Who sponsors Drupal development? (2018-2019 edition)

The past years, I've examined Drupal.org's contribution data to understand who develops Drupal, how diverse the Drupal community is, how much of Drupal's maintenance and innovation is sponsored, and where that sponsorship comes from.

You can look at the 2016 report, the 2017 report, and the 2018 report. Each report looks at data collected in the 12-month period between July 1st and June 30th.

This year's report shows that:

Both the recorded number of contributors and contributions have increased.
Most contributions are sponsored, but volunteer contributions remains very important to Drupal's success.
Drupal's maintenance and innovation depends mostly on smaller Drupal agencies and Acquia. Hosting companies, multi-platform digital marketing agencies, large system integrators and end users make fewer contributions to Drupal.
Drupal's contributors have become more diverse, but are still not diverse enough.
Methodology

What are Drupal.org issues?

"Issues" are pages on Drupal.org. Each issue tracks an idea, feature request, bug report, task, or more. See https://www.drupal.org/project/issues for the list of all issues.

For this report, we looked at all Drupal.org issues marked "closed" or "fixed" in the 12-month period from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. The issues analyzed in this report span Drupal core and thousands of contributed projects, across all major versions of Drupal.

What are Drupal.org credits?

In the spring of 2015, after proposing initial ideas for giving credit, Drupal.org added the ability for people to attribute their work in the Drupal.org issues to an organization or customer, or mark it the result of volunteer efforts.

A screenshot of an issue comment on Drupal.org. You can see that jamadar worked on this patch as a volunteer, but also as part of his day job working for TATA Consultancy Services on behalf of their customer, Pfizer.
Drupal.org's credit system is truly unique and groundbreaking in Open Source and provides unprecedented insights into the inner workings of a large Open Source project. There are a few limitations with this approach, which we'll address at the end of this report.

What is the Drupal community working on?

In the 12-month period between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, 27,522 issues were marked "closed" or "fixed", a 13% increase from the 24,447 issues in the 2017-2018 period.

In total, the Drupal community worked on 3,474 different Drupal.org projects this year compared to 3,229 projects in the 2017-2018 period — an 8% year over year increase.

The majority of the credits are the result of work on contributed modules:

Compared to the previous period, contribution credits increased across all project types:

The most notable change is the large jump in "non-product credits": more and more members in the community started tracking credits for non-product activities such as organizing Drupal events (e.g. DrupalCamp Delhi project, Drupal Developer Days, Drupal Europe and DrupalCon Europe), promoting Drupal (e.g. Drupal pitch deck or community working groups (e.g. Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, Governance Working Group).

While some of these increases reflect new contributions, others are existing contributions that are newly reported. All contributions are valuable, whether they're code contributions, or non-product and community-oriented contributions such as organizing events, giving talks, leading sprints, etc. The fact that the credit system is becoming more accurate in recognizing more types of Open Source contribution is both important and positive.

Who is working on Drupal?

For this report's time period, Drupal.org's credit system received contributions from 8,513 different individuals and 1,137 different organizations — a meaningful increase from last year's report.

Consistent with previous years, approximately 51% of the individual contributors received just one credit. Meanwhile, the top 30 contributors (the top 0.4%) account for 19% of the total credits. In other words, a relatively small number of individuals do the majority of the work. These individuals put an incredible amount of time and effort into developing Drupal and its contributed projects:

RankUsernameIssues1kiamlaluno16102jrockowitz7563alexpott6424RajabNatshah6165volkswagenchick5196bojanz5047alonaoneill4898thalles4889Wim Leers43710DamienMcKenna43111Berdir42412chipway35613larowlan32414pifagor32015catch31316mglaman27717adci_contributor27418quietone26619tim.plunkett26520gaurav.kapoor25321RenatoG24622heddn24323chr.fritsch24124xjm23825phenaproxima23826mkalkbrenner23527gvso23228dawehner21929e0ipso21830drumm205Out of the top 30 contributors featured this year, 28 were active contributors in the 2017-2018 period as well. These Drupalists' dedication and continued contribution to the project has been crucial to Drupal's development.

It's also important to recognize that most of the top 30 contributors are sponsored by an organization. Their sponsorship details are provided later in this article. We value the organizations that sponsor these remarkable individuals, because without their support, it could be more challenging for these individuals to be in the top 30.

It's also nice to see two new contributors make the top 30 this year — Alona O'neill with sponsorship from Hook 42 and Thalles Ferreira with sponsorship from CI&T. Most of their credits were the result of smaller patches (e.g. removing deprecated code, fixing coding style issues, etc) or in some cases non-product credits rather than new feature development or fixing complex bugs. These types of contributions are valuable and often a stepping stone towards towards more in-depth contribution.
How much of the work is sponsored?

Issue credits can be marked as "volunteer" and "sponsored" simultaneously (shown in jamadar's screenshot near the top of this post). This could be the case when a contributor does the necessary work to satisfy the customer's need, in addition to using their spare time to add extra functionality.

For those credits with attribution details, 18% were "purely volunteer" credits (8,433 credits), in stark contrast to the 65% that were "purely sponsored" (29,802 credits). While there are almost four times as many "purely sponsored" credits as "purely volunteer" credits, volunteer contribution remains very important to Drupal.

Both "purely volunteer" and "purely sponsored" credits grew — "purely sponsored" credits grew faster in absolute numbers, but for the first time in four years "purely volunteer" credits grew faster in relative numbers.

The large jump in volunteer credits can be explained by the community capturing more non-product contributions. As can be seen on the graph below, these non-product contributions are more volunteer-centric.

Who is sponsoring the work?

Now that we've established that the majority of contributions to Drupal are sponsored, let's study which organizations contribute to Drupal. While 1,137 different organizations contributed to Drupal, approximately 50% of them received four credits or less. The top 30 organizations (roughly the top 3%) account for approximately 25% of the total credits, which implies that the top 30 companies play a crucial role in the health of the Drupal project.

Top contributing organizations based on the number of issue credits.While not immediately obvious from the graph above, a variety of different types of companies are active in Drupal's ecosystem:

Category
Description
Traditional Drupal businesses
Small-to-medium-sized professional services companies that primarily make money using Drupal. They typically employ fewer than 100 employees, and because they specialize in Drupal, many of these professional services companies contribute frequently and are a huge part of our community. Examples are Hook42, Centarro, The Big Blue House, Vardot, etc.
Digital marketing agencies
Larger full-service agencies that have marketing-led practices using a variety of tools, typically including Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, WordPress, etc. They tend to be larger, with many of the larger agencies employing thousands of people. Examples are Wunderman, Possible and Mirum.
System integrators
Larger companies that specialize in bringing together different technologies into one solution. Example system agencies are Accenture, TATA Consultancy Services, Capgemini and CI&T.
Hosting companies
Examples are Acquia, Rackspace, Pantheon and Platform.sh.
End users
Examples are Pfizer or bio.logis Genetic Information Management GmbH.
A few observations:

Almost all of the sponsors in the top 30 are traditional Drupal businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Only five companies in the top 30 — Pfizer, Google, CI&T, bio.logis and Acquia — are not traditional Drupal businesses. The traditional Drupal businesses are responsible for almost 80% of all the credits in the top 30. This percentage goes up if you extend beyond the top 30. It's fair to say that Drupal's maintenance and innovation largely depends on these traditional Drupal businesses.
The larger, multi-platform digital marketing agencies are barely contributing to Drupal. While more and more large digital agencies are building out Drupal practices, no digital marketing agencies show up in the top 30, and hardly any appear in the entire list of contributing organizations. While they are not required to contribute, I'm frustrated that we have not yet found the right way to communicate the value of contribution to these companies. We need to incentivize each of these firms to contribute back with the same commitment that we see from traditional Drupal businesses
The only system integrator in the top 30 is CI&T, which ranked 4th with 795 credits. As far as system integrators are concerned, CI&T is a smaller player with approximately 2,500 employees. However, we do see various system integrators outside of the top 30, including Globant, Capgemini, Sapient and TATA Consultancy Services. In the past year, Capgemini almost quadrupled their credits from 46 to 196, TATA doubled its credits from 85 to 194, Sapient doubled its credits from 28 to 65, and Globant kept more or less steady with 41 credits. Accenture and Wipro do not appear to contribute despite doing a fair amount of Drupal work in the field.
Hosting companies also play an important role in our community, yet only Acquia appears in the top 30. Rackspace has 68 credits, Pantheon has 43, and Platform.sh has 23. I looked for other hosting companies in the data, but couldn't find any. In general, there is a persistent problem with hosting companies that make a lot of money with Drupal not contributing back. The contribution gap between Acquia and other hosting companies has increased, not decreased.
We also saw three end users in the top 30 as corporate sponsors: Pfizer (453 credits), Thunder (659 credits, up from 432 credits the year before), and the German company, bio.logis (330 credits). A notable end user is Johnson & Johnson, who was just outside of the top 30, with 221 credits, up from 29 credits the year before. Other end users outside of the top 30, include the European Commission (189 credits), Workday (112 credits), Paypal (80 credits), NBCUniversal (48 credits), Wolters Kluwer (20 credits), and Burda Media (24 credits). We also saw contributions from many universities, including the University of British Columbia (148 credits), University of Waterloo (129 credits), Princeton University (73 credits), University of Austin Texas at Austin (57 credits), Charles Darwin University (24 credits), University of Edinburgh (23 credits), University of Minnesota (19 credits) and many more.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if more end users mandated contributions from their partners. Pfizer, for example, only works with agencies that contribute back to Drupal, and uses Drupal's credit system to verify their vendors' claims. The State of Georgia started doing the same; they also made Open Source contribution a vendor selection criteria. If more end users took this stance, it could have a big impact on the number of digital agencies, hosting companies and system integrators that contribute to Drupal.

While we should encourage more organizations to sponsor Drupal contributions, we should also understand and respect that some organizations can give more than others and that some might not be able to give back at all. Our goal is not to foster an environment that demands what and how others should give back. Instead, we need to help foster an environment worthy of contribution. This is clearly laid out in Drupal's Values and Principles.

How diverse is Drupal?

Supporting diversity and inclusion within Drupal is essential to the health and success of the project. The people who work on Drupal should reflect the diversity of people who use and work with the web.

I looked at both the gender and geographic diversity of Drupal.org contributors. While these are only two examples of diversity, these are the only diversity characteristics we currently have sufficient data for. Drupal.org recently rolled out support for Big 8/Big 10, so next year we should have more demographics information

Gender diversity

The data shows that only 8% of the recorded contributions were made by contributors who do not identify as male, which continues to indicate a wide gender gap. This is a one percent increase compared to last year. The gender imbalance in Drupal is profound and underscores the need to continue fostering diversity and inclusion in our community.

Last year I wrote a post called about the privilege of free time in Open Source. It made the case that Open Source is not a meritocracy, because not everyone has equal amounts of free time to contribute. For example, research shows that women still spend more than double the time as men doing unpaid domestic work, such as housework or childcare. This makes it more difficult for women to contribute to Open Source on an unpaid, volunteer basis. It's one of the reasons why Open Source projects suffer from a lack of diversity, among others including hostile environments and unconscious biases. Drupal.org's credit data unfortunately still shows a big gender disparity in contributions:

Ideally, over time, we can collect more data on non-binary gender designations, as well as segment some of the trends behind contributions by gender. We can also do better at collecting data on other systemic issues beyond gender alone. Knowing more about these trends can help us close existing gaps. In the meantime, organizations capable of giving back should consider financially sponsoring individuals from underrepresented groups to contribute to Open Source. Each of us needs to decide if and how we can help give time and opportunities to underrepresented groups and how we can create equity for everyone in Drupal.
Geographic diversity

When measuring geographic diversity, we saw individual contributors from six continents and 114 countries:

Contribution credits per capita calculated as the amount of contributions per continent divided by the population of each continent. 0.001% means that one in 100,000 people contribute to Drupal. In North America, 5 in 100,000 people contributed to Drupal the last year.Contributions from Europe and North America are both on the rise. In absolute terms, Europe contributes more than North America, but North America contributes more per capita.

Asia, South America and Africa remain big opportunities for Drupal, as their combined population accounts for 6.3 billion out of 7.5 billion people in the world. Unfortunately, the reported contributions from Asia are declining year over year. For example, compared to last year's report, there was a 17% drop in contribution from India. Despite that drop, India remains the second largest contributor behind the United States:

The top 20 countries from which contributions originate. The data is compiled by aggregating the countries of all individual contributors behind each issue. Note that the geographical location of contributors doesn't always correspond with the origin of their sponsorship. Wim Leers, for example, works from Belgium, but his funding comes from Acquia, which has the majority of its customers in North America.Top contributor details

To create more awareness of which organizations are sponsoring the top individual contributors, I included a more detailed overview of the top 50 contributors and their sponsors. If you are a Drupal developer looking for work, these are some of the companies I'd apply to first. If you are an end user looking for a company to work with, these are some of the companies I'd consider working with first. Not only do they know Drupal well, they also help improve your investment in Drupal.

