Aten Design Group: An innovative Drupal 7 / Drupal 8 commerce solution

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/09/08 - 6:52pm
An innovative Drupal 7 / Drupal 8 commerce solution jenna Wed, 09/08/2021 - 10:52 Drupal Drupal 8 A Drupal e-commerce project

Drupal Commerce has been around for more than a decade. More than fifty thousand sites report using Commerce, and its maintainers have kept the suite of modules modern, flexible, and robust over the years for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8/9 with the latest code for the Drupal 7 version released as recently as earlier this year.

The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) came to us in 2018 with an existing investment in a Drupal 7 Commerce site that had thousands of hours poured into it in terms of configuration, custom development, and order management. At the time their staff were manually entering email and telephone orders into the Drupal Commerce backend, and were hoping to upgrade to a full-featured, payment gateway enabled online store. They also wanted to develop a brand new public facing NCEO.org that better captured their organization and connected users with their content.

At that time building a brand new public-facing website and upgrading an existing complex online store presented an interesting problem. Do we continue building on top of Drupal 7 knowing it will reach end-of-life in a couple of years? Or do we bite the bullet and invest in a new Drupal 8 solution with its promise of a future-proof approach to website development?

Spoiler alert — the answer was both.

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8: The best of both worlds

NCEO was using a custom Drupal 7 implementation of Commerce and RedHen CRM to manage nearly a thousand products, tens of thousands of customers, hundreds of thousands of order records, and complex coupon and membership pricing logic. Their existing platform represented an extensive investment — and their staff were already trained and proficient on the existing suite of tools. While the tides were definitely turning towards all things Drupal 8 in 2018, completely rebuilding the platform, migrating records, and training staff on a new system was a tough sell. And it was the wrong solution.

The right solution was to protect the existing investment, and building a lightweight Drupal 7 / Drupal 8 integration could do just that. Users needed to be able to browse NCEO’s content and products on a new Drupal 8 website, and then be seamlessly handed-off to a Drupal 7 Commerce backend to make payments or review order details. Luckily, Drupal’s architecture lends itself to just this sort of integration and synchronization across platforms.

A touch of tech

After extending NCEO’s Drupal 7 Commerce implementation to include an intuitive, turnkey customer checkout experience, all that was left to do was wire that backend to the brand new Drupal 8 NCEO.org that would roll out the following year.

The solution had to synchronize both users and products. The NCEO team would continue managing their products on the Drupal 7 platform, but those product updates would need to automatically post to the Drupal 8 site where users would browse them. Additionally, users would need to see their custom membership pricing on the Drupal 8 site, and maintain their session and membership data as they were seamlessly directed to the Drupal 7 platform for checkout.

Single sign-on & user data synchronization

We used the CAS module to create the “behind the scenes” single sign-on between the two sites, and to help synchronize the user role data that translates to special membership pricing and offers. When a user completes a membership purchase (on the Dupal 7 portion of the experience) their new user role is synchronized back to the Drupal 8 website — ensuring that they see the appropriate discounts and membership offers while browsing products, and later receive those discounts at checkout.

Product synchronization via the hook system

The NCEO team continues to manage products and customer records on the Drupal 7 portion of the platform. On the Drupal 7 side we built a simple webhook system that posts product update data using Drupal’s drupal_http_request($url, $options) everytime a product is created, updated, or deleted. We capture those actions with the insert, update, and delete node hooks available in the Drupal 7 API. In essence, every time someone makes a change to a product managed on the Drupal 7 platform, those changes are securely transmitted to the public facing Drupal 8 site.

When the data posts to the public-facing NCEO.org Drupal 8 site the products are updated almost immediately, ensuring that users are consistently presented with the absolute latest product information. Product updates on the Drupal 8 side are accomplished by defining a controller to accept data at a specific endpoint or URL — I wrote a pretty detailed post about capturing webhooks in Drupal 8 sometime ago, complete with code samples.

The integration is super lightweight and the end product is a seamless checkout experience. The solution lets the existing platform continue working as designed while rebuilding the primary public facing website with the more modern, evergreen Drupal 8.

Value before technology

As a developer there’s often an urge to design and build systems using the latest and greatest iterations of our favorite technologies. As the Director of Engineering at Aten, it’s important for me to consider how to achieve our clients’ goals in a way that’s cost effective, secure, and sustainable. Often that requires a mix of bleeding edge technology and creative out-of-the-box solutions that keep the people using the software at the center of the process.

In this case we were not only able to protect an existing investment while delivering a brand-new Drupal 8 website, but also built out a flexible architecture that will be super easy to upgrade in the future. In place of a Drupal 7 Commerce and RedHen CRM backend, NCEO could easily drop in another customer records solution to plug into their Drupal 8 site and store — all with hardly any changes to the Drupal 8 side. Even now in 2021 the solution works great — and as Drupal users everywhere decide what to do with their Drupal 7 assets, NCEO is in a great place to consider next steps for the commerce administration aspect of their platform without having to think about a complete website rebuild.

Interested in learning more about what innovative digital solutions can do for your organization? We’d love to hear from you.

Joel Steidl
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robertroose.com: Creating a more accessible Drupal website

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/09/08 - 4:06pm

Making your Drupal website more accessible doesn’t have to be hard. With a few tweaks you can make your website better for everybody.

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Dries Buytaert: Acquia to acquire Widen

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/09/08 - 11:23am

I'm excited to announce that Acquia has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Widen, a digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) company.

It's not hard to understand how Widen fits Acquia's strategy. Our goal is to build the best Digital Experience Platform (DXP). Content is at the heart of any digital experience. By adding a DAM and PIM to our platform, our customers will be able to create better content, more easily. That will result in better customer experiences. Plain and simple.

Widen is for organizations with larger marketing teams managing one or more brands. These teams create thousands of "digital assets": images, videos, PDFs and much more. Those digital assets are used on websites, mobile applications, in-store displays, presentations, etc. Managing thousands of files, plus all the workflows to support them, is difficult without the help of a DAM.

For commerce purposes, marketers need to correlate product images with product information like pricing, sizing, or product specifications. To do so, Widen offers a PIM. Widen built their PIM on top of their DAM — an approach that is both clever and unique. Widen's PIM can ingest product content from proprietary systems, master data management (MDM) platforms, data lakes, and more. From there, marketers can aggregate, synthesize, and syndicate product content across digital channels.

In short, organizations need a lot of content to do business. And online commerce can't exist without product information. It's why we are so excited about Widen, and the ability to add a DAM and PIM to our product portfolio.

Because content is at the heart of any digital experience, we will build deep integrations between Widen and Acquia's DXP. So in addition to acquiring Widen, we are making a large investment in growing Widen's engineering team. That investment will go towards extending the existing Widen module for Drupal, and creating integrations with Acquia's products: Acquia Site Studio, Acquia Campaign Studio (Mautic), Acquia Personalization, and more. Digital asset management will be a core building block of our DXP.

Needless to say, we will continue to support and invest in Widen working with other Content Management Systems and Digital Experience Platforms. We are building an open DXP; one of our key principles is that customers should be able to integrate with their preferred technologies, and that might not always be ours. By growing the engineering team, we can focus on building Drupal and Acquia integrations without disrupting the existing roadmap and customer commitments.

A few other facts that might be of interest:

So last but not least, I'd like to welcome all of Widen's customers and employees to the Acquia family. I'm excited to see what we will accomplish together.

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Drupal Association blog: A case study in how Drupal contribution is good for business: CI&T

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 9:43pm

This guest post comes from Paulo Herinque Cota Starling, who explains how CI&T made contribution to the Drupal project a central part of its work culture, and how that has improved the Drupal talent on their team and brought them more business. 


For four years, CI&T has made its mark as a top Drupal contributor in Dries Buytaert's report "Who sponsors Drupal development?".

In 2016, we created internal initiatives to get noticed by the Drupal Community with the quality and volume of our contributions. Today, we see the results of these efforts, with recognition as a Drupal leader and increased visibility for the CI&T brand through the Drupal marketplace. This commitment has directly helped us win new businesses.

To manage our efforts, we have an internal Drupal Competence Office (DCO), a team responsible for leading Drupal community contributions and building relationships with the broader Drupal community. The DCO operates as a bridge between the Drupal community and CI&T development teams tackling different pipes. DCO's developers are focused on solving various module issues and Drupal core issues, organizing and updating all Drupal training materials, and providing training support for new developers joining CI&T.

New DCO members who are not knowledgeable in Drupal often start working on less complex module issues. These new developers gain significant knowledge as they discover the modules available in the community, their structure, what Drupal offers out-of-the-box, how to extend its functionality, and how to search for information in various channels. We also often welcome new people at the DCO who are trained, contribute to Drupal, and are ready to work on a project at CI&T.

