Between thought and the real, there is no necessary or natural transition.
When projects get hectic around the office, we remind ourselves “We’re just pushing pixels.” We’re geeks. We sit in an air-conditioned office and play with cutting edge technologies on shiny MacBooks, drinking aeropress coffee. At the same time, we choose to work with nonprofit clients - experienced organizers and passionate advocates working on diverse issues in environmental protection, human rights, early childhood education, access to health care, and community building. We cannot do what they do; but it is wonderful to help them tell their stories and meaningfully engage their constituents online.
Over the last year, we’ve been particularly inspired to have had the chance to collaborate with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the redesign of its website. At the same time, our work with them brought further attention to our team about the many human rights challenges that our country has faced over the last year.
Our initial conversations with SPLC took place days before the death of Eric Garner. And over the year that we’ve been working with the Center, 16 unarmed Black people have been killed by police in the U.S. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been at the forefront of the national conversation about this issue.
If you don’t know SPLC, it is a leading advocacy and educational organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Since 1971, SPLC has been using litigation to fight for civil rights. So hated by the Ku Klux Klan, SPLC’s offices were burned to the ground in 1983 by Alabama Klansmen. Then, in 1987 SPLC won a historic $7 million verdict against the United Klans of America for the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald - effectively bankrupting the KKK and crippling their organization.
In addition to its fight against hate and extremism, SPLC works on a range of human rights issues, such as children’s rights, immigrant justice, economic justice, mass incarceration, and LGBT rights. And so, fortunately, in addition to watching SPLC weigh in tirelessly on the police’s deadly use of force this year, we have also been able to celebrate with its staff over the landmark win over gay marriage bans, as well as the 50th Anniversaries of the March on Selma and the Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Again, we have nothing to do with the success of this organization, but to collaborate with this team and to be close to their work has been incredible. We couldn’t be more proud of the website that we designed and implemented along with SPLC’s incredible communications team. Over the next few weeks, we will be writing about the many technical and process innovations we had the chance to implement with the SPLC team. In the meantime, we hope that you will take some time to explore their new site and to join us in celebrating and supporting their mission.
As a contrib module developer that is starting to delve into Drupal 8 I wanted to share my experience working with Drupal 8. This is a video of me going through the process of re-creating the contrib module Token Conditions that I had created the week before. Along the way I delve into some new systems in Drupal 8 and give examples of how to figure out how to add functionality to this vastly changed version of Drupal.
Created and powered by InternetDevels Drupal development company
If your website could speak, there’s one most important thing you would probably hear. And this thing is “Please send me to DruDesk!”. Such a silent request can come up in many cases — let’s see when.Read more
My Mac spends the majority of the day running at between one and a dozen VMs. I do all my development (besides iOS or Mac dev) running code inside VMs, and for many years I used VirtualBox, a free virtualization tool, along with Vagrant and Ansible, to build and manage all these VMs.
Since I use build and rebuild dozens of VMs per day, and maintain a popular Vagrant configuration for Drupal development (Drupal VM), as well as dozens of other VMs (like Ansible Vagrant Examples), I am highly motivated to find the fastest and most reliable virtualization software for local development. I switched from VirtualBox to VMware Fusion (which requires a for-pay plugin) a year ago, as a few benchmarks I ran at the time showed VMware was 10-30% faster.
This project aims to cover a gap in panel page (page manager pages) translation.
There are different approaches like https://www.drupal.org/project/mlpanels and i18n_panels but they can't be used for translating panels in a way of nodes translation.
Current approach adds ability to have different pages templates and content for different languages with URI translated as well.
Jay Epstein (jeppy64), Senior Developer with TrakTek joins Mike, Ted, and Ryan to talk about his Relativity Data Model and why he feels it is a superior method for architectuing Drupal sites with a limited number of modules and no custom code. We dive into the techniques, contrib modules, and benefits of the model before our weekly roundup of Drupal news and events.
Code Server provides a framework for calling PHP functions on a Drupal site from code running on a different Drupal site.
When Savas built a custom Drupal 8 theme, we needed to include a grid framework and chose Bourbon's Neat for its ease of use, its light weight, and the library of useful Sass mixins provided by Bourbon. In this post I detail how to set all of this up and use Compass to compile SCSS.
Responsive design is a watchword for many web design gurus, and it has become a kind of unspoken rule for online experiences: If your website can’t respond to users on every device, then it is an affront to those users. This rule, which maybe doesn’t have to include such unforgiving terms as “affront,” has to be acknowledged well before a user even has a chance to set their eyes and cursor on a website.
Responsiveness is arguably the first barrier to creating good user experiences. So if it’s such common knowledge, then why are we all still talking about it?
How do you prepare for the inevitable, yet moving target of Drupal 8 when you’re busy with client work? Join Four Kitchens Web Chefs as we take the plunge with a practice group.