Rank
Username
Issues
Volunteer
Sponsored
Not specified
Sponsors
1
kiamlaluno
1610
99%
0%
1%

2
jrockowitz
756
98%
99%
0%
The Big Blue House (750), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (5), Rosewood Marketing (1)
3
alexpott
642
6%
80%
19%
Thunder (336), Acro Media Inc (100), Chapter Three (77)
4
RajabNatshah
616
1%
100%
0%
Vardot (730), Webship (2)
5
volkswagenchick
519
2%
99%
0%
Hook 42 (341), Kanopi Studios (171)
6
bojanz
504
0%
98%
2%
Centarro (492), Ny Media AS (28), Torchbox (5), Liip (2), Adapt (2)
7
alonaoneill
489
9%
99%
0%
Hook 42 (484)
8
thalles
488
0%
100%
0%
CI&T (488), Janrain (3), Johnson & Johnson (2)
9
Wim Leers
437
8%
97%
0%
Acquia (421), Government of Flanders (3)
10
DamienMcKenna
431
0%
97%
3%
Mediacurrent (420)
11
Berdir
424
0%
92%
8%
MD Systems (390)
12
chipway
356
0%
100%
0%
Chipway (356)
13
larowlan
324
16%
94%
2%
PreviousNext (304), Charles Darwin University (22), University of Technology, Sydney (3), Service NSW (2), Department of Justice & Regulation, Victoria (1)
14
pifagor
320
52%
100%
0%
GOLEMS GABB (618), EPAM Systems (16), Drupal Ukraine Community (6)
15
catch
313
1%
95%
4%
Third & Grove (286), Tag1 Consulting (11), Drupal Association (6), Acquia (4)
16
mglaman
277
2%
98%
1%
Centarro (271), Oomph, Inc. (16), E.C. Barton & Co (3), Gaggle.net, Inc. (1), Bluespark (1), Thinkbean (1), LivePerson, Inc (1), Impactiv, Inc. (1), Rosewood Marketing (1), Acro Media Inc (1)
17
adci_contributor
274
0%
100%
0%
ADCI Solutions (273)
18
quietone
266
41%
75%
1%
Acro Media Inc (200)
19
tim.plunkett
265
3%
89%
9%
Acquia (235)
20
gaurav.kapoor
253
0%
51%
49%
OpenSense Labs (129), DrupalFit (111)
21
RenatoG
246
0%
100%
0%
CI&T (246), Johnson & Johnson (85)
22
heddn
243
2%
98%
2%
MTech, LLC (202), Tag1 Consulting (32), European Commission (22), North Studio (3), Acro Media Inc (2)
23
chr.fritsch
241
0%
99%
1%
Thunder (239)
24
xjm
238
0%
85%
15%
Acquia (202)
25
phenaproxima
238
0%
100%
0%
Acquia (238)
26
mkalkbrenner
235
0%
100%
0%
bio.logis Genetic Information Management GmbH (234), OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (41), Welsh Government (4)
27
gvso
232
0%
100%
0%
Google Summer of Code (214), Google Code-In (16), Zivtech (1)
28
dawehner
219
39%
84%
8%
Chapter Three (176), Drupal Association (5), Tag1 Consulting (3), TES Global (1)
29
e0ipso
218
99%
100%
0%
Lullabot (217), IBM (23)
30
drumm
205
0%
98%
1%
Drupal Association (201)
31
gabesullice
199
0%
100%
0%
Acquia (198), Aten Design Group (1)
32
amateescu
194
0%
97%
3%
Pfizer, Inc. (186), Drupal Association (1), Chapter Three (1)
33
klausi
193
2%
59%
40%
jobiqo - job board technology (113)
34
samuel.mortenson
187
42%
42%
17%
Acquia (79)
35
joelpittet
187
28%
78%
14%
The University of British Columbia (146)
36
borisson_
185
83%
50%
3%
Calibrate (79), Dazzle (13), Intracto digital agency (1)
37
Gábor Hojtsy
184
0%
97%
3%
Acquia (178)
38
adriancid
182
91%
22%
2%
Drupiter (40)
39
eiriksm
182
0%
100%
0%
Violinist (178), Ny Media AS (4)
40
yas
179
12%
80%
10%
DOCOMO Innovations, Inc. (143)
41
TR
177
0%
0%
100%

42
hass
173
1%
0%
99%

43
Joachim Namyslo
172
69%
0%
31%

44
alex_optim
171
0%
99%
1%
GOLEMS GABB (338)
45
flocondetoile
168
0%
99%
1%
Flocon de toile (167)
46
Lendude
168
52%
99%
0%
Dx Experts (91), ezCompany (67), Noctilaris (9)
47
paulvandenburg
167
11%
72%
21%
ezCompany (120)
48
voleger
165
98%
98%
2%
GOLEMS GABB (286), Lemberg Solutions Limited (36), Drupal Ukraine Community (1)
49
lauriii
164
3%
98%
1%
Acquia (153), Druid (8), Lääkärikeskus Aava Oy (2)
50
idebr
162
0%
99%
1%
ezCompany (156), One Shoe (5)
Limitations of the credit system

It is important to note a few of the current limitations of Drupal.org's credit system:

The credit system doesn't capture all code contributions. Parts of Drupal are developed on GitHub rather than Drupal.org, and often aren't fully credited on Drupal.org. For example, Drush is maintained on GitHub instead of Drupal.org, and companies like Pantheon don't get credit for that work. The Drupal Association is working to integrate GitLab with Drupal.org. GitLab will provide support for "merge requests", which means contributing to Drupal will feel more familiar to the broader audience of Open Source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era. Some of GitLab's tools, such as in-line editing and web-based code review will also lower the barrier to contribution, and should help us grow both the number of contributions and contributors on Drupal.org.
The credit system is not used by everyone. There are many ways to contribute to Drupal that are still not captured in the credit system, including things like event organizing or providing support. Technically, that work could be captured as demonstrated by the various non-product initiatives highlighted in this post. Because using the credit system is optional, many contributors don't. As a result, contributions often have incomplete or no contribution credits. We need to encourage all Drupal contributors to use the credit system, and raise awareness of its benefits to both individuals and organizations. Where possible, we should automatically capture credits. For example, translation efforts on https://localize.drupal.org are not currently captured in the credit system but could be automatically.
The credit system disincentives work on complex issues. We currently don't have a way to account for the complexity and quality of contributions; one person might have worked several weeks for just one credit, while another person might receive a credit for 10 minutes of work. We certainly see a few individuals and organizations trying to game the credit system. In the future, we should consider issuing credit data in conjunction with issue priority, patch size, number of reviews, etc. This could help incentivize people to work on larger and more important problems and save smaller issues such as coding standards improvements for new contributor sprints. Implementing a scoring system that ranks the complexity of an issue would also allow us to develop more accurate reports of contributed work.
All of this means that the actual number of contributions and contributors could be significantly higher than what we report.

Like Drupal itself, the Drupal.org credit system needs to continue to evolve. Ultimately, the credit system will only be useful when the community uses it, understands its shortcomings, and suggests constructive improvements.

A first experiment with weighing credits

As a simple experiment, I decided to weigh each credit based on the adoption of the project the credit is attributed to. For example, each contribution credit to Drupal core is given a weight of 11 because Drupal core has about 1,1 million active installations. Credits to the Webform module, which has over 400,000 installations, get a weight of 4. And credits to Drupal's Commerce project gets just 1 point as it is installed on fewer than 100,000 sites.

The idea is that these weights capture the end user impact of each contribution, but also act as a proxy for the effort required to get a change committed. Getting a change accepted in Drupal core is both more difficult and more impactful than getting a change accepted to Commerce project.

This weighting is far from perfect as it undervalues non-product contributions, and it still doesn't recognize all types of product contributions (e.g. product strategy work, product management work, release management work, etc). That said, for code contributions, it may be more accurate than a purely unweighted approach.

The top 30 contributing individuals based on weighted Drupal.org issue credits.The top 30 contributing organizations based on weighted Drupal.org issue credits.

Conclusions

Our data confirms that Drupal is a vibrant community full of contributors who are constantly evolving and improving the software. It's amazing to see that just in the last year, Drupal welcomed more than 8,000 individuals contributors and over 1,100 corporate contributors. It's especially nice to see the number of reported contributions, individual contributors and organizational contributors increase year over year.

To grow and sustain Drupal, we should support those that contribute to Drupal and find ways to get those that are not contributing involved in our community. Improving diversity within Drupal is critical, and we should welcome any suggestions that encourage participation from a broader range of individuals and organizations.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia a leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

For the sixth year in a row, Acquia has been recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Acquia first entered the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant back in 2012 as a Visionary, and since then we've moved further than any other vendor to cement our leadership position.

As I've written before, analyst reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant are important because they introduce organizations to Acquia and Drupal. As I've put if before If you want to find a good coffee place, you use Yelp. If you want to find a nice hotel in New York, you use TripAdvisor. Similarly, if a CIO or CMO wants to spend $250,000 or more on enterprise software, they often consult an analyst firm like Gartner..

In 2012, Gartner didn't fully understand the benefits of Acquia being the only WCM company who embraced both Open Source and cloud. Just seven years later, our unique approach has forever changed web content management. This year, Acquia moved up again in both of the dimensions that Gartner uses to rank vendors: Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. You'll see in the Magic Quadrant graphic that Acquia has tied Sitecore for the first time:

Acquia recognized as a leader, next to Adobe, Sitecore and Episerver, in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.I believe we would have placed even higher had our Mautic acquisition completed a bit earlier.

In mature markets like Web Content Management, there is almost always a single proprietary leader and a single Open Source leader. There is Oracle and MongoDB. Splunk and Elastic. VMWare and Docker. Gitlab and Github. That is why I believe that next year it will be Acquia and Adobe at the very top of the WCM Magic Quadrant. Sitecore and Episerver will continue to fight for third place among companies who prefer a Microsoft-centric approach. I was not surprised to see Sitecore move down this year as they work to overcome technical product debt and cloud transition, leading to strange decisions like acquiring a services company.

You can read the complete report on Acquia.com. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this result!
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia acquires Mautic to create the Open Digital Experience Platform

I'm happy to announce today that Acquia acquired Mautic, an open source marketing automation and campaign management platform.

A couple of decades ago, I was convinced that every organization required a website — a thought that sounds rather obvious now. Today, I am convinced that every organization will need a Digital Experience Platform (DXP).

Having a website is no longer enough: customers expect to interact with brands through their websites, email, chat and more. They also expect these interactions to be relevant and personalized.

If you don't know Mautic, think of it as an alternative to Adobe's Marketo or Salesforce's Marketing Cloud. Just like these solutions, Mautic provides marketing automation and campaign management capabilities. It's differentiated in that it is easier to use, supports one-to-one customer experiences across many channels, integrates more easily with other tools, and is less expensive.

The flowchart style visual campaign builder you saw in the beginning of the Mautic demo video above is one of my favorite features. I love how it allows marketers to combine content, user profiles, events and a decision engine to deliver the best-next action to customers.

Mautic is a relatively young company, but has quickly grown into the largest open source player in the marketing automation space, with more than 200,000 installations. Its ease of use, flexibility and feature completeness has won over many marketers in a very short time: the company's top-line grew almost 400 percent year-over-year, its number of customers tripled, and Mautic won multiple awards for product innovation and customer service.

The acquisition of Mautic accelerates Acquia's product strategy to deliver the only Open Digital Experience Platform:

The pieces that make up a Digital Experience Platform, and how Mautic fits into Acquia's Open Digital Experience Platform. Acquia is strong in content management, personalization, user profile management and commerce (yellow blocks). Mautic adds or improves Acquia's multi-channel delivery, campaign management and journey orchestration capabilities (purple blocks).There are many reasons why we like Mautic, but here are my top 3:

Reason 1: Disrupting the market with "open"

Open Source will disrupt every component of the modern technology stack. It's not a matter of if, it's when.

Just as Drupal disrupted web content management with Open Source, we believe Mautic disrupts marketing automation.

With Mautic, Acquia is now the only open and open source alternative to the expensive, closed, and stagnant marketing clouds.

I'm both proud and excited that Acquia is doubling down on Open Source. Given our extensive open source experience, we believe we can help grow Mautic even faster.

Reason 2: Innovating through integrations

To build an optimal customer experience, marketers need to integrate with different data sources, customer technologies, and bespoke in-house platforms. Instead of buying a suite from a single vendor, most marketers want an open platform that allows for open innovation and unlimited integrations.

Only an open architecture can connect any technology in the marketing stack, and only an open source innovation model can evolve fast enough to offer integrations with thousands of marketing technologies (to date, there are 7,000 vendors in the martech landscape).

Because developers are largely responsible for creating and customizing marketing platforms, marketing technology should meet the needs of both business users and technology architects. Unlike other companies in the space, Mautic is loved by both marketers and developers. With Mautic, Acquia continues to focus on both personas.

Reason 3: The same technology stack and business model

Like Drupal, Mautic is built in PHP and Symfony, and like Drupal, Mautic uses the GNU GPL license. Having the same technology stack has many benefits.

Digital agencies or in-house teams need to deliver integrated marketing solutions. Because both Drupal and Mautic use the same technology stack, a single team of developers can work on both.

The similarities also make it possible for both open source communities to collaborate — while it is not something you can force to happen, it will be interesting to see how that dynamic naturally plays out over time.

Last but not least, our business models are also very aligned. Both Acquia and Mautic were "born in the cloud" and make money by offering subscription- and cloud-based delivery options. This means you pay for only what you need and that you can focus on using the products rather than running and maintaining them.

Mautic offers several commercial solutions:

Mautic Cloud, a fully managed SaaS version of Mautic with premium features not available in Open Source.
For larger organizations, Mautic has a proprietary product called Maestro. Large organizations operate in many regions or territories, and have teams dedicated to each territory. With Maestro, each territory can get its own Mautic instance, but they can still share campaign best-practices, and repeat successful campaigns across territories. It's a unique capability, which is very aligned with the Acquia Cloud Site Factory.
Try Mautic

If you want to try Mautic, you can either install the community version yourself or check out the demo or sandbox environment of Mautic Open Marketing Cloud.

Conclusion

We're very excited to join forces with Mautic. It is such a strategic step for Acquia. Together we'll provide our customers with more freedom, faster innovation, and more flexibility. Open digital experiences are the way of the future.

I've got a lot more to share about the Mautic acquisition, how we plan to integrate Mautic in Acquia's solutions, how we could build bridges between the Drupal and Mautic community, how it impacts the marketplace, and more.

In time, I'll write more about these topics on this blog. In the meantime, please feel free to join DB Hurley, Mautic's founder and CTO, and me in a live Q&A session on Thursday, May 9 at 10am ET. We'll try to answer your questions about Acquia and Mautic.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia retrospective 2018

Every year, I sit down to write my annual Acquia retrospective. It's a rewarding exercise, because it allows me to reflect on how much progress Acquia has made in the past 12 months.

Overall, Acquia had an excellent 2018. I believe we are a much stronger company than we were a year ago; not only because of our financial results, but because of our commitment to strengthen our product and engineering teams.

If you'd like to read my previous retrospectives, they can be found here: 2017,2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. This year marks the publishing of my tenth retrospective. When read together, these posts provide a comprehensive overview of Acquia's growth and trajectory.

Updating our brand

Exiting 2017, Acquia doubled down on our transition from website management to digital experience management. In 2018, we updated our product positioning and brand narrative to reflect this change. This included a new Acquia Experience Platform diagram:

The Acquia Platform is divided into two key parts: the Experience Factory and the Marketing Hub. Drupal and Acquia Lightning power every side of the experience. The Acquia Platform supports our customers throughout the entire life cycle of a digital experience — from building to operating and optimizing digital experiences.

In 2018, the Acquia marketing team also worked hard to update Acquia's brand. The result is a refreshed look and updated brand positioning that better reflects our vision, culture, and the value we offer our customers. This included updating our tagline to read: Experience Digital Freedom.

I think Acquia's updated brand looks great, and it's been exciting to see it come to life. From highway billboards to Acquia Engage in Austin, our updated brand has been very well received.

When Acquia Engage attendees arrived at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for Acquia Engage 2018, they were greeted by an Acquia display.Business momentum

This year, Acquia surpassed $200 million in annualized revenue. Overall new subscription bookings grew 33 percent year over year, and we ended the year with nearly 900 employees.

