about Drupal. After seven years into it, I found myself is still learning new thing and gain a little bit deeper understanding of it. When looking into the code of the core and contributed modules, I can see what the other developers were thinking; I saw how they tackled the problem. I have a great sense of connection with them. It is not just merely the code itself. It is a collaborated among many developers in the past, present and future. So, keep learning is the key to getting deeper inside of it.

Drupal is a tool. We are learning the skill to use this tool. It can be boring if the purpose is just to learn and understand it. It is a tool. So, the best way is to use it. Use it in the best possible way we can find. Always, find multiple solutions and choose one of the best to implement it.

Most of the requests from our customers, managers are reasonable. A lot of time, they are looking for a better user experience. It is the critical element leading to the success of a product. Enhancement of user experiences is a big thing. Never push it back off quickly. There is nothing like Drupal can't do it. Yes, we can do it. We have a lot of contributed modules to do it. If we can not find one, we build one and contribute it back to the community. So, others do not need to invent the wheel again. We take on all kinds of the challenge and find the best possible way to face it. By doing that, we dive deep inside of the water.

When it comes to working on a ticket and solving a problem, we create a patch, and there is no error. That is not sufficient. We can ask ourselves couple more questions. Are there other ways to do it? Is the way what I just did will affect other functions and will this limit the future expansion? Are there any bad things introduced down the road? Is there anything that might sabotage the whole system because of this change? We are going to find the best possible way, a native way. Always looking for the best and willing to take on challenges. It helps us learn it and getting deeper. It is how we can learn stuff that others will not get it from tutorial videos.

If your manager is not a taker and wants to burn you out, always take the challenge. When facing a problem, do not find a way to avoid it. Find as many as possible ways to address the problem. Pick one of the best one; Find a natural way that might have come with the original system design.

Solving a problem, fix a bug is not a big deal. Solve it in a right way is a deal. There are always many methods to solve a single problem, choose the right one. Do not get satisfied by fixing something with a single shot. Ask ourselves to look for more ways to it, use the best one. It is like giving away your talent to solve the problem. It leads me to a commercial ad on a Canadian TV channel. "Greatness is not what you have; it is what you give." Give your greatness to Drupal. The more you give, at the same time, the more skill you get.

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Iztok Smolic: Is web development hard?

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 19:37

Is creating website really so hard? This is a question I get from people not in the industry after I tell what we do at AGILEDROP. My reply is that web development is hard because it is just one form of programming. And programming is hard. Difficult to learn and even more difficult to master. Why […]

The post Is web development hard? appeared first on Iztok.

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Third & Grove: Asset aggregation in Drupal 8 core

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 16:33
Asset aggregation in Drupal 8 core catch Fri, 09/23/2016 - 10:33
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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Bug is Defect and Defect is Bug – Right or Wrong?

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 15:55

The purpose of software testing is to reduce issues to a minimal level and to carve out optimal quality for a product. When it comes to bugs and defects, there are different schools of thought, but quality is always the main focus.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
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InternetDevels: Cache segments and caching in Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 15:48

Today’s the day for our Drupal developer’s blog post again, which means a lot of attention to detail and practical tips — this time on caching in Drupal 7.

Read more
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DrupalEasy: DrupalEasy Podcast 186 - Please Don't Burnout (Mark Carver - Bootstrap)

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 15:00

Direct .mp3 file download.

Mark Carver (markcarver), Senior Front End Performance Engineer with Tag 1 Consulting and maintainer of the Bootstrap base theme joins Mike Anello to discuss the past, present and future of Bootstrap, Dreditor, and render arrays.

Interview DrupalEasy News Three Stories
  1. We're saying goodbye ;-( - Implement User Enhancements on Drupal.org and port Dreditor features.
  2. Who sponsors Drupal development? - blog post by Dries Buytaert and Matthew Tift.
  3. What's new on Drupal.org - August 2016 - blog post by Tim Lehnen.
Sponsors Picks of the Week Upcoming Events Follow us on Twitter Five Questions (answers only)
  1. Travel (road trips)
  2. Plex
  3. Getting out from behind the keyboard more often.
  4. Buffalo
  5. When he created his drupal.org account, hired as a school district's web site developer.
Intro Music Subscribe

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or Miro. Listen to our podcast on Stitcher.

