Jeff Geerling's Blog: Real World DevOps

Planet Drupal - 17 November 2018 - 1:07pm

This blog post contains a written transcript of my NEDCamp 2018 keynote, Real World DevOps, edited to match the style of this blog. Accompanying resources: presentation slides, video (coming soon).

I'm Jeff Geerling; you probably know that because my name appears in huge letters at the top of every page on this site, including the post you're reading right now. I currently work at Acquia as a Senior Technical Architect, building hosting infrastructure projects using some buzzword-worthy tech like Kubernetes, AWS, and Cloud.

Categories: Drupal

Node export entity referece

New Drupal Modules - 17 November 2018 - 11:42am

Node export entity reference

This module can export a node with all entity references based on node import module.

Why would you use it?

In those cases when you would like to move a few contents between different instances rather than using migration service of Drupal use this! :) It is wonderful! :D

drush en node_export_entity_reference -y
Go to admin/modules and enapbe this module.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalEasy: New book: Local Web Development with DDEV Explained

Planet Drupal - 17 November 2018 - 11:01am

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Drud Technology's DDEV-Local web development tool. I selected it as my local development tool of choice for both my clients and my Drupal Career Online students after an exhaustive search. I've been teaching monthly 2-hour online workshops getting folks up-and-running with DDEV, and I've taught numerous full day "Getting started with DDEV" workshops at various Drupal events around the United States.

Since I've been writing, testing, and refining curriculum related to DDEV for well over a year now, it made sense to take everything I've learned and put it in a format that makes it available to even more folks looking to easily adopt a professional local development environment. I'm super-happy to announce that the book is now available for purchase on at a price designed to get it into as many hands as possible - just $5.99 for a digital copy and $9.99 for the dead tree edition.

This first book, Local Web Development with DDEV Explained, is the result of a partnership wtih Steve Burge and the rest of the fine folks at OSTraining, which is the publisher. They've allowed me to retain full control of the book while at the same time tapping into OSTraining's extensive experience in publishing and marketing books related to open source content management systems. 

The book covers the full range of topics related to local web development and DDEV. Topics covered include:

  • Why a professional local development environment is important.
  • What a professional local development workflow looks like.
  • Installing DDEV on Mac OS X, Windows 10, and Ubuntu.
  • Step-by-step example of starting a new Drupal 8 project with Composer and DDEV.
  • Step-by-step example of getting an existing Drupal project up-and-running with DDEV.
  • Adding a Solr container.
  • Common workflows using DDEV.
  • Extending DDEV with hooks.
  • Using Xdebug with DDEV and PhpStorm.

The bulk of the book's content is straight from my training curriculum, so you can be sure that it is tried-and-true, and, as always, reflects only best practices. My goal is always to teach the right way to accomplish a task - no hacks or shortcuts.

My goal is to update the book several times per year, with a list of topics for the first revision already growing. I'll be starting on it in the next few days! By purchasing a digital copy, you'll automatically get updates to the book as they're released. 

Categories: Drupal Drupal’s Layout Initiative and component-based theming

Planet Drupal - 17 November 2018 - 9:52am
A quick overview of some things happening with Drupal’s Layout Initiative from the perspective of component-based theming, a theme development approach that has been gaining popularity in the past few years.
Categories: Drupal

Theme permissions

New Drupal Modules - 17 November 2018 - 8:22am

Theme permissions

=> Create permissions based on themes
=> Provide simple permissions for other modules to restrict access to any drupal themes.

drush en theme_permission
Go to: /admin/modules/ and enable theme pemrissions.

Go to: /admin/config/content/theme_permissions and choose your vocabularies.

Example usage:

Categories: Drupal

Testing tools

New Drupal Modules - 17 November 2018 - 7:20am
Categories: Drupal

Category permissions

New Drupal Modules - 17 November 2018 - 6:43am

Category permissions

=> Create permissions based on taxonomy entries
=> Provide simple permissions for other modules to restrict access to any content by taxonomy terms.

drush en category_permission
Go to: /admin/modules/ and enable category pemrissions.

Go to: /admin/config/content/category_permissions and choose your vocabularies.

Example usage:

Categories: Drupal

SIWECOS Integration

New Drupal Modules - 17 November 2018 - 2:02am

Module to integrate SIWECOS in Drupal Systems.

Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 16 November 2018 - 12:56pm

User experience enhancements for creating content with Assemblies.

