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Agiledrop.com Blog: Our blog posts from September 2019

Mon, 2019/10/07 - 11:00am

Missed some of our blog posts last month? Don't worry - here’s a recap of all our posts from September. Check it out and make sure you’re all caught up!

READ MORE
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DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Minneapolis - extended deadlines for call for proposals & scholarships and grants

Mon, 2019/10/07 - 9:17am
Photo by Rob Shea

Mark your calendars: The deadline for Proposals and applying for Grants & Scholarships is now Wednesday, December 4
 

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Lullabot: Behind the Screens: Behind the Screens with Amitai Burstein

Mon, 2019/10/07 - 9:00am

How do you maintain one of Drupal's most prolific modules, run a business, have a family, and stay balanced? Amitai Burstein spills  his secrets to success and how you can join him! Also, sushi!

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hussainweb.me: Open content in new tab with an image formatter

Sun, 2019/10/06 - 1:21pm
One of my sites has a listing of content shown as teaser. The teaser for this content type is defined to show the title, an image, and a few other fields. In the listing, the image is linked to the content so that the visitor may click on the image (or the title) to open the content. All this is easily achievable through regular Drupal site building.
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DrupalCon News: Be inspired by standout keynote address

Fri, 2019/10/04 - 10:20am

For DrupalCon Amsterdam, we’ve curated keynote speakers who are engaging presenters — and add value to the gathering as a whole. Enhance your professional life by hearing more about differing experiences in tech and open source. These keynotes are only for conference attendees, so we invite you to join us by registering.  

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Dave Hall Consulting: Announcing the DrupalSouth Diversity Scholarship

Fri, 2019/10/04 - 7:11am

Over the years I have benefited greatly from the generosity of the Drupal Community. In 2011 people sponsored me to write lines of code to get me to DrupalCon Chicago.

Today Dave Hall Consulting is a very successful small business. We have contributed code, time and content to Drupal. It is time for us to give back in more concrete terms.

We want to help someone from an under represented group take their career to the next level. This year we will provide a Diversity Scholarship for one person to attend DrupalSouth, our 2 day Gettin’ Git training course and 5 nights at the conference hotel. This will allow this person to attend the premier Drupal event in the region while also learning everything there is to know about git.

To apply for the scholarship, fill out the form by 23:59 AEST 12 October 2019 to be considered.

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Drupal Association blog: Drupal Association collaborates on new groundbreaking tech initiative as featured on TagTeamTalk

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 6:40pm

The Drupal Association collaborated on Automatic Updates, one of the Drupal Core Strategic Initiatives that was funded by the European Commission. We are excited to partner with MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program on this new initiative and share information with you about its features.

Automatic Updates has three components.

Public safety messaging

This feature pulls a feed of alerts from Drupal.org directly into Drupal's administrative interface. This helps ensure that critical Public service announcements (PSA) or Security Advisories (SA) from the Drupal security team will be seen directly by site owners. 

  • This provides yet another communication mechanism before an update so site owners can verify they are ready for an upcoming update, before it lands.

  • The feed of alerts comes directly from the feed of PSAs and SAs that the security team and release managers are already producing. 

  • This will vastly increase the ability of the Drupal project to get the word out about critical and highly critical updates - ensuring the community can respond fast. 

Readiness checks, or “Pre-flight” checks

These automated and extensible readiness checks are built into the Automatic Updates system to verify that a site doesn't have any blockers that would prevent it from being updated.

  • These checks are slated to run at least every 6 hours on a site via Drupal Cron and will inform site owners if they are ready to auto update their site.

  • Examples of the readiness checks include:

    • Is the site is running on a read-only file system?

    • Have any files included in the update been modified from what they should be? 

    • Does the site still need to run database updates, etc.? 

There’s about 8 or 9 of these readiness checks and some are warnings (Cron isn’t running frequently enough to automatically update the site in a timely manner) and some are errors (the file system is read-only). Warnings won’t stop automatic updates, but errors will.

