Drupal 8: Empowering Your Digital Success

April 15, 2016
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Drupal 8: Empowering Your Digital Success

As brands and content creators compete for consumers shortening attention spans, it’s becoming more and more important to keep up with a rapidly evolving digital landscape, and publish new content fast. Drupal 8 has done a good job of making things easier for site builders to empower content creators. There are more tools in core that help content creators to quickly edit and add content. These mobile-friendly tools makes content editing possible across more devices.

A blog post last week from Drupal founder Dries Buytaert (with contributions from Appnovator Tim Millwood) discusses improvements and new features that are being used by the Drupal team at Pfizer. The modules they’re developing are helping to advance the current content management features in Drupal and solve some problems for content in Drupal, something that is a big deal to Appnovation's bigger publishing clients (e.g. Time Inc. & The Economist), and something that they would be very interestsed in. 

"Content Staging is the next phase of CMS development allowing companies to make a clean separation between internal content workflow and external public facing websites," said Jim MacInnes, Director of Technology, Appnovation. "No more does a CMS have to pull the double duty of editorial platform and public web platform, allowing for targeted solutions specifically tailored for the internal and external online experiences." 

Dries highlights the use cases in his post:

Use cases

Before jumping to the technical details, let's talk a bit more about the problems these modules are solving.

1. Cross-site content staging — In this case you want to synchronize content from one site to another. The first site may be a staging site where content editors make changes. The second site may be the live production site. Changes are previewed on the stage site and then pushed to the production site. More complex workflows could involve multiple staging environments like multiple sites publishing into a single master site.

2. Content branching — For a new product launch you might want to prepare a version of your site with a new section on the site featuring the new product. The new section would introduce several new pages, updates to existing pages, and new menu items. You want to be able to build out the updated version in a self-contained 'branch' and merge all the changes as a whole when the product is ready to launch. In an election case scenario, you might want to prepare multiple sections; one for each candidate that could win.

3. Preview your site — When you're building out a new section on your site for launch, you want to preview your entire site, as it will look on the day it goes live. This is effectively content staging on a single site.

4. Offline browse and publish — Here is a use-case that Pfizer is trying to solve. A sales rep goes to a hospital and needs access to information when there is no wi-fi or a slow connection. The site should be fully functional in offline mode and any changes or forms submitted, should automatically sync and resolve conflicts when the connection is restored.

5. Content recovery — Even with confirmation dialogs, people delete things they didn’t want to delete. This case is about giving users the ability to “undelete” or recover content that has been deleted from their database.

6. Audit logs — For compliance reasons, some organizations need all content revisions to be logged, with the ability to review content that has been deleted and connect each action to a specific user so that employees are accountable for their actions in the CMS.

Appnovation is proud to have supported the D8 Accelerate project with a $41,500 donation to help push the campaign to its goal of $250,000 and the release of Drupal 8 and looks forward to continuing its contributions to this and other exciting Drupal modules.