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INsReady: Case Study: Launching Inventory Control System with Commerce 8.x-2.0-alpha4 on Drupal 8.1

29 April 2016 - 2:12am

One of our clients recently became interested in taking their inventory control system to a next level. They were offered a solution to go with an out of shelf ERP system. However, it's a requirement that the client has to change the business operation in order to meet the workflow and implicit technical requirements of the ERP system. Moreover, the solution was lack of integration with existing websites and very popular 3rd party mobile platform like WeChat in China (WeChat had 697 million MAUs at the end of December, 2015).

We were brought in to the project to offer an alternative solution. So, we started with reviewing the scale of the business first:

  • One young fashion brand
  • 4 physical retail stores with the 5th one opening within 2 months
  • 1 Magento powered eCommerce site
  • Retail stores, warehouses and manufacturing factory in different cities and countries, such as Shanghai and Hongkong
  • One 4 years old inventory control system which required the manual labor to enter the orders made by Magento
  • 60 products with 8000 SKUs
  • 500 product attributes among Style, Color and Size

We set our goals below for the first phase of the project:

  • Make data complete and rich; this is the foundation for any future analytics and predictions of manufacture and sales. In short: Full stock movement tracking cross the whole business.
  • Centralized stock management for physical stores as well as online Mangeto store. In other words, we need a integration between the inventory control system and Magento stock
  • Offline-Friendly Point of Sales system for physical stores
  • Bulk operation for managing stocks at warehouses
  • Easy but dynamic reporting for different roles at operation to see stock as well as movements
  • High availability or redundancy

We quickly decided to use Drupal 8 (at the time, D8.0.2 was just released) with the understanding that we might need to do a lot of develop within Commerce 2.x. After 3 months, we have met all of our goals, and now we are lunching the project with Commerce 8.x-2.0-alpha4 on Drupal 8.1. In the past 3 months, we have contributed below back to the open source communities:

Below are some screenshots from the project:


(Offline-friendly dedicate page to bulk manage inventory)


(Stock movement page built with Views)

Special thanks to bojanz at CommerceGuys for the great work on Commerce on Drupal 8

Files:  Inventory Control System.png Screenshot from 2016-04-29 16-58-25.pngTag: Drupal PlanetCommerceInventory Control
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Commerce: Commerce 2.0-alpha4 released

28 April 2016 - 3:30pm

Almost two months and seven thousand lines of code later, here's Commerce 2.0-alpha4. This release brings checkout and revamped product attributes. We've also added upgrade path APIs in preparation for beta1. Meanwhile, we helped push Drupal 8.1 out the door and fixed many Inline Entity Form bugs.


The new checkout flow configuration form.

Reminder: Commerce 2.x alphas are NOT production ready. No upgrade path is provided between alphas. A full reinstall is needed each time.

Read on to find out what's new...

Categories: Drupal

Hook 42: DrupalCon New Orleans - We're Excited! How About You?

28 April 2016 - 2:10pm
Thursday, April 28, 2016 We're all super excited to be heading to the Big Easy soon for DrupalCon!

We wanted to share some of the sessions and attractions we are looking forward to the most. Hope we see all of you there to share ideas, have a drink, and laissez les bon temps rouler!

We polled our team (and some friends) to find out what everyone is the most excited about - the general theme was food, but you can read all the silly and serious details below.

First the "serious" business question - What session, BoF, training or speaker are you most excited about? Aimee:

I am excited to hear from Dave Reid and how he is handling module ownership of so many widely used modules. Also, this year has a dedicated Project Management track. The Drupal community needs a healthy influx of the business arts to help strengthen its enterprise-grade use. Drupal isn't just the technology, but the people and process used to implement and support it!

Kristen:

There are so many scheduled activities that look great, it's hard to pick just one. One that I'm hoping to get a lot out of is the "Teaching Drupal to Kids and Teens" BoF on Tuesday at 1pm. Having 10 and 13 year old kids, I plan to come home and use them as guinea pigs for the tips we share in that BoF.