Categories: Drupal

Hi-Rez Studios bringing cross-platform play to Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 16 November 2018 - 11:32am

The PlayStation 4, however, is notably absent once again from the list of platforms supported in the move. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sooper Drupal Themes: Out Now: New Profile Feature, Automatic Product Installation & More!

Planet Drupal - 16 November 2018 - 10:27am

We are more than happy to announce that November brings new long-awaited updates and features to the Sooperthemes products! In this September's Sneak Peek blog post we talked about introducing an interface for site administrators to create user profiles that limit elements, buttons and CKEditor toolbar items a user sees in the Glazed Builder interface. This feature is now LIVE and ready-to-use. Moreover, new documentation is available and can be found on our Help Center page. Last but not least - Automatic Product Installation is back in business!

Glazed Builder User Profiles

Take content authoring one step further with the new User Profiles feature. Site administrators can now limit what users with specific Drupal roles get to see in the Glazed Builder Interface. Profiles give you total control over who has access to specific Glazed Builder elements, Drupal blocks, views display and CKEditor buttons. We made profiles into configuration entities, therefore they are also exportable in both Drupal 8 and Drupal 7 - this could be achieved by using the feature module. 
To set up a new Glazed Builder Profile go to Configuration>Content Authoring on your Drupal administration panel and select Glazed Builder.  By clicking "+Add Glazed Builder Profile" button  we are now able to configure a new User Profile based on: Roles, Glazed elements, Drupal blocks, Views, CKEditor buttons (inline & modal editing).

Help Center: New Documentation

We are continuously working towards making Sooperthemes products easy and convenient to use. On our Documentation page you are going to find 30 new tutorials explaining how every Glazed Builder element works. In the near future, short explanation videos are going to be added to each docs page. Longer video tutorials with the focus on how to build complete Drupal websites with Sooperthemes' products are on their way to our YouTube channel as well! 

Automatic Product Installation

Our free installation service has been refactored to be compatible with Drupal 8 and is now back online! You can install complete Sooperthemes demo websites on your a2hosting or other SSH/Drush capable web-server. All you have to do is head over to Automatic Hosting Installation Service page, and choose:

  1. The Drupal version you want to install (Drupal 8 or Drupal 7)
  2. The Glazed Demo of your choice
  3. Fill in the form for your automatic webhosting installation
  4. Grab a tea or coffee and watch your website come to life in under 5 minutes
Bug Fixes and Improvements

We listen to our customers and actively seek out advice on how we can improve the experience with Sooperthemes products. Thanks to your input on Sooperthemes Support Forum we were able to fix several issues that some users might have encountered. Also expanded the features for some Glazed Builder elements.
Bug fixes:

  • Fixed a bug where mobile automatic playback for full screen videos wouldn't work properly
  • Better Pantheon hosting: fixed an issue where images wouldn't load properly on Pantheon dev environment
  • Fixed an issue where a "Data you have entered may not be saved" error would appear when leaving a Saved page
  • Fixed an issue where a section with a video background disappears on small screens


  • Added additional options to the background video player for disabling playback on mobile devices
  • Added additional options to the background video player for showing player controls
  • Added a new option for aligning breadcrumbs
  • Added an option to "not play video on mobile"
  • Added an option for adding styles to Glazed Builder text editor

For more details on the latest update check out the CHANGLOGS:

Glazed Builder CHANGELOG

Glazed Theme CHANGELOG

Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 16 November 2018 - 10:01am

This module requiring the dev version of the recaptcha module! With stable 7.x-2.2 recaptcha version you will get WSOD on form submission!

reCAPTCHA v3 returns a score for each request without user friction. The score is based on interactions with your site and enables you to take an appropriate action for your site.

Categories: Drupal

Color Schema UI

New Drupal Modules - 16 November 2018 - 7:32am

Place a color_schema_ui.scss file into your active theme.

Categories: Drupal

Editor Absolute Image URL

New Drupal Modules - 16 November 2018 - 7:03am

Editor Absolute Image URL is a module that overrides the core EditorImageDialog and adds an option (checkbox) to output the <img> HTML element with an absolute src URL.

There are use cases where this is desirable, such as (in our case) headless applications.

Categories: Drupal

Acquia Engage 2018 keynote

Dries Buytaert - 16 November 2018 - 6:56am
Acquia Engage attendees that arrived at the Austin airport were greeted by an Acquia banner!

