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SitePoint PHP Blog:
AngularJS in Drupal Apps
December 16, 2014 @ 12:23:31

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted (by Daniel Sipos) about combining Drupal and AngularJS to make for more front-end focused, responsive applications.

Angular.js is the hot new thing right now for designing applications in the client. Well, it's not so new anymore but is sure as hell still hot, especially now that it's being used and backed by Google. It takes the idea of a JavaScript framework to a whole new level and provides a great basis for developing rich and dynamic apps that can run in the browser or as hybrid mobile apps. In this article I am going to show you a neat little way of using some of its magic within a Drupal 7 site. A simple piece of functionality but one that is enough to demonstrate how powerful Angular.js is and the potential use cases even within heavy server-side PHP frameworks such as Drupal.

He walks you through the creation of a simple addition of a block that lists out the titles of some other nodes. You'll need an existing Drupal installation to follow along (no setup instructions here) as well as an Angular structure for a small application. He starts with the module configuration and creates custom handling to return the JSON result back to the waiting JS connection. Then he creates the custom template and block that the AngularJS will output the results too. Finally, with that rendering, he glues them both together in an Angular controller that loads the results when an "Open" button is clicked.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/angularjs-drupal-apps/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
7 CRM Options Compatible with Drupal
December 11, 2014 @ 09:14:14

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a list of seven customer relationship management tools (CRM) that play nice with Drupal, a popular PHP-driven content management system.

Whether you want to call Drupal a CMS (Content Management System), a CMF (Content Management Framework) or a CMSomething, the 'C' always stands for Content. Content is where Drupal shines and is what it's designed for. [...] When an organisation is at a stage and mindset that they also want to manage their contacts and interactions effectively they will often need tools designed specifically for that function. These are generally referred to as a CRM, which stands for Client Relationship Manager or Constituent Relationship Manager, depending on the sector (For-Profit or Not-for-Profit respectively)

[...] What has a CRM got to do with Drupal? Nothing directly, but indirectly if you're looking to streamline your business operations and automate the ways people can interact with you, your CRM will need to work well with your website. [...] In this article, we will look at several of the big players in the CRM space that work well with Drupal, how they integrate or how developers can get them to integrate.

They start with a list of five of the seven options:

  • Roll it yourself
  • RedHen
  • CiviCRM
  • Salesforce
  • Sugar CRM

They also provide a few other options combining a few technologies: Microsoft Dynamics and BlackBaud or Nation Builder and Salsa. Links and a brief summary of the project are included for each item in the list. He ends with a few tips about the actual integration, including the use of the CRM tool's API or using the Migrate Drupal module.

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crm customer relation management tool integrate drupal content

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-crm-options-compatible-drupal/

Acquia Podcast:
Meet Cal Evans ... Meet Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire (Part 1)
November 21, 2014 @ 10:42:02

The Acquia podcast has released a special episode today spotlighting a video interview with Voices of the ElePHPant host Cal Evans and Jeffrey (jam) McGuire of the Drupal community. They decided to do a joint podcast, combining the Acquia and Voices of the ElePHPant podcast, giving you a look behind the scenes at Cal himself.

They talk about how Cal became involved in open source, how he discovered Drupal specifically, his involvement in the PHP community as a whole and where he works/what he currently does. They also talk about why Cal thinks PHP is such a success and his own "virtual user group" project, NomadPHP.

You can catch the interview either through the in-page video player or directly on YouTube.

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voicesoftheelephpant calevans community interview jeffreymcguire drupal acquia

Link: https://www.acquia.com/resources/podcasts/acquia-podcast-167-meet-cal-evans-meet-jeffrey-jam-mcguire

Anthony Ferrara:
A Lesson In Security
November 03, 2014 @ 09:11:49

In his most recent post Anthony Ferrara gives a lesson in security prompted by the recent major issue with a SQL injection vulnerability in Drupal. He gets into detail about the vulnerability itself and the ultimate question: "how could this happen?"

Recently, a severe SQL Injection vulnerability was found in Drupal 7. It was fixed immediately (and correctly), but there was a problem. Attackers made automated scripts to attack unpatched sites. Within hours of the release of the vulnerability fix, sites were being compromised. And when I say compromised, I'm talking remote code execution, backdoors, the lot. Why? Like any attack, it's a chain of issues, that independently aren't as bad, but add up to bad news. Let's talk about them: What went wrong? What went right? And what could have happened better? There's a lesson that every developer needs to learn in here.

He details (complete with code examples) where the vulnerability was, how it could be exploited and what the resulting SQL would look like when it was abused. Fortunately, the fix for the issue was relatively simple, but fixing is easy - distributing that fix is much more difficult.

How did this happen? Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. It's going to happen sooner or later. Heck, this vulnerable code was in the database layer since 2008, and was just discovered two weeks ago. That says something about how complex vulnerabilities can be.

He suggests that the bigger lesson here isn't about who made the mistake or even the code that caused it. It's more about how it was handled, and that, in using any kind of CMS/framework like this there's always risk. People are human, people make mistakes - "the key is how you deal with it".