Amyjune:

The session I am most excited about is - Documentation is getting an Overhaul or Using Paragraphs to Weave a Beautiful Content Tapestry

Chris:

It's my first time there, so I am going in with an open mind and no expectations. Generally just looking forward to a great experience.

Darryl:

Drupal Commerce

Genevieve:

I'm not sure if I have a single session or training I am most excited about, I've got a lot of UX sessions on my schedule at the moment. I am excited to know a lot more about Drupal this year compared to my first trip to DrupalCon last year - so all of it will probably make a bit more sense. Can I be excited about the closing ceremony and finding out where it will be next year?

Kevin:

I still have about three sessions chosen per hour, so I'll have to narrow it down. But looking forward Sara Wachter-Boettcher's keynote and sprinting on Friday.

Kristin (K2):

I'm most excited about mentoring on Friday - come join us! I'm also excited about the in between times when Lindsay and I get to say "Wow that was great!" or "What the heck were they on about?"

Jason:

I'm most excited about the "Hallway track"

Jeff:

The sessions I am most exited about are - "Drupal 8's multilingual APIs -- integrate with all the things" by Gábor Hojtsy, "Automated javascript testing: where we are and what we actually want" by dawehner
 and "Watch the Hacker Hack" by mlhess and greggles

Lindsay:

All the front end sessions. I'm excited to learn as much as possible and put that knowledge to good use.

Patrick:

I'm excited for the "Get off the island! But build bridges back" session! It's focus is building an independent PHP library with the intent of using it in Drupal 7 or 8 or any PHP project! I think it's important to be able to keep the bridges open with outside ideas that we can merge with Drupal so it stays fresh with the latest web development!

Tom:

I'm looking forward to “Must be Intuitive and Easy to Use”: How to Solidify Vague Requirements and Establish Unknown User Needs.

 

Now, on to the "fun" part - What are you most excited to see or do in New Orleans?

Aimee:

Wow, so many! I'm excited about our team dinner on a steamboat, the ghost tour, and walking around the French Quarter to discover what there makes "les bons temps rouler"!

Kristen:

All of the food! I've heard amazing things about the food in New Orleans so I'm looking forward to beignets, jambalaya, gumbo, and po-boys. I normally try to eat pretty healthfully but I've given myself a pass to eat whatever I'd like that week. :)

Amyjune:

I very excited about geocaching in the Lower Garden District. I also like to drink beer...anywhere.

Chris:

Looking forward to some American food, and getting to spend time the with rest of the team!

Darryl:

Preservation Hall Jazz Band!

Genevieve:

I think I am most excited about the Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise! Maybe getting to explore the French Quarter and Garden District, or eating too much food, or visiting New Orleans in general, because I've always wanted to go!

Kevin:

Crawfish! And a beignet or more...

Kristin (K2):

I am most excited about beignets from the Cafe Du Monde! I'm most excited about just walking around enjoying the beautiful architecture and music. And beignets. And poor-boys. And food. All the food.

Jason:

Hallway track

Jeff:

Hanging out with people I haven't seen in awhile :)

Lindsay:

EVERYTHING. IT IS THE MOST HAUNTED CITY IN AMERICA. THE HISTORY IS AMAZING. THE FOOD IS GOING TO BE SPECTACULAR. ARE MY ANSWERS IN ALL CAPS DEMONSTRATING HOW EXCITED I AM?!?!?!

Patrick:

I don't know much about New Orleans, I'm just excited to travel. It would be fun to see a Pelican so I can figure out why they named their NBA team after them, and mostly I just want to eat!

Tom:

I have some family roots there, so there is a lot of personal excitement for me.

 

 

Can't wait to share a beignet, a conversation or maybe even a ghost sighting with you all!