In addition to our Drupal team, we also undertake internal contribution campaigns, allowing all CI&Ters outside the DCO to feel motivated to contribute. These campaigns usually take place once a year and last approximately six months so everyone has an opportunity to contribute and be recognized. After the end of a campaign, people who made the most significant contributions receive awards. For this year's campaign, the first-place winner will take home a new PlayStation 5!

These internal campaigns are a win-win situation for both CI&T and the greater Drupal Community. Internally, we recognize the contributors while at the same time increasing the number of overall contributions made to the Drupal Community. Contributing to Drupal for the first time can be tricky. It's common for CI&T to run 'dojos' to teach everyone interested in getting a Drupal environment up and running quickly, creating or finding an issue, creating a patch or a merge request and reviewing the changes made in an issue. The participants can also collaborate with documentation, camp organizing, and support requests. 

Drupal has been a widely used technology in customer projects in recent years. In addition to being an open-source framework and significantly lowering our costs, CI&T's contributions to the Drupal Community help the company's business to grow. When talking to potential customers, we're frequently asked about our current contributions, which modules are we a maintainers of, and whether we help in core or not. If the client asks about this issue, we know it will be a significant factor when deciding whether to close a contract with CI&T or another company.

All our initiatives for the Drupal Community aim to increase our employees' knowledge so that they can work on projects, help win new clients and increase the overall quality of Drupal. CI&T, in turn, can continue to offer innovative solutions that meet the needs of our clients.

Editor's note: We at the Drupal Association want to congratulate CI&T on taking the initiative to put their Drupal Competence Office together within their organization. We believe that other organizations in the community can learn from their example, and create a rising tide of contribution to raise all ships in the Drupal ecosystem - building both better Drupal software, and executing better projects for Drupal clients.

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Morpht: Makers, takers and altruism

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 9:09pm
A look at the concepts of Makers and Takers and how an understanding of altruism can help open source projects such as Drupal adapt to the future.
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DesignHammer: DesignHammer Wins Four 2021 Muse Creative Awards

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 7:06pm

We recently entered the Muse Creative Awards for the first time ever. Two recent DesignHammer web projects ended up taking home four awards in the 2021 competition, including two Gold Awards, and two Silver Awards!
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Acro Media: Drupal’s admin UI & how it compares to WordPress | Acro Media

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 4:00pm

One of Acro Media’s very own, Mike Hubbard, breaks down two of the world’s best-known content management systems. Full of detailed analysis and side-by-side comparisons of the WordPress and Drupal CMS admin user interfaces. Read on to learn everything you didn’t know you didn’t know.

Side-by-side: WordPress and Drupal admin UI comparison quick links.

Click on the links below to jump to each section and see which CMS comes out on top.

Content management systems (CMSs) are the engine that drives content creation on the web today. They form the foundation that we build on for publishing and sharing information, creating digital experiences and conducting online retail. WordPress and Drupal are staples in the CMS world and they have both been around a long time. WordPress is known for its intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Drupal is known for its flexibility and complexity. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, the usability gap between WordPress and Drupal is changing. This article will show you the current state of Drupal’s admin user experience in a side-by-side comparison with WordPress, the most widely used CMS. If you’re familiar with one CMS but not the other, this comparison is also a good introduction to the other.

TL;DR: The primary goal of this article is to dispel the perception that Drupal is widely different and harder for administrators to use than WordPress. If you don’t care about the background behind this perception, just skip down to the direct comparison.

WordPress is easy, Drupal is hard… why does this perception exist

But first, a little background. The dominant CMS in terms of the number of sites running on it is WordPress. W3Techs estimates that WordPress powers about 62% of all websites that use a CMS, meaning multiple millions of websites are using it.

Why is WordPress so popular? WordPress started as a blogging engine with a focus on being easy to use. This proved to be incredibly important because it meant that nearly anyone could get a WordPress site up and running fast and be able to use it with little-to-no training. The idea caught fire with both individuals and local businesses who just wanted a simple, low-cost website that others could find online. Web developers and agencies also finally had a framework that allowed their clients to make simple content edits within an admin environment that was friendly.

Of course, today, businesses can use WordPress for much more than a simple website, but ideally, that is still the best use case. The perception that WordPress is easy to use stands true. It may not be the solution if you have more complex needs.

But, dear reader, this article isn’t meant to praise and promote WordPress. Instead, much of this article will focus on another popular CMS, Drupal

Drupal is a fantastic CMS and is incredibly powerful when used correctly. Drupal is the go-to solution for providing a robust solution for today’s CMS-driven website development in many web development circles. It is thriving as the #3 ranked CMS with about 3% of the internet population, equalling hundreds of thousands of websites using it. 

Why isn’t Drupal more popular? Well, anyone who knows Drupal (and even many who don’t) will tell you that Drupal is best suited for large websites with high traffic and complex requirements. Universities, government, nonprofits and online retailers are a sample of those who use Drupal. Out-of-the-box Drupal isn’t as ready to use as WordPress, so it’s unlikely a suitable fit for simple websites. For non-developer individuals, configuring Drupal is a steep learning curve. Local web agencies take more time to set up, which means they must charge more. These reasons alone essentially take Drupal out of the running for many websites, so for Drupal, it’s more about the use case than mass adoption.

With that said, Drupal’s ability to be configured and developed means it can handle nearly any situation required of it, whether selling products for enterprise businesses or being the integration layer between multiple platforms. While this inherent flexibility is excellent for software developers, Drupal’s perception of complexity, combined with a historically underwhelming admin experience, has cemented a reputation that Drupal is unintuitive and difficult to use for the end-user. Much like WordPress, Drupal’s reputation preceded itself. In Drupal’s case, however, this reputation isn’t as flattering, and it’s something that our sales and outreach teams often battle.

For Drupal, it’s time for change

Like WordPress, Drupal is open source software. It’s free to use, and anyone has full access to the underlying code to modify and build on. Both platforms have a core team for advancing key initiatives and a massive community of individuals and organizations that support the initiatives while also adding additional functionality through plugins (WordPress lingo) or modules (Drupal lingo).

While usability has always been important to WordPress (since it started as a blogging platform), Drupal was historically more focused on being open and flexible. Its user experience has continuously improved with each version release, but late 2018 marked the beginning of a big push towards modernizing the Drupal admin user interface (UI). Drupal is an amazing software, and it’s time that the admin experience catches up.

Introducing Claro, Drupal’s new admin UI


Claro interface design mockup courtesy of Drupal.org

Claro is the new admin theme being built as part of the Admin UI Modernization initiative. It’s included with every Drupal 8 site, new and old, and can be enabled right now if you so choose. Just be aware that it is currently considered “experimental” while progress continues to be made. It’s not yet in its finished state, but you can view the development roadmap here to see what is still left to do.

Side-by-side: WordPress & Drupal Admin UI Comparison

On to the comparison!

For WordPress, I’m using version 5.3.2 (released Dec. 18, 2019) which comes with its own Twenty Twenty default theme and content.

For Drupal, I’m using version 8.8.1 (also released Dec. 19, 2019. How about that!) and the new, but experimental, Claro admin theme. If you’re looking at this at a later date, some aspects may be different (for the better!) as the development of the theme continues. I’ve also installed Drupal using the official Umami demo install profile so that I have a theme and some content to work with.

In each of the 10 comparison categories below, I’ll give my opinion on which CMS has the edge out-of-the-box and why I think this. I’ve used both platforms and do have some bias towards Drupal, but I’ll do my best to keep that in check.

Category quick links
  1. Admin toolbar
  2. Login dashboard
  3. Managing media
  4. Creating pages
  5. Editing pages
  6. Managing widgets and blocks
  7. Managing menus
  8. Managing users, roles and permissions
  9. Site status report
  10. Plugins and modules
  11. WordPress & Drupal comparison summary
1. Admin toolbar

The admin toolbar is always present on the page of both WordPress and Drupal.

WordPress

In WordPress, a single toolbar is used as a jump-off point for common admin pages, but you can also start the content creation process and access your account profile and information.

Drupal

Drupal has a similar admin toolbar except you have access to everything, including creating new content. Every admin page that your user role has permission to view is available through this menu. While it’s more to look at initially, experienced users enjoy fewer clicks to get where they want to go.

Edge: Drupal

While the learning curve to know where everything is might be a bit steeper, experienced Drupal users enjoy being able to access everything in one familiar way. With that said, new users may find this larger menu intimidating.

2. Login dashboard

After logging in, the login dashboard is the first page you see. WordPress and Drupal both take a different approach to their login dashboard.