Mike Sullivan completed his first year as Acquia's CEO, and demonstrated a strong focus on improving Acquia's business fundamentals across operational efficiency, gross margins, and cost optimization. The results have been tangible, as Acquia has realized unprecedented financial growth in 2018:

Channel-partner bookings grew 52 percent
EMEA-based bookings grew 103 percent
Gross profit grew 39 percent
Adjusted EBITDA grew 78 percent
Free cash flow grew 84 percent
2018 was a record year for Acquia. Year-over-year highlights include new subscription bookings, EMEA-based bookings, free cash flow, and more.International growth and expansion

In 2018, Acquia also witnessed unprecedented success in Europe and Asia, as new bookings in EMEA were up more than 100 percent. This included expanding our European headquarters to a new and larger space with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the mayor of Reading in the U.K.

Acquia also expanded its presence in Asia Pacific, and opened Tokyo-based operations in 2018. Over the past few years I visited Japan twice, and I'm excited for the opportunities that doing business in Japan offers.

We selected Pune as the location for our new India office, and we are in the process of hiring our first Pune-based engineers.

Acquia now has four offices in the Asia Pacific region serving customers like Astellas Pharmaceuticals, Muji, Mediacorp, and Brisbane City Council.

Acquia product information, translated into Japanese.Acquia Engage

In 2018, we welcomed more than 650 attendees to Austin, Texas, for our annual customer conference, Acquia Engage. In June, we also held our first Acquia Engage Europe and welcomed 300 attendees.

Our Engage conferences included presentations from customers like Paychex, NBC Sports, Wendy's, West Corporation, General Electric, Charles Schwab, Pac-12 Networks, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bayer, Virgin Sport, and more. We also featured keynote presentations from our partner network, including VMLY&R, Accenture Interactive, IBM iX and MRM//McCann.

Both customers and partners continue to be the most important driver of Acquia's product strategy, and it's always rewarding to hear about this success first hand. In fact, 2018 customer satisfaction levels remain extremely high at 94 percent.

Partner program

Finally, Acquia's partner network continues to become more sophisticated. In the second half of 2018, we right sized our partner community from 2,270 firms to 226. This was a bold move, but our goal was to place a renewed focus on the partners who were both committed to Acquia and highly capable. As a result, we saw almost 52 percent year-over-year growth in partner-sourced ACV bookings. This is meaningful because for every $1 Acquia books in collaboration with a partner, our partner makes about $5 in services revenue.

Analyst recognition

In 2018, the top industry analysts published very positive reviews about Acquia. I'm proud that Acquia was recognized by Forrester Research as the leader for strategy and vision in The Forrester Wave: Web Content Management Systems, Q4 2018. Acquia was also named a leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management, marking our placement as a leader for the fifth year in a row.

Product milestones

Acquia's product evolution between 2008 and 2018. When Acquia was founded, our mission was to provide commercial support for Drupal and to be the "Red Hat for Drupal"; 12 years later, the Acquia Platform helps organizations build, operate and optimize Drupal-based experiences.

2018 was one of the busiest years I have experienced; it was full of non-stop action every day. My biggest focus was working with Acquia's product and engineering team.
We focused on growing and improving our R&D organization, modernizing Acquia Cloud, becoming user-experience first, redesigning the Acquia Lift user experience, working on headless Drupal, making Drupal easier to use, and expanding our commerce strategy.

Hiring, hiring, hiring

In partnership with Mike, we decided to increase the capacity of our research and development team by 60 percent. At the close of 2018, we were able to increase the capacity of our research and development team by 45 percent percent. We will continue to invest in growing our our R&D team in 2019.

I spent a lot of our time restructuring, improving and scaling the product organization to make sure we could handle the increased capacity and build out a world-class R&D organization.

As the year progressed, R&D capacity increasingly came online and our ability to innovate not only improved but accelerated significantly. We entered 2019 in a much better position, as we now have a lot more capacity to innovate.

Acquia Cloud

Acquia Cloud and Acquia Cloud Site Factory support some of the largest and most mission-critical websites in the world. The scope and complexity that Acquia Cloud and Acquia Cloud Site Factory manages is enormous. We easily deliver more than 30 billion page views a month (excluding CDN).

Over the course of 10 years, the Acquia Cloud codebase had grown very large. Updating, testing and launching new releases took a long time because we had one large, monolithic codebase. This was something we needed to change in order to add new features faster.

Over the course of 2018, the engineering team broke the monolithic codebase down into discrete components that can be tested and released independently. We launched our component-based architecture in June. Since then, the engineering team has released changes to production 650 times, compared to our historic pace of doing one release per quarter.

This graph shows how we moved Acquia Cloud from a monolithic code base to a component-based code base. Each color on the graph represents a component. The graph shows how releases of Acquia Cloud (and the individual components in particular) have accelerated in the second half of the year.Planning and designing for all of these services took a lot of time and focus, and was a large priority for the entire engineering team (including me). The fruits of these efforts will start to become more publicly visible in 2019. I'm excited to share more with you in future blog posts.

Acquia Cloud also remains the most secure and compliant cloud for Drupal. As we were componentizing the Acquia Cloud platform, the requirements to maintain our FedRAMP compliance became much more stringent. In April, the GDPR deadline was also nearing. Executing on hundreds of FedRAMP- and GDPR-related tasks emerged as another critical priority for many of our product and engineering teams. I'm proud that the team succeeded in accomplishing this amid all the other changes we were making.
Customer experience first

Over the years, I've felt Acquia lacked a focus on user experience (UX) for both developers and marketers. As a result, increasing the capacity of our R&D team included doubling the size of the UX team.

We've stepped up our UX research to better understand the needs and challenges of those who use Acquia products. We've begun to employ design-first methodologies, such as design sprints and a lean-UX approach. We've also created roles for customer experience designers, so that we're looking at the full customer journey rather than just our product interfaces.

With the extra capacity and data-driven changes in place, we've been working hard on updating the user experience for the entire Acquia Experience Platform. For example, you can see a preview of our new Acquia Lift product in this video, which has an increased focus on UX:

Drupal

In 2018, Drupal 8 adoption kept growing and Drupal also saw an increase in the number of community contributions and contributors, both from individuals and from organizations.

Acquia remains very committed to Drupal, and was the largest contributor to the project in 2018. We now have more than 15 employees who contribute to Drupal full time, in addition to many others that contribute periodically. In 2018, the Drupal team's main areas of focus have been Layout Builder and the API-first initiative:

Layout Builder: Layout Builder offers content authors an easy-to-use page building experience. It's shaping up to be one of the most useful and pervasive features ever added to Drupal because it redefines the how editors control the appearance of their content without having to rely on a developer.
API First: This initiative has given Drupal a true best-in-class web services API for using Drupal as a headless content management system. Headless Drupal is one of the fastest growing segments of Drupal implementations.
Our R&D team gathered in Boston for our annual Build Week in June 2018.Content and Commerce

Adobe's acquisition of Magento has been very positive for us; we're now the largest commerce-agnostic content management company to partner with. As a result, we decided to extend our investments in headless commerce and set up partnerships with Elastic Path and BigCommerce. The momentum we've seen from these partnerships in a short amount of time is promising for 2019.

The market continues to move in Acquia's direction

In 2019, I believe Acquia will continue to be positioned for long-term growth. Here are a few reasons why:

The current markets for content and digital experience management continues to grow rapidly, at approximately 20 percent per year.
Digital transformation is top-of-mind for all organizations, and impacts all elements of their business and value chain.
Open source adoption continues to grow at a furious pace and has seen tremendous business success in 2018.
Cloud adoption continues to grow. Unlike most of our CMS competitors, Acquia was born in the cloud.
Drupal and Acquia are leaders in headless and decoupled content management, which is a fast growing segment of our market.
Conversational interfaces and augmented reality continues to grow, and we embraced these channels a few years ago. Acquia Labs, our research and innovation lab, explored how organizations can use conversational UIs to develop beyond-the-browser experiences, like cooking with Alexa, and voice-enabled search for customers like Purina.
Although we hold a leadership position in our market, our relative market share is small. These trends mean that we should have plenty of opportunity to grow in 2019 and beyond.

Thank you

While 2018 was an incredibly busy year, it was also very rewarding. I have a strong sense of gratitude, and admire every Acquian's relentless determination and commitment to improve. As always, none of these results and milestones would be possible without the hard work of the Acquia team, our customers, partners, the Drupal community, and our many friends.

I've always been pretty transparent about our trajectory (e.g. Acquia 2009 roadmap and Acquia 2017 strategy) and will continue to do so in 2019. We have some big plans for 2019, and I'm excited to share them with you. If you want to get notified about what we have in store, you can subscribe to my blog at https://dri.es/subscribe.

Thank you for your support in 2018!


Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


How to decouple Drupal in 2019

The pace of innovation in content management has been accelerating — driven by both the number of channels that content management systems need to support (web, mobile, social, chat) as well as the need to support JavaScript frameworks in the traditional web channel. As a result, we've seen headless or decoupled architectures emerge.

Decoupled Drupal has seen adoption from all corners of the Drupal community. In response to the trend towards decoupled architectures, I wrote blog posts in 2016 and 2018 for architects and developers about how and when to decouple Drupal. In the time since my last post, the surrounding landscape has evolved, Drupal's web services have only gotten better, and new paradigms such as static site generators and the JAMstack are emerging.

Time to update my recommendations for 2019! As we did a year ago, let's start with the 2019 version of the flowchart in full. (At the end of this post, there is also an accessible version of this flowchart described in words.)

Different ways to decouple Drupal

I want to revisit some of the established ways to decouple Drupal as well as discuss new paradigms that are seeing growing adoption. As I've written previously, the three most common approaches to Drupal architecture from a decoupled standpoint are traditional (or coupled), progressively decoupled, and fully decoupled. The different flavors of decoupling Drupal exist due to varying preferences and requirements.

In traditional Drupal, all of Drupal's usual responsibilities stay intact, as Drupal is a monolithic system and therefore maintains complete control over the presentation and data layers. Traditional Drupal remains an excellent choice for editors who need full control over the visual elements on the page, with access to features such as in-place editing and layout management. This is Drupal as we have known it all along. Because the benefits are real, this is still how most new content management projects are built.

Sometimes, JavaScript is required to deliver a highly interactive end-user experience. In this case, a decoupled approach becomes required. In progressively decoupled Drupal, a JavaScript framework is layered on top of the existing Drupal front end. This JavaScript might be responsible for nothing more than rendering a single block or component on a page, or it may render everything within the page body. The progressive decoupling paradigm lies on a spectrum; the less of the page dedicated to JavaScript, the more editors can control the page through Drupal's administrative capabilities.

Up until this year, fully decoupled Drupal was a single category of decoupled Drupal architecture that reflects a full separation of concerns between the presentation layer and all other aspects of the CMS. In this scenario, the CMS becomes a data provider, and a JavaScript application with server-side rendering becomes responsible for all rendering and markup, communicating with Drupal via web service APIs. Though key functionality like in-place editing and layout management are unavailable, fully decoupled Drupal is appealing for developers who want greater control over the front end and who are already experienced with building applications in frameworks like Angular, React, Vue.js, etc.

Over the last year, fully decoupled Drupal has branched into two separate paradigms due to the increasing complexity of JavaScript development. The so-called JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, Markup) introduces a new approach: fully decoupled static sites. The primary reason for static sites is improved performance, security, and reduced complexity for developers. A static site generator like Gatsby will retrieve content from Drupal, generate a static website, and deploy that static site to a CDN, usually through a specialized cloud provider such as Netlify.

What do you intend to build?

The essential question, as always, is what you're trying to build. Here is updated advice for architects exploring decoupled Drupal in 2019:

If your intention is to build a single standalone website or web application, choosing decoupled Drupal may or may not be the right choice, depending on the features your developers and editors see as must-haves.
If your intention is to build multiple web experiences (websites or web applications), you can use a decoupled Drupal instance either as a) a content repository without its own public-facing front end or b) a traditional website that acts simultaneously as a content repository. Depending on how dynamic your application needs to be, you can choose a JavaScript framework for highly interactive applications or a static site generator for mostly static websites.
If your intention is to build multiple non-web experiences (native mobile or IoT applications), you can leverage decoupled Drupal to expose web service APIs and consume that Drupal site as a content repository without its own public-facing front end.
What makes Drupal so powerful is that it supports all of these use cases. Drupal makes it simple to build decoupled Drupal thanks to widely recognized standards such as JSON:API, GraphQL, OpenAPI, and CouchDB. In the end, it is your technical requirements that will decide whether decoupled Drupal should be your next architecture.

In addition to technical requirements, organizational factors often come into play as well. For instance, if it is proving difficult to find talented front-end Drupal developers with Twig knowledge, it may make more sense to hire more affordable JavaScript developers instead and build a fully decoupled implementation.

Are there things you can't live without?

As I wrote last year, the most important aspect of any decision when it comes to decoupling Drupal is the list of features your project requires; the needs of editors and developers have to be carefully considered. It is a critical step in your evaluation process to weigh the different advantages and disadvantages. Every project should embark on a clear-eyed assessment of its organization-wide needs.

Many editorial and marketing teams select a particular CMS because of its layout capabilities and rich editing functionality. Drupal, for example, gives editors the ability to build layouts in the browser and drop-and-drag components into it, all without needing a developer to do it for them. Although it is possible to rebuild many of the features available in a CMS on a consumer application, this can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

In recent years, the developer experience has also become an important consideration, but not in the ways that we might expect. While the many changes in the JavaScript landscape are one of the motivations for developers to prefer decoupled Drupal, the fact that there are now multiple ways to write front ends for Drupal makes it easier to find people to work on decoupled Drupal projects. As an example, many organizations are finding it difficult to find affordable front-end Drupal developers experienced in Twig. Moving to a JavaScript-driven front end can resolve some of these resourcing challenges.

This balancing act between the requirements that developers prioritize and those that editors prioritize will guide you to the correct approach for your needs. If you are part of an organization that is mostly editorial, decoupled Drupal could be problematic, because it reduces the amount of control editors have over the presentation of their content. By the same token, if you are part of an organization with more developer resources, fully decoupled Drupal could potentially accelerate progress, with the warning that many mission-critical editorial features disappear.

Current and future trends to consider

Over the past year, JavaScript frameworks have become more complex, while static site generators have become less complex.

One of the common complaints I have heard about the JavaScript landscape is that it shows fragmentation and a lack of cohesion due to increasing complexity. This has been a driving force for static site generators. Whereas two years ago, most JavaScript developers would have chosen a fully functional framework like Angular or Ember to create even simple websites, today they might choose a static site generator instead. A static site generator still allows them to use JavaScript, but it is simpler because performance considerations and build processes are offloaded to hosted services rather than the responsibility of developers.

I predict that static site generators will gain momentum in the coming year due to the positive developer experience they provide. Static site generators are also attracting a middle ground of both more experienced and less experienced developers.

