The Year of Drupal

twodotcuddlyInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
The Year of Drupal
InterLab 2011
Cha Snyder, Shauna Fjeld & Chris Albrecht
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
2
Why Drupal?

“We woke up one day, and Drupal fell down
from the sky, hit us in the head, and then landed
in our lap.” Joe Chervenak

• OpenText CMS, Static HTML and ColdFusion

• Looking for an Enterprise WCMS

• Whitehouse.gov was using Drupal

• Drupal seemed like a viable candidate
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Really!
• Why do all the Drupal sites look the same?

• Is Drupal the Panacea we have all been waiting
for?

o
Every feature you would ever need or want
o
Easy for end users
o
Flexible and simple site implementation


4
Really!
• Not optimal when used out of the box


Creating unique designs takes a lot of work


Commercial search engines index duplicate nodes


Not a lot of skilled programmers available

• It is hard for a lay person to know what is hard to do in Drupal
o
Why is so hard to move this text box?

• Blocks, Panels, Views, and Nodes … OH MY!



5
Things We Like About Drupal
• Web Content Management System
o
enables reuse of content across sites/structured data

• Open Source
o
community contributed custom functionality

• Social Media
o
baked in

• Platform
o
enterprise approach enables more rapid development, with functionality
reusable across sites

• Workflow
o
enables decentralized content contribution and collaboration

• Database Backend
o
enables reuse of content across sites
o
migration path to future platforms
6
The Year of Drupal
Research
Infrastructure
Full
Developers
Environment
Clients
Training
• Research
- Policies and Procedures
• Module Selection
• Upgrading Drupal
• Revision Control Practices
• Backup and restore procedures
– Roles and responsibilities
• Content Contributor
• Developer
• Site Builder

Themer

• Infrastructure
- Infrastructure requirements
Dev/Test/Stage/Prod
- Code and Content Workflow
(code uphill-content downhill)
• Developer
- Hired Developers
- Drupal Core Subcontractor
- Role Specific Classes
• Clients/Client Contacts
- Overview Classes
- Jump Into the Pool
7
Final Take Aways

If you want Web application functionality,
start with requirements -- that doesn't
change!


Work towards reusable themes, modules and
processes.


If you are using collaboration now, draw
parallels (Drupal is a tool, not a policy).

8
NREL Drupal Examples
• Solar Media Gallery

• Solar High Penetration Portal

• NREL Now
9
Solar Media Gallery
• Drivers for Drupal
o
EERE moving to Drupal
o
Model for all EERE media galleries
o
Pilot project
• Hiccups
o
No infrastructure
o
We are used to pixel perfect
o
We wanted advanced functionality
o
We didn’t know what we didn’t know
10
Solar Media Gallery
• Drivers for Drupal
o
EERE moving to Drupal
o
Model for all EERE media galleries
o
Pilot project
• Hiccups
o
No infrastructure
o
We are used to pixel perfect
o
We wanted advanced functionality
o
We didn’t know what we didn’t know
11
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13
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Solar Media Gallery
• Successes
o
Nice site
o
Functions well
• Lessons Learned
o
Drupal learning cliff
o
Get good resources

15
Solar High Penetration Portal
• Drivers for Drupal
o
Collaborative community type site
o
Out of the box authentication and collaboration
features
• Hiccups
o
No content
o
The real infrastructure began
o
Cyber issues with external access
o
Client had admin privileges
o
If you build it, they don’t necessarily come

16
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19
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Solar High Penetration Portal
• Successes
o
Very robust site
o
Content folks are able to manage it
o
Ask an Expert very successful
• Lessons Learned
o
Infrastructure is really important
o
Don’t add features just to add features
o
Learn from your mistakes adapt and grow

21
NREL Now
• Drivers for Drupal
o
Cumbersome manual process that needed to be
automated
o
Put content control into the hands of the content people
o
Make the site more dynamic to engage NREL staff and
allow them to engage back
• Hiccups
o
External contractor was unfamiliar with our standards and
processes
o
External vendor working with IS caused trouble
o
Plethora of Drupal choices was overwhelming
o
Communication issues between technical people and non-
technical people

22
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NREL Now
• Successes
o
Should really engage the NREL staff
o
Will be far easier to manage
• Lessons Learned
o
Useful to have a technical translator
o
When working with contractors, involve internal
staff to ensure standards are met

25
Final Take Aways
• Plan your infrastructure way in advance.
• Drupal talent is hard to find but necessary to
start up.
• The Drupal learning curve is significant.
• Use Drupal for what it’s good at.
• Keep standards in mind while building.
• Have a Drupal translator on board.