In place updates

Finally, the key pillar of the automatic updates feature is the update itself. Drupal.org generates a signed and secure package of files which can be overlaid atop the existing site files in order to apply the update. 

  • This update package is downloaded as a signed zip file from Drupal.org. The automatic updates module on the site then compares the signature of the zip file using drupal/php-signify, which is based on BSD’s Signify and libsodium to verify the package.

  • It then proceeds to backup the files about to be updated and updates the site.

  • If all goes well, the site is upgraded. If something fails, the backup is restored.

  • Many workflows are supported and you can customize how the updates are performed. Updates can flow through your CI/CD system, be staged for review and approval, and or automatically go live.

In the past few weeks, the Drupal Association has been invited to participate in TagTeamTalks, a new recorded talk series about various tech projects supporting the Drupal project. This bi-weekly format provides real-time shared collaboration and informative discussions. 

TagTeamTalk launched its webinar focused on Automatic Updates this week. The group dives deep into the nuts and bolts of Drupal's groundbreaking Automatic Updates feature, and the strategic initiative sponsored by the Drupal Association, MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission. Guests include Preston So (prestonso), Contributing Editor at Tag1 and Moderator of the TagTeamTalks; Michael Meyers (michalemeyers), Managing Director of Tag1; Lucas Hedding (heddn), Senior Architect and Data and Application Migration Expert at Tag1; Fabian Franz (Fabianx), Senior Technical Architect and Performance Lead at Tag1; and Tim Lehnen (hestenet) CTO at the Drupal Association. Read the TagTeamTalks blog.

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand and capabilities - it has been a really powerful approach for the organizations that I’ve worked for,” said Michael. “The goal is to give our team an opportunity to talk about the cool things they’re working on and excited about and to share it with people. It helps get the word out about the latest developments in the open source communities we contribute to, and it promotes Tag1’s expertise - it helps us recruit new hires, and drives new business.” 

Meyers is the Managing Director of Tag1, and has been involved with the Drupal community for over 15 years. He was Founder and CTO of the first venture backed drupal based startup, CTO of the first Top 100 website on Drupal, and VP of Developer Relations at Acquia before joining Tag1.  “The great thing about TagTeamTalks is that it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort or energy. Our engineers are subject matter experts. We decide on a topic for the week, spend 15 minutes brainstorming a rough outline as a guide, and then record the talk. We don’t want to be rehearsed. The conversation is what makes it dynamic and enjoyable for us to do, and for people to listen to. And, the team loves it because they want to talk about what they are working on, and this format doesn’t take a lot of time away from what they enjoy doing most - writing code.” 

Hedding is one of the top 20 most active contributors to Drupal 8, and is also the Drupal Core Migrate Sub-system Maintainer, a core contribution mentor, and a D.O. project application reviewer. “Auto Updates has long been one of the most requested Drupal features, it is a capability the platform really needs that will help everyone using Drupal. Now that the alpha is available, we need to early adopters to start using it, we need feedback so we can continue to improve it. We also need to get more people involved in development, and we need to raise more money from organizations to support the project - it might sound like a simple feature, but it is actually really complex and requires a lot of effort. TagTeamTalks are a great way to get the word out and to enlist support from the Drupal community.”

Lucas added, “The European Commission provided generous funding for this initiative. The focus has been exclusively or largely around the European Commission’s features and functionality. The funding is running out very soon. There is a need for other people to help continue to build Automatic Updates by adding the features they need with their developers or by providing funding.”  

“It is critical for us to spread the message and make that call to action; that this is a community-driven effort and that without continued community support, it is not going to be as successful or as robust in the timeframe that we would like,” said Meyers.

The first year of funding from the European Commission provided for readiness checking, delivery of update 'quasi-patches,’ and a robust package signing system. The focus of this first phase of the Automatic Updates initiative has been on support for security updates in particular. 

