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SitePoint PHP Blog:
First Look at Platform.sh - a Development and Deployment SaaS
March 23, 2015 @ 11:24:36

In this latest post to the SitePoint PHP blog Chris Ward takes a "first look" at the Platform.sh development and deployment service.

Not so long ago, many of us were satisfied handling deployment of our projects by uploading files via FTP to a web server. [...] The old methods for deploying became unstable, unreliable and (generally) untrusted. [...] So was born a new wave of tools, services and workflows designed to simplify the process of deploying complex web applications, along with a plethora of accompanying commercial services. Generally, they offer an integrated toolset for version control, hosting, performance and security at a competitive price. Platform.sh is a newer player on the market, built by the team at Commerce Guys, who are better known for their Drupal eCommerce solutions.

He talks about some of the requirements for using the service (including Drush, the Drupal command line tool) and how to get started with a new project. He shows how to get the codebase with their CLI tool, pushing SQL data up to the instance, and starting in on some development work. He shows how to configure the modules you want to use and adding some additional content to the data. He also covers some of the other features of Platform.sh including: performance and profiling tools and integration with Redis, Solr and the EntityCache/AuthCache tools.

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platformsh drupal deployment development platform saas introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/first-look-platform-sh-development-deployment-saas/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Exploring the Cache API in Drupal 8
February 26, 2015 @ 11:41:45

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial (by Daniel Sipos) talking about the Drupal 8 cache and showing how to use it in an example, caching the latest post data pulled from the Drupal content.

Drupal 8 comes with many improvements over its predecessor we have grown to both love and hate. Next to prominent systems such as Views in core, configuration management or a useful translation service, there are also less known changes but that are equally important to know and use. One such improvement has been the cache API that solves many performance problems we have in Drupal 7.

They start with a basic introduction to the new cache handing and how the caches are separated out into different "bins" rather than all stored in one place. He includes sample code showing how to: save data to the cache, getting information back out and invalidating the cache to be handled by garbage collection. He also covers the cache tags, a feature that allows you to "tag" items across multiple caches and remove/invalidate them all at the same time. He wraps up the post getting into the more practical example showing the caching at work in a controller caching the contents of the posts to the Drupal site.

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drupal cache drupal8 tutorial introduction improvement

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/exploring-cache-api-drupal-8/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Push your Drupal Site's Events to your Phone with Pushover
February 12, 2015 @ 12:54:12

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted (by Daniel Sipos) about pushing notifications from your Drupal-based application via the Pushover service.

In this article I am going to show you how you can integrate Pushover with your Drupal site. I will illustrate a couple of examples of how you can use Pushover to notify yourself as soon as something happens on your site. The code I write in this article is also available in this repository so you can just clone that if you want to follow along.

He starts with an introduction to Pushover and what kinds of features it offers for the handling of push messages (with the app being not free, but "very affordable"). He help you get everything you need set up including a Pushover account and the Pushover class to use in a custom Drupal module. He includes the code you'll need to configure the module to use the library and a method to create the Pushover class instance. He then shows how to send messages for things like the addition of a new comment and user login via hooks, sending a message when an administrator logs in.

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drupal tutorial pushover push message service mobile application

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/push-drupal-sites-events-phone-pushover/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
It's the Booze Talking - Drupal
February 10, 2015 @ 10:19:12

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast is back with another of their infamous "It's The Booze Talking" episodes. This time the focus is on Drupal and includes several guests from the Drupal community - Angela Byron, Larry Garfield and Jeffrey A. McGuire.

In the episode Cal and the others talk about their background in the PHP and Drupal communities, coming from everything from the usual developer world and some in the marketing world. They also talk some about what Drupal is, the Drupal community and some of the similarities between it and the wider PHP community.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 to listen whenever it works for you. Be sure to subscribe to their feed if you enjoy the episode.

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voicesoftheelephpant boozetalking drupal podcast

Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2015/02/10/its-the-booze-talking-drupal/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Effective PDF Generation in Drupal
February 03, 2015 @ 09:43:53

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new post showing you how to create PDFs in a Drupal-based site making use of the Print module for the creation and formatting.

DF generation takes a slight change of mindset. As web developers, we have spent a lot of time convincing designers from a print background to stop producing pixel perfect designs that will be difficult to reproduce on the web. If you want to introduce PDF generation or any form of high designed print output, then we need to relearn some of our old skills we left behind. The nature of print means that it is precise and often needs pixel (or millimeter) perfect design.

He'd initially thought that the Views PDF module would be the natural choice, but after finding some unwanted dependencies, opted for the Print module instead. The Print module only creates the formatted output, though. This is then passed off to wkhtmltopdf to convert into final PDF form. He walks you through the configuration for the Print module and how to create some of the basic HTML structure for the resulting output. Next up is the addition of some styling and the process for exporting the HTML output over to wkhtmltopdf for handling. Output samples are included to help illustrate the final result.

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pdf generation drupal tutorial views print wkhtmltopdf convert

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/effective-pdf-generation-drupal/

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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angularjs tutorial drupal integrate introduction

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/


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