If you'd like to leave us a voicemail, call 321-396-2340. Please keep in mind that we might play your voicemail during one of our future podcasts. Feel free to call in with suggestions, rants, questions, or corrections. If you'd rather just send us an email, please use our contact page.

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Verbosity: Migrations on the road

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 14:33

As many people in the Drupal community know, I travel a lot. Today I'm in Paris having just completed a migration in-flight during my trip from Montréal. At the end of August I was in San José, Costa Rica where I presented both of the migrate talks my colleague Novella and I have worked on over the past year (unfortunately she could not make it as she moved to Detroit that week). It was fun to present talks I've worked with for so long... familiar. Low-stress. All the notes are now safely stored in markdown format on GitHub. Bliss.

Since they are both in an accessible format I have posted them here for others to access. Of coruse, particularly with the project management talk, the real fun in the presentation is the examples we cite as we talk through each issue, so you'll have to live without that. Here they are:

Migration Shotgun Tour (Montréal 2016, Costa Rica 2016) - in markdown and as HTML/JS slides.

Project Planning a Migration Project (Montréal 2016, Costa Rica 2016, Ottawa 2015) - in markdown and as HTML/JS slides.

...unfortunately there are no recordings of these talks. I tried to capture audio of one of them and did not realize the disk was full. :-/

Prior to these two talks I have done many different variations of these presentations at other camps and summits going back as far as 2013 when I presented commerce_migrate_ubercart to the Toronto Drupal community. It was my first-ever Drupal talk. Since then I became a maintainer of that module and done many talks and countless migrations since! I'm hoping to get back into Commerce migrations when 2.x hits beta, which I hear will be coming soon.

My next upcoming migrate talk will be a full-day training at BadCamp 2016 in Berkeley, California. It is already sold out (sorry!).

See you at DrupalCon Dublin?

Before BadCamp 2016 I will be in Dublin for DrupalCon... sorta! Specifically I will be at the Business Summit on Monday and the Friday Sprints, but NOT at the conference itself (ie, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday). Obviously I don't have a talk at the conference this time around... but I will still be in Dublin for that time so I may still see some of you at the parties. If you want to get lunch outside the conference venue or join me for some sight seeing let me know!

I'm on twitter (and yes DMs will ding my phone, even when I travel, so long as I'm paying attention to it). If it is work related, you can also reach out to me through the contact form at kafei.ca.

Category: DrupalDrupal ArticlesDrupal Planet
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Deeson: DrupalCon Dublin 2016

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 10:35

Welcome to Deeson's DrupalCon blog. We're sponsoring DrupalCon yet again this year, with one key difference: this time we're also looking at the bigger picture, exploring our wider impact within the industry, and within our "future of work" approach.

This isn't just about having our name on a banner; it's about challenging our internal views, and those of the industry, in order to make real changes.

Rather than seeing the future of work as an idealistic utopia, we see it as a place filled with real people who have different challenges, talents and interests.

We're creating an environment where people can thrive through processes like openness, autonomy, flexible working, paid sabbaticals and paid time to contribute to the community, to name a few.

We believe that creating a diverse workplace is key to the future of work which is why, for the first time, we're sponsoring Women in Drupal.

Deeson at DrupalCon Dublin Tuesday 27th

Seminar:Entity Validation: The Kick-Ass Road To Data Integrity | Kristiaan Van Eynde | Wicklow Hall 2A | 15:45 - 16:45

Birds of a Feather Session - Deeson in attendance:Agency Growth: Services Beyond Design and Build | Tim Deeson | Wicklow Meeting 2B | 15:45 - 16:45

Social Event - Sponsored by Deeson:Women in Drupal | Sam’s Bar | 36 Dawson Street | 18:30 - 20:30

Wednesday 28th

Birds of a Feather Session - Deeson in attendance: The Future of Work: How to Create Self-Organising, Happy, Distributed Teams | Tim Deeson | Wicklow Meeting 2B | 14.15 - 15.15

Social Event - Sponsored by Deeson: VIP Reception | 17:00 - 18:30

Thursday 29th

Birds of a Feather, sponsored by Deeson. Sessions in attendance: Group for D8: RoadMap and Q&A | Kristiaan Van Eynde | Wicklow Meeting 2B | 10:45 - 11:45Complementary Platforms: What sits next to Drupal? | Tim Deeson | Wicklow Meeting Room 3 | 14.15 - 15.15

Social Event - Hosted by Deeson: Deeson DrupalCon Wrap Up Drinks | Lagoona Pub,Unit 4, Custom House Square, IFSC | 17:30 - 19.00Trivia Night | Mansion House, 2 Dawson St | 20:00

We’ll also be giving away these most excellent shirts at DrupalCon Dublin, so make sure you see us to get your hands on one.