In the second phase, as yet unfunded, we hope to extend this foundational work in the following ways:

  • Provide more robust composer support. The first phase of the automatic updates project should be compatible with composer-ready sites, but as the site’s composer.json file and vendor directory of a site change from the default, then more controls and though need to be implemented. 

  • Create an A/B front-end controller for the site being updated to further increase our confidence in the success of the update, allow for additional post-update testing and provide an easy mechanism to roll-back the update. This is also when updates will be able to move into Drupal core from the contrib project.

  • Expand to more types of updates (particularly further support for contrib updates), and also handle multiple updates in a row, for sites that are several versions behind. 

To accomplish all of this, we will continue to seek more funding and more partners. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes now that we have the first release out, ” said Hedding. “ There’s a larger community needed to get this initiative completed.”

The initial alpha version of the Automatic Updates module can be tested by the community right now. The plan is to: demonstrate Automatic Updates at DrupalCon Amsterdam this month, complete the scope of the funded work by the European Commission by the end of this year, and stabilize Automatic Updates by DrupalCon Minneapolis in May 2020. 

“The Automatic Updates initiative is designed to reduce the friction in keeping a Drupal site secure and up-to-date. The team behind the initiative is architecting a robust system, secure by design, and building components that can be shared with the broader PHP community,” said Tim Lehnen.

Many thanks to MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program for funding this initiative. The Drupal Association is proud to be a part of this initiative.

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wishdesk.com: Access control in Drupal 8 with the Rabbit Hole module

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 6:24pm
In this post, we describe how your website can benefit from one of the most interesting Drupal 8 modules for user access and page display control — the Rabbit Hole.
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mark.ie: Printing Values of a Parent Node from a Drupal Paragraphs Field

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 6:01pm
Printing Values of a Parent Node from a Drupal Paragraphs Field

Someone asked in Slack today how to print the URL of the node that a paragraph is on. I was up to the challenge.

markconroy Thu, 10/03/2019 - 17:01

First off, you can do this with php in your .theme file quite easily, but I like to keep my template items in my templates.

Here's the code I used to first get the node id, then the node title, and then create a link from these two pieces of information.

  1. {% set parent = paragraph._referringItem.parent.parent.entity %}

What this does is:

  1. Set a variable called parent - note is uses parent twice and then entity

    You won't see parent or entity in your kint/dpm/dd output, which is a pity because entity is great - load the entity you want to get information from.

  2. Use parent to then get the node id value and title value parent.nid.value and parent.title.value.
  3. Create a link using this variables.

It's quite simple really. You can now use this approach to get other fields/data from your host node.

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OpenSense Labs: OpenSense Labs as a Silver Sponsor of DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 5:34pm
OpenSense Labs as a Silver Sponsor of DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019 Jayati Fri, 10/04/2019 - 18:30

The Drupal community is one of the largest open source communities in the world. Each year, we meet at Drupal Camps, meet-ups, and other events organized around the world. 

But the biggest event, DrupalCon, happens twice every year. It is a platform where developers, designers, and marketers come together to explore the most ambitious and cutting edge case studies. It offers prospective users, a glimpse into “the art of the possible” when you choose Drupal. It is a collaborative event where anyone can learn to use Drupal to make the Internet a better place. 

This year, OpenSense Labs is a silver sponsor of DrupalCon Europe 2019 to be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  Join us for the Sessions


What you will learn?

  • How to divide the right content strategy for your agency 
  • Which form of content works best?
  • How do you measure the success of your content strategy
  • Creating the right lean team for helping you achieve the content goals?
  • Which channel should you use, to market your content?



Theming Drupal 8 is a challenging job and not many are aware of how to smartly theme the e-commerce sites. Here are some major components which we will focus on in this session:

  • Product pages
  • Product-level field variables 
  • product variation level variables 
  • Checkout flows 
  • Creating flow as per requirement 
  • Customizing checkout progress 
Be in touch!