WordPress

WordPress has a robust dashboard right out of the gate. This dashboard takes admins away from the site frontend and into an interface that only they can see. The left side has a larger menu for accessing the rest of the admin interface. The main content area mix of useful information about your site and information specific to WordPress as a whole, such as training resources and upcoming WordPress events. The panes on this page can be toggled on and off and plugins can add new panes.

Drupal

This is the first area where Drupal takes a different approach. Instead of a robust dashboard, you don’t actually get much of anything. The admin toolbar already gives you access to the entire site, so Drupal keeps you on the website frontend and instead shows you your “user page”. This page is entirely customizable although you will most likely need third-party or IT support to do so. It’s an open canvas to do with as you like. For ecommerce, you might show a customer their information, recently viewed products and their last order placed. For content creators, you might show a custom dashboard with quick links to their common tasks. What you do here is entirely up to you.

Edge: WordPress

Although it’s not entirely useful, WordPress actually has a dashboard which is a nice touch for new users. Drupal's clean slate offers a lot of exciting potential for admins and visitors alike, but any potential must first be realized before this page is useful.

3. Managing media

Images, videos, documents and more are uploaded and organized within a media manager. Both WordPress and Drupal offer a convenient content editor plugin that makes selecting and adding media into content easy.

WordPress

WordPress really defined the way media can be managed within a CMS. Their interface for managing media contains a handy drag-to-upload feature and each piece of media is shown in a grid format by default. Media can be filtered by date, type and name.

Drupal

Drupal admittedly isn’t as clean as WordPress in this interface yet but its functionality is essentially the same and solid for most users. The visual interface will improve as the development of Claro progresses. By default, Drupal displays media in a list, but you can toggle between list and grid. There are also similar filtering options. Like all other aspects of Drupal, advanced users can customize media types beyond what you see here and entirely new media types can be created. This advanced functionality is unique to Drupal and isn’t as easily done in WordPress.

Edge: WordPress

WordPress does a great job of making media easy to manage. Drupal will continue to see improvements in the near future, but right now it still feels clunky.

4. Creating pages

Creating new pages, such as general content pages and blog posts, is a common interaction that most admin users will need to do.

WordPress

As of version 5.0, WordPress includes their much anticipated Gutenberg editor experience. This editing format is sleek, modern, and very intuitive. You start with a title and then continue piecing together chunks of content by selecting various types of “blocks” to build the page with. Blocks are a single, reusable type of content such as a heading or paragraph of text, an image or gallery, a list, a quote, etc. Custom blocks can be created and plugins may also add additional blocks that content creators can use. Along the right side of the page is a settings pane. This pane provides various page specific settings and customizations such as page visibility, featured image, an option to allow comments, etc. Additional settings for the currently selected content block also appears here.

Drupal

Out-of-the-box, creating a new piece of content looks like the screenshot above. Content in Drupal could potentially be something wildly different than just a basic page, so Drupal defaults to a standard “field-based” editing interface where the different fields that are configured to make up the content are laid out on the page. All editors need to do is fill in the blanks. Field types can be text (with an optional WYSIWYG editor), an image, a file upload, a date, and anything else you can imagine. This again is where Drupal’s flexibility is both an advantage and a curse. The advantage is that a type of content can be anything you can imagine, but the downside is that someone has to configure that content type first. The field-based editing experience is provided by default to ensure the editing experience is consistent across different content types.

Here’s the important thing to know about Drupal. Drupal doesn’t like to make assumptions as to what your editing experience should be. As an example, a used car dealership, a national newspaper, and an online retailer will all have entirely different content editing requirements. Drupal doesn’t want to get in your way and it doesn’t try to. What it does do is give you a solid foundation to create YOUR ideal editing experience. This might not be ideal for organizations and businesses with simple website requirements, but for those with complex workflows and unique requirements, Drupal is ideal.

One last important note to make on this topic is that Drupal does also have a Gutenberg editing experience, it just doesn’t come packaged with Drupal out-of-the-box. This module and other editing interface modules and initiatives can be installed in Drupal to make the default editing experience more capable and modular.

Edge: WordPress

When based solely on out-of-the-box functionality, WordPress's pre-packaged Gutenberg editing experience is modern and intuitive for new and experienced users. However, it’s important to note that Drupal modules exist that greatly improve Drupal’s default experience. You can even add the same Gutenberg experience.

5. Editing pages

Once a page has been created, sometimes you still need to go back and edit it once in a while. This is a different experience from creating new content, so let’s now look at how it works with each CMS.

WordPress

Pretty standard, as a logged-in administrator you have access to editing content by viewing the page on the website frontend and using one of the various “edit” buttons. You’re then brought to the same Gutenberg interface that you see when creating content.

Drupal

I would say Drupal has the upper hand for editing existing content. Similar to WordPress, as a logged-in administrator you have access to page edit links when viewing the content which brings you back to the same interface as when the content was created. However, in Drupal, you also have additional links to view content revisions as well as the view and edit page translations for multi-language sites.

The current version of Drupal, Drupal 8, also includes an additional edit icon that contains a new “quick edit” option. Depending on the content, the quick edit allows on-page inline editing (shown above) instead of taking you to a separate page! This makes simple edits quick and easy. Furthermore, the edit icon also appears when administrators hover over menus and other configurable page elements too, giving you a quick way to access their configuration.

Edge: Drupal

While WordPress has the edge when creating new content, Drupal’s on-page inline editing feature makes editing existing content quick and easy by keeping content editors on the website frontend.

6. Managing widgets and blocks

Widgets (WordPress lingo) and blocks (Drupal lingo) are two words for essentially the same thing. While not limited to these locations, the header, footer and often left and right columns beside the main content area contain defined regions where certain elements can be placed. I’m talking about slogans, menus, a search bar, your copyright, recent posts, social feeds, etc. WordPress and Drupal have similar but different ways to manage these elements.

WordPress

WordPress includes backend and frontend methods for editing page widgets, both of which are quite basic and lack a lot of real capability.

The backend method (shown above) is accessed through the backend Appearance menu. This page gives you a nice list of available widgets on the left side and another list of active widgets within the available regions on the right. A simple drag and drop interface lets you move elements around and opening each widget allows for basic configuration.

The frontend method is through a "Live Preview" mode (shown above) where a version of the site theme is presented and widgets are managed through the left column. Settings for existing widgets can also be quickly opened by clicking its blue edit icon, as you can see in the image above.

Out-of-the-box, it’s difficult to understand exactly where a widget will appear throughout the site because you don’t have the ability to see or control which pages accept the widget. Some third-party plugins are available to give you this functionality, but they must be added. New widgets are also a bit more difficult to add as they must be created by a developer or added through a plugin.

Drupal

Like WordPress, Drupal has the ability to manage blocks from both the backend and frontend of the website, although Drupal handles both situations better.

The backend method (shown above) is accessed through the admin toolbar’s Structure menu. Here you can view all available regions and the blocks contained within each. Regions are a big part of Drupal theme creation, so you will often see 10+ available regions to choose from. If you’re not sure of your themes regions, the “Demonstrate block regions” link above the list of regions will give you a preview. Each region has a “Place block” button for adding new pre-configured blocks. Existing blocks can be moved dragged between regions and each block can be configured independently. Block configuration in Drupal is very robust, including but not limited to control over what pages the block is visible on and what account roles can view it. Like content, blocks can be translated and even have revisions.

Custom blocks can also be created by more advanced Drupal users in a similar way that new media and content types are created. In the screenshot above there is a link to the “Custom block library,” which is where new blocks can be created. Like WordPress, modules can also be installed which will add new blocks.

Drupal’s frontend method for managing blocks takes on the same familiar editing experience that we discussed for editing content. When logged in and viewing the website frontend, navigating to a page and hovering your cursor over an element will reveal an edit icon if that element is a configurable block. Options for the block are then given. The block in the screenshot above contains a menu, so we see options to configure the block and edit the menu. In this case, clicking one of these options will take you to the backend page for performing these actions. If the block contained text, we would also be given an option to edit the text directly on the page, just like we can with content.

Edge: Drupal

Simply put, Drupal’s block management is robust yet not too difficult. Being able to manage existing blocks directly from the website frontend is both user-friendly and familiar given that existing pages can also be managed in the same way.

7. Managing menus

Menus connect the pages within a website. Commonly you’ll find primary navigation and some sort of footer menu, but menus are used in many other places as well.

WordPress

The menu system in WordPress is a bit strange at first, but overall it’s pretty simple. You create a menu (or select an existing one using the menu selection dropdown), then add links by selecting pages, categories, or by creating custom links (add menu items in the image above), then use a drag and drop interface for moving and nesting the menu items (menu structure in image above). Each menu item within the menu structure can be opened for a bit of customization.

