Drupal 8 Module of the Week: Scheduled Updates

January 28, 2016
Drupal 8 logo

Each day, more Drupal 7 modules are being migrated over to Drupal 8 and new ones are being created for the Drupal community’s latest major release. In this series, the Acquia Developer Center is profiling some of the most prominent, useful modules available for Drupal 8. This week: Scheduled Updates.

Scheduled Updates maintainer, Ted Bowman has been developing modules for Drupal since the beginning of Drupal 6 and has been a core contributor to both Drupal 7 and 8. For the last couple of years, he has been focusing on Drupal training through his company Six Mile Tech. In 2015, he was an instructor at Acquia’s tech boot camp, Acquia U.

What does the Scheduled Updates module do?

Need to put some content up on your site now, but publish it later? Do you need to implement unique business processes that require delayed actions, but want to avoid the hassle of maintaining custom code? The Scheduled Updates module allows you to set updates to fields on your Drupal 8 site to happen at a later date and time. This can be used for many common tasks like picking a later publishing date for content, of course, but so many more things are fields in Drupal 8. The module can also be used for things like scheduling promoted and sticky states, or updating user-configurable fields like tags. This applies to all fields in Drupal 8 and since content is not the only thing that can have fields in Drupal 8, Scheduled Updates can be used for many different purposes.

The module offers two workflow tools:

  • Embedded updates are on the edit and add form of the entity being updated.
  • Independent updates can be added separately and can target multiple entities. Using independent updates you can create workflows like a delayed bulk promoter which would allow you to promote a group of articles on a specific date and time.

Scheduled Updates Module embedded update interface

Why is this important?

Instead of installing different modules for different delayed actions on your site, Scheduled Updates can act on virtually any entities you will want to schedule changes to. You can do things like schedule assigning roles to users, it already works with the Workbench Moderation modules for scheduling moderation state changes, and there are many more possibilities.

Scheduled Updates in Action

When was Scheduled Updates created?

Ted created the Scheduled Updates module in December 2015. It was designed to provide a flexible way to schedule moderation changes for Workbench Moderation while also creating a generic scheduling solution that could be used for many different purposes.

Has Drupal 8 changed Scheduled Updates?

It is a new module for Drupal 8. Because Drupal 8 has a more unified fields system than Drupal 7, a Drupal 7 version of the module would have been much less powerful. Things like node published and promoted statuses and user roles and blocked status were not fields in Drupal 7.

“Development of the module took about a month. It wasn't too hard; with Drupal 8 I am always learning something new. The hardest part was probably making sure it worked well with Workbench Moderation. Acquia funded the development and it has been a pleasure working with the team at Acquia. They have been very supportive of making a module that not only fulfills a specific need, but will hopefully be a powerful site-building tool for the Drupal community.” - Ted Bowman

Scheduled Updates Module field options interface

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But how would you put this into the sidebar?

First off, let me say that TED Rocks (thats a general statement). Second, I'm really happy he put effort into this module, which is something that a particular customer of mine is going to need. Hadn't heard about his work on this. Thanks to Acquia for helping fund this work.

All good things are coming together with Drupal 8 :-)