We can’t wait to talk to you about the amazing offers our team has for you. Ask us about our Agency++ programs to scale higher and discover more about higher-ed and e-learning systems. We have loads to unveil at DrupalCon Amsterdam!
So, swing by our booth and our team would love to meet and connect with you.

You can register now to be a part of the event.

blog banner blog image DrupalCon DrupalCon Europe DrupalCon Amsterdam DrupalCon 2019 Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? Off
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Drudesk: Smart internal linking with D8 Editor Advanced Link module

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 4:30pm

The proper use of internal linking can turn any website into a powerful marketing tool. It is a vital part of effective content writing strategies. In this post, we explore why it is so, as well as review a helpful module for smart content linking in Drupal 8 — D8 Editor Advanced Link. Let’s go.

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Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8.8.0-alpha1 will be released the week of October 14th

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 11:13am
Drupal 8.8.0-alpha1 will be released the week of October 14th

In preparation for the minor release, Drupal 8.8.x will enter the alpha phase the week of October 14th, 2019. Core developers should plan to complete changes that are only allowed in minor releases prior to the alpha release. The 8.8.0-alpha1 deadline for most core patches is October 11. (More information on alpha and beta releases.)

  • Developers and site owners can begin testing the alpha after its release.
  • The 8.9.x and 9.0.x branches of core will be created, and future feature and API additions will be targeted against that branch instead of 8.8.x. All outstanding issues filed against 8.8.x will be automatically migrated to 8.9.x.
  • Once 8.9.x is branched, new alpha experimental modules will be removed from the 8.8.x codebase (so their development will continue in 8.9.x only). The Help Topics and Config Environment modules are new alpha stability modules in 8.8.x.
  • All issues filed against 8.7.x will then be migrated to 8.8.x, and subsequent bug reports should be targeted against the 8.8.x branch.
  • During the alpha phase, core issues will be committed according to the following policy:
    1. Most issues that are allowed for patch releases will be committed to 8.8.x, 8.9.x, and 9.0.x.
    2. Most issues that are only allowed in minor releases will be committed to 8.9.x and 9.0.x only. A few strategic issues may be backported to 8.8.x, but only at committer discretion after the issue is fixed in 8.9.x (so leave them set to 8.9.x unless you are a committer), and only up until the beta deadline.





Drupal 8.8.0-beta1 will be released the week of November 4th

Roughly two weeks after the alpha release, the first beta release will be created. All the restrictions of the alpha release apply to beta releases as well. The release of the first beta is a firm deadline for all feature and API additions. Even if an issue is pending in the Reviewed & Tested by the Community (RTBC) queue when the commit freeze for the beta begins, it will be committed to the next minor release only.
The release candidate phase will begin the week of November 18th, and we will post further details at that time. See the summarized key dates in the release cycle, allowed changes during the Drupal 8 release cycle, and Drupal 8 backwards compatibility and internal API policy for more information.

Bugfixes and security support of Drupal 8.6.x and 8.7.x

Drupal 8 core provides security coverage for the previous minor release as well as the newest minor release. Accordingly, security releases for Drupal 8.7.x will be made available until June 4th when Drupal 8.9.0 is released. Bugfixes that are not security-related will only be committed until Drupal 8.7.x's final bugfix window on November 6th.
Normal bugfix support for Drupal 8.6.x ended in May 2019. However security support is provided for 8.6.x until the release of Drupal 8.8.0 on December 4th, 2019.







Note: June 4, 2020 is both the scheduled release date of 8.9.0 and also the target release date for Drupal 9.0.0. If 9.0.0 misses the June window, its fallback release date is December 2, 2020. Support and security coverage for 8.7.x, 8.8.x, and 8.9.x will remain the same in either scenario.

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Code Karate: Deploy content changes for your Gatsby Drupal site on Netlify with Build Hooks

Thu, 2019/10/03 - 6:58am
Episode Number: 9

In the last episode you learned how to your previously created Gatsby site with Drupal content and to Netlify. In this episode, you learn how to use the Drupal 8 Build Hooks module to trigger automatic rebuilds on your Netlify website. You will learn how to trigger a rebuild when content is saved, when Drupal cron runs, or upon manual request from within your Drupal website.