 

 

Hook 42 Topics:
Categories: Drupal

Mediacurrent: 20 Things You Must Know Before Approaching A Web Agency

28 April 2016 - 12:27pm

Before you engage with a new agency to build or redesign your site, there are some key data points you should know about your existing site.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8 core release window on Wednesday, May 04, 2016

28 April 2016 - 11:43am
Start:  2016-05-03 12:00 - 2016-05-05 12:00 UTC Organizers:  xjm catch Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

The monthly core patch (bug fix) release window is this Wednesday, May 04. Drupal 8.1.1 will be released with dozens of fixes for Drupal 8. There will be no Drupal 7 bugfix release this month.

To ensure a reliable release window for the patch release, there will be a Drupal 8.1.x commit freeze from 12:00 UTC Tuesday to 12:00 UTC Thursday. Now is a good time to update your development/staging servers to the latest 8.1.x-dev code and help us catch any regressions in advance. If you do find any regressions, please report them in the issue queue. Thanks!

To see all of the latest changes that will be included in the release, see the 8.1.x commit log.

Other upcoming core release windows after this week include:

  • Wednesday, May 18 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, June 01 (patch release window)
  • Wednesday, October 5 (scheduled minor release)

Drupal 6 is end-of-life and will not receive further releases.

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, as well as the Drupal core release cycle overview.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: How is Drupal 8 doing?

28 April 2016 - 11:31am

The one big question I get asked over and over these days is: "How is Drupal 8 doing?". It's understandable. Drupal 8 is the first new version of Drupal in five years and represents a significant rethinking of Drupal.

So how is Drupal 8 doing? With less than half a year since Drupal 8 was released, I'm happy to answer: outstanding!

As of late March, Drupal.org counted over 60,000 Drupal 8 sites. Looking back at the first four months of Drupal 7, about 30,000 sites had been counted. In other words, Drupal 8 is being adopted twice as fast as Drupal 7 had been in its first four months following the release.

As we near the six-month mark since releasing Drupal 8, the question "How is Drupal 8 doing?" takes on more urgency for the Drupal community with a stake in its success. For the answer, I can turn to years of experience and say while the number of new Drupal projects typically slows down in the year leading up to the release of a new version; adoption of the newest version takes up to a full year before we see the number of new projects really take off.

Drupal 8 is the middle of an interesting point in its adoption cycle. This is the phase where customers are looking for budgets to pay for migrations. This is the time when people focus on learning Drupal 8 and its new features. This is when the modules that extend and enhance Drupal need to be ported to Drupal 8; and this is the time when Drupal shops and builders are deep in the three to six month sales cycle it takes to sell Drupal 8 projects. This is often a phase of uncertainty but all of this is happening now, and every day there is less and less uncertainty. Based on my past experience, I am confident that Drupal 8 will be adopted at "full-force" by the end of 2016.

A few weeks ago I launched the Drupal 2016 product survey to take pulse of the Drupal community. I plan to talk about the survey results in my DrupalCon keynote in New Orleans on May 10th but in light of this blog post I felt the results to one of the questions is worth sharing and commenting on sooner:

Over 1,800 people have answered that question so far. People were allowed to pick up to 3 answers for the single question from a list of answers. As you can see in the graph, the top two reasons people say they haven't upgraded to Drupal 8 yet are (1) the fact that they are waiting for contributed modules to become available and (2) they are still learning Drupal 8. The results from the survey confirm what we see every release of Drupal; it takes time for the ecosystem, both the technology and the people, to come along.

Fortunately, many of the most important modules, such as Rules, Pathauto, Metatag, Field Collection, Token, Panels, Services, and Workbench Moderation, have already been ported and tested for Drupal 8. Combined with the fact that many important modules, like Views and CKEditor, moved to core, I believe we are getting really close to being able to build most websites with Drupal 8.

The second reason people cited for not jumping onto Drupal 8 yet was that they are still learning Drupal 8. One of the great strengths of Drupal has long been the willingness of the community to share its knowledge and teach others how to work with Drupal. We need to stay committed to educating builders and developers who are new to Drupal 8, and DrupalCon New Orleans is an excellent opportunity to share expertise and learn about Drupal 8.