The menu settings area controls where the menu is displayed within predefined template locations. Just check the box and the menu will appear once saved. Any menu created here can also be assigned to the region as a widget or through the template live preview screen.

One odd thing I’ve found with WordPress is that, when editing a page, you’re not able to add it into a menu. I’m sure there are plugins that allow this, but out-of-the-box you have to add the page through the menu system or check a setting within the menu that all new pages get added… but then you might have to remove some.

Drupal

Drupal’s approach to menus is what I would consider more standard. You navigate the “menus” page which lists all of the menus that have been created, then you create a new menu or edit an existing menu. The screenshot above is what you see when editing a menu. Here you manage this menu’s links by either adding a new one or manipulating the existing ones. When adding a new link you can easily search for content that the link will link to or specify a custom link.

Pages can also be added to a menu when the page is being created or edited. Within the page settings, all you do is select the menu and specify a link title.

Like WordPress, once you create a menu you can then add it into a region of the site as a block. However, within the menu itself, you don’t have the ability to put the menu anywhere.

Edge: Drupal

A more standard approach makes managing menus clearer and more user-friendly. Also being able to choose if a page should be included in a menu while creating the page is a nice feature. That said, I appreciate being able to manage a menu in its entirety on a single page as you do in WordPress.

8. Managing users, roles and permissions

Managing users is common for both controlling who can edit the website and who can log in for other reasons, such as non-admin accounts for an online store or community.

WordPress

WordPress has six predefined user roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each has varying degrees of what they can do, but it’s pretty clear for the most part and goes back to when WordPress was mainly a blogging platform. Users can be created and managed through a “users” page (shown above), which is laid out in a straightforward manner displaying

But WordPress has some major drawbacks here. First, WordPress doesn’t have any frontend user self-management, meaning users can’t view or edit their own profiles. Second, the predefined roles and their associated permissions don’t work for everyone and actually complicate user management when you don’t need it. Third, there is nowhere to really manage role permissions in a granular way. These drawbacks can be fixed through custom development and/or various plugins, but many consider this to be a general weak point of WordPress.

Drupal

User management is another area where Drupal shines. In contrast to WordPress, Drupal only starts with three default roles: Anonymous, Authenticated and Administrator. Anonymous is a user who is not logged in, authenticated is a user who has an account but isn’t someone who typically isn’t managing content and site configuration, and administrator is a user with the full site and admin access. These three roles are minimal, clear and cover all of the basic needs of most sites. If and when another role with different permissions is created, this is easy to do right out of the box.

The image above shows Drupal’s version of the current list of users. It follows a similar look and style to the rest of the admin pages, giving administrators a place to add and manage user accounts, including assigning users to specific roles. Anonymous and authenticated users can also create or manage their own accounts through the website frontend (although this functionality can be turned off if desired).

Drupal’s strength in user management comes in the form of roles and permissions. When a role is created, a column of permission checkboxes for the role is added to the Permissions page (shown above). Almost every piece of functionality within Drupal has associated permission. Simply checking the boxes determines what each role can and can’t do. It’s powerful and easy.

Edge: Drupal

A simple yet powerful user management system combined with frontend self-service functionality gives Drupal a clear edge over WordPress.

9. Site status report

Both WordPress and Drupal include a site status page that gives you information about the website and server configuration as well as an overall health report that outlines any issues. These automated health checks help keep your CMS up-to-date and secure.

WordPress

The “Site health” page (shown above) gives you an overall health status and a list of any issues. This status page is clean and each item can be expanded for more information, but there is no visual urgency that makes the “2 critical issues” stand out. In my opinion, critical issues should be resolved and so highlighting these issues in some way is a necessary UX improvement.

An info tab at the top of the page can be opened which gives more information about your installation of WordPress, the server, the PHP version, and the database.

Drupal

Drupal contains both site information and site health in one “Status report” page (shown above). Like WordPress, this page gives you everything you need to know at a glance about your Drupal installation and the other components that make it run. Here we can also clearly see what errors and warnings have been found and some information on how they can be resolved.

Edge: Drupal

While both WordPress and Drupal have similar pages that show similar information, Drupal’s status report does a better job at laying out the information and visually capturing the severity of any issues.

10. Plugins and modules

Plugins (WordPress lingo) and modules (Drupal lingo) extend core CMS functionality and add new features. Extensions are usually created by third-party developers and released to the platform communities for anyone else to use. Whether it’s to increase performance, enhance SEO capabilities or create an online store, extensions are a powerful way to improve and adapt the CMS platform.

WordPress

Visiting the “Plugins” page (shown above) is a quick way to see what additional plugins are currently packaged with your WordPress installation and can be activated if desired. The plugins shown here all provide some sort of new functionality or feature that is not part of the core WordPress software.

When you need new functionality, WordPress provides an excellent and convenient plugin library browser (shown above) accessible within the website backend. Here you can search for, view, and install plugins easily with the click of a button.

Drupal

Drupal’s module list is where you can see all current extensions, activated or not, for your Drupal installation. The big difference here between WordPress and Drupal is that for Drupal you are able to see all modules installed, even those that are part of the core software. Modules are also nicely grouped which nicely organizes the large list.

Installing new modules isn’t nearly as easy in Drupal. Unlike WordPress, Drupal doesn’t include a module library browser within the backend interface. Instead, users must search for modules within a web browser and manually install them. Finding modules can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the process.

Edge: WordPress

While both platforms have a massive library of extensions, WordPress offers users a much friendlier and intuitive way of finding and installing extensions that users of any skill level can appreciate. This may or may not be an issue for you if you have a capable IT team or development partner, but for small teams, WordPress has the clear edge.

WordPress & Drupal comparison summary

I hope after going through this comparison you now have a good understanding of the differences and similarities between WordPress and Drupal. As you can see, both platforms out-of-the-box have different strengths and weaknesses, but it’s important to know that all of the weaknesses can be overcome through platform extensions and experience. In extreme cases, both platforms support custom development to overcome unique problems.

For convenience, here is a quick summary showing which CMS has the edge in the 10 categories compared. However, I would recommend that you go back and read the edge summary for each category if you haven’t done so already.

Comparison category WordPress Drupal Admin toolbar   ✓ Login dashboard ✓   Managing media ✓   Creating pages ✓   Editing pages   ✓ Managing widgets and blocks   ✓ Managing menus   ✓ Managing users, roles and permissions   ✓ Site status report   ✓ Plugins and modules ✓   A final word of advice

In my opinion, you shouldn’t be turned off from one platform or the other simply because you’ve heard that one is better or easier to use. Both platforms are mature and constantly improving, user experience is top of mind, and usability gaps have become less of an issue in recent years.

My advice, select the platform you use based on your requirements. WordPress is a great authoring tool and is good for small and medium-sized organizations. Drupal is fantastic for medium and enterprise organizations or anyone who has complex workflows, products, and/or a need to integrate with other platforms. That’s a pretty general summary, but if you’re considering either of these platforms, first know what your requirements of the platform are and then start talking to the experts for each.

Acro Media is an ecommerce consultation and development agency that can help you in this regard. We specialize in open source ecommerce and a large part of our work is based around Drupal. Drupal typically works better for our clients but we know WordPress, too. If you’re researching your requirements or evaluating your options, hit us up for a quick chat, we would love to help. Otherwise, check out some of these related resources.

Related resources
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Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #310 - Drupal 9.2 with Angie 'webchick' Byron

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 3:36pm

Today we are talking about Drupal 9.2 with Angie Byron.

www.talkingdrupal.com/310

Topics
  • Nic - Focal point -- Greg Boggs help with Breadcrumbs
  • Chad - Contractor working on porch -- Webchick tour shirt!
  • Angie - Vacation in July and flooded house -- New job at MongoDB
  • John - Homebrew and lando
  • Move to MongoDB
  • Reason behind the move
  • What Angie will be working on
  • Cross pollination of communities
  • MongoDB module
  • Prep for a point release or major release in Drupal core
  • Tips for releasing large scale software
  • What's new in Drupal 9.2
  • Path to Drupal 10
  • Drupal's impact on Composer
  • Sneak peek for Drupal 10
  • Ckeditor 5
  • Auto updates
  • FLoC
  • Migration
  • Adam and his blimp
Resources

https://talkingdrupal.com/259 Drupal 9.2.0 Is available https://www.drupal.org/blog/drupal-9-2-0 Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Angie’s Blog about moving to MongoDB) https://webchick.net/ch-ch-ch-ch-changes Jeff Robbins, softly singing to announce the 2011 “Webchick Tour”: https://vimeo.com/18471612 Leak detector https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HBZQYYC/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_apip_w9akPMVCwzmZY Homebrew Lando Issue https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-cask/issues/110713 MongoDB module https://www.drupal.org/project/mongodb Strategic initiatives ​​https://www.drupal.org/about/core/strategic-initiatives/ Drupal Release Schedule https://www.drupal.org/about/core/policies/core-release-cycles/schedule Release notes https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/releases Beta program https://www.drupal.org/about/core/policies/beta-testing-program/about-be... Drupal Change List https://www.drupal.org/list-changes/drupal Drupal README.md https://git.drupalcode.org/project/drupal/-/blob/9.3.x/README.md Automatic Updates people out of security support https://www.drupal.org/project/usage/drupal CK Editor 5 https://www.drupal.org/project/ckeditor5/

Dries’s Blog about core committer/organizer role

https://drupalsun.com/dries/2021/08/05/looking-second-core-committer-tea...