Last week, Acquia welcomed more than 600 attendees to the fifth annual Acquia Engage Conference in Austin, Texas. During my keynote, my team and I talked about Acquia's strategy, recent product developments, and our product roadmap. I also had the opportunity to invite three of our customers on stage — Paychex, NBC Sports, and Wendy's — to hear how each organization is leveraging the Acquia Platform.

All three organizations demonstrate incredible use cases, and I invite you to watch the recording of the Innovation Showcase (78 minutes) or download a copy of my slides (219 MB).

I also plan to share more in-depth blog posts on my conversations with Wendy’s, NBC Sports, and Paychex’s next week.

Categories: Drupal

OpenSense Labs: Essential Drupal Modules for an E-learning Platform

Planet Drupal - 16 November 2018 - 5:17am
Essential Drupal Modules for an E-learning Platform Shankar Fri, 11/16/2018 - 18:47

From the vantage point of a school, some of the features that prove its greatness are a library with a superabundance of books, science laboratory with advanced scientific instruments, projection with 3D technology and so on. Today, where almost everything is happening through the internet, the education sector is not left far behind. E-learning platforms have taken the world by storm with its unprecedented provisions of online learning. And E-learning platforms need great features as well to be able to disseminate knowledge across multiple channels efficaciously.

A lot of significant features can spring up in your mind that you think should be in an e-learning platform. It can be tons of courses on a plenitude of subjects for the learners. Or it can be digital certifications that can be provided for a successful completion of a course. Drupal comes with some amazing set of modules to essential features of an e-learning platform. Let’s look at some of the important features and see how Drupal has the answer for that.


Modern learners are infatuated with the notion of getting a top-quality education and love to choose from an extensive list of courses on an e-learning platform. Some of the Drupal modules that can be helpful in creating courses include:

Course module lets you build e-learning courses with any number of tracked requirements for completion. It allows any content type to be used as an e-learning course comprising of graded or ungraded course subjects. It offers course object API for defining learning objects that can be added to a workflow.

For assigning and mapping credit types to learner profiles and courses, Course Credit module is useful. On successful completion of an activity, online learners will be able to receive or claim credit for which they are eligible. 

To expose Course module as a Course object, Course relationships module is effective which allows parent courses to include sub-courses. It can grant access to sub-courses by enrolling into or purchasing a parent course.


Through online tests and quizzes, an instructor can track the progress of students and analyse the effectiveness of the curriculum. Simultaneously, it paves the way for the students to track their own progress and improve their skills accordingly.

Quiz module allows you to build graded analytics in Drupal where a quiz is given as a series of question and the answers are, then, stored in the database. During or after the quiz, the scores and results are displayed. Administrators can also provide automatic or manual feedback. This module can be leveraged as an object in a larger Learning Management System (LMS) or a supplemental classroom activity.


Skills and certification tracking is one of the important features of an e-learning platform.

Certificate module helps in creating and awarding PDF certificates with the help of tokenised HTML templates. It provides the interface for governing custom certificate templates and mappings and allows integration with Wysiwig for rich certificates.

Open badges, which are digital images are used to recognise an individual’s skills and achievements, can be created with Drupal. Open digital badging module helps in providing a Mozilla OBI compliant badge empowered by the learning system.

To create badges earned by students on their successful completion of a course or a class, Opigno Mozilla Open Badges App module lets you integrate Opigno LMS with Mozilla Open Badges. In this, badges will be exhibited in the user profile and can be automatically synchronised with Mozilla Backpack.

Social learning/ Message boards

E-learning platforms should allow students to learn from one another

Modules like Opigno Messaging and Opigno Forum, which are related to Opigno LMS distribution, govern the private messaging feature to let users share messages between them. It allows you to select a list of recipients and start a discussion thread with the selected users. It is worth noting that these modules are not covered by Drupal’s security advisory policy.

Social Login and Social Share modules eliminate the need of creating a username and password by allowing you to log in using the social network sites and helps in sharing the content with your network.

Consistent instructor presence

The role of the instructor is significant in e-learning as he or she is instrumental in encouraging and inspiring the students.

Opigno instructor-led training module helps in implementing instructor-led training (ILT) entity. It can be added to learning paths in combination with online modules and virtual classrooms. ILT sessions let you register attendance of users and provide them with a grade. These sessions can be made mandatory in the learning path and are automatically added to the user’s calendar. Also, note that this module is not covered by Drupal’s security advisory policy.

A well-designed LMS

A streamlined and a well-designed LMS means that it should be easy to navigate, well-organised, and must contain high-quality content.