What is most exciting to me is that less than 3% answered that they plan to move off Drupal altogether, and therefore won't upgrade at all. Non-response bias aside, that is an incredible number as it means the vast majority of Drupal users plan to eventually upgrade.

Yes, Drupal 8 is a significant rethinking of Drupal from the version we all knew and loved for so long. It will take time for the Drupal community to understand Drupal's new design and capabilities and how to harness that power but I am confident Drupal 8 is the right technology at the right time, and the adoption numbers so far back that up. Expect Drupal 8 adoption to start accelerating.

Categories: Drupal

Axelerant Blog: Agile Drupal Support Teams Like Ours Are Self-Organized

28 April 2016 - 11:00am

What do the best agile Drupal support teams, plasma laser systems,

and flocks of birds have in common? 

 They’re self-organizing. And you’ve got to see the big picture to get it. I’ll show you.

First off, I suppose should tell you that I’ve been studying self-organization as a scientific discipline for the last decade. It’s a good thing I like this stuff, right? During this 10 year journey I’ve jumped into various subjects: plasma laser systems, educational technology, robotics and computer simulations, Drupal project management, and of course: organizational dynamics.

What I found is that when you get the depths of each of these topics, it’s too easy to see the similarities. Each allows for a systemic view—the big picture.

But before we get in too deep here, let’s cover some basics. A system is a collection of interacting components, each having its purpose. The what doesn’t matter; it’s about the how. It could be plasma particles in laser-plasma interactions, it could be a team working on a project, it could be functional groups interacting to form an organization, it could be a flock of birds flying together constantly maintaining distance. The list is endless.

What we’re talking about here are fixed systems. System that:

(A) Can produce the same outcomes in different ways in the same environment and different results in the same and different environments

(B) Can not only learn and adopt but also create

Agile Drupal support teams are great examples.

They are in effect flexible, scaleable systems that have to naturally adapt to function in a changing environment or perform within a constant environment. Agile facilitates evolution and adaption, meaning fully-agile Drupal teams can do this.

So how does this science work with agile Drupal teams?

Agility in Drupal project management is a simple way to look at project teams as self-organizing nonlinear systems. This system is a network of interacting autonomous entities, all working towards the project’s goal. Each team member is autonomous, and the goal is value-driven.

As an example, Scrum which is an agile model with its three pillars of transparency is a framework that allows the teams to work towards the objective that makes the team most productive. Through this, team productivity is far more important than individual productivity. So while autonomy is taking place, collective achievement is the end-result.

The systemic view of agile teams also explains why clients are expected to be an active participant in the dynamics. The client is a component of the whole system which impacts the input flux, the project’s requirements, and output flux, the project’s releases, by defining priorities and needs.

Every kind of system needs a set of guiding rules.

Scrum, one kind of an agile technique framework for things like agile Drupal QA, is nothing but a set of rules that the project team as a system agrees to play by to meet their goals. Scrum isn’t a methodology—it’s a set of steps that have to be followed, like a manual.

The objective of any system is to improve continuously and emerge. Emergence here means achieving something that wouldn’t be possible independently. It takes an integrated team.

If we look at a project team, scrum does allow agile Drupal retrospectives as a tool or technique for continuous improvement. The main purpose of any environment where any system operates is to design interventions towards improved performance of the system.

Self-Organizing Drupal Support Teams?

So in this way, the best Drupal team can be a self-organizing system, and why not? The science does not limit the volume or size of the system. Perhaps a better word would be a self-organizing dynamic system, through constant retrospection and agility. You can bring stability to chaotic situations—or steep and changing demands or requirements—to meet a shared goal or organizational vision.

Today the discipline of System Dynamics is being used to model the software development life cycle, SDLC, processes we commonly use today. Or at least, that’s what we’re using successfully with our agile Drupal support teams. It works.

You can make this happen.

Applying agile and enabling self-organization might cause some growing pains at first. At Axelerant, we’re transitioning our content department to agile frameworks. It takes time. But for many organizations—perhaps yours?—the way teams go about creating things like dynamic software needs to change.

How?