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Third & Grove: Responsive Image Configuration in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 09:30
Responsive Image Configuration in Drupal 8 abby Fri, 09/23/2016 - 03:30
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PreviousNext: Launching an AJAX modal from a WYSWIYG link and customising the response with MainContentRendererInterface in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 07:52

On a recent project a feature was requested to allow admins to launch some content within a modal window from the WYSWIYG on a Drupal 8 website. The goals were as follows:

  • Open any content on the site in a modal window.
  • Fall back to a plain link for search engines and non-js based browsers.
  • Implement a branded modal design.

This is how we accomplished it.

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LevelTen Interactive: Drupal and Google Analytics - How to Track Downloads when using the File Entity Module

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 07:00

If you're using Drupal's Google Analytics module to track visitors to your website, you might assume that the built-in Track downloads option works without a hitch. 

...Read more

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Savas Labs: Supercharged SEO with Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 02:00

SEO trends 2017 and an in depth look at Drupal 8's new features that make Drupal the best option for your long-term marketing campaign. Continue reading…

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Cocomore: DrupalCon 2016 – Dublin here we come

Planet Drupal - ven, 23/09/2016 - 00:00

Developers will definitely get their money’s worth during the DrupalCon next week. We give you a foretaste of the upcoming event: Our Cocomoris Jesus and Carsten are looking forward to a reunion with the community in Dublin and provide a few tips for other participants.

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Lullabot: Building Social With "Open Social"

Planet Drupal - jeu, 22/09/2016 - 22:00
Matt and Mike sit down with Taco Potze and Mieszko Czyzyk, as well as Lullabot Director of Technology, Karen Stevenson, to talk about the new Open Social Drupal distribution. We talk about the new features of Open Social, as well as the business model, developing in Drupal 8, and the pros and cons of distributions in general.
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Axelerant Blog: What’s Axelerant Doing at DrupalCon Dublin?

Planet Drupal - jeu, 22/09/2016 - 20:00

Giving back to our communities isn’t a new thing for us. And come Monday, five of our team members will be at DrupalCon Dublin. There will be plenty of Axelerant to go around. We’ve got three sessions, each in a different track, and the official event photography team will be led by Michael, our COO.

But before we get into what we’re bringing to Dublin, we should mention that we started to schedule our meet and greets. And we want you to be one of them. Let’s get together at a local brew pub and talk about Open Source problems and solutions in the community:

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Now, let’s get into what we’re up to. We’re presenting in Front-End, Project Management, and Business tracks at DrupalCon Dublin, so be sure to add them to your list.

Choosing The “Right Agile Methodology” For Your Drupal Projects

Date: 09/27/2016

Time: 14:15 to 15:15

Room: Liffey Meeting 4 | New Relic

Add this session to my schedule!

Shani and Prabhat will explore and compare different agile methodologies and share tips on how to choose the right one so you can accelerate your Drupal project. In this session, they’ll cover effective uses of CYNEFIN, a popular decision-making framework, to differentiate between Drupal projects and choosing right agile methodologies for the same.

Shani and Prabhat will cover:
  • Scrum
  • Extreme programming
  • Feature-driven development
  • Scrumban
  • Kanban
  • Lean development
Expected Takeaways:

A clearer idea of which methodology is right for each project, considering: project size, team size, iteration length, roles and responsibilities, and distributed team support. They’ll also discuss risk mitigation levels and customer interaction.

Growing Via Strategic Account Management Frameworks

Date: 09/27/2016

Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Room: Wicklow Hall 2A | Druid

Add this session to my schedule!

Piyush will take you through our Account Management practice and share some real-life case studies demonstrating how we hit target sales quota by 2-3x and achieved maximum strategic account objectives within the desired timeline.