The LTI Tool Provider module allows a Drupal site to act as a Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool in any LMS that supports the LTI standard. LTI compliant LMSs include Angel, Blackboard Learn, Moodle, and Sakai. Please note that this module is not covered by Drupal’s security advisory policy.

Kaltura module helps in integrating the Kaltura video platform capabilities into Drupal thereby allowing you to instantly enrich your Drupal site with video, audio, and images.

Chamilo integration module allows integration of Drupal with Chamilo LMS by offering ways to see Chamilo resources into Drupal blocks.

Would love to have a starter kit for building the LMS? Open LMS distribution, which is developed and actively maintained by OpenSense Labs, is a learning management system based on Drupal 8 that comes with robust features.

Open LMS offers numerous kinds of content type like textual study material, video lectures, documents that can be utilised as a course material for students. Also, it lets you add H5P, HTML5 based interactive video content type, to the course.

Moreover, it provides a quiz and subjective test functionality, assignment functionality powered by Webforms, and calendar functionality to schedule courses. Please note that Open LMS is not covered by Drupal’s security advisory policy.


E-learning platforms have changed the landscape of education. And Drupal as an open source software and a robust content store helps in innovatively build an efficient e-learning platform.

Some of the significant features have been discussed in this blog post that is fulfilled by Drupal’s incredible set of modules. OpenSense Labs has been powering digital experience dreams of its partners with its expertise in Drupal development.

Contact us at to build a great e-learning platform with Drupal.

blog banner blog image Drupal E-learning module Drupal e-learning E-learning Drupal module Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
Categories: Drupal

Gnome Stew Notables – Caitlynn Belle

Gnome Stew - 16 November 2018 - 5:11am

Welcome to the next installment of our Gnome Spotlight: Notables series. The notables series is a look at game developers in the gaming industry doing good work. The series will focus on game creators from underrepresented populations primarily, and each entry will be a short bio and interview. We’ve currently got a group of authors and guest authors interviewing game creators and hope to bring you many more entries in the series as it continues on. If you’ve got a suggestion for someone we should be doing a notables article on, send us a note at – Head Gnome John

Meet Caitlynn

Caitlynn Belle is a queer game designer and writer from Savannah, Georgia. You can find her Patreon at where she makes so many weird games about sex and feelings.

Talking With Caitlynn 1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work. 

My name’s Caitlynn Belle, I’m a queer games girl from Savannah, Georgia, and I mostly release small, experimental games through my Patreon ( and at 2) What project are you most proud of?

Ugh, it’s hard to pick. I like them for different reasons, but if I just had to pick, then I’ve got a game called Kirigami Dominatrix Display Simulator which is about being a hologram domme and using stationary tools like pens, scissors, paperclips, and so on, to metaphorically sexually dominate a sheet of paper, which represents your client. You enact consensual sadism on the paper this way, and I really just think it’s a clever bit of immersion, how you get to physically damage something in creative ways and use that to journey through a sexual experience.


3) What themes do you like to emphasize in your game work? Sexuality and identity, I think, are the big ones. I want games that represent me and I want to do my best to put games out that represent others. I want spaces to talk about sex in a safe and healthy way and I want to explore identity and self-expression and what it means to really dig into yourself and figure out who you are, year after year. 4) What mechanics do you like best in games?

I appreciate finding interesting ways to divine outcomes other than dice or cards, anything quirky that ties back into the theme of the game somehow (Jenga towers for tension / fear, for example), and to be honest, I really like just pure narrative storytelling. Games like Fiasco where the structure of the game enables you to just wheel out and say whatever. I don’t like randomizers much in the games I play – my friends and I are used to creating characters and arcs and just driving towards their conclusions with as few speed bumps as possible.

5) How would you describe your game design style?

Sexy and weird. Just like me. But for real, all I’m trying to do is give you interesting things to say and interesting ways to say it. I think if you have that as your foundation, your game stands a much better chance of being awesome. I try to be authentic in voice, so it sounds like me and the image of the game I have in my head is the same image you get in yours, and I try to let my excitement for whatever it is I’m giving you shine through.

6) How does gender/queerness fit into your games?

They’re all tools to tell stories about queer identity. There’s things you feel weird or like an outcast over that you shouldn’t, but there’s no media for you, nowhere to explore people like you, and I want to start normalizing the idea of having cool gay characters do cool gay things. All of these games are coming from a girl who’s still on her own adventures, figuring out gender and love and who she is, and I think those themes are apparent in the text. I know very, very few people who aren’t exploring feelings about themselves in at least some tiny capacity, who they are and how they’ll express themselves, and that’s a real, honest, vulnerable thing, and I really want to see those kinds of characters out there as well.