Guests

Angie Byron - @webchick

Hosts

Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan

John Picozzi - www.epam.com @johnpicozzi

Chad Hester - www.chadkhester.com @chadkhester

Categories:

Web Wash: Navigate between Admin Pages using Coffee in Drupal

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 12:52pm

The Coffee module adds quick search functionality for backend pages in Drupal. The module was inspired by the Spotlight app on MacOs and Alfred.

Coffee makes it possible to navigate quickly through backend configuration pages by just searching for them instead of using the toolbar.

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Consensus Enterprises: Easy commit credits with migrations, part 5: Declaring a module's migration status

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/09/07 - 11:00am
How to declare a contrib module’s migration status; to indicate whether you’ve written all the migrations that you intended to write.
Categories:

rachel_norfolk: A "security researcher"?

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 8:28pm
A "security researcher"?

My attention was brought to a whole bunch of "page not found" errors in the log of my website tonight. At first, I just thought it was just someone trying scripts to gain access so I sent an abuse report to Linode as they owned the IP address, 172.105.83.62.

Their reply was vaguely interesting, though. They said that they didn't regard it as abuse as it was a "security researcher" at work. Huh? On my website? Seriously? Wow - they need to set their sights higher!!! 

Rachel Mon, 09/06/2021 - 19:28 Tags
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Community posts: Drupal Community Update - September 2021

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 4:29pm

This month, we have reports on community activity from:

  • Bugsmash, by Mohit Aghera
  • DrupalCon Europe Advisory Group, by Cecilia Levy
  • Drupal Trivia, by Stella Power
  • Security Team, by Tim Lehnen

Where can you help to drive forward the Drupal project?

Bugsmash, by Mohit Aghera What have been your priorities in the last three months?

Primarily we have been more focused on the streamlining triage process and have been trying a few things lately.
The team actively took part in Drupal South 2021 code sprint and had significant representation from everyone in the community. Thanks to the amazing mentors like larowlan, jibran, Kristen Pol, quietone, Griffyn Heels, and many other folks.

Apart from that, recent updates include the Bug-smash initiative keynote session by mohit_aghera and Spokje.
Recently, we tried another async meeting approach for triage meetings and it was productive as well as well-received within the contributors.
Apart from triage meetings, the team also focussed more on reviewing open issues and cleaning up issue queues by closing irrelevant issues.

And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?

We did significant work in the last quarter. Here are the statistics from 1, June 2021 till 28th August 2021. Thanks to Lendude for coming up with bug statistics tools. There is a more interactive tool hosted here https://lendude.gitlab.io/bug-smash-initiative/

As on: 2021-08-28

From: 2021-06-06 to 2021-08-28
Only bugs tagged Bug Smash Initiative
Open: 28, including 5 fixed
Closed: 315

Age Count

0

44

1

24

2

15

3

15

4

16

5

38

6

20

7

27

8

29

9

21

10

24

11

14

12

13

13

8

14

5

16

1

17

1

Status Count closed (duplicate)

56

closed (won't fix)

8

closed (works as designed)

26

closed (cannot reproduce)

85

closed (outdated)

76

closed (fixed)

64

Based on statistics, we have approximately 2004 year reduction in the total number of years of all open bugs that are tagged with Bug-smash Initiative.

The team actively worked on Drupal South 2021 contribution sprint and making it a success.
A new page (https://www.drupal.org/community-initiatives/bug-smash-initiative/goals) for tracking Bug Smash statistics and goals, 'Goals', has been added to the initiative page (link in the channel topic). Thanks to @jhodgdon for adding it to the menu.

What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?

Time to work on contributions is the biggest challenge everyone is facing.

Apart from that, we need to focus more on reviewing issues as there are approx 200 issues that need review.

Primarily, we are trying to address that issue within the team by doing review swaps. However, more help from the community will speed up the process.

Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?

We welcome everyone to join the async Bug-smash initiative meetings which remain open for 24 hours. You can also join triage meetings. You aren't comfortable in writing code, you can always spend time doing issue triage, review patches, etc.

The initiative page has all the relevant information about the timing and overall activities related to the initiative. Thanks to quietone, dww, jibran for maintaining initiative-related documentation.

As mentioned earlier, we have many issues that are in review state, so folks are encouraged to do a quick review of issues.

DrupalCon Europe Advisory Group, by Cecilia Levy What have been your priorities in the last three months?

Our top priorities in the last three months were:
- Build a qualitative program (impactful and captivating keynotes & informative and diverse sessions selected from hundreds of submissions) based on a schedule alternating daily to allow a wider audience attending the event.
- Make the most of the event platform we are using this year: Hopin; and provide the best experience possible for our attendees and sponsors.

And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?

As a first edition gathering for DrupalCon Europe with local Camps and Communities, we have been working hard on building the most comprehensive event possible and we are proud to be sharing the floor this year with not less than 7 camps & local associations.
>> https://events.drupal.org/europe2021/join-your-local-community-drupalcon
We know being the firsts to support a new concept is not always an easy decision. That is why we want to express our deepest thanks to the Camps & local Communities which believe in the conjunct project and are already on-board for DrupalCon Europe 2021. They will give another opportunity for their members to experience DrupalCon for Drupal’s 20th anniversary.

What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?

Our greatest challenge in general is to organize another online event for a target audience who is used to spend hours behind screens and is also tired from online events.
Even if Europe is reopening, we do not know what the future holds and we want to prioritize the safety and health of our participants. Therefore, we are giving our best to make DrupalCon Europe 2021 THE leading event in Europe, by giving exclusive access to insights from open source and tech industry leaders, as well as the broader Drupal ecosystem. It’s also a great opportunity to meet peers and have fun.

We truly hope to meet you all in person next year (fingers crossed), but we also know that to do that and for DrupalCon in Europe to sustain, we need this year’s edition to be a success in terms of participation and sponsorship.

Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?

Help us spread the word about DrupalCon Europe happening in less than a month! If you are not registered yet and don’t want to have the FOMO: Buy your ticket here >> https://events.drupal.org/europe2021/registration-information

Drupal Trivia, by Stella Power What have been your priorities in the last three months?

Building the bank of questions for Trivia night

Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?

Yes, I need someone to help me with writing trivia questions. DrupalCon Europe is next month, so we're busy getting ready for that.

Security Team, by Tim Lehnen What have been your priorities in the last three months?

Preparing for the end of life of Drupal 8, when older versions of core and modules that only have Drupal 8 releases will become unsupported. We strongly encourage maintainers to update their modules for D9, or to seek co-maintainers!

And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?

The security team has continued to have a great relationship with contrib and core maintainers in ensuring that vulnerabilities are responsibly disclosed and patches provided in the appropriate window.

What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?

Third party dependencies (such as CKEditor) can make scheduling security releases a challenge. We have had to support some releases not on our normal release day to accommodate their schedules. We have mitigated this with PSA messaging to the community.

Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?

Update your modules for Drupal 9 compatibility, and seek new maintainers if you need help. DrupalCon Europe contribution time is a great place to look for new people.

Categories:

clemens-tolboom commented on issue MikeSchulze/gdUnit3#130

On github - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 3:54pm
clemens-tolboom commented on issue MikeSchulze/gdUnit3#130 Sep 6, 2021 clemens-tolboom commented Sep 6, 2021

Not sure what version I got when starting Godot ... the update process is very nice ... but it ended into Starting Godot using --editor + /Applicat…

OpenSense Labs: How Drupal can pave the way for the future of digital healthcare?