Have you connected with Piyush yet? Schedule a chat with him. jQuery(document).ready(function() { var cta_57ea08d57d1b4 = false; jQuery(document).scroll(function() { if ( typeof ga !== 'undefined' && typeof isScrolledIntoViewPort !== 'undefined' && jQuery.isFunction( isScrolledIntoViewPort) && isScrolledIntoViewPort('.cta_57ea08d57d1b4') && cta_57ea08d57d1b4 == false ) { cta_57ea08d57d1b4 = true; ga('send', 'event', 'cta-wide', 'view-dcdublin', 'Have you connected with Piyush yet? Schedule a chat with him.', 1); } }); });

Piyush will cover:
  • Customer onboarding process
  • Kickoff meetings
  • Routine engagement health check-ins
  • Invoicing and collections management
  • Satisfaction surveys and testimonials management
  • Complaint and grievances management
  • Contract renewals and extensions.
  • Opportunity exploration: researching the client, industry, references, social media, etc.
  • Evangelizing clients via social media, digital marketing, and event participations
Expected Takeaways:
  • What is Account Management?
  • What skills and talents are required to excel in Account Management specific to Drupal
  • What activities must be performed to maximize Account Management ROI?
  • What are some of the accountabilities and performance metrics used?
React Front-End For Your Drupal 8 Back-End

Date: 09/29/2016

Time: 12:00 to 13:00

Room: Wicklow Hall 2B | Platform.sh

Add this session to my schedule!

Aliya and Bassam will give a hands-on session. By the end of it, you’ll have learned how to build a decoupled website using React ecosystem on the front-end, using Drupal 8 as the content management system (and a data source).

Aliya and Bassam will cover:
  • How to configure Drupal to expose RESTful resources using Drupal 8
  • Enable CORS support for the domains/port running our React application
  • Authenticate requests using JWT
  • Consume data on front-end using Redux store
  • Pass data from Redux store React components
Expected Takeaways:
  • Be able to build a RESTful API using Drupal 8
  • Use any backend with react front-end
Covering DrupalCon Dublin

Michael has a knack for capturing Open Source events around the world as a way of giving back. He’s been leading the photography for two DrupalCons now: DrupalCon Asia and DrupalCon New Orleans.

He’s coming fully equipped to help the Drupal Association immortalize DrupalCon Dublin for all of us, and you can help. If you’d like to contribute to this process, there’s still time to join the “Official Photography Team.”

And while he’ll be running around the event like a paparazzo, Michael would still like to connect with you one-on-one to answer any questions you have about Axelerant. Be sure to take him up on the offer if there’s something you feel we can help you accomplish.

Want to chat about something? Book a time with Michael. jQuery(document).ready(function() { var cta_57ea08d57d26f = false; jQuery(document).scroll(function() { if ( typeof ga !== 'undefined' && typeof isScrolledIntoViewPort !== 'undefined' && jQuery.isFunction( isScrolledIntoViewPort) && isScrolledIntoViewPort('.cta_57ea08d57d26f') && cta_57ea08d57d26f == false ) { cta_57ea08d57d26f = true; ga('send', 'event', 'cta-wide', 'view-dcdublin', 'Want to chat about something? Book a time with Michael.', 1); } }); });

This article What’s Axelerant Doing at DrupalCon Dublin? by Parth Gohil first appeared on Axelerant - Axelerant: Expert Drupal Development, Support, & Staffing.

Catégories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Drupal 8 Content Workflow Initiative - Part 2

Planet Drupal - jeu, 22/09/2016 - 17:12

Jozef Toth talks about the Drupal 8 CWI - I got the chance to follow up on my conversation with Dave Hall and Dick Olsson about the Drupal 8 Content Workflow Initiative (Podcast: Drupal 8 Content Workflow Initiative - Part 1). This post includes the video and full transcript of our conversation, as well as links to many of the people and topics we touched on!

Mentioned in the conversation
Video interview - 27 min.

Full transcript

jam: My standard joke in all the podcasts lately ... and I apologize because I’m doing it over and over again ... but welcome to glamorous Nové Zámky in the Slovak Republic. Jojo Toth and I just had quite a nice weekend in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, at the DrupalCamp CS. Among other hats, you’re the head of the Slovakian Drupal Association.

Jozef: Yes.

jam: Talk about who you are, what you do, and talk about DrupalCamp CS.

Jozef: My name is Jozef and I work as a user experience designer at Pfizer, and as you said, part of what I do as my volunteering time is leading or trying to help with the organizing of DrupalCamps in Slovakia and also organizing the entire Slovak Drupal community. I’ve been working with this for about seven years now, and we had five camps total so far, and many good events, smaller meet-ups, trainings.

jam: One of the really interesting parts of the Slovak DrupalCamp - so in real time, it’s June the 1st today that we’re speaking. The camp was at the end of May. One of the interesting things that happened at the camp was the launch of the Czech Drupal Association at the – well, the CS Camp is supposed to be unified, right?