7) How does the process of making small games influence your design?

It lets me latch on to any tiny idea I get and give it a proper home and just enough space to breathe and be a thing. You get small ideas sometimes and they can’t fill a larger game – just these little inklings of plots or rules – but they fit wonderfully on a three-page game that focuses in on a single experience. You get small ideas sometimes and they can’t fill a larger game – just these little inklings of plots or rules – but they fit wonderfully on a three-page game that focuses in on a single experience. Share3Tweet+11Reddit1Email There’s a lot of things that I couldn’t make into a larger product but I don’t think that makes them less valid. Like, I legitimately feel the 200 word RPG challenge that David Schirduan puts out each year has made some of the best games in our community, and I mean that sincerely. They’re beautiful, wonderful games, powerful and captivating, better than most anything in our collections or up on Kickstarter. But, making smaller projects lets you really focus in on what an idea needs and how you edit, and what you should be editing, and it helps strengthen your writing overall. I try to follow these small ideas to completion each month or every other month and it lets me play around with a lot of strangeness that would otherwise drown in deeper pools.

8) How did you get into games? Who did you try to emulate in your design?

I’ve been roleplaying and playing board games forever, so eventually I took the next logical step and tried to make a game I wanted to play that I hadn’t seen yet. My brother played D&D, and when I was little, I didn’t understand how they were playing a game with no board and why they were talking so much and all the funny dice, so even back then I was trying to pick apart social interactions to form it into a cohesive whole? Which I think sounds a little heavy for a little girl to be doing? But like, I just love taking things apart and seeing why they’re working the way they are, and why people make the choices they do. Once I got an idea of what roleplaying was I just kept doing it forever and ever! As far as who I try to emulate, my secret goal is to make a game that Jason Morningstar really loves. I really like Jason’s work, it’s well-written, thoughtful, and fun. I feel like he’s got a really good handle on how to present a product and how to structure play towards a type of story, and how to do that with as few tools as possible, and that’s something I really admire. I like to picture him as some kind of lich, and only by stealing his phylactery and drinking in his soul will I understand his methods.

9) What one thing would you change in gaming?

How games look. We’ve got this vision of a roleplaying game as a thing with character sheets and dice and rules for doing skills and progression towards conflict and violence. There’s very little space for games that don’t want that – games that have weird formats or physical requirements, or that don’t want to tell stories about conflict and fighting, or games that don’t want to engage in long-form campaign play. They don’t get the same kind of attention and it makes for a drab, textureless playing field. I would really like to see games that just throw everything out the window and tell more personal stories, or find other ways to engage in narrative besides the same tools we’ve been using for decades.

so many games!

10) What are you working on now?

A million billion things – I’ve got a collection of tiny games about goblins, and they’re all dealing with things like intimacy between friends, processing death, body image and self-esteem, consent and boundary issues, etc. I wanted to take a traditional mindless monster and show them in vulnerable moments. My bigger project though is a game about telling the story of a world left to grow outside of its bounds after society left it: you play as the landscapes and memories instead of people (as it’s an overgrown apocalyptic jungle at this point) and build a narrative about what life used to be. It’s proving really challenging, because I have to consider how one might portray blades of grass or forgotten songs, and what that looks like in play! But I think it’s a sweet game and I hope people will like it!

11) Who/what games are some of your influences?

Jason Morningstar’s stuff for telling stable, structured, fascinating stories out of sparse, thoughtful tools – his larp Juggernaut is absolutely excellent and is easily one of the top ten storytelling games of all time. Ross Cowman, especially Fall of Magic, because Ross’ games capture a sense of wonder and heartbreak that just destroys you. We play Fall of Magic once a year and every time it’s just this fucking experience, this thing that sends chills down your back and keeps you up at night. It’s so good. Everything Ross touches is gold. Meguey Baker’s wonderful seasonal games are just magic, too, just dripping with mischief and wonder and crystalline imagery. Emily Care Boss’ romance trilogy, for taking romance seriously and giving you just really fucking great games to explore them with, Epidiah Ravachol’s Vast & Starlit for just being the most concentrated genius you can fit on a business card, I could write entire essays about that game. Ben Lehman, though I don’t get to play his games as often as I like, he always writes things that make me stop and reconsider what I’m doing and how it could be better, just these great little bits that form a much greater whole. I could really go on and on naming all these people I love. Everyone makes great games. Play every game.