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 12:59pm
How Drupal can pave the way for the future of digital healthcare? Maitreayee Bora Mon, 09/06/2021 - 16:29

Healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries that need to embrace digitalization for offering customized care and services to patients. Every aspect of healthcare operations demand a digital transformation to meet the numerous necessities of modern healthcare. In this article, we will get a deeper understanding about how the healthcare industry is welcoming new digital tools and innovations breaking the old traditional healthcare pathways. You will also get a glimpse of what role Drupal plays in empowering the healthcare industry. 

How digital transformation trends are contributing to the digitalization of the healthcare industry?

Digital healthcare is enabling patients to get access to modern healthcare services that deliver seamless patient experiences. Here are some of the digital trends that are adopted by the healthcare industry to bring radical changes in their respective services. 


Telehealth facility

Telehealth enables us to witness a complete change in the communication process between a patient and a healthcare provider. The technologies such as telemedicine, patient-portals, remote patient monitoring, video conferencing and mobile health are making the patient-doctor interaction very secure and swift.  

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the most rapidly growing trends for healthcare and technology. The AI-based solutions enable the doctors and medical staff to rightfully take data-driven decisions beneficial for all. Instead of utilizing the rule-based registries, the AI-powered data recovery method is practised to provide exact patient information. The chatbots and automated voice systems are adopted by the hospitals to reduce the workload for the medical staff and screen patients without any difficulties or concerns. The versatility in chatbots enables it to play multiple roles such as diagnostic tools, customer service representatives and therapists as well. Also, the AI screening helps in recognizing who is in need of immediate care and guides patients towards the right contact channels. 

Robotics Process Automation

Since robotics process automation(RPA) can be termed as an intelligent form of business process automation which helps in recording processes carried out by humans on their computer and then carrying out the same processes without the help of any human interference. This technology can be very useful for the hospitals as it can automate all the repetitive processes that necessitate human interference in a hospital.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has significantly brought a change in the way patients are treated. This technology helps physicians and doctors to perform proper diagnosis and also plays a huge role in physical therapy, where patients are instructed to follow an exercise routine including VR instead of invasive surgeries and drugs. It can be considered as a powerful communication channel between doctor-patient that helps the healthcare providers to have a better understanding of patients needs and engage them virtually with the necessary services.

IoT & Patient Interaction

IoT provides operation theatres, labs and hospital’s diagnosis rooms with sophisticated technology that connects tools, equipment and machinery to deliver smooth integration where data is shared. IoT altogether helps in enhancing the patient satisfaction with better and much effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals. Additionally, healthcare providers are able to track data for critically ill patients with IoT based wearable devices to get a better understanding of their health conditions. Preventive healthcare is facilitated to patients where they can monitor their internal health conditions by wearable technology. Some of the commonly used wearable devices are oximeters, heart rate sensors and exercise trackers. This technology provides a sense of ownership to the patients during the process of improving their health conditions. The information received from these wearable devices also enable the health insurers to correctly rate a patient’s risk for ailment. It overall enables the healthcare industries to save a lot of money and provide the best healthcare assistance to the patients.

Cloud solutions for healthcare

Cloud-based data services enable hospitals to work upon value-based reimbursements models, providing real-time access to data storage and offering much required agility and flexibility in the healthcare operations. Since, the healthcare companies need to maintain a large volume of data in the form of patient information, medical reports and electronic records. All this data needs to be analyzed, and cloud technology enables the healthcare companies to properly store and access the data also at the same time avoiding any additional costs of physical servers in-house maintenance. Depending on the needs, cloud provides healthcare professionals with the facility to increase or decrease the data storage capacity as well. 

Data Management & Analytics

Since there has been a problem of managing huge data of patients by the medical professionals, they are seen majorly depending on Electronic Health Records (EHR). Maintaining data manually can create errors at times. But adopting necessary technologies such as big data, wearables and blockchain to properly obtain, manage and analyze data can be very beneficial for healthcare providers. Such effective data management leads to better patient diagnosis and care. 

Big Data & Hospitals

Big data brought a change in the process of fetching, analyzing and managing data, also improving the quality of patient care services, reducing the treatment costs and predicting disease outbreaks. The various healthcare apps having exclusive features help companies to get access to huge data, and Big data further analyses them and provides necessary insights. It provides additional benefits like lowering the rate of medication errors, availing preventive care and proper staffing facility.

Blockchain & Medical Records

Blockchain enables registering every transaction, identifying any conflicting information, and decentralizing data. There are countries like the UK and Australia which are seen utilizing blockchain for managing proper medical records. It is an effective tool that helps in preventing data breaches as well.

Safety and security

Cybercriminals and hackers target hospitals to take away sensitive patient data and further misuse them. Therefore, to ensure safety to patients, there is a need to have a robust cybersecurity architecture in the healthcare organizations. With the growing technology, the healthcare industry is able to maintain the necessary safety and security.

Healthcare consumerism

The healthcare consumerism helps patients to actively get involved in their important healthcare decisions. Due to the emerging technologies, like mobile health apps, member portals and bi-directional provider portals, a proper communication between the patient and the physician is built. By using such technology, the health community is able to design and develop modern healthcare facilities. 

Therefore, the above discussed emerging technology trends succeeded in enhancing the various healthcare systems and led to better patient care service. 

COVID 19 emphasizing the growing need of digitalization in the healthcare industry

The COVID 19 pandemic has adversely affected the healthcare sector leading to restriction in various services to prevent infection from this deadly virus which further resulted in reduction in health spending. Undoubtedly, due to this pandemic, there has been an economic impact on healthcare but at the same time, the industry also felt the need of prioritizing digitalization to ensure better healthcare facilities for all. It was observed that globally, the corporate funding for digital health companies was doubled and the investment in telemedicine also rose to a great extent. Additionally, due to these hard times, there has been a disruption in the supply chains of businesses. As it is mainly about life and health, the healthcare industry has to take better initiatives in the form of contingency planning than other industries to resolve such a major issue that is currently prevailing around the world. Therefore, 60% of companies are stepping in to invest in the digital supply chain prioritizing robotics, machine learning/artificial intelligence and automation according to a research conducted by Capgemini. For example, Melbourne Health Logistics has decided to take on a Supplier Improvement Pilot Project that includes 10 Australian-based SMEs and further focuses on addressing the supply chain challenges and inventory management with the help of digitization. The three main focus areas of the project are executing of data capturing technologies, enhancing data quality and enabling suppliers to utilize the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Let us look into some of the healthcare predictions for 2021, post COVID 19.


Telehealth technologies will help in addressing specific patient and caregiver necessities. Currently, due to the pandemic, every health system has to adopt telehealth programs. So, the leaders are trying to look beyond the pandemic to rework upon their telehealth programs for a longer period of time. These platforms are facilitated with unique integration to EHR i.e. back-end electronic health record systems. Based on various factors like, geographical location, care and real-time language translators, this platform will enhance the functionalities to meet the growing necessities of patients.

The digital health companies will go beyond the electronic health record (EHR) systems. For better digital patient engagement, the companies are striving to look for much improved tools and technologies. Some of the big tech firms, like Salesforce and Microsoft will possibly become the platforms for patient engagement and enterprise collaboration due to the growing need of consumerism. 

Enhancing the digital experience of consumers in terms of consumer finance and e-commerce. Since consumerism is significantly growing, along with adopting telehealth technology, the healthcare industry needs to look after all the aspects of consumer satisfaction. Therefore, sectors like consumer finance and e-commerce where the healthcare industry is unable to develop best digital experiences for consumers, shall be prioritized and provided with world class facilities and experiences. The healthcare leaders will focus on enhancing digital engagement, also accepting the challenge of providing seamless customer experience.

Low-contact experiences to be a standard and quality feature of healthcare experiences. The pandemic has given a rise of contactless and low-contact experiences to provide safety to the consumers at its best. Therefore, many of the health systems have started executing online features like registration and payments which helps in replacing the earlier in-person experiences. Without any concern, the healthcare professionals can use the geo-tracking, automatically “check-in” patients at the time of their arrival at a physical location and also assist them to their appointments. 

To know more, read about pandemic-driven digital transformation, digital readiness during pandemic, and how businesses are reimagining their operations in the post-Covid era.

Why opt for Drupal?


The healthcare industry is hugely supported by Drupal development resulting in its exclusive features and functionalities. Drupal features help in building the perfect digital experiences for the healthcare industry also maintaining all the safety measures required for creating websites and applications. 

Opensource

The Drupal project is totally open-source software. Without any concern, you can download, use, work and share it to anyone for free. It is purely based upon principles like innovation, collaboration and globalism. Under the GNU General Public License (GPL), it can be distributed and there are no licensing fees for Drupal.

The Drupal community is ever ready to support its users by answering their questions and concerns. So, if you have any question, somebody will certainly answer it, since it’s a worldwide platform.