Jozef: Yes.

jam: Is everybody still friends between the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Is it okay to do that sort of thing?

Jozef: Yes. I would say that most people are still very good friends. Actually I think it’s more like brothers, and definitely to me it feels that way. Really, from the beginning when we started organizing camps, our two communities which are not really big, we cooperated a lot together, did a lot of events together. Slovaks have been active in Czech Drupal Forum. Czechs have been active in the Slovak Drupal Forum, so it was just natural that for the last two years, we’ve decided to do a joint event and now it’s officially not DrupalCamp Slovakia, but CS which is Czechoslovakia. Actually, what you have on your T-shirt is Drupal Without Borders, so we were sort of reuniting Czechoslovakia again through Drupal.

jam: Okay. Are you going into politics next?

Jozef: I might consider that. I’m so sorry. I can’t deny nor confirm that.

jam: Now you and I have known each other for a number of years. I am absolutely certain that we worked together the first time in 2011. I’m not sure if we had met before that, but you used to run - among other things, you used to run a design agency, and we worked together to produce among other things a really fun infographic about the Drupal Security Process which I’m still really, really proud of and I’m going to link to again because it’s cool.

jam: How and when did you discover Drupal?

Jozef: That is a long story, so to make it short, and it was a long time ago, I think it’s like 11 years now. I was traveling on a train to my daily job where I was basically doing designs and trying to create some websites – some static websites, and my friends kept asking me, “Can you create a website for me?" then another friend, another friend ... I ended up looking for something which can help me to do it in a more sustainable way I would say, so I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time when I create a website so I discovered the word “content management system,” and then I discovered Drupal and I was actually comparing it to several other options. What really helped me was I found a very good resource. It was like a training blog post, “How to Build Your First Drupal Website,” and it basically convinced me that Drupal is the way how I should move forward and it’s been a successful journey so far.

jam: Your background is in design, so I imagine people were asking you for websites because you would make them pretty.

Jozef: Yes.

jam: All of these years you’ve been doing Drupal and by my count, that’s got to be at least six, eight?

Jozef: Since 2007, so it’s ...

jam: Wow. Nine years now. You don’t consider yourself a coder or a developer. From your perspective, with your design background and so on, what’s your favorite thing about Drupal and what made you stick with it all these times? When I say that, you made websites with Drupal, you had a Drupal agency, and now you work for Pfizer still on Drupal, so all this time that’s been a really common thread. What’s your favorite thing about it? Why did you stick with it?

Jozef: It may sound funny, or maybe everybody is telling that, but one of the things was actually the community because really I made very good friends in the community. I also found people or members of the Drupal community being these nice, good people, so when I had any issues or I didn’t know what to do or where to look, I knew that I can reach out to these people or ask on these forums and they would very quickly be people who would answer my questions. Definitely, community was one thing which kept me working with Drupal, but also the flexibility of Drupal where it was capable of supporting very small websites which I was building for my friends, to large portals or even distributions which we were building for probably the largest known non-profit organization which exists in the world. This big scale of different products which can be built with Drupal was another thing which definitely kept me.

jam: Your specialty over time has become UX especially. What are your thoughts about Drupal 8’s architecture in terms of the loose coupling between the backend where all the business logic happens and the ability to add any number of front ends whether they’re apps or other front-end frameworks and so on?

Jozef: Actually, this is one of the things which I am probably the most excited about Drupal 8. Obviously you were able to do something similar with previous versions of Drupal, but it just really got so much easier here, and I’m really excited to see how - for example, the market or the use cases will explode now, how we’ll see many different, not only iPhone or the mobile applications, but really how Drupal will be powering many different used cases which we haven’t really even maybe dreamt of or dreamed of ... Connected devices, wearables, applications in different systems which maybe are not even applications right now, but I think that it can really help disrupt some of the industries or some of the new ideas even. I really enjoyed the demo which Dries showed in New Orleans, and I really think that this is one of the key strengths of Drupal.

jam: Yes. I’m really excited about the "web beyond websites" - I’m starting to think of it that way whether it’s the internet of things and wearables, and we still all have computers and telephones and what have you. How the internet is connecting all of that and how Drupal as this web-services-content-management-engine can be behind that and power that sort of things, and that demo that Dries did in New Orleans was really, really cool essentially if I recall the details correctly, it was a store that’s kind of monitoring its inventories and pushing out specials and offers to entice people to come in and shop, and then people could also place orders through their Amazon Echo that would shoot through Drupal and go to the logistics system and there was never a front end, but it was all powered by Drupal and APIs.