Thanks for joining us for this entry in the notables series.  You can find more in the series here: and please feel free to drop us any suggestions for people we should interview at
Categories: Game Theory & Design

OSTraining: How to Use Google Webfonts in Your Drupal 8 Site

Planet Drupal - 16 November 2018 - 1:11am

Although Drupal has reputation for being a developers' platform, lots of user rely on Drupal's admin area for key tasks.

For typography in Drupal sites, the best way to change your site's fonts via the admin is a module called @font-your-face

The @font-your-face module allows you to work with webfonts like Google Fonts or Font Squirrel. It also provides the ability to work with paid font services like Typekit or

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to configure and use this module in Drupal 8.

Categories: Drupal

OpenSense Labs: Drupal-Healthcare: Things to Look for in Your Vendor

Planet Drupal - 16 November 2018 - 1:01am
Drupal-Healthcare: Things to Look for in Your Vendor Vasundhra Fri, 11/16/2018 - 14:31

When the whole world works on the simple facet of fellowship how can the healthcare industry not constitute to the same concept? 

Development and marketing collaborations between the healthcare organizations and web development agencies can be mutually beneficial. Whether your healthcare organization is built on Drupal or if you are looking for redesign and new prospects with Drupal, there are a number of things that have to be kept in mind, and if the main agenda is to collaborate, a series of questions have to be answered.

What is it about Drupal that makes leading healthcare organizations chose this platform? How has Drupal evolved to help healthcare organizations serve better to their patients? 

Reasons Why the Healthcare Industry Should Choose Drupal 
  • Web Accessibility 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 commands that all the websites should be accessible to everyone regardless of their age, ability, or a combination of technology and ability. With the release of Drupal 7, the Drupal community is committed to providing universal accessibility not just for the end users but for the developers too. 

Web accessibility is the comprehensive practice of guaranteeing interaction with, or access to the web, for all the people irrespective of their abilities.

Flexible and fully customizable theming, and features make it possible for Drupal sites to meet WCAG accessibility and section 508 requirement. Some of the web accessibility features may include:

  • The provision of HTML5, which provides new and better semantic components that tell the browser and assistive technologies about the type of content coming forward, and how the complementary information provided (HTML) is related to the content.
  • The provision of “Drupal.announce()”, a method which helps the pages update in a non-visual manner. 
  • Without breaking the tab order in local navigation flow, Drupal directs non-visual and non-mouse users to access prime element on the page in a logical order. With its tabbing manager, Drupal defines tab orders explicitly for keyboard users. 
  • Other Drupal web accessibility modules such as text resize, style switcher, alt text, CKEditor abbreviation, high contrast, it makes it easy to make a universal user-friendly website. 
  • Drupal also uses fieldsets which give a visual diagram around the field gathering. It breaks the form into subsections, making it easier to understand for visually impaired people.

The Drupal accessibility handbook and theming guidelines ensure that the Drupal themers are well aware of the best practices while they are building their website. themes

  • Third-Party Integration

The ability of Drupal to integrate with third-party applications is the primary building block of generating a robust functional system. Making the task easy for developers, seamless third-party integration allows a bonus for marketing strategic stand too. 

Integrating Drupal with an EHR system 

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is steadily gaining its ground in the healthcare industry. Used for electronically storing up data of the patients in the digital format it offers a completely new level of playing field for both the patients and providers. 

Bestowing the physicians with faster access to the medical records, EHR avoids errors and minimizes the cost which is associated with paperwork. 

Drupal, when integrated with an EHR keeps the data protected at all times and prevents duplicacy of the content, while still permitting the user to interact with the view and input the information which is necessary for the role.

It securely shares the information with patients and other clinicians assisting providers more efficiently diagnose patients, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care

Some of the most adopted EHR systems in use that can be integrated with Drupal are NueMD e-MD, PHI etc.  


  • Mobile first design 

Around 61.2% of the worldwide population is indulged in the use of a smartphone, and in such an innovative environment the manipulation of mobile compatible websites is hard to ignore upon. 

Incorporated with mobile friendly themes which is suitable for any screen size, Drupal works well for almost all devices which include iPhone, iPad, Android, and even blackberry. There is no doubt that having a medical based mobile website armed with all relevant information to target a diverse group of people and partners is a profitable mechanism for every medical organization. 