Conclusion

Drupal continues to be an ideal choice for decoupled CMS architectures, and it is only getting better. The API-first initiative is making good progress on preparing the JSON:API module for inclusion in Drupal core, and the Admin UI and JavaScript Modernization initiative is working to dogfood Drupal's web services with a reinvented administrative interface. Drupal's support for GraphQL continues to improve, and now there is even a book on the subject of decoupled Drupal. It's clear that developers today have a wide range of ways to work with the rich features Drupal has to offer for decoupled architectures.

With the introduction of fully decoupled static sites as an another architectural paradigm that developers can select, there is an even wider variety of architectural possibilities than before. It means that the spectrum of decoupled Drupal approaches I defined last year has become even more extensive. This flexibility continues to define Drupal as an excellent CMS for both traditional and decoupled approaches, with features that go well beyond Drupal's competitors, including WordPress, Sitecore and Adobe. Regardless of the makeup of your team or the needs of your organization, Drupal has a solution for you.

Special thanks to Preston So for co-authoring this blog post and to Angie Byron, Chris Hamper, Gabe Sullice, Lauri Eskola, Ted Bowman, and Wim Leers for their feedback during the writing process.

Accessible version of flowchart

This is an accessible and described version of the flowchart images earlier in this blog post. First, let us list the available architectural choices:

Coupled. Use Drupal as is without additional JavaScript (and as a content repository for other consumers).
Progressively decoupled. Use Drupal for initial rendering with JavaScript on top (and as a content repository for other consumers).
Fully decoupled static site. Use Drupal as a data source for a static site generator and, if needed, deploy to a JAMstack hosting platform.
Fully decoupled app. Use Drupal as a content repository accessed by other consumers (if JavaScript, use Node.js for server-side rendering).
Second, ask the question "What do you intend to build?" and choose among the answers "One experience" or "Multiple experiences".

If you are building one experience, ask the question "Is it a website or web application?" and choose among the answers "Yes, a single website or web application" or "No, Drupal as a repository for non-web applications only".

If you are building multiple experiences instead, ask the question "Is it a website or web application?" with the answers "Yes, Drupal as website and repository" or "No, Drupal as a repository for non-web applications only".

If your answer to the previous question was "No", then you should build a fully decoupled application, and your decision is complete. If your answer to the previous question was "Yes", then ask the question "Are there things the project cannot live without?"

Both editorial and developer needs are things that projects cannot live without, and here are the questions you need to ask about your project:

Editorial needs

Do editors need to manipulate page content and layout without a developer?
Do editors need in-context tools like in-place editing, contextual links, and toolbar?
Do editors need to preview unpublished content without custom development?
Do editors need content to be accessible by default like in Drupal's HTML?
Developer needs

Do developers need to have control over visual presentation instead of editors?
Do developers need server-side rendering or Node.js build features?
Do developers need JSON from APIs and to write JavaScript for the front end?
Do developers need data security driven by a publicly inaccessible CMS?
If, after asking all of these questions about things your project cannot live without, your answers show that your requirements reflect a mix of both editorial and developer needs, you should consider a progressively decoupled implementation, and your decision is complete.

If your answers to the questions about things your project cannot live without show that your requirements reflect purely developer needs, then ask the question "Is it a static website or a dynamic web application?" and choose among the answers "Static" or "Dynamic." If your answer to the previous question was "Static", you should build a fully decoupled static site, and your decision is complete. If your answer to the previous question was "Dynamic", you should build a fully decoupled app, and your decision is complete.

If your answers to the questions about things your project cannot live without show that your requirements reflect purely editorial needs, then ask two questions. Ask the first question, "Are there parts of the page that need JavaScript-driven interactions?" and choose among the answers "Yes" or "No." If your answer to the first question was "Yes", then you should consider a progressively decoupled implementation, and your decision is complete. If your answer to the first question was "No", then you should build a coupled Drupal site, and your decision is complete.

Then, ask the second question, "Do you need to access multiple data sources via API?" and choose among the answers "Yes" or "No." If your answer to the second question was "Yes", then you should consider a progressively decoupled implementation, and your decision is complete. If your answer to the second question was "No", then you should build a coupled Drupal site, and your decision is complete.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Drupal's long-term growth obstacles

Drupal 8 has been growing 40 to 50 percent year over year. It's a healthy growth rate. Regardless, it is always worth exploring how we can continue to accelerate that growth.
Earlier this week, I wrote about the power of removing obstacles to growth, and shared how Amazon approaches its own growth blockers. Amazon identified at least two blockers for long-term growth: (1) shipping costs and (2) shipping times. For more than a decade, Amazon has been focused on eliminating both. They have spent an unbelievable amount of creativity, effort, time, and money to eliminate them.
In that blog post, I promised to share my thoughts around Drupal's own growth barriers. What obstacles can we eliminate to fuel Drupal's long-term growth? Well, I believe the limitations to Drupal's growth can be summarized as:
Make Drupal easy to evaluate and adopt
Make Drupal easy for content creators and site builders
Reduce the total cost of ownership for developers and site owners
Keep Drupal relevant and impactful
Promote Drupal and help Drupal agencies win
For those that have read my blog or watched my DrupalCon keynote presentations, none of these will come as a surprise. Just like Amazon's examples, fixing these obstacles have been, and will be, multi-year efforts.

Drupal's five product strategy tracks. A number of current initiatives is shown on each track.
1. Make Drupal easy to evaluate and adopt
We need to make it easy for more people to try Drupal. To help evaluators explore Drupal's possibilities, we improved the download and installation experience, and included a demonstration site with core. We made fantastic progress on this in 2018.
Now that we have improved the evaluator experience, I'd love to see us focus on the "new user" experience. When you put yourself in the shoes of a new Drupal user, you'd still find it hard to set up a local development environment. There are too many options, too little direction, and no one official way for how to get started with Drupal. The "new user" is not receiving enough attention, and that slows adoption so I'd love to see us focus no that in 2019.
2. Make Drupal easy for content creators and site builders
One of the most powerful trends I've noticed time and time again is that simplicity wins. People expect software to be functionally powerful and easy to use. This is especially true for content creators and site builders.
To make Drupal easier to use for content creators and site builders, we've introduced WYSIWYG and in-place editing in Drupal 8.0, and now we're working hard on media management, layout building, content workflows and a new administration and authoring UI.
A lot of these initiatives add tools to the UI that empower content creators and site builders to do more with less code. Long term, I believe that we need to more of these "no-code" or "low-code" capabilities in Drupal.
3. Reduce the total cost of ownership for developers and site owners
Developers want to be agile, fast and deliver high quality projects that add value for their organization. Developers don't want their tools to get in the way.
For Drupal this means that they want to build sites, including themes and modules, without being bogged down by complex upgrades, expensive migrations or cumbersome developer workflows.
For developers and site owners we have made upgrades easier, we adopted a 6-month innovation model, and we extended security coverage for minor releases. This removes the complexity from major upgrades, gives organizations more time to upgrade, and allows us to release new capabilities more frequently. This is a very big deal for developer and site owners!
In addition, we're working on improving Drupal's Composer support and configuration management capabilities. This will help developers automate and streamline their day-to-day work.
Longer term, improved Composer support could act as a stepping stone towards automated updates, which would be one of the most effective ways to free up a developer's time.
4. Keep Drupal relevant and impactful
The innovation in the Drupal ecosystem happens thanks to Drupal contributors. We need to attract new contributors to Drupal, and keep existing contributors excited. This means we have to keep Drupal relevant and impactful.
To keep Drupal relevant, we've been investing in making Drupal an API-first platform for many years now. Headless Drupal or decoupled Drupal is one of Drupal's competitive advantages. Drupal's web service APIs allow developers to use Drupal with their JavaScript framework of choice, push content to different channels, and better integrate Drupal with different technologies in the marketing stack.
Drupal developers can now do unprecedented things with Drupal that weren't available before. JavaScript and mobile application developers have been familiarizing themselves with Drupal due to its improved API-first capabilities. All of this keeps Drupal relevant, ensures that Drupal has high impact, and that we attract new developers to Drupal.
5. Promote Drupal and help Drupal agencies win
While Drupal is well-known as an Open Source project, there isn't a deep understanding of how Drupal is evolving or how Drupal compares to its competitors.
Drupal is improving rapidly every six months with each new minor version release, but I'm not sure we're getting that message out effectively. We need to promote our amazing progress, not only to everyone in the web development community, but also to marketers and content managers, who are now often weighing in heavily on CMS decisions.
We do an incredible job collaborating on code — thousands of us are helping to build Drupal — but we do a poor job collaborating on marketing, education and promotion. Imagine what could happen if these thousands of individuals and agencies would all collaborate on promoting Drupal!
That is why the Drupal Association started the Promote Drupal initiative, and why we're trying to rally people in the community to work together on creating pitch decks, case studies, and other collateral to promote and market Drupal.
Here are a few things already happening:
There is an updated Drupal Brand Book for organizations to follow as they design Drupal marketing and sales materials.
A team of volunteers is creating a comprehensive Drupal pitch deck that Drupal agencies can use as a starting point when working with new clients.
DrupalCon will have new Content & Digital Marketing Track for marketing teams responsible for content generation, demand generation, user journeys, and more; and a "Agency Leadership Track" for those running Drupal agencies.
We will begin work on a competitive comparison chart — contrasting Drupal with other CMS competitors like Adobe, Sitecore, Contentful, WordPress, Prismic, and more.
A number of local Drupal Associations are hiring marketing people to help promote Drupal in their region.
Just like all open source contribution, it takes many to move things forward. So far, 40 people have signed up to help with these marketing efforts. If your organization has a marketing team that would like to contribute to the marketing of Drupal, check out the Promote Drupal initiative page and please join the Promote Drupal team.
Educating the world about how Drupal is evolving, the amazing use cases we support, and how Drupal compares to old and new competitors will go a very long way towards raising awareness of the project and growing the businesses built on and around Drupal.
Final thoughts
After talking to hundreds of Drupal users and would-be users, as well as dozens of agency owners, I believe we're working on the right things. Overcoming these growth obstacles are multi-year efforts. While the various initiatives might change, I believe we'll keep working on these four tracks for the next decade. We've been making steady progress the last few years but need to remain both patient and committed to driving them home. Just like Amazon continues to work on their growth obstacles after more than a decade, I expect we'll be working on these four obstacles for many years to come.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia a leader in the 2018 Forrester Wave for Web Content Management Systems

For the second year in a row, Acquia was named a leader in the Forrester Wave: Web Content Management Systems.

The report highlights Acquia and Drupal's leadership on decoupled and headless architectures, in addition to Acquia Cloud's support for Node.js.

I'm especially proud of the fact that Acquia received the highest strategy score among all vendors, ahead of Adobe, Sitecore and everyone else.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this result! It's another great milestone for Acquia and Drupal.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


A breakout year for Open Source businesses

I was talking to Chetan Puttagunta yesterday, and we both agreed that 2018 has been an incredible year for Open Source businesses so far. (Chetan helped lead NEA's investment in Acquia, but is also an investor in Mulesoft, MongoDB and Elastic.)

Between a series of acquisitions and IPOs, Open Source companies have shown incredible financial returns this year. Just look at this year-to-date list:

Company
Acquirer
Date
Value
WP Engine
Silverlake (P/E)
January 2018
$250 million
CoreOS
RedHat
January 2018
$250 million
Mulesoft
Saleforce
May 2018
$6,5 billion
Magento
Adobe
June 2018
$1,7 billion
GitHub
Microsoft
June 2018
$7,5 billion
Suse
EQT partners
July 2018
$2,5 billion
Elastic
IPO
September 2018
$4,9 billion
For me, the success of Open Source companies is not a surprise. In 2016, I explained how open source crossed the chasm in 2016, and predicted that proprietary software giants would soon need to incorporate Open Source into their own offerings to remain competitive:

The FUD-era where proprietary software giants campaigned aggressively against open source and cloud computing by sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt is over. Ironically, those same critics are now scrambling to paint themselves as committed to open source and cloud architectures.

Adobe's acquisition of Magento, Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub or SalesForce's acquisition of Mulesoft endorse this prediction. The FUD around Open Source businesses is officially over.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Who sponsors Drupal development? (2017-2018 edition)

For the past two years, I've examined Drupal.org's commit data to understand who develops Drupal, how much of that work is sponsored, and where that sponsorship comes from.

I have now reported on this data for three years in a row, which means I can start to better compare year-over-year data. Understanding how an open-source project works is important because it establishes a benchmark for project health and scalability.

I would also recommend taking a look at the 2016 report or the 2017 report. Each report looks at data collected in the 12-month period between July 1st and June 30th.

This year's report affirms that Drupal has a large and diverse community of contributors. In the 12-month period between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, 7,287 different individuals and 1,002 different organizations contributed code to Drupal.org. This include contributions to Drupal core and all contributed projects on Drupal.org.

In comparison to last year's report, both the number of contributors and contributions has increased. Our community of contributors (including both individuals and organizations) is also becoming more diverse. This is an important area of growth, but there is still work to do.

For this report, we looked at all of the issues marked "closed" or "fixed" in our ticketing system in the 12-month period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. This includes Drupal core and all of the contributed projects on Drupal.org, across all major versions of Drupal. This year, 24,447 issues were marked "closed" or "fixed", a 5% increase from the 23,238 issues in the 2016-2017 period. This averages out to 67 feature improvements or bug fixes a day.

In total, we captured 49,793 issue credits across all 24,447 issues. This marks a 17% increase from the 42,449 issue credits recorded in the previous year. Of the 49,793 issue credits reported this year, 18% (8,822 credits) were for Drupal core, while 82% (40,971 credits) went to contributed projects.

"Closed" or "fixed" issues are often the result of multiple people working on the issue. We try to capture who contributes through Drupal.org's unique credit system. We used the data from the credit system for this analysis. There are a few limitations with this approach, which we'll address at the end of this report.

What is the Drupal.org credit system?

In the spring of 2015, after proposing ideas for giving credit and discussing various approaches at length, Drupal.org added the ability for people to attribute their work to an organization or customer in the Drupal.org issue queues. Maintainers of Drupal modules, themes, and distributions can award issue credits to people who help resolve issues with code, translations, documentation, design and more.

A screenshot of an issue comment on Drupal.org. You can see that jamadar worked on this patch as a volunteer, but also as part of his day job working for TATA Consultancy Services on behalf of their customer, Pfizer.
Credits are a powerful motivator for both individuals and organizations. Accumulating credits provides individuals with a way to showcase their expertise. Organizations can utilize credits to help recruit developers, to increase their visibility within the Drupal.org marketplace, or to showcase their Drupal expertise.

Who is working on Drupal?

In the 12-month period between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 24,447, Drupal.org received code contributions from 7,287 different individuals and 1,002 different organizations.