Jozef: Yes, and awesomesauce.

jam: And awesomesauce! One of the things that Dries set up and made happen in many ways during the Drupal 8 initial – the long initial release cycle was the idea of initiatives. For the first time when he announced Drupal 8, he announced some sort of a roadmap that was more than, “Give me what you people need and we’ll put it together,” and said it needs to be mobile-first and it needs to be fully restful and web-services-oriented and a whole series of things: the configuration management initiative, and all these different aspects, and they went really well and now he’s come up with this idea of, “Let’s keep going with initiatives,” but he’s looking for the community to source the ideas again. The very first one of those that’s set up is the Content Workflow Initiative and you’re part of that along with a few other people. I spoke with Dick Olsson and Dave Hall about this in New Orleans. Why don’t you give me your perspective on what the initiative is, and what its goals are?

Jozef: Basically, I think the easiest way how to describe it is trying to make some of the things which people are, or Drupal users were always trying to do with Drupal and had to use several other tools for that basically just making their life easier. By adding parts of, let’s say Workbench Moderation to the core and just maybe changing some very small details from the user experience, I think it’s just making Drupal 8 out of the box more intuitive and more user-friendly when it comes to content authoring, content editing, and workflows around content.

jam: Who’s the target audience for the improvements that the Content Workflow Initiative is thinking about, and how are they going to benefit from sort of what you’re doing?

Jozef: The Workflow Initiative is oriented on content editors, people who maybe as part of their daily job work with content. They do moderations, authoring, publishing, and doing some edits, et cetera.

jam: Right. And to be fair, once we’ve architected and built a website, these are the people who live and breathe and work in the products that we’ve produced like day in, day out. They end up living with our sites much, much longer and more intimately than we ever do, right? You’re trying to make their experience better?

Jozef: Yes. We are basically trying to make their professional life easier.

jam: Would you say, as a UX person, do you have a – one of the reasons that usability and documentation is hard for regular developers and users is that a lot of us get used to how something work very, very quickly and then we just do it. As a UX person, how do you catch yourself from just getting used to a solution because it’s always been that way and keep your eyes fresh looking for improvements?

Jozef: You said in the beginning that I don’t consider myself being really a programmer or a developer or a coder. Actually, I think sometimes it helps when working with Drupal, and basically with many other tools or solutions as well because I can probably see some of the user interfaces from a completely different perspective than a developer who basically just wants to – and I’m not trying to decrease the value of developers obviously here – but their focus is on basically putting this item in that place. What we as user experience designers try to do is to help them maybe place it in a position, or on the place where people are usually looking for that, or we are in different situations, we are trying to come up with a position where people should be trying to look for that. I don’t know if this answers your question.

jam: Yes. I like the point about having a different perspective. I recall trying to introduce people to Drupal back – it doesn’t really matter, but [in the Drupal] five, six, seven days and it was perfectly obvious to me why one particular menu item was under a "Content" and another one was under "Structure", and another one was maybe under "People" or "Users" or whatever we called it that month, because I was aware of what subsystem was generating this bit of interface and then it makes perfect sense to group things by subsystems. Now, if you don’t know the underpinnings of Drupal, that doesn’t have to make any sense at all to you, right? That’s a good point.

Jozef: Yes. Obviously I love Drupal. I know there are thousands of developers who basically volunteer for uncountable number of hours, and work on it. As you said, I really love how it can basically fill the needs of an amazing amount of people. It’s like we have this 95% done, and we just need this finishing touch on that. It’s like when you produce a car, you let people drive it and test it and if there are few small things which just needs to be improved, and then they improve it and the final product is there for everyone to use. This is how we can help how user experience designers can contribute even when they are not developers.

jam: This is something that’s really interesting to me about your situation. You are part of a group that is potentially going to make a significant impact on Drupal Core itself going forward over the next couple of years as Drupal 8.2, 3, 4, 5 come out. Talk about being a contributor to Drupal Core who’s not a coder, and tell me how many other non-coding core contributors do you think there are at this point?