You can find more information about open-source here:

Content workflow

The in-built tools of Drupal helps in content creation, workflow and publishing, also allowing the content creators to work on it without any difficulties. The editorial workflows can be handled effectively by the provision of authentication and permission in this platform. With the provision of previews in Drupal, you get the opportunity to view the content on a device before approving and publishing it, create content with a WYSIWYG editor, and quickly track all revisions and changes to maintain the history of content changes if required. You can manage your roles and actions efficiently by observing all the stages of content i.e. creating, reviewing, and publishing. Drupal gives you access to a special feature where you can create a structured content, for example, describe content elements, tag content based upon any attributes, create convenient taxonomy for content so that it can be searched, used, reused if required in a manner that can improve customer satisfaction. 

You can create relevant content architecture using the Admin Interface or programmatically also do it. This platform gives you special mode tools and views, customizable menus that provide you a good user experience.

Read about how layout builder and paragraphs module enhance content workflow in Drupal.

Security

Drupal never fails to provide security to all kinds of web threats and vulnerabilities. It always prefers keeping robust security as a priority. There is a team of security experts that Drupal has which looks after all the security issues with their well-built coding standards, and strict review coding process. Drupal proves to be a stable and a secure open-source platform due to its wide professional service provider.

According to the 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Application Vulnerability Report, Drupal was found to be the most secure CMS in the open source CMS market.

Source: AcunetixScalability and performance

Drupal’s in-built performance features when combined with a modern CDN provider performs exceptionally well under the pressure of supercharged databases, advanced caching and load balancing. The scalability feature of Drupal allows your website to perform well even on the busiest days. To know more, read about Drupal’s performance optimisation offerings and how it scales with your needs to govern high web traffic.

Multilingual

The automated language translation in Drupal helps in reaching out to a diverse audience with the provision of localized content. Drupal can build complex multilingual web applications and customized sites in various languages. The core modules of Drupal help in complete translation of every part of a website, content types and their definite fields, users, menus, taxonomy, blocks, contact forms and comments. This further allows in acknowledging the suitable language as per the user’s IP address, URL, browser settings, session and more. Read more about Drupal’s multilingual capabilities here.

Accessibility

With Drupal you get a special feature of building websites that can be accessible by people with disabilities. Drupal ensures that all its features conform with the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. This feature provides an equal opportunity for all regardless of any discrimination. 

Learn more about accessibility here:

Personalisation

Drupal users receive a special, personalized profile for every visitor like using geolocation, browser history, behavior taxonomies and device type. They also are given a customized experience that helps them in tracking and reporting with A/B and multivariate testing, improving ROI through target marketing and also segmenting visitors over devices by focusing on the important user identity for your business goals. 

Learn more about personalisation here:

SEO 

With Drupal, you get access to exclusive SEO tools that help you in improving your website’s visibility. Here are the tools and modules.

Understanding the linking game through Linkit module; 
Understanding keyword game through Real-time SEO for Drupal;
Understanding the duplicacy predicament through Redirect module;

To know more, read this definitive guide to Drupal SEO in 2021.

Multisite support 

Drupal helps you in managing various websites over your organization, geographies, brands and campaigns on a single platform, enabling easy, fast website creation and deployment. Read this complete guide on Drupal Multisite to know more. 

Marketing automation

By utilizing tools and modules in recent versions, Drupal facilitates smooth integration with the automation platforms that can collect customer demographics and convert potential leads within the suitable time. Learn more about how marketing automation can be leveraged with Drupal here.

Mobile first approach and mobile apps

Drupal helps in creating responsive sites and building web applications that can deliver better user experience. It provides responsive design best practices and makes sure your users are benefited with the best content experience each time on every device. There are two ways of building mobile web applications which work with Drupal - integrated with Drupal at the theme layer, or a standalone mobile web app that communicates with Drupal using web services. Even though, both the approaches will work for building mobile web applications, it will be a way easier to begin with integrating the mobile web app into Drupal as a theme. To know more, read about mobile-first design approach and mobile apps like that of Flutter-powered delivered by Drupal.

Integrated Digital Tools and Applications

Drupal can smoothly integrate with a wide ecosystem of digital technology and other business applications to help you opt for the right set of tools today and tomorrow according to your preferences. 

Strong Stack Foundation

Drupal depends upon Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, the latest LAMP technology stack which meet the requirements of flexible, fast-moving agile companies and brands that help in building the next generation digital platforms. 

Facilitates Decoupled Architecture

Content flexibility is one of the features that Drupal provides to allow a smooth flow over sites, native apps, connected devices that can be displayed on third party websites and social networks. Since, many CMSes look for managing content in a back-end repository and move it to “front-end” templates which can provide a static experience. Drupal facilitates decoupling the back and front ends, wherever it’s required. So, the content of Drupal remains as reusable chunks, which is free from presentation, and ready for easy delivery to sites and applications. Drupal’s presentation i.e. RESTful API and neutral content help the front-end developers to build interactive websites and applications according to their preferences. There is availability of tools like Angular, Node, Ember and Backbone. With this platform you can obtain third-party content ((eg. syndicators and aggregators) and make it accessible to any app, website or channel. The content of Drupal can be comfortably consumed by other websites and applications with the support of Drupal’s content-as-a-service capability. The front end developers of Drupal can easily design content such as separating back-end content from front-end presentation according to their conveniences. 

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Web Hosting

You can choose the best hosting vendor that fulfills your needs, with Drupal. Additionally, you can change hosting vendors whenever you want, and also select to host the website internally. 

Migrations

Drupal upgrades can be said to be easy and convenient. The makers reveal that the upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9 was very simple. By referring to these four simple steps, you can build your site’s functionality, and maintain proper security standards of Drupal 9 by using the Upgrade Status. With Drupal Module Upgrader and Upgrade Status, the developers can make the upgrades themselves. Moreover, you can also recognize  whether your modules and themes are capable enough for Drupal 8/9 and convert your custom code respectively.

Learn more about Drupal 9 upgrade here:

Extensibility

Drupal offers various themes and distributions to its users. Now, taking you through some of the significant themes offered by Drupal. The first theme we have is YG Medical - Healthcare | Bootstrap based Drupal 9 theme. Available for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9, the YG Medical is a complete modern bootstrap theme for Clinics and Hospitals. 

The second theme is Medical Zymphonies. It is not dependent on any other core theme and has a modern look and feel. The features of this theme include Medical related color combination, Doctor appointment form., Awesome slider, Quick contact details on top of the website, Font awesome icons, Drupal forum, HTML5, JavaScript, jQuery & PHP, Single column, two columns and full width layout, a total of 16 regions, Nivo slider, views, webform module styles, Minimal design and nice typography and Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo). 

The third theme we have is Medicare Zymphonies. This theme is a perfect fit for medical companies and hospital websites, for small clinics, like pediatric, dental, gynecology or general therapist clinics, family doctors and ambulances. It also has all the necessary features needed especially for the medical websites. 

Next, the fourth theme is Ultra Zymphonies. This is a responsive multipurpose Drupal theme which is perfect for any business themes. Be it a medical doctor, freelancer, corporate team or a lawyer who is looking forward to a modern business website or a personal blog, Zymphonies theme can be the best choice.

The fifth theme is Decor Zymphonies. This theme is similar to the above theme. A complete responsive multipurpose theme that suits best for the business theme. It proves to be the perfect theme for anyone including a medical doctor, lawyer, creative, corporate team or freelancer who is proactively willing to build a modern business website or create a personal blog.  

Finally, we will end up with Clinic Zymphonies Theme. It is a Mobile-first Drupal 8 responsive theme. Along with being highly customizable, it also features a custom sideshow, responsive layout and multiple column layouts. 

Now, we will go through one of the Drupal distributions for healthcare i.e. Virtual care. It is a distribution that offers a Basic Drupal Healthcare site for better communication between Patient and Healthcare Professional which further facilitates the exclusive features for patients, healthcare professionals, editors and site-admins as well.

Support and maintenance, hiring of developers, and partnering with digital agencies

You will find various Drupal agencies that will provide you with quality services as per your requirements. Below are the top 5 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace.

Source: Drupal.orgSupporting emerging technologies

Drupal uses the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots, virtual reality, IoT and Blockchain, cognitive search and digital voice assistants like Alexa on Drupal sites. Check out some of the Drupal-powered healthcare technologies here.

With the above mentioned features, Drupal healthcare websites can be built ensuring all the necessary security standards and requirements. 

Now, below you will get a glimpse of the drupal websites that were successfully built for the healthcare industry around the globe. 