While the number of individual contributors rose, a relatively small number of individuals still do the majority of the work. Approximately 48% of individual contributors received just one credit. Meanwhile, the top 30 contributors (the top 0.4%) account for more than 24% of the total credits. These individuals put an incredible amount of time and effort in developing Drupal and its contributed projects:

RankUsernameIssues1RenatoG8512RajabNatshah7453jrockowitz7004adriancid5295bojanz5156Berdir4327alexpott4148mglaman4149Wim Leers39510larowlan36011DamienMcKenna35312dawehner34013catch33914heddn32715xjm30316pifagor28417quietone26118borisson_25519adci_contributor25520volkswagenchick25421drunken monkey23122amateescu22523joachim19924mkalkbrenner19525chr.fritsch18526gaurav.kapoor17827phenaproxima17728mikeytown217329joelpittet17030timmillwood169Out of the top 30 contributors featured, 15 were also recognized as top contributors in our 2017 report. These Drupalists' dedication and continued contribution to the project has been crucial to Drupal's development. It's also exciting to see 15 new names on the list. This mobility is a testament to the community's evolution and growth. It's also important to recognize that a majority of the 15 repeat top contributors are at least partially sponsored by an organization. We value the organizations that sponsor these remarkable individuals, because without their support, it could be more challenging to be in the top 30 year over year.

How diverse is Drupal?

Next, we looked at both the gender and geographic diversity of Drupal.org code contributors. While these are only two examples of diversity, this is the only available data that contributors can currently choose to share on their Drupal.org profiles. The reported data shows that only 7% of the recorded contributions were made by contributors that do not identify as male, which continues to indicates a steep gender gap. This is a one percent increase compared to last year. The gender imbalance in Drupal is profound and underscores the need to continue fostering diversity and inclusion in our community.

To address this gender gap, in addition to advancing representation across various demographics, the Drupal community is supporting two important initiatives. The first is to adopt more inclusive user demographic forms on Drupal.org. Adopting Open Demographics on Drupal.org will also allow us to improve reporting on diversity and inclusion, which in turn will help us better support initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion. The second initiative is supporting the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team, which works to better include underrepresented groups to increase code and community contributions. The DDI Contribution Team recruits team members from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups, and provides support and mentorship to help them contribute to Drupal.

It's important to reiterate that supporting diversity and inclusion within Drupal is essential to the health and success of the project. The people who work on Drupal should reflect the diversity of people who use and work with the software. While there is still a lot of work to do, I'm excited about the impact these various initiatives will have on future reports.

When measuring geographic diversity, we saw individual contributors from 6 different continents and 123 different countries:

The top 20 countries from which contributions originate. The data is compiled by aggregating the countries of all individual contributors behind each commit. Note that the geographical location of contributors doesn't always correspond with the origin of their sponsorship. Wim Leers, for example, works from Belgium, but his funding comes from Acquia, which has the majority of its customers in North America.
123 different countries is seven more compared to the 2017 report. The new countries include Rwanda, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland, Zambia. Seeing contributions from more African countries is certainly a highlight.

How much of the work is sponsored?

Issue credits can be marked as "volunteer" and "sponsored" simultaneously (shown in jamadar's screenshot near the top of this post). This could be the case when a contributor does the minimum required work to satisfy the customer's need, in addition to using their spare time to add extra functionality.

While Drupal started out as a 100% volunteer-driven project, today the majority of the code on Drupal.org is sponsored by organizations. Only 12% of the commit credits that we examined in 2017-2018 were "purely volunteer" credits (6,007 credits), in stark contrast to the 49% that were "purely sponsored". In other words, there were four times as many "purely sponsored" credits as "purely volunteer" credits.

A few comparisons between the 2017-2018 and the 2016-2017 data:

The credit system is being used more frequently. In total, we captured 49,793 issue credits across all 24,447 issues in the 2017-2018 period. This marks a 17% increase from the 42,449 issue credits recorded in the previous year. Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, 28% of all credits had no attribution while in the period between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, only 25% of credits lacked attribution. More people have become aware of the credit system, the attribution options, and their benefits.
Sponsored credits are growing faster than volunteer credits. Both "purely volunteer" and "purely sponsored" credits grew, but "purely sponsored" credits grew faster. There are two reasons why this could be the case: (1) more contributions are sponsored and (2) organizations are more likely to use the credit system compared to volunteers.
No data is perfect, but it feels safe to conclude that most of the work on Drupal is sponsored. At the same time, the data shows that volunteer contribution remains very important to Drupal. Maybe most importantly, while the number of volunteers and sponsors has grown year over year in absolute terms, sponsored contributions appear to be growing faster than volunteer contributions. This is consistent with how open source projects grow and scale.

Who is sponsoring the work?

Now that we've established a majority of contributions to Drupal are sponsored, we want to study which organizations contribute to Drupal. While 1,002 different organizations contributed to Drupal, approximately 50% of them received four credits or less. The top 30 organizations (roughly the top 3%) account for approximately 48% of the total credits, which implies that the top 30 companies play a crucial role in the health of the Drupal project. The graph below shows the top 30 organizations and the number of credits they received between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018:

The top 30 contributing organizations based on the number of Drupal.org commit credits.
While not immediately obvious from the graph above, a variety of different types of companies are active in Drupal's ecosystem:

Category
Description
Traditional Drupal businesses
Small-to-medium-sized professional services companies that primarily make money using Drupal. They typically employ fewer than 100 employees, and because they specialize in Drupal, many of these professional services companies contribute frequently and are a huge part of our community. Examples are Chapter Three and Lullabot (both shown on graph).
Digital marketing agencies
Larger full-service agencies that have marketing-led practices using a variety of tools, typically including Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, WordPress, etc. They tend to be larger, with the larger agencies employing thousands of people. Examples are Wunderman and Mirum.
System integrators
Larger companies that specialize in bringing together different technologies into one solution. Example system agencies are Accenture, TATA Consultancy Services, Capgemini and CI&T (shown on graph).
Technology and infrastructure companies
Examples are Acquia (shown on graph), Lingotek, BlackMesh, Rackspace, Pantheon and Platform.sh.
End-users
Examples are Pfizer (shown on graph) or NBCUniversal.
A few observations:

Almost all of the sponsors in the top 30 are traditional Drupal businesses. Companies like MD Systems (12 employees), Valuebound (58 employees), Chapter Three (33 employees), Commerce Guys (13 employees) and PreviousNext (22 employees) are, despite their size, critical to Drupal's success.
Compared to these traditional Drupal businesses, Acquia has nearly 800 employees and at least ten full-time Drupal contributors. Acquia works to resolve some of the most complex issues on Drupal.org, many of which are not recognized by the credit system (e.g. release management, communication, sprint organizing, and project coordination). Acquia added several full-time contributors compared to last year, however, I believe that Acquia should contribute even more due to its comparative size.
No digital marketing agencies show up in the top 30, though some of them are starting to contribute. It's exciting that an increasing number of digital marketing agencies are delivering beautiful experiences using Drupal. As a community, we need to work to ensure that each of these firms are contributing back to the project with the same commitment that we see from firms like Commerce Guys, CI&T or Acro Media. Compared to last year, we have not made meaningful progress on growing contributions from digital marketing agencies. It would be interesting to see what would happen if more large organizations mandated contributions from their partners. Pfizer, for example, only works with agencies and vendors that contribute back to Drupal, and requires that its agency partners contribute to open source. If more organizations took this stance, it could have a big impact on the number of digital agencies that contribute to Drupal
The only system integrator in the top 30 is CI&T, which ranked 3rd with 959 credits. As far as system integrators are concerned, CI&T is a smaller player with approximately 2,500 employees. However, we do see various system integrators outside of the top 30, including Globant, Capgemini, Sapient and TATA Consultancy Services. Each of these system integrators reported 30 to 85 credits in the past year. The top contributor is TATA with 85 credits.
Infrastructure and software companies also play an important role in our community, yet only Acquia appears in the top 30. While Acquia has a professional services division, more than 75% of the contributions come from the product organization. Other infrastructure companies include Pantheon and Platform.sh, which are both venture-backed, platform-as-a-service companies that were born from the Drupal community. Pantheon has 6 credits and Platform.sh has 47 credits. Amazee Labs, a company that is building an infrastructure business, reported 40 credits. Compared to last year, Acquia and Rackspace have slightly more credits, while Pantheon, Platform.sh and Amazee contributed less. Lingotek, a vendor that offers cloud-based translation management software has 84 credits.
We also saw three end-users in the top 30 as corporate sponsors: Pfizer (491 credits, up from 251 credits the year before), Thunder (432 credits), and the German company, bio.logis (319 credits, up from 212 credits the year before). Other notable customers outside of the top 30, include Workday, Wolters Kluwer, Burda Media, YMCA and OpenY, CARD.com and NBCUniversal. We also saw contributions from many universities, including University of Colorado Boulder, University of Waterloo, Princeton University, University of Adelaide, University of Sydney, University of Edinburgh, McGill University and more.
We can conclude that technology and infrastructure companies, digital marketing agencies, system integrators and end-users are not making significant code contributions to Drupal.org today. How can we explain this disparity in comparison to the traditional Drupal businesses that contribute the most? We believe the biggest reasons are:

Drupal's strategic importance. A variety of the traditional Drupal agencies almost entirely depend on Drupal to support their businesses. Given both their expertise and dependence on Drupal, they are most likely to look after Drupal's development and well-being. Contrast this with most of the digital marketing agencies and system integrators who work with a diversified portfolio of content management platforms. Their well-being is less dependent on Drupal's success.
The level of experience with Drupal and open source. Drupal aside, many organizations have little or no experience with open source, so it is important that we motivate and teach them to contribute.
Legal reservations. We recognize that some organizations are not legally permitted to contribute, let alone attribute their customers. We hope that will change as open source continues to get adopted.
Tools barriers. Drupal contribution still involves a patch-based workflow on Drupal.org's unique issue queue system. This presents a fairly steep learning curve to most developers, who primarily work with more modern and common tools such as GitHub. We hope to lower some of these barriers through our collaboration with GitLab.
Process barriers. Getting code changes accepted into a Drupal project — especially Drupal core — is hard work. Peer reviews, gates such as automated testing and documentation, required sign-offs from maintainers and committers, knowledge of best practices and other community norms are a few of the challenges a contributor must face to get code accepted into Drupal. Collaborating with thousands of people on a project as large and widely-used as Drupal requires such processes, but new contributors often don't know that these processes exist, or don't understand why they exist.
We should do more to entice contribution

Drupal is used by more than one million websites. Everyone who uses Drupal benefits from work that thousands of other individuals and organizations have contributed. Drupal is great because it is continuously improved by a diverse community of contributors who are enthusiastic to give back.

However, the vast majority of the individuals and organizations behind these Drupal websites never participate in the development of the project. They might use the software as it is or don't feel the need to help drive its development. We have to provide more incentive for these individuals and organizations to contribute back to the project.

Consequently, this data shows that the Drupal community can do more to entice companies to contribute code to Drupal.org. The Drupal community has a long tradition of encouraging organizations to share code rather than keep it behind firewalls. While the spirit of the Drupal project cannot be reduced to any single ideology — not every organization can or will share their code — we would like to see organizations continue to prioritize collaboration over individual ownership.

We understand and respect that some can give more than others and that some might not be able to give back at all. Our goal is not to foster an environment that demands what and how others should give back. Our aim is not to criticize those who do not contribute, but rather to help foster an environment worthy of contribution. This is clearly laid out in Drupal's Values and Principles.

Given the vast amount of Drupal users, we believe continuing to encourage organizations and end-users to contribute is still a big opportunity. From my own conversations, it's clear that organizations still need need education, training and help. They ask questions like: "Where can we contribute?", "How can we convince our legal department?", and more.

There are substantial benefits and business drivers for organizations that contribute: (1) it improves their ability to sell and win deals and (2) it improves their ability to hire. Companies that contribute to Drupal tend to promote their contributions in RFPs and sales pitches. Contributing to Drupal also results in being recognized as a great place to work for Drupal experts.

What projects have sponsors?

To understand where the organizations sponsoring Drupal put their money, I've listed the top 20 most sponsored projects:

RankProject nameIssues1Drupal core59192Webform9053Drupal Commerce6074Varbase: The Ultimate Drupal 8 CMS Starter Kit (Bootstrap Ready)5515Commerce Point of Sale (POS)3246Views3187Commerce Migrate3078JSON API3049Paragraphs27210Open Social22211Search API Solr Search21212Drupal Connector for Janrain Identity Cloud19713Drupal.org security advisory coverage applications18914Facets17115Open Y16216Metatag16217Web Page Archive15418Drupal core - JavaScript Modernization Initiative14519Thunder14420XML sitemap120Who is sponsoring the top 30 contributors?

Rank
Username
Issues
Volunteer
Sponsored
Not specified
Sponsors
1
RenatoG
851
0%
100%
0%
CI&T (850), Johnson & Johnson (23)
2
RajabNatshah
745
14%
100%
0%
Vardot (653), Webship (90)
3
jrockowitz
700
94%
97%
1%
The Big Blue House (680), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (7), Rosewood Marketing (2), Kennesaw State University (1)
4
adriancid
529
99%
19%
0%
Ville de Montréal (98)
5
bojanz
515
0%
98%
2%
Commerce Guys (503), Torchbox (17), Adapt (6), Acro Media (4), Bluespark (1)
6
Berdir
432
0%
92%
8%
MD Systems (396), Translations.com (10), Acquia (2)
7
alexpott
414
13%
84%
10%
Chapter Three (123), Thunder (120), Acro Media (103)
8
mglaman
414
5%
96%
1%
Commerce Guys (393), Impactiv (17), Circle Web Foundry (16), Rosewood Marketing (14), LivePerson (13), Bluespark (4), Acro Media (4), Gaggle.net (3), Thinkbean (2), Matsmart (2)
9
Wim Leers
395
8%
94%
0%
Acquia (371)
10
larowlan
360
13%
97%
1%
PreviousNext (350), University of Technology, Sydney (24), Charles Darwin University (10), Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) (1), Department of Justice & Regulation, Victoria (1)
11
DamienMcKenna
353
1%
95%
5%
Mediacurrent (334)
12
dawehner
340
48%
86%
4%
Chapter Three (279), Torchbox (10), Drupal Association (5), Tag1 Consulting (3), Acquia (2), TES Global (1)
13
catch
339
1%
97%
3%
Third and Grove (320), Tag1 Consulting (8)
14
heddn
327
2%
99%
1%
MTech (325)
15
xjm
303
0%
97%
3%
Acquia (293)
16
pifagor
284
32%
99%
1%
GOLEMS GABB (423), Drupal Ukraine Community (73)
17
quietone
261
48%
55%
5%
Acro Media (143)
18
borisson_
255
93%
55%
3%
Dazzle (136), Intracto digital agency (1), Acquia (1), DUG BE vzw (Drupal User Group Belgium) (1)
19
adci_contributor
255
0%
100%
0%
ADCI Solutions (255)
20
volkswagenchick
254
1%
100%
0%
Hook 42 (253)
21
drunken monkey
231
91%
22%
0%
DBC (24), Vizala (20), Sunlime Web Innovations GmbH (4), Wunder Group (1), epiqo (1), Zebralog (1)
22
amateescu
225
3%
95%
3%
Pfizer (211), Drupal Association (1), Chapter Three (1)
23
joachim
199
56%
44%
19%
Torchbox (88)
24
mkalkbrenner
195
0%
99%
1%
bio.logis (193), OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (119)
25
chr.fritsch
185
0%
99%
1%
Thunder (183)
26
gaurav.kapoor
178
0%
81%
19%
OpenSense Labs (144), DrupalFit (55)
27
phenaproxima
177
0%
99%
1%
Acquia (176)
28
mikeytown2
173
0%
0%
100%

29
joelpittet
170
28%
74%
16%
The University of British Columbia (125)
30
timmillwood
169
1%
100%
0%
Pfizer (169), Appnovation (163), Millwood Online (6)
We observe that the top 30 contributors are sponsored by 58 organizations. This kind of diversity is aligned with our desire to make sure that Drupal is not controlled by a single organization. These top contributors and organizations are from many different parts of the world, and work with customers large and small. Nonetheless, we will continue to benefit from an increased distribution of contribution.