Jozef: I definitely think the number could be higher. Are you asking me about a specific number?

jam: Or your impression ...

Jozef: Yes. Through the years, when I was working with Drupal, I think the number should definitely be higher. We know that Drupal was basically a development-centric product if I can call it that way, and it’s incredible to see that actually the more when I’m attending DrupalCons and sprints there, we are always seeing an increase of people who are not developers, who are for example, just testers or they write documentation, or they are training others or even designers, people who want to bring in some maybe more strategic ideas to the board, but I think this number could still be higher and more people could get actually involved in contributing.

jam: Do you have any trouble getting developers to trust you on this soft stuff about the button placement or the user interface stuff? Did you have to work to get an effective working relationship going?

Jozef: No. What I found is that when they trust you or when they know you, they trust you with your judgment and they actually ask, especially when I work with my colleagues at Pfizer, they often come to me for recommendations for some of the work which they are working on, and I think it’s really important that we have this trust between the two worlds which exist: developers and basically everybody else because together we can make a very good product together. Also for several years or when I started to work with Drupal from the beginning, I realized that probably my biggest skill will never be developing or programming. I was looking for other ways how I can contribute to Drupal, and sometimes it has been difficult or I couldn’t find really a way how maybe a designer can help, and probably the problem was that I was just not looking enough.

jam: I think that that’s a parable for anybody who’s involved in Drupal. “I can’t contribute” is probably not true. Everyone in our community has at least something - some unique skill or knowledge, and in my experience everyone who’s tried has been able to make a difference. And literally there are people – I like the example of the Drupal community in India which is an amazing bunch of people and it’s really sprung up. It’s really exploded in the last five years, and right out of the gate they’ve got contributors who run camps or know where to get T-shirts printed right, or a whole set of other skills. It’s a very, very rich experience and I remember the early days of Drupal community when it was developers only like you were saying.

Jozef: When I actually started to look for opportunities, suddenly I saw that there are so many things which I can do even just helping with maybe marketing of Drupal. We started designing some of the infographics which actually, like the first one, I got an email from some university teacher if he can put it into a textbook because he liked that so much, and I also had the privilege to help designing Drupal 7 logo and then design the Drupal 8 logo as well, so the opportunities are there. We just need to sort of find our way into the community. There is also the "usability" tag in the issue queue which people can just look through and find design-related issues which they can help.

jam: You and Dick Olsson and Dave Hall all work for Pfizer, and Pfizer has a big investment in Drupal – probably thousands of websites. You’ve got time at work to work on this initiative. How does this content workflow initiative, how does that benefit Pfizer?

Jozef: Basically, many of the solutions which are a part of the content workflow initiative, they already exist as a contrib. modules, and you can find or learn more about it at drupaldeploy.org. There is a list of modules which work with Deploy, and we at Pfizer use many of these or even many of these have been created as a part of the work which we do to manage our own websites and how we deploy content across different workspaces or websites.

jam: Give me some examples of specific improvements that you’ve identified that you want to bring into this.

Jozef: Yes. Part of the concept for the workflow initiative is having workspaces. This is actually somewhere towards the end of the roadmap which we have for the workflow initiative, but it’s also one of the most visible places where people can see the results and the idea is that you have a collection of content entities which is a workspace, and you can synchronize content entities between these two workspaces. Sometimes when you work with a lot of data, a lot of information, a lot of content, and you need to do the same thing at some other workspace or website, let’s say, then it’s, for example, confusing, “Am I on this website or am I on this website?” One of the things which the initiative is proposing is to have a workspace switcher, for example where you can quickly see which workspace I’m currently working on, what moderation state it is in, and there is a very easy to use dropdown toolset how you can actually moderate the workspace itself. Another area is when you are, let’s say a content author and you work together with editors as a team, you may not have enough permissions for example to do the actual deployment, so you can submit your work, what you did for review, and then somebody else will review it. If it’s okay, he will deploy it. To know that something that like this happened, I came up with the idea of having notifications, so it can be a small icon maybe with a number in the toolbar which you can expand and see notifications related to your work, and actually I think this is something which would be beneficial to let’s say, entire Drupal, not only just the Workflow Initiative, but there are many things where notifications can be useful, like for example, showing you that your site is not secure or you need to update your modules.

jam: That is exactly the very first thing that occurred to me, plus new comments, comment moderation, spam, all that sort of thing too, right?