Tags: GatsbyJSReactDrupalDrupal 8Drupal Planet
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Fuse Interactive: Changing the Rules for Drupal 8

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 9:00pm
Changing the Rules for Drupal 8 Since moving development to Drupal 8 for all our new builds one of the modules that we relied on heavily for many of our Drupal 7 builds has been in a bit of a state of disarray in it’s Drupal 8 version. That module would be Rules. What was once a powerful tool for creating conditional reactions to specific events on your site is now something I actively avoid having to use on a build. Documentation is sparse, many features are missing or barely work without the help of multiple patches and the UI is just plain unintuitive. All of these issues leave you taking shots in the dark to achieve the functionality you’re looking for. Niall Morgan Wed, 10/02/2019 - 12:00
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Amazee Labs: DrupalCon Amsterdam – Here We Come!

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 6:27pm
DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019 is almost here and Amazee Labs has been busily preparing to share our most valuable practices at this year’s open source, community-driven event. DrupalCon Amsterdam gathers more than 1,500 of the top digital minds that use Drupal for collaboration, knowledge sharing, friendship, and moving their projects forward. As proud sponsors, presenters, and attendees, we can’t wait to bask in so much shared expertise, to help create collaborative solutions, build more relationships, and shape the future of Drupal, open source and the world.
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Acro Media: Top 5 Challenges of Drupal Custom Ecommerce Development and an Ideal Solution

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 4:45pm

With its open source software and proven technology, Drupal is the first choice for many business owners when it comes to deciding a framework for their digital commerce business. After all, it’s a great CMS and ecommerce can be added to it through custom-built development (although custom might not be best, more on that later).

So, how about your business? Are you using Drupal and have an integrated or custom ecommerce component? Or, maybe you’re still deciding on which way to go to add ecommerce functionality? If so, let’s talk about the features that you probably wish to have in your website:

  • Are you looking for limitless product presentation and customization options?
  • Do you have plans to set up multichannel marketing and automation for your website?
  • Are you planning to integrate third party systems or run custom social media campaigns?
  • Do you need the flexibility to scale your website with endless options?

If you replied “yes” to any of the above questions, I would say custom-built ecommerce probably isn’t your best option. Nor do I think you need a pre-packaged SaaS solution, either. Before I suggest what you might want to do, let’s first look specifically at why custom ecommerce can present its own difficult challenges you definitely want to avoid.

5 challenges of a custom ecommerce system

Depending upon the complexity of requirements, it can take anywhere from months to years to set up a proper ecommerce site, no joke. Let’s say you’ve decided on building custom ecommerce functionality into your Drupal site. You’ve hired a developer, or maybe an agency or an internal team, to build it and have been able to get the ecommerce functionality that your business needed to get started. Great!

Now, after a year or so, you start thinking of scaling it by adding more features and functionality. This is where you may start running into challenges. Let me outline some of the more critical challenges you may face.

1. Handcuffed to an internal development team or outside agency

This can be a touchy subject but is probably the biggest liability for a company using custom development, so let’s start here. Ideally you’d still want to use that original development team who has all the knowledge of how your ecommerce component was made. But what if you can’t get the same developers or what if you have a falling-out with the agency who built it? Imagine how difficult it might be to onboard new developers when you yourself don’t know the code. Without a predefined standard or framework, how your ecommerce was built is anyone's guess. Significant cost will be added just to get any new developers up-to-speed.

2. Slow to implement new features and/or functionality

If you’re constantly feeling like you are reacting to the market rather than being a proactive innovator, this can be a direct cause of custom development. Simply put, everything you add to your website needs to be built and nothing is ready-made that you can just plug in. There is no time saving options that you can take advantage of to speed things up.

3. Inability to integrate with desired third party platforms

Integrations are one of the biggest benefits of an open source platform so it can be a real problem if you’re not able to integrate quickly and effectively.