Acquia Developer Center Blog: Five Ways to Leverage Third-Party APIs: The Drupal-Zendesk Integration
When Acquia’s Global Support Team outgrew their ticketing system in 2013, it was time to make a change. An outdated ticketing system was taxing their team and compromising their ability to support customers. In addition to lacking the core functionality required to meet increasing customer expectations, the third-party vendor lacked visibility and integration with existing systems like JIRA and Toggl, reporting was slow, and SLA was waning.
The Global Support Team decided to look for a new, flexible API that would deliver tight integration with existing systems and generate responsive channels for quick, direct and clear communications. Reporting needed to be real-time and fast, and the customer and agent UX needed to be streamlined. Acquia needed a new system.In Walks Zendesk
After systematic vendor vetting, Acquia’s Global Support Team quickly determined that Zendesk’s documented API provided the flexibility needed to do things the Acquian way. Zendesk is a customer service platform that provides the ideal framework for an enterprise environment. Zendesk offers an out-of-the-box solution, which provides a front-end customer interface and a back-end agent UX. Instead of just “drinking their own champagne,” Acquia decided to split a bottle with Zendesk’s REST API and develop the front-end of their Acquia Help Center in Drupal.Drupal-Zendesk Integration
With a Drupal-Zendesk solution, Acquia built a powerful ticket request system that provides unparalleled support to their customers and internal teams. Here are five ways Acquia’s Support team leveraged a third-party API to build a new ticketing system.
1. Using Zendesk’s API to create customer requests in Acquia’s Help Center on Drupal
Acquia needed to migrate nearly 100k pre-existing tickets into Zendesk. This kind of overhaul required some reconciliation. Reorganization consisted of deleting completed tickets, cleaning up the open ticket queue, and configuring data into Zendesk.
The new Acquia Help Center was built using Zendesk’s REST API in Drupal, providing a Customer UX that is easy to navigate. The Agent UX, utilized internally by the support team, is outfitted with all of Zendesk’s built-in functionality. Zendesk also offered Acquia’s Global Support Team the ability to customize their apps to guarantee top performance.
2. Additional Info Block Application
The flexibility of the Zendesk Apps Framework allows companies to extend the capabilities of the framework to leverage tickets, users and knowledgebases. Acquia customized their solution with an Additional Info Block Application, embedded in the Agent UX. The info block provides a global and integrated view of the customer.
The info box displays information such as the product the customer is using, the number of application support tickets their subscription enables them to register, what networks they are connected to, special handling notes and their account management team.
“This heightened customer visibility allows diverse members of Acquia’s Global Support Team to best support the customer’, says Jeannie Finks, Director of Global Support Systems and Programs at Acquia. “This supplementary ticket data is a necessity for our team to provide customers with the personalized assistance they need and now expect”.
3. Time Tracking App
By leveraging the flexibility of the Zendesk Apps Framework, Acquia was able to aggregate all of their systems in one place. Existing systems like JIRA and Toggl are essential to Acquia’s workflow, and needed to remain accessible in the Agent UX. Toggl is a time tracking app that allows you to sync your entries in real time. Toggl’s cloud based framework is Acquia’s default time tracking interface. Acquia’s custom Toggl-Zendesk app pushes ticket time to a central repo of daily agent activity:
Additionally, Zendesk’s partnership has enhanced the view of the customers through expert reporting. The Zendesk toolkit allowed Acquia to track tickets rolled in by account, customer backlog, and a root cause report. The introduction of expert reporting offers support teams a comprehensive overview of the customer. Real-time reporting provides Acquia’s Support Leadership with the resources needed to proactively identify critical issues and solve them quickly. This Info Block increases customer visibility, allowing Acquia to see what their customer needs, right when they need it.
4. Custom SLA Monitoring and Notification within Zendesk
The ticketing system also monitors the status of tickets based on a customer’s Service Level Agreement. Acquia continues to take advantage of Zendesk’s flexibility by configuring SLA data from a central customer data warehouse. This customization generates alerts that flow into all key communication channels, such as mail and chat. This custom monitoring system notifies teams when SLA expiration time is appended to a ticket, providing support teams with the visibility needed to best assist the customer.
5. JIRA and Zendesk Linked Tickets
In addition to Toggl, JIRA is a ticketing system that Acquia’s Global Support Team utilized internally. It was a workflow necessity to have continued access to JIRA, and Zendesk’s robust API enabled Acquia to do so. Acquia further customized their API with a mini app that linked tickets filed in JIRA and Zendesk.
The system scans Zendesk ticket comments, subject, and internal URL fields. After scanning, it will match any Acquia JIRA project keys. The system will then display the JIRA key, subject, status, time created, updated time, reporter and assignee. Comment links can also be added to any JIRA ticket.
“The benefit of these customized applications is that all of Acquia’s support systems are connected in one place”, says Finks. “The convenience of having JIRA, Toggl and a customer info block in the Agent UX relieves the major pain points that were taxing our internal teams. Through our integration with Zendesk, Acquia’s Help Center is able to offer unparalleled global support to customers 24/7”.