Jozef: Yes. I’m actually surprised that there isn’t a central notification place in Drupal.

jam: You’ve just embedded the notifications API, you realized?

Jozef: Yes.

jam: Cool. Hey, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Thanks again for a wonderful Drupal Camp in Bratislava, and I am looking forward to seeing you again somewhere soon, maybe DrupalCon Dublin?

Jozef: Yes.

jam: Perfect. Wonderful. Thanks, Jojo.

Drupal Security Release process infographic

Jozef and I put this together a few years ago. I think it has held up well over time.

Podcast series: Drupal 8Skill Level: BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Catégories: Elsewhere

Annertech: DrupalCon Dublin: Hear Me Roar

Planet Drupal - jeu, 22/09/2016 - 16:06
DrupalCon Dublin: Hear Me Roar

DrupalCon Dublin is just around the corner (since I live in Ireland, I mean that literally!). DRUPALCON: HEAR ME ROAR! (or at least speak, along with some other Annertechies). At DrupalCon we'll be speaking on a number of topics (interesting aside: we're the only Irish agency with any speakers at this year's DrupalCon). Here's a quick roundup of our talks and why you won't want to miss them:

Catégories: Elsewhere

Aurelien Navarre: How to audit Drupal 8 to determine the number of active users?

Planet Drupal - jeu, 22/09/2016 - 14:28

When drupal.org reached 1 million registered users, I wondered what was the percentage of really active users.

I'd love to know how many of those 1M http://t.co/uVCABrlDEf accounts are actually active. Say, users who've logged in within the past year.

— Aurelien Navarre (@AurelienNavarre) October 11, 2013

Thinking about it more, I figured this would totally be a legit site audit metric to get for business owners. Say you have an e-commerce platform and you want to engage inactive users by giving them a discount or you wish to know if your community is really growing, there are many reasons to get such data and probably you could even create a good contrib module for that.

But if you're like me and prefer a quick and easy one-liner, then read on.

In Drupal 8, finding when a given user account last accessed the site is a bit different from Drupal 7, as you now need to query the {users_field_data} table.

mysql> SELECT uid,access FROM users_field_data WHERE uid = 1; +-----+------------+ | uid | access | +-----+------------+ | 1 | 1474319299 | +-----+------------+ 1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Problem is we can't really make anything out of this Unix timestamp. Sure you can use an Epoch converter or use the date command as below:

$ date -d @1474470084 Wed Sep 21 15:01:24 UTC 2016

But what if we'd do it on the fly, within our MySQL query? Enter MySQL's from_unixtime() function. The value is expressed in the current time zone but we don't really care here.

mysql> SELECT uid,from_unixtime(access) FROM users_field_data WHERE uid = 1; +-----+-----------------------+ | uid | from_unixtime(access) | +-----+-----------------------+ | 1 | 2016-09-19 21:08:19 | +-----+-----------------------+ 1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Okay, this is much better. We no longer have to switch context and have our human-readable date. Now, since we want to get basic usage stats, we can also choose to reformat the output to better GROUP BY later. I went with %Y (year) only but it's flexible and you totally can get fancy if you will.

mysql> SELECT uid,from_unixtime(access, '%Y') AS last_access FROM users_field_data WHERE uid = 1; +-----+-------------+ | uid | last_access | +-----+-------------+ | 1 | 2016 | +-----+-------------+ 1 row in set (0.00 sec)

We've now narrowed-down things enough to actually get our final MySQL one-liner. What we're doing below is simply to group user accounts so that we can calculate the number of 'active users' (which year they last logged in) and break it down accordingly.

mysql> SELECT COUNT(uid) AS number_of_users, from_unixtime(access, '%Y') AS last_access FROM users_field_data GROUP BY from_unixtime(access, '%Y') ORDER BY last_access DESC; +-----------------+-------------+ | number_of_users | last_access | +-----------------+-------------+ | 210 | 2016 | | 106 | 2015 | | 6 | 2014 | +-----------------+-------------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

If you're getting the below error, make sure to read the MySQL 5.7 documentation. Using GROUP BY has changed in MySQL 5.7.5+ and its usage is now stricter.

ERROR 1140 (42000): In aggregated query without GROUP BY, expression #1 of SELECT list contains nonaggregated column 'database.table.column'; this is incompatible with sql_mode=only_full_group_by
Catégories: Elsewhere

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