Success Stories

You will get to witness some successful case studies around the world that depict Drupal’s extreme efforts in reaching its users expectations. 

National Nurses United

National Nurses United(NNU) can be considered as the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States. They wanted to architect, redesign and create their new website on Drupal 8. Their main requirements were to design, create and launch their website within a very tight frame. NNU wanted their website to be of light design, modern and also a content management system. Finally, the Drupal 8 website was successfully launched on time and also under the budget. The NNU team now has a modern and powerful content management system that enables their professional members to obtain required tools and information on time.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is one of the UK’s biggest charities, which is also an international centre of excellence in child health care. The website of the hospital provides significant information to healthcare professionals, parents and child patients. They rely upon their site to support campaigns for raising funds. The hospital’s main aim is to deliver best clinical care and training, and in partnership with other organizations, pioneer new treatments and research for the well-being of children around the globe. GOSH’s primary objective was to build a single harmonised platform that would be compiled from the migration of two large, business critical sites (30 content types and 6,000 nodes per site) and 10 sub-sites to Drupal from a proprietary software that is already outdated. The secondary objectives included prioritizing digital at the centre of all organizational activities, scalable architecture, removing complexity, platform for innovation, facility of accessibility, time-saving tools and improved search facility. Therefore, the results were as such that both the content and commerce could swiftly be intertwined, they were no more constrained by their content management system, in fact all the options were available and being capitalised, facility of suitable access privileges, and availability of flexible security boundaries were achieved with the help of Drupal’s powerful Organic Groups module. Additionally, personalization could be achieved by guiding visitors quickly to microsites and site sections for their necessities. Every section could adopt message, content, imagery, tone and Solr Search for the suitable audience. Lastly, the stakeholders could recover control and regularly adapt content. 

Conclusion

Digital transformation in healthcare is a must as it provides comprehensive patient care services with much efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, having the right technology partner is very essential as it enables in building the foundation required for digital capacities and enhances the healthcare and patient experience to a complete whole new level. And Drupal is the best technology partner to deliver such a seamless experience for both the patients and healthcare industry.

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Agiledrop.com Blog: Top Drupal blog posts from August 2021

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 11:04am

Like every month, we’re bringing you a monthly overview of our favorite Drupal posts. We hope you enjoy August’s selection!

READ MORE
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Innoraft Drupal Blogs: What Makes a Good Landing Page Call to Action?

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/09/06 - 9:29am
What Makes a Good Landing Page Call to Action? You must create the right landing page call to action to improve conversions on the website. Read this article for the best practices to be followed. Tanjeet Mon, 09/06/2021 - 12:59 optimized CTA call to action best practice Interactive Website Drupal Planet user friendly website SEO Friendly Website
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Drupal Core News: New provisional Drupal 9 core committers: Victoria Spagnolo, Ben Mullins, and Cristina Chumillas!

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2021/09/03 - 2:19pm

I am pleased to announce that Victoria Spagnolo (quietone), Ben Mullins (bnjmnm), and Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) have accepted our invitations to become new provisional Drupal core committers!

Victoria Spagnolo (provisional release manager)

Victoria Spagnolo (quietone) is based in New Zealand and has been contributing on Drupal.org for over eight years. She is a maintainer for the Drupal core Migrate subsystem as well as multiple contributed projects. Victoria is also an active contributor to the community Bug Smash Initiative, which aims to improve everyone's experiences with Drupal by fixing bugs and reducing bug report response times. She received the New Zealand Open Source Award in 2018 for her contributions to Drupal.

Victoria's patience, empathy, attention to detail, and issue triage skills make her excellently suited to her new role as a provisional core release manager. She will collaborate with current release managers catch and xjm to improve core process, manage technical debt and disruptive changes, and ensure that core releases are shipped on time.

Ben Mullins (provisional frontend framework manager)

Ben Mullins (bnjmnm) is a United States-based Drupal contributor, also active on Drupal.org for over eight years. Ben is a Drupal core accessibility topic maintainer and subsystem maintainer for the Claro theme. He works for Acquia's Drupal Acceleration Team on a variety of Drupal core strategic initiatives and projects.

Ben will be collaborating with lauriii and ckrina as a provisional frontend framework manager. Ben has contributed extensively to helping solve tricky theme and JavaScript development problems without disrupting site owners' experiences, so we look forward to his further input on Drupal's frontend code. Ben's knowledge about accessibility and documentation also adds valuable expertise to our committer team.

Cristina Chumillas (provisional frontend framework manager)

Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) has been contributing to Drupal for over a decade. She is a core usability topic maintainer and also maintains the Claro theme. Cristina contributed design and theme expertise to the Admin UI and JavaScript Modernization Initiative.

Cristina started out her career in the graphic design industry and had formal training in Digital Marketing and UX. While working as a freelancer, she started coding with Drupal and quickly became part of the local community, where she has helped organise many local events in her home city of Barcelona. She joined Lullabot as a front-end developer in 2019.

Cristina is also joining the frontend framework manager team provisionally with lauriii and bnjmnm. Cristina has already brought a wealth of expertise and leadership to the Drupal project, where she has patiently and successfully shepherded many long-running initiatives. We're excited to see her continue the hugely impactful work she’s been doing under this new role.

Please join me in welcoming these new members of our core committer team!

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Drupal core announcements: New provisional Drupal 9 core committers: Victoria Spagnolo, Ben Mullins, and Cristina Chumillas!

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2021/09/03 - 9:52am

I am pleased to announce that Victoria Spagnolo (quietone), Ben Mullins (bnjmnm), and Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) have accepted our invitations to become new provisional Drupal core committers!

Victoria Spagnolo (provisional release manager)

Victoria Spagnolo (quietone) is based in New Zealand and has been contributing on Drupal.org for over eight years. She is a maintainer for the Drupal core Migrate subsystem as well as multiple contributed projects. Victoria is also an active contributor to the community Bug Smash Initiative, which aims to improve everyone's experiences with Drupal by fixing bugs and reducing bug report response times. She received the New Zealand Open Source Award in 2018 for her contributions to Drupal.

Victoria's patience, empathy, attention to detail, and issue triage skills make her excellently suited to her new role as a provisional core release manager. She will collaborate with current release managers catch and xjm to improve core process, manage technical debt and disruptive changes, and ensure that core releases are shipped on time.

Ben Mullins (provisional frontend framework manager)

Ben Mullins (bnjmnm) is a United States-based Drupal contributor, also active on Drupal.org for over eight years. Ben is a Drupal core accessibility topic maintainer and subsystem maintainer for the Claro theme. He works for Acquia's Drupal Acceleration Team on a variety of Drupal core strategic initiatives and projects.

Ben will be collaborating with lauriii and ckrina as a provisional frontend framework manager. Ben has contributed extensively to helping solve tricky theme and JavaScript development problems without disrupting site owners' experiences, so we look forward to his further input on Drupal's frontend code. Ben's knowledge about accessibility and documentation also adds valuable expertise to our committer team.

Cristina Chumillas (provisional frontend framework manager)

Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) has been contributing to Drupal for over a decade. She is a core usability topic maintainer and also maintains the Claro theme. Cristina contributed design and theme expertise to the Admin UI and JavaScript Modernization Initiative.

Cristina started out her career in the graphic design industry and had formal training in Digital Marketing and UX. While working as a freelancer, she started coding with Drupal and quickly became part of the local community, where she has helped organise many local events in her home city of Barcelona. She joined Lullabot as a front-end developer in 2019.

Cristina is also joining the frontend framework manager team provisionally with lauriii and bnjmnm. Cristina has already brought a wealth of expertise and leadership to the Drupal project, where she has patiently and successfully shepherded many long-running initiatives. We're excited to see her continue the hugely impactful work she’s been doing under this new role.

Please join me in welcoming these new members of our core committer team!

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Lullabot: Lullabot Podcast: Real Talk: Hiring People to Fill Drupal Roles

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2021/09/03 - 4:13am

Mike and Matt are joined by Lullabots Cathy Theys, Greg Dunlap, Cristina Chumillas, and Albert Hughes to talk about hiring people into different Drupal roles. 

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Chapter Three: Google Maps View with Custom Overlays

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2021/09/02 - 8:05pm

Maps are a common feature many websites want to implement, and depending on requirements, often it is enough to simply embed the map. However, what if you want to create map markers using your own site data or use custom overlays to display additional geographic information? Drupal makes this quite easy with modules like Views and Gmap for Drupal 7.

A Drupal 8 port of GMap is in the works, and there is also the Geolocation D8 module which has Views and Google Maps support. For this article we will review a D7 implementation, although the Javascript code should be easy to adapt for D8 and Geolocation.

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