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security drupal vulnerability detail lesson risk handle

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/10/a-lesson-in-security.html

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield
August 19, 2014 @ 09:37:18

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted a new episode in its series of community interviews today. In this latest episode host Cal Evans talks with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield, both well-known members of the Drupal community.

The episode was recorded at Twin Cities Drupal Camp and features Larry playing the guest host role interviewing Tesss Flynn, a module maintainer for Drupal. They talk about Drupal sessions presented by both Larry and Tess as well as another from Fredric Mitchell. They also talk about the idea of "Contrib Champions" that can help share major changes (and answer questions) about large changes that might effect them.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3. If you like the episode, be sure to subscribe to their feed and get the latest episodes as they're released.

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voicesoftheelephpant tessflynn larrygarfield drupal podcast episode

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/08/19/interview-with-tess-flynn-and-larry-garfield/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Understanding Drupal's EntityFieldQuery
March 19, 2014 @ 10:02:16

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post that aims to help you understand the EntityFieldQuery class in the Drupal framework. The class lets you find entities based on properties, field values and other generic metadata.

When building complex web apps, you'll eventually have to interact with a database. To retrieve data in Drupal one can use the database abstraction layer provided, which requires some SQL knowledge to be used properly. From Drupal 7 EntityFieldQuery API is provided, which lets you fetch information about entities from Drupal without actually building SQL queries. In this article, let's see how we can use the EntityFieldQuery API to fetch data from Drupal and use it in our modules.

He starts by explaining a bit about the class and includes a bit of code showing how to create an instance of it. He then moves into the creation of a sample module that only locates an entity and relays the results back to the calling script. As a part of the example, he shows how to make the query to locate all "node" entity types and create a sidebar with links to each. He shows the addition of conditionals to the location call for properties, values and fields (as well as ordering the results).

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drupal entityfieldquery introduction tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-drupals-entityfieldquery/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview #2 with Larry Garfield Drupal 8 & Object Oriented Programming
March 12, 2014 @ 09:07:16

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted the second part of their interview with Larry Garfield (part one is here) talking about Drupal 8 and OOP.

Topics mentioned include the D8FTW blog post series, Refactor Chicago and the Chicago Advanced Drupal User Group.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. You can also subscribe to their mailing list for this and more great shows.

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voicesoftheelephpant community interview larrygarfield drupal drupal8 oop

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/03/11/interview-2-with-larry-garfield-drupal-8-object-oriented-programming/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview #1 with Larry Garfield Drupal 8 & PHP 5.4
February 26, 2014 @ 09:59:51

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has released their latest episode interviewing a member of the PHP community. This time Cal Evans talks with Larry Garfield about Drupal 8 and PHP 5.4.

This is part one of the interview and they talk about things like: Larry's company, Refactor: Chicago, the Chicago Advanced Drupal Users Group and a blog about traits.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the interview, you should also consider subscribing to their feed.

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voicesoftheelephpant community interview larrygarfield drupal php54

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/02/25/interview-1-with-larry-garfield-drupal-8-php-5-4/

Smartbridge.com:
Rapid Website Development The Case for LAMP and WordPress (Part 1)
August 05, 2013 @ 10:14:06

Smartbridge.com has posted the first part of a series of articles looking at rapid development with WordPress and the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).

As more and more people around the world have access to computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, these users are getting connected to the internet, ready to jump into the virtual world of unlimited and unrestrained information. Websites today are the most popular tool to deliver this vast information to an ever increasing audience. Let's talk about choices when it comes to rapidly developing custom non-enterprise websites.

He starts by eliminating some of the language alternatives off the bat because of either their lack of quality CMSes or complexity. He then moves on to Open Source options, focusing in on PHP for its low learning curve and popularity. There's a brief comparison of Drupal and WordPress, but it's pretty high level. He's saving the good parts of WordPress for the next part of the series.

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rapid development wordpress lamp drupal compare

Link: http://www.smartbridge.com/blog/rapid-website-development-the-case-for-lamp-and-wordpress-part-1/

Matthew Turland's Blog:
Setting up EC2 for Drupal with Puppet
February 14, 2012 @ 11:14:40

In this new post to his blog Matthew Turland shows how to set up a puppet configuration to deploy and set up an EC2 environment for Drupal.

I'm currently working on a project that involves running Drupal on Amazon EC2. To save time in setting up future new VM instances, I decided to take the opportunity to learn puppet. For the time being, I'm using a single VM to run the full LAMP stack and running puppet without a server by copying my puppet manifest to the VM and using puppet's apply command to apply it locally. However, this manifest can easily be adapted for a multi-VM environment.

He includes the full configuration in the post that does a few things including setting up the correct PHP timezone, starting up the Apache instance, installing a few PHP modules (like PDO, MySQL and GD) and setting up the MySQL server. He also includes the commands needed to run the configuration and point it at the correct EC2 instance.

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