Drupal makes it easy for users to have a better mobile experience on healthcare websites. The mobile first designs let them set up online profiles, helps them in maintaining records, and other medical practices. 

  • Security 

According to HIPAA Journal, there have been about 2,181 healthcare data breaches (2009-2017) involving more than 500 records. 

Healthcare industry is massively reliant on technology these days, not just the hardware to cure illnesses, but also when it narrows down to send, retrieve, and store data. 

Drupal’s lockdown security and publishing of detailed security reports have been a major shield to the organizations. With the evolution in the Drupal system, the platform has conquered a huge reputation for its security and robust performance. Hospital websites store an ample number of data, records, reports, digital assets in their database. 

The modules and extensions are provided with a layer of extra security to the website, marking Drupal a highly secure CMS.  

Not only this, but Drupal also contributes to resolving security issues that are supported by the security advisor. It also offers help for contributing module maintainers in fixing security issues. 

  • Multilingual feature 

With medical tourism getting popular and healthcare technology advancing sparingly forcing people to look for better medical assistance across various parts of the globe. It is not uncommon to encounter patients who speak a language other than English.

To expand the access to people across the globe in healthcare,  Drupal grants 4 easy modules to translate the website into more than 94 languages providing healthcare websites a better scope of communication with the patients. It is also easy to build a custom language not available in Drupal. 

  • Better user experience and engagement 

Medical healthcare websites are often used by people in distress. And if operations, like finding the right health care provider, or finding medical records, and paying bills, should be tough and unintuitive, it would leave people more frustrated. 

In fact, Google tells us that website speed has a great impact on how people perceive it. Therefore engagement through media features and at the same time uninterrupted communication online with faster loading is important. 

With an excellent array of modules, Drupal 8 has to be the right choice for creating an engaging user-friendly website in the healthcare sector. Over the past few years, Drupal has evolved to be more flexible and better for technical as well as non-technical users, presenting a customizable administration dashboard and responsive web designs. 

Drupal lets the user personalize the website in a way they desire. Acquia Lift Connector, Drupal module, offers integration with the Acquia Lift service with an improved user experience for personalisation

Important Factors to Look for in a Drupal Partner 

Now that organizations have started using Drupal as their CMS to revamp or build their organization’s website, the next step would involve choosing up of Drupal vendors. 

Every Drupal vendor is different and posses a unique set of skills, thus choosing the right partner makes it important. This can be done by checking some vital factors which can include:

Important factors

Points to remember


  • The organization has enough experience and capabilities to manage projects of healthcare

  • Experience with diverse business verticals to prove its worth.


Monitoring and Processing

  • Ask for case studies for its previous clients.

  • Look out for the credentials of the technical team.

Verifying about the site performance

  • Enquire about the development plan and ways to improve it

  • Check their knowledge on best practices. 

Maintenance and technical support

  • Robust customer support service for regular updates and maintenance services. 


Things to Remember Before Choosing a Drupal Partner 
  1. Do they have the right amount of healthcare experience?

    Every healthcare marketing agency has creative resources available in their vanity, but only an experienced partner adds up to the plans, solutions and original thinking. 

    Thus, no matter if the firm has beaten up with high-quality challenges or low-key struggles, every potential partner should have capabilities of providing solutions, and it can only be done when that potential partner has knowledge and experience of solving the health-related travails.

    Patients expect a very specific functionality in the health website, from providing directories to patients reports, it becomes really important to find a partner that is able to build modules and timely update them. 

    Not only this but healthcare organization are apprehended to follow HIPAA compliance guidelines which protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information. The healthcare industries can’t afford to take risks when it comes to HIPAA and PCI compliance

    One wrong or missed encryption and the company's reputation is put under the radar. Which is not only bad for the branding but also violates the rules. Therefore, demanding experience to be an important factor. 
  2. Do they have an adequate content strategy?

    Content strategy is important to all the healthcare websites. It is important to team up with the partner that would help you to organize your site in a way that clearly reflects the main objectives of the visitors. 

    There is a need of a  partner with an agency that will help to organize the site content in a manner that is clearly reflected on the visitor’s objectives, and build out the information architecture in Drupal. 

    Drupal’s content model can be complicated if the user is not familiar with the platform. If you operate with an experienced strategist that would help you to see the long-term vision before you start adding content into Drupal, it will help in the long run. 
  3. Do the goals and services match?

