Start Developing Sites on Drupal 8 with Acquia

This is a part of our Drupal 8 Ready series of blog posts. Read what Dries has to say on This post will be focused on our push toward Drupal 8 for Drupalists.

If you have been wondering when the right time is to start new projects with Drupal 8, you are not alone. We are approached with this question from partners and clients on a daily basis and have built up a many faceted decision tree for determining which way a project should go. Some of the questions we ask include:

  • When will you start UAT?
  • When do you plan to launch?
  • What authoring and integration functionality will you need at launch?
  • What is the category of the site you will be launching: Campaign, Brand, Intranet, Portal, Community etc.
  • Do you have developers proficient in Drupal 8?
  • Do you have Symfony developers on your team?
  • Do you intend to use modules outside of the top 50?

We have been recommending Drupal 7, but are now at the watershed moment where we can with great certainty recommend that users of our platform start building Drupal 8 sites for launch later this year. There are some projects that won’t be a fit, but if you are still trying to make this decision, it just got a whole lot easier.

Why should we use Drupal 8?
Most reading this post will know the major architectural changes baked into Drupal 8, if not I recomend a visit to this page: These on their own should give you some good reasons to make the move, but digging a little deeper, back-end developers should read about:

According to Morten DK, front-end developers should also be getting very excited about Twig.
In general, Drupal developers are loving Drupal 8, just ask core committer Alex Pott or the teams from Phase2, Amazee Labs and Chapter Three.

The Decision
Acquia has made a company-wide commitment to upgrade Acquia Platform and enable our Customer Success team for Drupal 8. This will ensure our customers can reap the benefits of Drupal 8 while having support to overcome its current challenges.

  • Starting your Drupal 8 project now means:
  • Working with a reduced and immature module eco-system
  • Upskilling Drupal developers for object oriented programming
  • Retraining site-builders on the new authoring tools
  • Updating your continual integration scripts

We have a four-pronged approach to supporting our customers in this endeavour:

  1. We have long supported Drupal 8 on our development platform, Acquia Free, but as of this week, customers will be able to develop Drupal 8 sites on Acquia Cloud Enterprise and as of Drupal 8 RC1 we will be offering full production support. This will give customers the ability to leverage the full power of our 50 person, expert-laden, follow-the-sun support team in development, launch and maintenance of Drupal 8 sites.
  2. We have an internal tracking system for active module development among our many projects, allowing our PS, TAM and support teams to give you up-to-date information on the likely release schedule for critical modules.
  3. We have Drupal 8 enablement and migration packages available to speed up your new site development and Drupal 6/7 migration.
  4. Shortly we will be launching our updated Drupal certification programme for developers and site builders for Drupal 8.

The future of Drupal 8 on Acquia
At Acquia we are always thinking about how we can better serve developers. We have put years of research effort into developing better tools Drupal 8 and we have some very exciting releases in our short term pipeline:

  • A new Drupal 8 version of our open source drupal distribution, Lightning. This will be released by the end of the year to give developers a standard architecture and starting point for developing amazing Drupal 8 sites for enterprise (Full Disclosure: This is a shameless plug, as I am the new product manager for Lightning).
  • Upgrades of our existing products Acquia Lift and Acquia Cloud Site Factory to Drupal 8.
  • A completely refreshed automated build system in Acquia Cloud Enterprise with both new APIs and a GUI to enhance your development velocity on Drupal 8.

Thanks @EclipseGc and @webchick for inspiration. I hope this post has helped you make your decision.

Acquia is going all in!