Agencies with flexible Drupal services, centered on agile practices and self-organizing principals, can help bring this to you. Because enabling self-organization may not be an in-house option right now. But one thing is absolutely for certain—whether you partner with a team like ours of if you go about self-organizing yourself. Things will never be the same.

Want an agile Drupal support on your side? Click Onward. jQuery(document).ready(function() { var custom_cta_viewed = false; jQuery(document).scroll(function() { if ( typeof ga !== 'undefined' && typeof isScrolledIntoViewPort !== 'undefined' && jQuery.isFunction( isScrolledIntoViewPort) && isScrolledIntoViewPort('.custom-cta') && custom_cta_viewed == false ) { custom_cta_viewed = true; ga('send', 'event', 'cta', 'view', 'drupal-support-maintenance'); } }); });

This article was originally published on November 11, 2015. It has since been updated.

This article Agile Drupal Support Teams Like Ours Are Self-Organized by Karuna Batra first appeared on Axelerant - Axelerant: Expert Drupal Development, Support, & Staffing.

Categories: Drupal

ImageX Media: Q&A with Lead Front-End Developer, Trent Stromkins

28 April 2016 - 9:33am

ImageX’s front-end development lead, Trent Stromkins, brings a unique background to his role. As a former designer, he uses his love for good design to develop with aesthetics and user experience in mind by marrying form and function. We spoke with Trent to discuss his experience and his thoughts on where design and development intersect.

 

Categories: Drupal

Phponwebsites: Create a node programmatially in Drupal 7

28 April 2016 - 8:24am
      This blog describes about how to create a new node programmatically in Drupal 7. If you want to add a new node, you can done at node/add by default. In Drupal, you can also add a node programmatically. Let see the below code.

<?php
// create object
  $node = new stdClass();
  // set title for a node
  $node->title = t('Created node programmatically');
  // set node type
  $node->type = 'article';
  // set node language
  $node->language = LANGUAGE_NONE;
  // set value to node body
  $node->body[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] = t('This node has been created programmatically in Drupal 7');
  // set value to node body summary
  //$node->body[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['summary'] = text_summary(t('This node has been created programmatically in Drupal 7'));
  // set node body format like plain_text, filtered_html, full_html
  $node->body[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['format'] = 'filtered_html';
  node_object_prepare($node);
  // author for a node
  $node->uid = 1;
  // status of node  0 - unpublished, 1 - published
  $node->status = 1;
  // promoted to front page or not
  $node->promote = 0;
  // sitcky at top of tha page
  $node->sticky = 0;
  // comments 0 - hidden, 1 - closed, 2 - opened
  $node->comment = 1;

  // add term
  $node->field_tags[$node->language][]['tid'] = 1;

  // get the file path
  $file_path = drupal_get_path('module', 'phponwebsites') . '/Desert.jpg';
  // create file object
  $file = (object) array(
    'uid' => 1,
    'uri' => $file_path,
    'filemime' => file_get_mimetype($file_path),
    'status' => 1,
  );
  // Save the file to the public directory. You can specify a subdirectory, for example, 'public://images'
  $file = file_copy($file, 'public://');
  // assign the file object into image field
  $node->field_image[LANGUAGE_NONE][0] = (array)$file;
  // Prepare node for a submit
  $node = node_submit($node);
  //save the node
  node_save($node);


    After ran this code, you can see newly created node at admin/content. When you view that node, it looks like below image:



     Now I’ve hope you know how to create a new node programmatically in Drupal 7.
Related articles:
Add new menu item into already created menu in Drupal 7
Add class into menu item in Drupal 7
Create menu tab programmatically in Drupal 7
Add custom fields to search api index in Drupal 7
Clear views cache when insert, update and delete a node in Drupal 7
Create a page without header and footer in Drupal 7
Login using both email and username in Drupal 7
Redirect users into any page after logged into a site in Drupal 7
Categories: Drupal

Chromatic: May the Git --FORCE Be With You [Advanced Git Webinar]

28 April 2016 - 7:46am
5/25/16 – 10:00PST ~ 13:00EST ~ 17:00UTC

Register Now!