Limitations of the credit system and the data

While the benefits are evident, it is important to note a few of the limitations in Drupal.org's current credit system:

Contributing to issues on Drupal.org is not the only way to contribute. Other activities, such as sponsoring events, promoting Drupal, and providing help and mentorship are also important to the long-term health of the Drupal project. Many of these activities are not currently captured by the credit system. For this post, we chose to only look at code contributions.
We acknowledge that parts of Drupal are developed on GitHub and therefore aren't fully credited on Drupal.org. The actual number of contributions and contributors could be significantly higher than what we report. The Drupal Association is working to integrate GitLab with Drupal.org. GitLab will provide support for "merge requests", which means contributing to Drupal will feel more familiar to the broader audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era. Some of GitLab's tools, such as inline editing and web-based code review, will also lower the barrier to contribution, and should help us grow both the number of contributions and contributors on Drupal.org.
Even when development is done on Drupal.org, the credit system is not used consistently. As using the credit system is optional, a lot of code committed on Drupal.org has no or incomplete contribution credits.
Not all code credits are the same. We currently don't have a way to account for the complexity and quality of contributions; one person might have worked several weeks for just one credit, while another person might receive a credit for ten minutes of work. In the future, we should consider issuing credit data in conjunction with issue priority, patch size, etc. This could help incentivize people to work on larger and more important problems and save coding standards improvements for new contributor sprints. Implementing a scoring system that ranks the complexity of an issue would also allow us to develop more accurate reports of contributed work.
Like Drupal itself, the Drupal.org credit system needs to continue to evolve. Ultimately, the credit system will only be useful when the community uses it, understands its shortcomings, and suggests constructive improvements.

Conclusion

Our data confirms that Drupal is a vibrant community full of contributors who are constantly evolving and improving the software. While we have amazing geographic diversity, we still need greater gender diversity, in addition to better representation across various demographic groups. Our analysis of the Drupal.org credit data concludes that most contributions to Drupal are sponsored. At the same time, the data shows that volunteer contribution remains very important to Drupal.

As a community, we need to understand that a healthy open source ecosystem includes more than the traditional Drupal businesses that contribute the most. We still don't see a lot of contribution from the larger digital marketing agencies, system integrators, technology companies, or end-users of Drupal — we believe that might come as these organizations build out their Drupal practices and Drupal becomes more strategic for them.

To grow and sustain Drupal, we should support those that contribute to Drupal and find ways to get those that are not contributing involved in our community. We invite you to help us continue to strengthen our ecosystem.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia a leader in 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Today, Acquia was named a leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Acquia has now been recognized as a leader for five years in a row.

Acquia recognized as a leader, next to Adobe and Sitecore, in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.Analyst reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant are important because they introduce organizations to Acquia and Drupal. Last year, I explained it in the following way: "If you want to find a good coffee place, you use Yelp. If you want to find a nice hotel in New York, you use TripAdvisor. Similarly, if a CIO or CMO wants to spend $250,000 or more on enterprise software, they often consult an analyst firm like Gartner.".

Our tenure as a top vendor is not only a strong endorsement of Acquia's strategy and vision, but also underscores our consistency. Drupal and Acquia are here to stay, which is a good thing.

What I found interesting about year's report is the increased emphasis on flexibility and ease of integration. I've been saying this for a few years now, but it's all about innovation through integration, rather than just innovation in the core platform itself.

An image of the Marketing Technology Landscape 2018. For reference, here are the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions of the landscape. It shows how fast the marketing technology industry is growing.Today, there is an incredible amount of value in community-driven innovation. Just look at the 2018 Martech 5000 — the supergraphic now includes 7,000 marketing technology solutions, which is a 27% increase from a year ago. This accelerated innovation isn't exclusive to marketing technology; its happening across every part of the enterprise technology stack. From headless commerce integrations to the growing adoption of JavaScript frameworks and emerging cross-channel experiences, organizations have the opportunity to re-imagine customer experiences like never before.

It's not surprising that customers are looking for an open platform that allows for open innovation and unlimited integrations. The best way to serve this need is through open APIs, decoupled architectures and an Open Source innovation model. This is why Drupal can offer its users thousands of integrations, more than all of the other Gartner leaders combined.

When you marry Drupal's community-driven innovation with Acquia's cloud platform and suite of marketing tools, you get an innovative solution across every layer of your technology stack. It allows our customers to bring powerful new experiences to market, across the web, mobile, native applications, chatbots and more. Most importantly, it gives customers the freedom to build on their own terms.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this result!
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


My thoughts on Adobe buying Magento for $1.68 billion

Yesterday, Adobe announced that it agreed to buy Magento for $1.68 billion. When I woke up this morning, 14 different people had texted me asking for my thoughts on the acquisition.

Adobe acquiring Magento isn't a surprise. One of our industry's worst-kept secrets is that Adobe first tried to buy Hybris, but lost the deal to SAP; subsequently Adobe tried to buy DemandWare and lost out against Salesforce. It's evident that Adobe has been hungry to acquire a commerce platform for quite some time.

The product motivation behind the acquisition

Large platform companies like Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Adobe are trying to own the digital customer experience market from top to bottom, which includes providing support for marketing, commerce, personalization, and data management, in addition to content and experience management and more.

Compared to the other platform companies, Adobe was missing commerce. With Magento under its belt, Adobe can better compete against Salesforce, Oracle and SAP.

While Salesforce, SAP and Oracle offer good commerce capability, they lack satisfactory content and experience management capabilities. I expect that Adobe closing the commerce gap will compel Salesforce, SAP and Oracle to act more aggressively on their own content and experience management gap.

While Magento has historically thrived in the SMB and mid-market, the company recently started to make inroads into the enterprise. Adobe will bring a lot of operational maturity; how to sell into the enterprise, how to provide enterprise grade support, etc. Magento stands to benefit from this expertise.

The potential financial outcome behind the acquisition

According to Adobe press statements, Magento has achieved "approximately $150 million in annual revenue". We also know that in early 2017, Magento raised $250 million in funding from Hillhouse Capital. Let's assume that $180 million of that is still in the bank. If we do a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation, we can subtract this $180 million from the $1.68 billion, and determine that Magento was valued at roughly $1.5 billion, or a 10x revenue multiple on Magento's trailing twelve months of revenue. That is an incredible multiple for Magento, which is primarily a licensing business today.

Compare that with Shopify, which is trading at a $15 billion dollar valuation and has $760 million of twelve month trailing revenue. This valuation is good for a 20x multiple. Shopify deserves the higher multiple, because it's the better business; all of its business is delivered in the cloud and at 65% year-over-year revenue growth, it is growing much faster than Magento.

Regardless, one could argue that Adobe got a great deal, especially if it can accelerate Magento's transformation from a licensing business into a cloud business.

Most organizations prefer best-of-breed

While both the product and financial motivations behind this acquisition are seemingly compelling, I'm not convinced organizations want an integrated approach.

Instead of being confined to proprietary vendors' prescriptive suites and roadmaps, global brands are looking for an open platform that allows organizations to easily integrate with their preferred technology. Organizations want to build content-rich shopping journeys that integrate their experience management solution of choice with their commerce platform of choice.

We see this first hand at Acquia. These integrations can span various commerce platforms, including IBM WebSphere Commerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud/Demandware, Oracle/ATG, SAP/hybris, Magento and even custom transaction platforms. Check out Quicken (Magento), Weber (Demandware), Motorola (Broadleaf Commerce), Tesla (custom to order a car, and Shopify to order accessories) as great examples of Drupal and Acquia working with various commerce platforms. And of course, we've quite a few projects with Drupal's native commerce solution, Drupal Commerce.

Owning Magento gives Adobe a disadvantage, because commerce vendors will be less likely to integrate with Adobe Experience Manager moving forward.

It's all about innovation through integration

Today, there is an incredible amount of innovation taking place in the marketing technology landscape (full-size image), and it is impossible for a single vendor to have the most competitive product suite across all of these categories. The only way to keep up with this unfettered innovation is through integrations.

For reference, here are the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions of the landscape. It shows how fast the landscape is growing.Most customers want an open platform that allows for open innovation and unlimited integrations. It's why Drupal and Acquia are winning, why the work on Drupal's web services is so important, and why Acquia remains committed to a best-of-breed strategy for commerce. It's also why Acquia has strong conviction around Acquia Journey as a marketing integration platform. It's all about innovation through integration, making those integrations easy, and removing friction from adopting preferred technologies.

If you acquire a commerce platform, acquire a headless one

If I were Adobe, I would have looked to acquire a headless commerce platform such as Elastic Path, Commerce Tools, Moltin, Reaction Commerce or even Salsify.

Today, there is a lot of functional overlap between Magento and Adobe Experience Manager — from content editing, content workflows, page building, user management, search engine optimization, theming, and much more. The competing functionality between the two solutions makes for a poor developer experience and for a poor merchant experience.

In a headless approach, the front end and the back end are decoupled, which means the experience or presentation layer is separated from the commerce business layer. There is a lot less overlap of functionality in this approach, and it provides a better experience for merchants and developers.

Alternatively, you could go for a deeply integrated approach like Drupal Commerce. It has zero overlap between its commerce, content management and experience building capabilities.

For Open Source, it could be good or bad

How Adobe will embrace Magento's Open Source community is possibly the most intriguing part of this acquisition — at least for me.

For a long time, Magento operated as Open Source in name, but wasn't very Open Source in practice. Over the last couple of years, the Magento team worked hard to rekindle its Open Source community. I know this because I attended and keynoted one of its conferences on this topic. I have also spent a fair amount of time with Magento's leadership team discussing this. Like other projects, Magento has been taking inspiration from Drupal.

For example, the introduction of Magento 2 allowed the company to move to GitHub for the first time, which gave the community a better way to collaborate on code and other important issues. The latest release of Magento cited 194 contributions from the community. While that is great progress, it is small compared to Drupal.

My hope is that these Open Source efforts continue now that Magento is part of Adobe. If they do, that would be a tremendous win for Open Source.

On the other hand, if Adobe makes Magento cloud-only, radically changes their pricing model, limits integrations with Adobe competitors, or doesn't value the Open Source ethos, it could easily alienate the Magento community. In that case, Adobe bought Magento for its install base and the Magento brand, and not because it believes in the Open Source model.

This acquisition also signals a big win for PHP. Adobe now owns a $1.68 billion PHP product, and this helps validate PHP as an enterprise-grade technology.

Unfortunately, Adobe has a history of being "Open Source"-second and not "Open Source"-first. It acquired Day Software in July 2010. This technology was largely made using open source frameworks — Apache Sling, Apache Jackrabbit and more — and was positioned as an open, best-of-breed solution for developers and agile marketers. Most of that has been masked and buried over the years and Adobe's track record with developers has been mixed, at best.

Will the same happen to Magento? Time will tell.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Acquia retrospective 2017


The entrance to Acquia's headquarters in Boston.For the past nine years, I've sat down every January to write an Acquia retrospective. It's always a rewarding blog post to write as it gives me an opportunity to reflect on what Acquia has accomplished over the past 12 months. If you'd like to read my previous annual retrospectives, they can be found here: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. When read together, they provide insight to what has shaped Acquia into the company it is today.

This year's retrospective is especially meaningful because 2017 marked Acquia's 10th year as a company. Over the course of Acquia's first decade, our long-term investment in open source and cloud has made us the leader in web content management. 2017 was one of our most transformative years to date; not only did we have to manage leadership changes, but we also broadened our horizons beyond website management to data-driven customer journeys.

The next phase of Acquia leadership

Tom Erickson joined Acquia as CEO in 2009 and worked side-by-side with me for the next eight years.In my first retrospective from 2009, I shared that Jay Batson and I had asked Tom Erickson to come aboard as Acquia's new CEO. For the next eight years, Tom and I worked side-by-side to build and grow Acquia. Tom's expertise in taking young companies to the next level was a natural complement to my technical strength. His leadership was an example that enabled me to develop my own business building skills. When Tom announced last spring that he would be stepping down as Acquia's CEO, I assumed more responsibility to help guide the company through the transition. My priorities for 2017 were centered around three objectives: (1) the search for a new CEO, (2) expanding our product strategy through a stronger focus on innovation, and (3) running our operations more efficiently.

The search for a new CEO consumed a great deal of my time in 2017. After screening over 140 candidates and interviewing ten of them in-depth, we asked Mike Sullivan to join Acquia as CEO. Mike has been on the job for three weeks and I couldn't be more excited.

Mike Sullivan joins Acquia as CEO with 25 years of senior leadership in SaaS, enterprise content management and content governance.Market trends

I see three major market trends that I believe are important to highlight and that help inform our strategy.

Trend #1: Customers are driven by time-to-value and low cost of maintenance

Time-to-value and low maintenance costs are emerging as two of the most important differentiators in the market. This is consistent with a post I wrote eleven years ago, in regards to The Ockham's Razor Principle of Content Management Systems. The principle states that given two functionally equivalent content management systems, the simplest one should be selected. Across both the low and the high ends of the market, time-to-value and total cost of ownership matter a great deal. Simplicity wins.

In the low end of the market simple sites, such as single blogs and brochure sites, are now best served by SaaS tools such as Squarespace and Wix. Over the past five years, SaaS solutions have been rising in prominence because their templated approach to simple site building makes them very easy to use. The total cost of ownership is also low as users don't have to update and maintain the software and infrastructure themselves. Today, I believe that DrupalCoin is no longer ideal for most simple sites and instead is best suited for more ambitious use cases. Not everyone likes that statement, but I believe it to be true.

