Contribution Stories: Distilling Acquia experience into products and open source tools.

How Acquia distills tens of thousands of hours of client work into products and open source tools for Drupal. Drupal gets better when companies, organizations, and individuals build or fix something they need and then share it with the rest of us. Our community becomes better, stronger, and smarter when others take it upon themselves to make a positive difference contributing their knowledge, time, and energy to Drupal. Acquia is proud to play a part, alongside thousands of others, in making tomorrow’s Drupal better than today’s.

Cameron Tod is a Kiwi living in London, UK with a beautiful wife and 2-year-old daughter. Cameron never looked back when he “landed on Drupal 5 as a do-it-all IT-guy with a strong interest in web development,” in 2007. He’s been a Solutions Architect--a pre-sales technical consultant--at Acquia since 2013.

jam: How did your session come about?

Cameron: Will Eisner, Senior Director of Product at Acquia, and I had the chance to present a session in the Business Showcase track at DrupalCon Dublin. We decided to show how Acquia works to make life easier for all digital project stakeholders across its lifecycle and designed our session to demonstrate how we address a variety of those needs.

Alongside prospective Acquia customers, we wanted to show anyone new to Drupal projects how we work at Acquia to understand the key pressures and activities in a digital project and how we enable our customers--and those who might use our open source tools--to be successful with Drupal at every stage.

jam: Tell me about those open source tools, Cam!

Cameron: Acquia has open sourced two key products which aim to make digital team's life easier and enable them to get the best out of Drupal: Acquia Lightning, a curated best-of-D8 distribution and what we call “BLT” (because that sounds more exciting than “Build and Launch Tool”), a set of tools, resources, and conventions to help Drupal development teams optimise their code quality and velocity. Acquia has some more exciting tools launching in 2017, including Acquia Pipelines.

jam: What value do these tools deliver to developers?


  • BLT is the distillation of thousands of hours of project work led by Acquia's Professional Services teams - and it is available to everyone!
  • Pipelines is a managed, predictable continuous integration (CI) and testing platform tuned for Drupal and maintained by Acquia. Pipelines enables developers to work on their code and their tests, rather than worrying about maintaining their CI tooling.

jam: What value do these tools deliver to site owners and businesses?


  • Lightning provides a stable, cohesive CMS framework, curating the best of Drupal and Acquia is providing a program of security and functional updates for the life of Drupal 8. This allows site owners and businesses to feel assured that their platform is secure, up-to-date, and takes advantage of emerging best-practice on the web.
  • BLT facilitates testing and reliable deployments, increasing velocity and reliability.
  • Acquia Cloud Site Factory enables Digital Platform Owners to manage their whole estate from a single dashboard, and to reuse functionality across sites and applications in a structured way
  • Lift enables businesses to turn their anonymous visitors into known visitors, and to personalise experiences based on user's preferences and behaviors, ultimately leading to a better UX for visitors and better conversion rates for site owners.

jam: What value do these tools deliver to the Drupal community?

Cameron: Acquia has and continues to invest significant developer effort and resources into the Lightning and BLT open source projects. We are committed to maintaining these projects, making them better over time, and ensuring that the whole community benefits on the things we learn dealing with our biggest clients.

DrupalCon Dublin Session [video]

DrupalCon session description: Getting it done with Acquia: Pipelines, Lightning, BLT, Content Hub, and more

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