You know how to get things done with git: pull, add, commit, push; but have you mastered it like a jedi does the force? Nothing is a more lasting record of our work then our git commits. In a galaxy where companies ask you for your Github account in lieu of, or in addition to a resume, we have one more reason to make sure that our commit history is as readable as our code itself.

In this one hour session, we will cover:

  • Rewriting commits
  • Reordering commits
  • Combining commits
  • The perfect commit message
  • Finding bugs using git
  • Avoiding common pitfalls

Join us for this session and you will leave a jedi-level git master!

These Are Not the Commits You're Looking For

Register Now!
Categories: Drupal

Chromatic: Chromatic Site Launch Guide

28 April 2016 - 7:46am

When we prepare to launch a site, we all generally follow a rough checklist of items (if only in our own minds!) to ensure sure that all systems are go. At Chromatic, we wanted to produce a repeatable process that we could share not only amongst ourselves, but also with the community; and so the Chromatic Site Launch Guide was born.

We are hosting this guide outside of our blog as it is a living document and will change over time. Feel free to bookmark it and refer back to it the next time you are preparing to launch a site. The content is generated from a repository on Github, which means modifications via pull requests are welcome!

Categories: Drupal

Drop Guard: Probo.CI and Drop Guard work together for better QA process

28 April 2016 - 3:23am
Probo.CI and Drop Guard work together for better QA process Igor Kandyba Thu, 28.04.2016 - 12:23

Not long ago we were talking about the value of testing your updates in feature branch instances. It's the most efficient way of ensuring the quality of applied updates, but it's very time-consuming.

To use this process, you are required to maintain your own infrastructure to spin up QA servers quickly, run automated tests and share the testing instance between team members. And preferably, you do it every time an update is applied for any of the modules across your websites.

Probo.CI integration QA Drop Guard recipes Drupal Planet
Categories: Drupal

Jeff Geerling's Blog: Migrate a custom JSON feed in Drupal 8 with Migrate Source JSON

27 April 2016 - 7:21pm

Recently I needed to migrate a small set of content into a Drupal 8 site from a JSON feed, and since documentation for this particular scenario is slightly thin, I decided I'd post the entire process here.

I was given a JSON feed available over the public URL http://www.example.com/api/products.json which looked something like:

Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: A Framework for Project Kickoffs

27 April 2016 - 4:05pm

Project kickoffs can be the shortest individual component of a project, but they can also be the most important. Done poorly, a kickoff can feel like a reading of a contract by inhuman actors doing inhuman work. Done well, a kickoff can bring a team together and push them towards success. Kickoffs are one of the project skills we don’t get many opportunities to iterate and learn. Developers at Lullabot commonly end up attached to a client or project for many months (or years!) at a time, so it’s entirely possible to go that period of time without having a formal kickoff. Here are some thoughts I’ve had after doing several kickoffs this year.

About the Client

In a distributed team, a kickoff usually happens with a phone call. While pre-sales communication will have already happened, the kickoff call is usually the first time when everyone working on a team will be together at once. As a team member from the vendor, this is your chance to ask questions of the business stakeholders who might not be available day to day. I like to find out:

  • Why are we all here? Are the business, technology, or creative concerns the primary driver?
  • What is the business looking for their team to learn and accomplish?
  • What are the external constraints on the project? Are there timelines and due dates, or other projects dependent on our work? What are the upcoming decisions and turning points in the business that could have a big affect on the project?
About Me

We all have ideas about how we want to work and be utilized on a project. Making sure they align with the client is very important to work out during a kickoff. Sometimes, a client has specific priorities of work to get done. Other times, they might not have realized you have skills in a specific subject area that they really need. It’s really important to understand your role on a project, especially if you have multiple skill sets. Perhaps you’re a great Drupal site builder, but what the client really needs is to use your skills to organize and clean up their content model. Figuring all of that out is a great kickoff topic.