In the mid-market, SaaS tools don't offer the flexibility and customizability required to support sites with more complexity. Often mid-market companies need more customizable solutions like DrupalCoin or WordPress. Time-to-value and total maintenance costs still matter; people don't want to spend a lot of time installing or upgrading their websites. Within the scope of Ockham's Razor Principle, WordPress does better than DrupalCoin in this regard. WordPress is growing faster than DrupalCoin for websites with medium complexity because ease of use and maintenance often precede functionality. However, when superior flexibility and architecture are critical to the success of building a site, DrupalCoin will be selected.

In the enterprise, a growing emphasis on time-to-value means that customers are less interested in boil-the-ocean projects that cost hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars. Customers still want to do large and ambitious projects, but they want to start small, see results quickly, and measure their ROI every step along the way. Open source and cloud provide this agility by reducing time-to-market, cost and risk. This establishes a competitive advantage for Acquia compared to traditional enterprise vendors like Adobe and Sitecore.

At Acquia, understanding how we can make our products easier to use by enhancing self-service and reducing complexity will be a major focus of 2018. For DrupalCoin, it means we have to stay focused on the initiatives that will improve usability and time to value. In addition to adopting a JavaScript framework in core to facilitate the building of a better administration experience, work needs to continue on Workspaces (content staging), Layout Builder (drag-and-drop blocks), and the Media, Outside-in and Out-of-the-box initiatives. Finally, I anticipate that a DrupalCoin initiative around automated upgrades will kick off in 2018. I'm proud to say that Acquia has been a prominent contributor to many of these initiatives, by either sponsoring developers, contributing code, or providing development support and coordination.

Trend #2: Frictionless user experiences require greater platform complexity

For the past ten years, I've observed one significant factor that continues to influence the trajectory of digital: the internet's continuous drive to mitigate friction in user experience and business models. The history of the web dictates that lower-friction solutions will surpass what came before them because they eliminate inefficiencies from the customer experience.

This not only applies to how technology is adopted, but how customer experiences are created. Mirroring Ockham's Razor Principle, end users and consumers also crave simplicity. End users are choosing to build relationships with brands that guarantee contextual, personalized and frictionless interactions. However, simplicity for end users does not translate into simplicity for CMS owners. Organizations need to be able to manage more data, channels and integrations to deliver the engaging experiences that end users now expect. This desire on the part of end users creates greater platform complexity for CMS owners.

For example, cross-channel experiences are starting to remove certain inefficiencies around traditional websites. In order to optimize the customer experience, enterprise vendors must now expand their digital capabilities beyond web content management and invest in both systems of engagement (various front-end solutions such as conversational interfaces, chatbots, and AR/VR) and systems of intelligence (marketing tools for personalization and predictive analytics).

This year, Acquia Labs built a demo to explore how augmented reality can improve shopping experiences.These trends give organizations the opportunity to reimagine their customer experience. By taking advantage of more channels and more data (e.g. being more intelligent, personalized, and contextualized), we can leapfrog existing customer experiences. However, these ambitious experiences require a platform that prioritizes customization and functionality.

Trend #3: The decoupled CMS market is taking the world by storm

In the web development world, few trends are spreading more rapidly than decoupled content management systems. The momentum is staggering as some decoupled CMS vendors are growing at a rate of 150% year over year. This trend has a significant influence on the technology landscape surrounding DrupalCoin, as a growing number of DrupalCoin agencies have also started using modern JavaScript technologies. For example, more than 50% of DrupalCoin agencies are also using Node.js to support the needs of their customers.

The DrupalCoin community's emphasis on making DrupalCoin API-first, in addition to supporting tools such as Waterwheel and DrupalCoin distributions such as Reservoir, Contenta and Lightning, means that DrupalCoin 8 is well-prepared to support decoupled CMS strategies. For years, including in 2017, Acquia has been a very prominent contributor to a variety of API-first initiatives.

Product milestones

In addition to my focus on finding a new CEO, driving innovation to expand our product offering was another primary focus in 2017.

Throughout Acquia's first decade, we've been focused primarily on providing our customers with the tools and services necessary to scale and succeed with DrupalCoin. We've been very successful with this mission. However, many of our customers need more than content management to be digital winners. The ability to orchestrate customer experiences across different channels is increasingly important to our customers' success. We need to be able to support these efforts on the Acquia platform.

We kicked off our new product strategy by adding new products to our portfolio, and by extending our existing products with new capabilities that align with our customers' evolving needs.

Acquia Cloud: A "continuous integration" and "continuous delivery" service for developers was our #1 requested feature, so we delivered Acquia Cloud CD early in 2017. Later in the year, we expanded Acquia Cloud to support Node.js, the popular open-source JavaScript runtime. This was the first time we expanded our cloud beyond DrupalCoin. Previously, if an organization wanted to build a decoupled DrupalCoin architecture with Node.js, it was not able to host the Node.js application on Acquia Cloud. Finally, in order to make Acquia Cloud easier to use, we started to focus more on self-service. We saw rapid customer adoption of our new Stack Metrics feature, which gives customers valuable insight into performance and utilization. We also introduced a new Cloud Service Management model, which empowers our customer to scale their Acquia Cloud infrastructure on the fly.
Acquia Lift: In order to best support our customers as they embed personalization into their digital strategies, we have continued to add product enhancements to the new version of Acquia Lift. This included improving Acquia Lift's content authoring capabilities, enhanced content recommendations, and advanced analytics and reporting. The Acquia Lift team grew, as we also founded a machine learning and artificial intelligence team, which will lead to new features and products in 2018. In 2017, Acquia Lift has added over 200 new features, tracks 200% more profiles than in 2016, and has grown 45% in revenue.
Next, we added two new products to support our evolution from content management to data-driven customer journeys: Acquia Journey and Acquia Digital Asset Manager (DAM).

Acquia Journey allows marketers to easily map, assemble, orchestrate and manage customer experiences across different channels. One of the strengths of Acquia Journey is that it allows technical teams to integrate many different technologies, from marketing and advertising technologies to CRM tools and commerce platforms. Acquia Journey unifies these various interaction points within a single user interface, making it possible to quickly assemble powerful and complex customer journeys. In turn, marketers can take advantage of a flowchart-style journey mapping tool with unified customer profiles and an automated decision engine to determine the best-next action for engaging customers.
Acquia DAM: Many organizations lack a single-source of truth when it comes to managing digital assets. This challenge has been amplified as the number of assets has rapidly increased in a world with more devices, more channels, more campaigns, and more personalized and contextualized experiences In addition to journey orchestration, it became clear that large organizations are seeking a digital asset management solution that centralizes control of creative assets for the entire company. With Acquia DAM, our customers can rely on one dedicated application to gather requirements, share drafts, consolidate feedback and collect approvals for high-value marketing assets.
Acquia's new product strategy is very ambitious. I'm proud of our stronger focus on innovation and the new features and products that we launched in 2017. Launching this many products and features is hard work and requires tactical coordination across every part of the company. The transition from a single-product company to a multi-product company is challenging, and I hope to share more lessons learned in future blog posts.

While each new product we announced was well-received, there is still a lot of work to be done: we need to continue to drive end-user demand for our new products and help our digital agency partners build practices around them.

Leading by example

At Acquia, our mission is to deliver "the universal platform for the greatest digital experiences", and we want to lead by example. In an effort to become a thought-leader in our field, the Office of the CTO launched Acquia Labs, our research and innovation lab. Acquia Labs aims to link together the new realities in our market, our customers' needs in coming years, and the goals of Acquia's products and open-source efforts in the long term.

Finally, we rounded out the year by redesigning Acquia.com on DrupalCoin 8. The new site places a greater emphasis on taking advantage of our own products. We wanted to show (not tell) the power of the Acquia platform. For example, Acquia Lift delivers visitors personalized content throughout the site. The new site represents a bolder and more innovative Acquia, aligned with the evolution of our product strategy.

Business momentum

We continued to grow at a steady pace in 2017 and hired a lot of new people. We focused on the growth of our recurring revenue, which includes new customers and the renewal and expansion of our work with existing customers. We also focused on our bottom line.

In 2017, the top industry analysts published very positive reviews based on their independent research. I'm proud that Acquia was recognized by Forrester Research as the leader for strategy and vision, ahead of every other vendor including Adobe and Sitecore, in The Forrester Wave: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2017. Acquia was also named a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management, marking our placement as a leader for the fourth year in a row. In addition to being the only leader that is open-source or has a cloud-first strategy, Acquia was hailed by analysts for our investments in open APIs across all our products.

Over the course of 2017 Acquia welcomed an impressive roster of new customers who included Astella Pharma, Glanbia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Bayer GmbH. As we enter 2018, Acquia can count 26 of the Fortune 100 among its customers, up from 16 at the beginning of 2017.

This year was also an incredible growth period for our Asia Pacific business, which is growing ARR at a rate of 80% year over year. We have secured new business in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and India. When we started our business in Australia in 2012, 70% of the pipeline came from govCMS, the platform offered by the Australian government to all national, territorial and local agencies. Today, our business is much more diverse, with 50% of the region's pipeline coming from outside of Australia.

Jeannie Finks, Director of Global Support Systems & Programs, accepting a Gold Stevie for Customer Service Team of the Year. Go team Acquia!Customer success continues to be the most important driver of the evolution of Acquia's strategy. This commitment was reflected in 2017 customer satisfaction levels, which remains extremely high at 94 percent. Acquia's global support team also received top honors from the American Business Awards and won a Gold Stevie for Customer Service Team of the Year.

This year, we also saw our annual customer conference, Acquia Engage, grow. We welcomed over 650 people to Boston and saw presentations from over twenty customers, including Johnson & Johnson, NBC Sports, Whole Foods, AMD, the YMCA and many more. It was inspiring to hear our customers explain why Acquia and DrupalCoin are essential to their business.
Finally, our partner ecosystem continues to advance. In 2016, we achieved a significant milestone as numerous global systems integrators repeatedly recommended Acquia to their clients. One year later, these partners are building large centers of excellence to scale their Acquia and DrupalCoin practices. Digital agencies and DrupalCoin companies also continue to extend their investments in Acquia, and are excited about the opportunity presented in our expanded product portfolio. In some markets, over 50 percent of our new subscriptions originate from our partner ecosystem.

The growth and performance of the partner community is validation of our strategy. For example, in 2017 we saw multiple agencies and integrators that were entirely committed to Adobe or Sitecore, join our program and begin to do business with us.

Opportunities for Acquia in 2018

When thinking about how Acquia has evolved its product strategy, I like to consider it in terms of Greylocks' Jerry Chen's take on the stack of enterprise systems. I've modified his thesis to fit the context of Acquia and our long-term strategy to help organizations with their digital transformation.
Chen's thesis begins with "systems of record", which are sticky and defensible not only because of their data, but also based on the core business process they own. Jerry identifies three major systems of record today; your customers, your employees and your assets. CRM owns your customers (i.e. Salesforce), HCM owns your employees (i.e. Workday), and ERP/Financials owns your assets. Other applications can be built around a system of record but are usually not as valuable as the actual system of record. For example, marketing automation companies like Marketo and Responsys built big businesses around CRM, but never became as strategic or as valuable as Salesforce. We call these "secondary systems of record". We believe that a "content repository" (API-first DrupalCoin) and a "user profile repository" (Acquia Lift) are secondary systems of record. We will continue our efforts to improve DrupalCoin's content repository and Lift's user profile repository to become stronger systems of record.

"Systems of engagement" are the interface between users and the systems of record. They control the end-user interactions. DrupalCoin and Lift are great examples of systems of engagement as they allow for the rapid creation of end-user experiences.

Jerry Chen further suggests that "systems of intelligence" will be a third component. Systems of intelligence will be of critical importance for determining the optimal customer journey across various applications. Personalization (Acquia Lift), recommendations (Acquia Lift) and customer journey building (Acquia Journey) are systems of intelligence. They are very important initiatives for our future.

While Chen does not include "systems of delivery" in his thesis, I believe it is an important component. Systems of delivery not only dictate how content is delivered to users, but how organizations build projects faster and more efficiently for their stakeholders and users. This includes multi-site management (Acquia Cloud Site Factory) and continuous delivery services (Acquia Cloud CD), which extend the benefits of PaaS beyond scalability and reliability to include high-productivity and faster time-to-value for our customers. As organizations increase their investments in cross-channel experiences, they must manage more complexity and orchestrate the testing, integration and deployment of different technologies. Systems of delivery, such as Acquia Cloud and Acquia Site Factory, remove complexity from building and managing modern digital experiences.

This is all consistent with the diagram I've been using for a few years now where "user profile" and "content repository" represent two systems of record, getBestNextExperience() is the system of intelligence, and DrupalCoin is the system of engagement to build the customer experience:

We are confident in the market shift towards "intelligent connected experiences" or "data-driven customer journeys" and the opportunity it provides to Acquia. Every team at Acquia has demonstrated both commitment and focus as we have initiated a shift to make our vision relevant in the market for years to come. I believe we have strong investments across systems of record, intelligence, delivery and engagement that will continue to put us at the center of our customers' technology and digital strategies in 2027.

Thank you

Of course, none of these 2017 results and milestones would be possible without the hard work of the Acquia team, our customers, partners, the DrupalCoin community, and our many friends. Thank you for your support in 2017 and over the past ten years – I can't wait to see what the next decade will bring!
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Getting Ready for Web Video

Inspired Magazine
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Video is one of those really contentious points about web design. There are some people who feel like web pages should not have embedded video at all. These people are wrong.
Like any technology, however, we should respect it and not abuse it. The two worst things you can do are:

AutoPlay videos, without express consent from the user
Embed too many videos in one page

Both of these things are likely to cause annoyance to users and should be avoided unless you have a very good reason.
Knowing what not to do will only get you so far. The rest of your online video success story will depend on knowing the things you ought to do, which is what we’ll cover in the rest of this article.
Video categories
There are six different types of videos that are commonly used on sites. These are:

Regular video – you point a camera at something and record it
Live stream – you point a camera at something and don’t record it
Slide show – composed from a series of still images, often with voice over plus added descriptive text
Animation – various methods, but more commonly 3D rendered animations made with Maya3D or Blender.
Screencast – software records images from your computer, normally used for tutorials, usually with text overlays and voice narration.
Hybrid screencast – a screen cast with regular video segments, and possibly also slideshow segments.

Knowing which type of video you want to produce is a good start. Actually that brings us neatly to the next topic.
Plan your video
Good video doesn’t normally happen by accident. Meticulous planning pays off, and that means you know what kind of video you’re going to produce, how you’re going to produce it, and (very importantly) why.
Don’t fail to plan. For a start, your video should be scripted. This is true even if there is no dialog or narration. The script gives you a clear impression of how the video is supposed to unfold. You can also optionally story board the video, but a crew that can’t work straight from a script is not a very visionary crew.
If you’re making a bigger production, you’ll also benefit from budget planning, scene breakdown, shooting sequence (shot list), location scouting, etc. The more time you invest into planning, the better your video is likely to be. Professional preparation leads to professional results.
Software that can help you with script writing and planning includes Trelby and CeltX.