Consider the cost that you have to bear when you are introducing something as simple as a new payment system or a new tax rule. Something that should be easy might take far too much time than it’s worth because you don’t have access to an underlying framework that was made specifically to make building these integrations faster.

Or maybe a robust new marketing tool comes in to the market and if you want to take advantage of it by integrating it with your ecommerce site. Let peace be upon you… this larger integration could be a monumental task. Every integration you require means more custom development, more cost, and lengthy timelines to completion.

4. Sacrificing the front-end customer experience

Custom development is built by developers first and so the actual look and presentation is often sacrificed for functionality. This isn’t meant to be a knock on developers, but the simple truth of the matter is that building code and building layout and design are two entirely different specialties. It’s very rare that you find someone with both skill sets. Without good UX and design, your customers will not get the front-end experience they expect which could impact your business performance.

If the makeup of your team includes designers and frontend developers, great! This would alleviate presentation issues, but these extra specialists will add additional expense to your custom build.

5. Unable to take advantage of the community

If all you have is custom functionality, you could be spending a lot of time and money developing features and/or integrations that potentially already would have existed if you had gone a different route. If you think about it, one of the great things about Drupal in general is all of the community-made modules that you have access to for extending your site’s functionality. While you’ll still be able to use them with your Drupal site, the custom ecommerce side of things doesn’t have that benefit. Everything you need must be built and probably only your team of developers can do it.

If not custom development, then what?

So what do you choose when custom development is a hassle and I’ve already mentioned that I’m not pushing you towards a SaaS solution. Well, my suggestion is that you should consider using the Drupal-native ecommerce module, Drupal Commerce. I mean, why marry off your Drupal site with someone else when we have fully compatible Drupal Commerce with us. It has been a proven ecommerce framework since 2011 (view usage stats) and lets you build a secure, scalable, SEO and mobile friendly ecommerce site in whatever way your business needs! It’s framework has been made for extending. It’s documented and has a large community centered around it (which Acro Media is a part of). Maybe you’ve heard negative rumblings about it in the past, and if so, I think you should look again.

Here’s how I justify my view, or rather, how Drupal Commerce can help you fulfill your ecommerce requirements.

Top 7 reasons why you should use Drupal Commerce

Below are the top 7 reasons why you should be selecting Drupal Commerce over any custom or off-the-shelf hosted solutions out there.

1. Commerce and content will easily get along

When we use Drupal Commerce with Drupal, it will let you manage your content strategy right within your ecommerce platform. You can easily manage complex relationship between products and other contents in the site. The CMS part will let you create custom landing pages to attract the attention of users while flexibility in the ecommerce part will make it easier for a site owner to manage new products and its workflow.

2. Requires less development effort

When you need a content site as well as an ecommerce site, With out-of-the-box modules and pre-configured distributions, a Drupal Commerce store can be easily setup without much hassle. Plus, when custom development is required, Drupal’s strict code standards ensure that any competent Drupal developer can easily jump-in and understand what’s going on. You’re not stuck with just a single developer or agency to manage your project. You have the freedom to shop around.

3. Highly customizable and scalable

Unlike most SaaS systems, Drupal and Drupal Commerce can be customized according to the business’s needs. Even though Drupal and Drupal Commerce are architected to be extended limitlessly, all the extensions follow a general standard. This makes sure that when the next person with knowledge in Drupal Commerce comes along, either from a development or administrator standpoint, this person can handle the software easily. New features or integrations can be performed faster which takes the system scalable to the next level.

From a performance perspective, Drupal and Drupal Commerce are more than capable of scaling to meet the needs of small business all the way to enterprise. Need proof, we’ve tested their performance and you can see the results here.

4. Integration with external systems

This is the core strength of Drupal. Drupal modules have been built so that they can interact with one another easily. If you need to connect your ecommerce to payment gateways, marketplaces, CRMs, analytics tools, SEO tools, shipping providers, the list goes on, they can be done as quickly as within a few hours (integration depending, of course). Drupal takes an API first approach which is what you want for integrations now and in the future.