The next installment of our series will examine best practices when integrating with a third-party API.Blog series: Integrating Drupal and ZendeskWorkflow: PendingFeatured: NoTags: acquia drupal planetDrupal 8 related: NoAuthor: Georgianna Anderson
Over the last couple of years, I've seen one module appear on almost every high profile Drupal site.
That module is Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation, or AdvAgg, for short.
Here are two videos that will help you install and configure AdvAgg:
By now, if you have been using Drush for a while I assume you are comfortable with all the basics. (I consider the basics to be things like downloading modules or updating a site.) I also assume you are aware that Drush has plenty of other features built in, but you probably don't take advantage of them. In this article I want to show you a few things that are just as easy to use as the “basics” and only require a little upfront setup to use them. Once you learn them, they will quickly find their way into your daily workflow.Shell Aliases
Consider how much time you spend typing out commands. Now think of all the commands you type over and over again. Next, think about all the commands that have a lot of options and how often you refer to help resources to remember which options you need to use. Wouldn’t it be better if we simplified those things? Conveniently, Drush allows you to do exactly that: create shortcuts or aliases in a file called drushrc.php. I'll refer to it as the command file later in this article.
Let's start with an easy example: the clear cache command. This command isn't very long but we can still improve on it. Plus, it's probably one of the most frequently used.
Edit your drushrc.php file; if it doesn't exist create it. It's typically in your home folder at:~/.drush/drushrc.php
Add this line to the bottom of this file and save it:$options['shell-aliases']['ca'] = 'cache-clear all';
We just added a shell alias. Now instead of typing this:$ drush clear-cache all
You only need to type:$ drush ca
That wasn't too hard, right? That was one line of code, and you just improved on an already very simple command.
I don't remember the last time I had a client happy with the way a Drupal admin/menu looked. Even current revisions in Drupal 8 are not getting rave reviews. This module solves a large problem very simply, use a tried and true menu/navigation.
Views mobile module provides a mechanism to switch the display of a view when in a mobile device.Usage
In order to the module work you need to clone the display you want to provide a mobile version and update the display machine name to add the "_mobile" suffix.
e.g: If you have a block display named "featured". You have to clone the "Featured" display and update the machine name of the cloned diplay to "featured_mobile".
Having the mobile display set the module will take care of switching the display when the user is using a mobile device.
Make your site respond in real-time to each user action. Each user can have a different experience using LiftIgniter.
"The right time to add an abstraction to a design is at the point when you start feeling the pain of not having it."
Small and medium-size businesses can benefit with a good content strategy backed by a content management system (CMS) like Drupal. The internet is evolving fast. A good content strategy helps business keep a close pace with the trend.
More and more people are using mobile phones to get information and connect with others. A CMS website can quickly turn into responsive design. A responsive website provides better user experience for mobile users. Hence, Google ranks a responsive website higher than none responsive ones.
It is beneficial for a business to have a long term and short term digital plan. It saves money in a long run. If a company has a consistent plan for next 5 to 15 years, it helps avoid costly overhaul of previously built software and redo anything just because it did not fit into a big picture.
Here is an example of my customer who is doing great in the travel insurance business. Their consistent content strategy help them take a lion share of a niche market, a Chinese travel insurance market.
They are focusing on Chinese travel insurance market. At the very beginning, the owner of the business Jun Niu has an excellent long-term goal for his business. He built a comprehensive Drupal based system for his insurance business. With Drupal powerful Multi-lingual support, he built a website having three languages. The website is serving as a primary marketing tool. Mr. Niu published unique content that are valuable for Chinese travelers to Canada. There is an online insurance quotation system built from a Drupal contributed module. With the quotation system, people can easily compare insurance policies from different insurance companies. They can place an insurance order online. Other than that, backend system catches other customers' leads.
A system built on Drupal is well SEO-tuned. Niu's website rank high in Google search result. Keywords like "Canada travel insurance" in the Chinese language is on the first page of both Google and Baidu. Their website rank high in the search result of other search engines. As I am writing this article, their keyword "Canada travel insurance" in Chinese rank #1 on Google search result and also on the first page of Baidu. It brings thousands of organic search visit and hundreds of high-quality leads every week. Without spending any other marketing dollars, the company doing great with the solid content strategy.
Mr. Niu's had the great vision at the beginning. He built his insurance business on a top of Drupal-based software system. Supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world, Drupal is an enterprise standard open source software. Mr. Niu's system serves as a marketing tool that bring hundreds of quality leads every week. The content management system lets Mr.Niu's employees easily publish blogs and articles. Recently, they hired us a Toronto Drupal shop for a main Drupal version upgrade.
If the software is a pillar of a successful business, building a system from Drupal is a cornerstone of it. A good content strategy secures a profitable business.