About Us

Once we understand each other, then we can start to figure out how we work together. It’s kind of like moving in with someone. You might know each other very well, but how are you going to handle talking with your landlord? How are each person’s work schedules going to integrate?

For a distributed team, communication tools are at the core of this discussion. We all have email, chat rooms, instant messaging, video, and more. What tools are best used when? Are there specific tools the client prefers, or tools that they can’t use because of their company’s network setup? Finding the middle ground between “all mediums, all the time” and “it’s all in person until you ask” is key.

Recurring meetings are another good topic to cover. Some companies will take new team members, add them to every recurring meeting, and use up a 10 hour-per-week consulting engagement with nothing but agile ceremony. Perhaps that’s what you’re needed for—or perhaps they’ve just operated out of habit. Finding a good balance will go a long way towards building a sustainable relationship.

Sharing each person’s timezones and availability also helps to keep expectations reasonable. Some companies have recurring meetings (like Lullabot’s Monday / Friday Team Calls) which will always be booked. Sometimes individuals have days their hours are different due to personal or family commitments. Identify the stakeholders who have the “worst” availability and give them extra flexibility in scheduling. Knowing all of this ahead of time will help prevent lots of back-and-forth over meeting times.

Finally, find out who you should go to if work is blocked. That might be a stakeholder or project manager on the client’s side, but it could also be one of your coworkers. Having someone identified to the team as the “unblocker of work” helps keep the project running smoothly and personal tensions low.

About Tech

For development projects, the first question I ask is “will we need any sort of VPN access?”. VPN access is almost always a pain to get set up—many companies aren’t able to smoothly setup contractors who are entirely remote. It’s not unheard of for VPN access to take days or weeks to set up. If critical resources are behind a VPN, it’s a good idea to start setting that up before an official kickoff.

Barring the VPN-monster, figuring out where code repositories are, where tickets are managed, and how development and QA servers work are all good kickoff topics. Get your accounts created and make sure they all work. If a client is missing anything (like a good QA environment or ticket system), this is when you can make some recommendations.

About Onsites

Some projects will have a kickoff colocated somewhere, either at a client’s office or at a location central to everyone. In distributed teams, an in-person meeting can be incredibly useful in understanding each person. The subtle, dry humour of your video expert becomes apparent in-person, but could have been misunderstood online. Most of the above can be handled in the first hour of an onsite visit, leaving much more time to fill given the travel time!

We like to focus onsites on the topics that are significant unknowns, require a significant number of people across many teams, and are likely to require whiteboards, diagrams, and group brainstorming. Project discoveries are a classic fit; it’s common to meet with many different people from different departments, and doing first meetings in person can be a significant time saver. The goal of an onsite shouldn’t be to “kick off” the project—it should be to build the shared understanding a team needs so they can be effective.

But what about sales engineering?

I’m sure some readers are now thinking “Wait a minute! Aren’t these all things you should know before a contract is signed?”. It’s true! Going into a kickoff without any of this information would be a serious risk.

It’s important to remember that the team on a kickoff isn’t going to be identical to the team who did the sales engineering work. Both the client and the vendor will have new people just getting started. As well, it’s useful to hear the project parameters one more time. Discrepancies in the discussions can alert the team to any misunderstandings, or more likely changes in the business environment running up to the signing of the contract. Especially on projects where a team is already working, hearing about progress or changes made in the week between signing an SOW and kickoff can be invaluable.

What did you learn the last time you helped to kick off a project? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: Drupal

DrupalEasy: Just in case - Drupal 8's /core/rebuild.php

27 April 2016 - 11:59am

Drupal 8 has lots of things that Drupal 7 doesn't have - a modern object-oriented foundation, the Twig templating system, and WYSIWYG out-of-the-box - just to name a few. There's also a good number of less flashy additions that are designed to improve the developer experience. One of these additions is the /core/rebuild.php file. 

While it is common knowledge that clearing rebuilding Drupal's caches is good practice during development, Drupal 8 brings a new tool to the table to get it done. Previous to Drupal 8, most developers utilized Drush to clear caches, some less-efficient folks cleared caches from the user interface (usually from the Admin Menu, but sometimes - gasp! - from the admin/config/development/performance page). 