5. Free and open source

Unlike proprietary ecommerce systems, Drupal Commerce is open source and there is no licensing cost or usage limits. Unlike other open source solutions, there are no paid modules within the Drupal community. You have access to it all and can extend and customize it in whatever you like. By saving money on the software, you can instead invest that money in your Drupal based platform and your own business needs.

6. Community support

Drupal has an immensely large community with thousands of active users helping to build and maintain the core software and its extensions. The features you require for your site could be already created by someone else and available on Drupal.org, waiting for you to take advantage of. Various IRC channels, blogs, forums, agencies, etc. will help you in case you are blocked or need advice on almost anything related to Drupal.

7. Solid future version support

With the release of Drupal 8, we are quite clear on how migrations to the next version will happen. If your site is already using Drupal 8, then you don’t have to worry about Drupal 8 being unsupported by community because you will easily be able to migrate your site to Drupal 9 (and future versions) when the time comes.

It doesn’t mean that your Drupal 7 site will be isolated either. The stable Migrate module in Drupal 8 will make a migration of your Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8 easier than ever before, saving time and money when adopting the newer version.

View a Drupal Commerce demo

To help show you what a Drupal Commerce ecommerce solution looks like, check out our fully functional Drupal Commerce demo site, Urban Hipster.

Here you can click around and “buy” products just like you would using any real ecommerce site. You will see content pages, a best-practice product catalog, a variety of product types, and more. This feature rich demo was made to give you an idea of what your Drupal Commerce site could do, but of course this is just one example. The possibilities are endless.

Plan your move to Drupal Commerce

Leave custom development and integrated ecommerce frameworks behind by starting your move to Drupal Commerce today. Acro Media is an ecommerce consulting and development company that specializes in open source and Drupal Commerce. Take a look at our Drupal Commerce solutions today and let us know if you have any questions. We’d love to help you understand if Drupal Commerce is a good fit for your business.

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Mediacurrent: Drupal Behind the Firewall with Gatsby

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 4:17pm

Mediacurrent works with a variety of customers across many verticals to build secure Drupal applications. We sometimes encounter strict hosting policies, including on-premise requirements.

One of the great benefits of decoupling Drupal from the web frontend is the ability to move Drupal’s CMS to a secured environment that is only accessible from a VPN or private network. Statically generated frontends like Gatsby further reduce vulnerabilities to provide a robust security architecture overall.

This article will outline three options for securing Drupal, two of which include hosting the CMS behind a Firewall only accessible by a user on a secured network. The third option is the more common alternative that provides some security but does not completely lock down the CMS.

 All options provide added security benefits over a traditional hosted Drupal application. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each approach. 

Option 1 - Self-hosted
 

The first option runs completely on self-hosted hardware, which could be stood up on-premise if so desired. While this type of approach is becoming increasingly rare, there are still contracts in the government and financial space that require all self-hosted applications. 

This method will keep Drupal locked down on a web server behind a firewall that only privileged CMS users can access. GitLab is a great choice when Git repositories need to be self-managed but still require robust features that GitHub, BitBucket and GitLab’s cloud offerings provide. 

A Jenkins server can be stood up to handle the automation of Gatsby builds. This includes compiling the artifacts that will be deployed to the public web server on the right-hand side. For deployments, a read-only Git deploy key is a secure way of grabbing the latest Gatsby release.

Pros:
  • Ability to completely lock down the CMS environment and Git repositories

Cons:
  • Must maintain web servers, Gitlab server, and automation (Jenkins)
  • Most expensive solution to stand up and maintain

Why you would use this solution:
  • Strict security requirements
  • On-premise requirements for servers

 

Option 2 - Self-hosted + Cloud
 

The second option keeps the CMS web server behind a firewall while leveraging Cloud services for the rest of the architecture. As with the first solution, only privileged users will be able to access the CMS server. In this scenario, a Cloud Git service like GitHub will host the Gatsby source files and Netlify’s static host will run the compiled website. Netlify’s CLI can be used by the webserver behind the file server to rebuild artifacts when content is updated. A Jenkins server is a good way to handle the automation of Gatsby builds.