    A true healthcare organization partners should deliver greater cerebral and inventive values. Which includes the delivery and projection of the agendas. How to conquer it? 

    Have a serious talk about money management.  

    Many firms work on a plan to meet or exceed the possible budget. However, a partner minded organization has a cost-effective way of meeting or exceeding goals. The aim is to construct a strong measure of results, outcomes, and high return-on-investment. 
  4. Do they have a plan for performance measurement?

    Every organization would have projects with a certain goal. Here, it becomes an important factor for you to know how does your potential partner measure the scale of performance towards that goal?

    Benchmarking is the term which is used to compare the current performance and the overall standard. Every Drupal based agency measures and quantifies the results based on the - manual page. It describes various methods to measure the performance of the web server, allowing you to witness the performance and even improve it for the future.

    Performance measurement can also be analyzed with the help of Performance Bucket model. This model helps in making the detect-triage-diagnose process more efficient.

    Applications insights is a service that lets the developers monitor the performance, availability, and usage of the entire applications. It becomes an essential part of the application lifecycle.

    As mentioned above, a user tends to abandon a website if it doesn’t load after 3 seconds, and when it comes to healthcare websites, loading time becomes an important factor. Having a predefined performance budget would allow you to enforce better results.

    Your long-term potential partner should be induced by a good design team and development cycles which would help in maintaining the value limits that takes care of the website performance. Performance Budget is one such design and development which would help the user to establish and maintain the culture of an organization, helping them to deliver a smooth.
  5. Long-term partnership

    It is true that Drupal healthcare websites are quite amazing but on the other hand, they are big and complex. Thus, make sure that you pick an organization that would be there to support you even after the procedure of website-went-live is done. A long-term partner is needed if the custom modules built on the website requires regular updates and security patches. 
  6. What methodologies and tools do they use to manage their project?

    Drupal has several modules several distribution and modules developed to perform several project management functions. A clearer idea on which methodology is right for what project contributes to the desired goals in the end. There are several project management frameworks which should be used by an organization to build a successful project. Agile frameworks like:
    • JIRA
    • Scrum
    • Kanban
    • Scrumban
Case study for PMG

Produce Market Guide is a product of a Farm Journal which shares information on fresh fruits and vegetables. The advanced search feature on the website was slow, which resulted in a poor user experience. 

To fulfill the needs and the standards of loading time, the site was mapped and decoupled with the Elastic search. The new website now is a lot user-friendly with search application and better loading result. Because of the third party integration like Kibana and Logstash, the admin can now track the user behavior and personalize the user experience. The project was completed within a month which followed the principles of SCRUM and AGILE with team fluidly arranging the needs accordingly. 

Future of Healthcare Marketers using Drupal 

As an organization, the requirements are bound to change from time to time and using a single vendor or a specific partner can sometimes be the hindrance. This is a common scenario in healthcare industries. Fortunately Drupal makes a lot of things easy for healthcare marketers or organizations.

It prevents everyone from getting caught up with a single vendor

Drupal exponential growth in the healthcare industry has been rapidly increasing. With the healthcare industry in the third position of top 10 industries using Drupal, it continues to grow mature. 

High profile hospitals like C.S Mott Children’s Hospital, Duke medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Northwest medicine etc has further elevated Drupal’s profile. It’s these types of reputed organizations with a progressive digital team which tells us that Drupal has a bright future in the healthcare sector. 


The Drupal platform is an open source CMS, there are many agencies around the country that have developers familiar with Drupal. Having developers who are familiar with Drupal isn’t the same as having a team that understands the inherent complexity of healthcare websites. 
OpenSense Labs believes in providing the best Drupal partnership for you. Contact us at for a rich and conducive partnership.

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Categories: Drupal

Acquia Developer Center Blog: BLT and DDEV -- Together!

Planet Drupal - 16 November 2018 - 12:22am

BLT (Build and Launch Tool) provides an automation layer for testing, building, and launching Drupal 8 applications. It is the default recommended tool used by Acquia Professional Services.

We use BLT in Professional Services to sync databases, manage configurations, create artifacts for deployments, and tons of other things that -- most of the time -- save us time. If you have not tested it yet I’d recommend you to have a look:

DDEV, on the other hand, is a Docker-based, open source tool that helps you to quickly spin up a (local) environment in applications like Wordpress; Drupal 6, 7 and 8; Backdrop, and Typo3. Have a look at

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Categories: Drupal


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