Drupal 8 comes with a new /core/rebuild.php file that doesn't require the Drupal 8 site to be functioning (fatal errors, anyone?) nor does it require Drush or Drupal Console. Instead, as long as your site's configuration allows it, all you have to do is navigate to /core/rebuild.php in your browser. As Drupal's documentation states, this "Rebuilds all Drupal caches even when Drupal itself does not work."

How do you know if your site's configuration supports this functionality? Well, if you're working locally (and if you're developing, you should be working locally), then just make sure that $settings['rebuild_access'] = TRUE; in your settings.php (or, better yet, settings.local.php). The other method involves running the /core/scripts/rebuild_token_calculator.sh script from the commandline, and using the results as query parameters for /core/rebuild.php (see "Method II" on https://www.drupal.org/node/2153725).

Granted, most developers have Drush and/or Drupal Console installed everywhere they're working, but it's always good to have a backup method for rebuilding Drupal's caches - just in case.

Categories: Drupal

Chromatic: Chromatic at DrupalCon New Orleans

27 April 2016 - 9:36am

DrupalCon New Orleans is nearly here and Chromatic will be attending in full force! Here's the rundown of what you need to know:

Learn About Render Arrays from Gus Childs

Gus will be presenting his session on Drupal 8 render arrays on Tuesday at 1pm in the Blackmesh Room (267-268): Aha! Understanding and Using Render Arrays in Drupal 8. If you're ever been confused by render arrays or just want to learn the best practices for how you're supposed to use them, be sure not to miss this session. Gus happens to be an awesome presenter to boot!

Schedule or Attend a BoF in the Chromatic Room

We're once again sponsoring a Birds of a Feather room. BoFs are a great way for folks to get together and discuss interesting topics in a more informal setting. There's already some great BoFs scheduled for the Chromatic room, including one on Drupal VM and Local Development from the well-known geerlingguy. We have a couple BoFs of our own too:

If you have a great idea for a BoF, schedule one for the Chromatic room!

Connect with Us at one of the Summits

In addition to attending the conference proper, we're once again sending our leadership to the Business Summit, as well as sending a couple of folks to the Media & Publishing Summit.

Grab Some Swag

Every year, DrupalCon attendees rave about how awesome and comfortable our t-shirts are. That's because we don't believe in making swag that we ourselves wouldn't love to wear. This year is no different. For NOLA, we've made a limited run of some special vintage baseball tees, printed on 3/4 sleeve American Apparel 50/50 cotton. These shirts are our best yet and we want to give you one for FREE!

See you in New Orleans!

Categories: Drupal

ImageX Media: Inbound Marketing in 2016 - Why it's Essential to Your Web Success

27 April 2016 - 7:44am

Devising an effective inbound marketing strategy is vital for countless reasons, and is critical for the growth of business in terms of gaining exposure, building your brand, and truly 'connecting' with prospective leads and customers, members of your industry's target audience.  

There are countless reasons this type of marketing is so essential to your success on the Internet, including:

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: The Coffee Module Makes Life Easier for Drupal Admins

27 April 2016 - 2:44am

Navigating through Drupal's admina area can be complex for users.

Drupal's Coffee Module can help Drupal newcomers. Coffee adds an additional search function which allows admins to search and go directly to the areas they need.

Coffee is available for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

Categories: Drupal

btmash.com: Saving and retrieving taxonomy terms programmatically for Drupal 8

26 April 2016 - 9:52pm

Over the past month, I've been attempting to learn more about Drupal 8 by attempting to port the @font-your-face module which has a lot of different pieces; it touches on Content Entities, Config Entities, regular entities, views, classes, hooks, and more! I'll try and blog on my experiences with that in the near future but an interesting problem that I ran into is that I am using taxonomy terms to categorize Font Classifications, supported languages/subsets, and generic tags.

planet drupal
Categories: Drupal

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