Pros:
  • Relatively straightforward to set up
  • An easier solution to maintain than completely self-hosted
  • Saves cost over a self-hosted solution
  • Leverage great features from Netlify (High availability, A/B testing, etc.)
Cons:
  • Requires web server maintenance for CMS behind the firewall

Why you would use this solution:
  • Balance security while leveraging Cloud
  • A desire for CMS to be completely locked down from outside access


 

Option 3 - Private with Cloud
 

The last solution will not use a Firewall but instead obscure access to the webserver and in some cases add basic auth for additional protections. A CDN is recommended for inline images so that media is server from a service like Cloudfront instead of directly from the server. This method will leverage a Drupal managed host provider like Acquia or Pantheon.

Pros:
  • Able to use image CDN for inline Media
  • Can add light protections like basic auth
  • No server maintenance
  • Managed host providers provide enterprise support and features

 

Cons:
  • Server is still publicly accessible, so less secure than solution behind firewall

Why you would use this solution:
  • CMS does not need to be locked down
  • Security through obscurity, CMS server not indexed which shields from most attacks
Inline Images

One challenge with Gatsby is that it won’t automatically handle inline images coming from Drupal’s CMS. Gatsby does convert images that are served from Drupal’s JSON:API but it does not do anything with image paths that exist in say the body Wysiwyg HTML for any particular page. 

One option is to use the TUI Editor module that converts these images to Gatsby image assets: https://www.drupal.org/project/tui_editor

Another option would be to integrate the Drupal Amazon S3 module. This can be combined with Amazon Cloudfront to serve inline images from a secure server. Whenever a file gets saved it would be pushed up to Amazon S3 through an API and then made publicly available by Cloudfront. The AmazonS3 module allows developers to rewrite image URLs to the publicly accessible URLs that will be served by Gatsby.

Your Feedback

We hope that you have found this article helpful. Want to know more? Talk to our team of experts to discuss a solution that works for your organization.

Comments or questions? Hit me up at @drupalninja

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Agiledrop.com Blog: Top Drupal blog posts from September 2019

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 12:29pm

September was another exciting month for the Drupal community, with quite a lot of important pieces of news. Our recap of the top Drupal blog posts from last month covers these, as well as some interesting posts by Drupalers concerning the future of Drupal and open source in general. Enjoy!

READ MORE
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Code Karate: Deploying your Gatsby Drupal Site to Netlify

Wed, 2019/10/02 - 6:12am
Episode Number: 8

In this episode, you will learn how to take your previously created Gatsby site with Drupal content and deploy it to Netlify. Netlify is a great hosting service that allows you to get started hosting your Gatsby site for free. It also provides automated build tools that will build a production version of your Gatsby site from a Git repository.

Tags: GatsbyJSReactDrupalDrupal 8Drupal Planet
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Mediacurrent: Open Waters Podcast Ep 5: Getting Into Gatsby With Jason Lengstorf

Tue, 2019/10/01 - 7:22pm

Meet Gatsby, an open source React-based framework for building super fast websites and apps. 

In this episode, we talk with Jason Lengstorf to discuss the GatsbyJS project and what it solves.


Audio Download Link

Project Pick: https://gatsbyjs.org

Interview

  • What's your role at Gatsby, when did you start?
  • How did you get involved in the project? 
  • What did you do before Gatsby?
  • What is Gatsby?
  • How do you feel about the response from the community about Gatsby?
  • Did you think it would take off as it has?
  • Why should an org choose it over a traditional CMS?
  • What separates Gatsby from other static site generators?
  • What features is the team currently working on?
  • Closing comments
Links: 
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