Drupal Development Tools

June 8
blog author

Arnold Leung


I previously created a blog post about Tools for Managing Drupal Projects. This time I would like to talk about the tools that we use at Appnovation for the actual development. While we do not always work on every component of the project, most projects involve the following steps:

1) Wireframes Development During this stage, we create wireframes that demonstrate the layout and site navigation of the web site. We usually create wireframes using a tool called Axure RP. We love this tool because it allows for the export of the wireframes into an HTML format. It also allows us to create wireframes by dragging and dropping web components such as radio buttons. By exporting the wireframes into HTML format, we can easily run through the wireframes with clients over a conference call.

2) Design The design stage is when we turn the wireframes into actual mock-ups with the complete color scheme, icon and tone. For design, we have been using Photoshop for the creation of mock-ups. Some designers prefer to use Illustrator, but for our team, we find that Photoshop to be more effective.

3) Development and Theming For the "coding" portion of the project, our team use a variety of tools depending on their computer platform. A lot of our developers with PCs use Zend Studio. Our other developers use Edit Plus and Dreamweaver. Our Linux based developers use VIM for editing source code.

4) Quality Control While we sometimes have to implement stress tests using a few proprietary tools for bigger projects, we do not have to do this for all of our projects. For our day to day testing, we use Snagit for capturing screen shots and annotating them.

5) Client Training Most of our client training is done via WebEX conference calls. By enabling the WebEX recording tool, the client can review the training session in the future.