Invest in quality equipment
The equipment you use will have a big impact on the result. It may be difficult to believe, but the camera is not the most important part of your equipment investment.
That’s because for web video (in 2018, at least) it’s rarely sensible to shoot video above normal HD (1920px wide), and in fact it’s better to shoot in SD (1280px wide) or lower, and the aspect ratio should always be 16:9.
One source of confusion with these resolutions, by the way, is the slightly misleading standard names used, which references the vertical height (720p / 1080p) rather than the width, which is the most natural thing people think about.
In thinking about this, bear in mind that a video with a frame height of 720px will not fit on the screen real estate of most users, so it is easy to see why shooting above 720p will not give superior results for web video.
The larger your video frame is, the more resources it will hog on the user’s device, including in some cases failing to play at all, or playing very poorly. Your goal really should be to get the highest image quality and the lowest file size (in bytes).
The reason all this is mentioned is because cameras up to HD will be quite inexpensive compared to cameras that can shoot at higher resolutions, and you’ll just be wasting your money if you invest in them, because most users in 2018:

Do not have screens large enough to support the enormous frame size
Do not have connections fast enough to stream anything above HD smoothly
Do not have connections able to stream anything above SD smoothly either
Are not overly concerned about quality as long as it is reasonable

Quality of your content is the more important thing. So cameras for web video are cheap. What matters a lot more is the audio, and that is where you should invest sensibly.
Cheap audio solutions are likely to result in poor results, so avoid cheap audio and invest in quality. What you save on your camera can be reinvested into sound. Literally what you’d regard as a sound investment.

The main microphone types are shotgun, boom, and wireless. The top brands include Rode, Senheiser, Shure, and Audio-Technica.
Shotgun microphones will do the job if the camera is reasonably near and there is no wind. A boom mic can be made from a shotgun mic mounted on a pole with an extension cable. Wireless is the most expensive and the most likely to give you trouble.
You should invest in a good quality tripod as well, with the generally accepted best brand on the market being Manfrotto. What you should invest in lighting depends on the location. Other items you’ll need could include reflectors and shaders.
Completely optional items that can be useful include sliders, dollies, jibs, and lens filters. Don’t invest in these items unless your production warrants their purchase.
Set the scene
The best idea with online video is to keep it short whenever possible, and when it’s not possible, break it down into segments. This is far better than one long continuous narrative, and makes your video look more professional.
For each segment, think about what will be in the frame. If the camera will pan, track, or otherwise follow your movement between two or more points, think about what will be in the frame at each point. Rehearse it and mark the spots where you will stand if you’re in an on-camera role.

How you can mark ground spots is with chalk, tape, small bean bags, or stones. The camera operator should use a tripod or Steadicam for best results. Shaky video is truly horrible.
For screen casts and slideshows, think about how well the user can see what you’re showing. Zoom in on key elements if necessary, and be willing to switch betweeen different zoomed and unzoomed views, as the situation requires.
Make your own green screen
If you are presenting from behind a desk, a green screen can be a big improvement to your presentation. Simply get yourself a large, flat, solid surface, which should be smooth and unblemished, and paint it a bright shade of green.

For ultimate compatibility, also create magenta and cyan screens that can be swapped in if you need to show anything green colored in your frame.
With a green screen (or magenta, or cyan) you can use a technology called chroma key to replace the solid color with any image, including another video.
Obviously there’s not much point in making a video if nobody wants to watch it, so try to keep things interesting. Beware, however, not to be insincere or act out of character, because poor acting is worse than no acting at all.
Humor can be powerful if it is done well, and used only where it is appropriate. Likewise solemn, somber, and scandalous tones can also create interest when used appropriately.
Product videos and testimonials should be delivered enthusiastically and highlight the best features, however product reviews should be brutally honest in order to boost your credibility and win the trust of your viewers. Nothing is more valuable than trust.
Editing
Editing your video is the biggest task of all. For this, you’ll need software, and that software must be a nonlinear video editor (NLE). With this you can put mix and match the various clips you’ve shot to make a coherent narrative.

Not all editing software is equal. The best video editors are Cinlerra, Adobe Premiere Pro, Blender, and Sony Vegas Pro.
Rendering
Rendering is usually done, at least on the first pass, by the video editing software. When rendering for DVD, your goal is to get maximum video quality, regardless of the file size. Rendering for the web is a whole different thing.
The only formats worth considering are MP4 and WEBM, and while the latter will give you a better file size, it is not currently universally supported by all browsers. It is worth keeping in mind for the future.
Although your sound capture needs to be first rate, your rendered audio definitely should not be. In fact this is where most people go wrong, leaving their sound at ridiculously high fidelity when it’s not necessary. Reducing the audio quality will go a long way towards reducing file size while not noticeably affecting the outcome.

Codecs are a hotly debated topic, but the general consensus of professionals is to use the H.264 codec (or equivalent), because this will ensure maximum compatibility and a good balance between quality and file size.
Finally, consider shrinking the physical dimensions of the video if it is going to be viewed within a pre-defined space, and the user would not be expected to view it in full screen mode (doing so will work, but results in pixelation… their problem, not yours).
You can also use video transcoders such as Handbrake for your final render to fine tune the resulting file and ensure maximum compatibility. In some regions ISPs have restricted access to Handbrake downloads, but that’s just a testament to how good it is.
Captioning
Don’t under-estimate the power of captioning. Investing the time to create proper closed captions (subtitles) for your video production will be a very good investment. At the very least, allow auto-captions, but creating your own, especially if you allow a choice of languages, is always a good idea except when your video contains no speech.
Hosting
Considering how many mobile users there are and the prevalence of 3G connections, with 4G still being a (slowly growing) minority, HD video is not the best of ideas, and since Vimeo’s support for captioning is not on a par with Google’s, this makes Google the better choice for online video hosting at present.

Notice, however, that it was Google, not YouTube, that got the mention there. For numerous reasons, YouTube is not the best way to host your video, however there is nothing to prevent you uploading multiple versions of your video, one you host on a private Google account and one you host on YouTube.
The version embedded on your site should be the version hosted on your Google account.
The one exception to the rule is if you’re producing feature content, where you are showing off your film making prowess. In this case, Vimeo may have the edge.
For low bandwidth sites (those that attract less traffic than the bandwidth they have available), you could consider hosting the video on your own server. This can provide some advantages, especially in terms of loading time.
This post Getting Ready for Web Video was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com


The Contrast Swap Technique: Improved Image Performance with CSS Filters

With CSS filter effects and blend modes, we can now leverage various techniques for styling images directly in the browser. However, creating aesthetic theming isn't all that filter effects are good for. You can use filters to indicate hover state, hide passwords, and now—for web performance.
While playing with profiling performance wins of using blend modes for duotone image effects (I'll write up an article on this soon), I discovered something even more exciting. A major image optimization win! The idea is to reduce image contrast in the source image, reducing its file size, then boosting the contrast back up with CSS filters!

Start with your image, then remove the contrast, and then reapply it with CSS filters.
How It Works
Let's put a point on exactly how this works:

Reduce image contrast using a linear transform function (Photoshop can do this)
Apply a contrast filter in CSS to the image to make up for the contrast removal

Step one involves opening your image in a program that lets you linearly reduce contrast in a linear way. Photoshop's legacy mode does a good job at this (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast):
You get to this screen via Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast in Photoshop CC.
Not all programs use the same functions to apply image transforms (for example, this would not work with the macOS default image editor, since it uses a different technique to reduct contrast). A lot of the work done to build image effects into the browser was initially done by Adobe, so it makes sense that Photoshop's Legacy Mode aligns with browser image effects.
Then, we apply some CSS filters to our image. The filters we'll be using are contrast and (a little bit of) brightness. With the 50% Legacy Photoshop reduction, I applied filter: contrast(1.75) brightness(1.2); to each image.
Major Savings
This technique is very effective for reducing image size and therefore the overall weight of your page. In the following study, I used 4 vibrant photos taken on an iPhone, applied a 50% reduction in contrast using Photoshop Legacy Mode, saved each photo at Maximum quality (10), and then applied filter: contrast(1.75) brightness(1.2); to each image. These are the results:

You can play with the live demo here to check it out for yourself!
In each of the above cases, we saved between 23% and 28% in image size by reducing and reapplying the contrast using CSS filters. This is with saving each of the images at maximum quality.
If you look closely, you can see some legitimate losses in image quality. This is especially true with majority-dark images. so this technique is not perfect, but it definitely proves image savings in an interesting way.
Browser Support Considerations
Be aware that browser support for CSS filters is "pretty good".
This browser support data is from Caniuse, which has more detail. A number indicates that browser supports the feature at that version and up.DesktopChromeOperaFirefoxIEEdgeSafari18*15*35No166*Mobile / TabletiOS SafariOpera MobileOpera MiniAndroidAndroid ChromeAndroid Firefox6.0-6.1*37*No4.4*6156
As you can see, Internet Explorer and Opera Mini lack support. Edge 16 (the current latest version) supports CSS filters and this technique works like a charm. You'll have to decide if a reduced-contrast image as a fallback is acceptable or not.
What About Repainting?
You may be thinking: "but while we're saving in image size, we're putting more work on the browser, wouldn't this affect performance?" That's a great question! CSS filters do trigger a repaint because they set off window.getComputedStyle(). Let's profile our example.
What I did was open an incognito window in Chrome, disable JavaScript (just to be certain for the extensions I have), set the network to "Slow 3G" and set the CPU to a 6x slowdown:
With a 6x CPU slowdown, the longest Paint Raster took 0.27 ms, AKA 0.00027 seconds.
While the images took a while to load in, the actual repaint was pretty quick. With a 6x CPU slowdown, the longest individual Rasterize Paint took 0.27 ms, AKA 0.00027 seconds.
CSS filters originated from SVG filters, and are relatively browser optimized versions of the most popular SVG filter effect transformations. So I think its pretty safe to use as progressive enhancement at this point (being aware of IE users and Opera Mini users!).
Conclusion and the Future
There are still major savings to be had when reducing image quality (again, in this small study, the images were saved at high qualities for more of a balanced result). Running images through optimizers like ImageOptim, and sending smaller image file sizes based on screen sized (like responsive images in HTML or CSS) will give you even bigger savings.
In the web performance optimization world, I find image performance the most effective thing we can do to reduce web cruft and data for our users, since images are the largest chunk of what we send on the web (by far). If we can start leveraging modern CSS to help lift some of the weight of our images, we can look into a whole new world of optimization solutions.
For example, this could potentially be taken even further, playing with other CSS filters such as saturate and brightness. We could leverage automation tools like Gulp and Webpack to apply the image effects for us, just as we use automation tools to run our images through optimizers. Blending this technique with other best practices for image optimization, can lead to major savings in the pixel-based assets we're sending our users.

The Contrast Swap Technique: Improved Image Performance with CSS Filters is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


Sr. Technical Lead - AEM - R2integrated, LLC - Seattle, WA

Experience in other Content Management Platforms (DNN, Sitecore, DrupalCoin Blockchain). Architect and Develop web based applications (Adobe Experience Manager) as a member of...
From R2integrated, LLC - Sat, 04 Nov 2017 17:26:14 GMT - View all Seattle, WA jobs
Source: http://rss.indeed.com/rss?q=DrupalCoin Blockchain+Developer


Variable Fonts from Adobe Originals

It's one thing to see a variable fonts demo (oooooo one font can change things like weight, width, and slant?) but it feels a lot more real when fonts you see and work with all the time go variable. Adobe made six of them available: Source Sans, Source Serif, Source Code, Myriad, Acumin, and Minion. You can't serve them on the web directly through TypeKit yet, but you can download them from GitHub to start playing.
Print designers have just as much reason to be excited, or perhaps more, as so long as you have software that supports variable fonts, you can use them right now:

Direct Link to Article — Permalink
Variable Fonts from Adobe Originals is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


eCommerce Web Developer Support - Huawei - Mountain View, CA

WordPress, Adobe, DrupalCoin Blockchain, etc. Experience working with a team of global designers, developers and marketing resources....
From Huawei - Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:20:39 GMT - View all Mountain View, CA jobs
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The evolution of Acquia's product strategy

Four months ago, I shared that Acquia was on the verge of a shift equivalent to the decision to launch Acquia Fields and DrupalCoin Blockchain Gardens in 2008. As we entered Acquia's second decade, we outlined a goal to move from content management to data-driven customer journeys. Today, Acquia announced two new products that support this mission: Acquia Journey and Acquia Digital Asset Manager (DAM).

Last year on my blog, I shared a video that demonstrated what is possible with cross-channel user experiences and DrupalCoin Blockchain. We showed a sample supermarket chain called Gourmet Market. Gourmet Market wants its customers to not only shop online using its website, but to also use Amazon Echo or push notifications to do business with them. The Gourmet Market prototype showed an omnichannel customer experience that is both online and offline, in store and at home, and across multiple digital touchpoints. The Gourmet Market demo video was real, but required manual integrationand lacked easy customization. Today, the launch of Acquia Journey and Acquia DAM makes building these kind of customer experiences a lot easier. It marks an important milestone in Acquia's history, as it will accelerate our transition from content management to data-driven customer journeys.

Introducing Acquia Journey

I've written a great deal about the Big Reverse of the Web, which describes the transition from "pull-based" delivery of the web, meaning we visit websites, to a "push-based" delivery, meaning the web comes to us. The Big Reverse forces a major re-architecture of the web to bring the right information, to the right person, at the right time, in the right context.

The Big Reverse also ushers in the shift from B2C to B2One, where organizations develop a one-to-one relationship with their customers, and contextual and personalized interactions are the norm. In the future, every organization will have to rethink how it interacts with customers.

Successfully delivering a B2One experience requires an understanding of your user's journey and matching the right information or service to the user's context. This alone is no easy feat, and many marketers and other digital experience builders often get frustrated with the challenge of rebuilding customer experiences. For example, although organizations can create brilliant campaigns and high-value content, it's difficult to effectively disseminate marketing efforts across multiple channels. When channels, data and marketing software act in different silos, it's nearly impossible to build a seamless customer experience. The inability to connect customer profiles and journey maps with various marketing tools can result in unsatisfied customers, failed conversion rates, and unrealized growth.

Acquia Journey delivers on this challenge by enabling marketers to build data-driven customer journeys. It allows marketers to easily map, assemble, orchestrate and manage customer experiences like the one we showed in our Gourmet Market prototype.

It's somewhat difficult to explain Acquia Journey in words — probably similar to trying to explain what a content management system does to someone who has never used one before. Acquia Journey provides a single interface to define and evaluate customer journeys across multiple interaction points. It combines a flowchart-style journey mapping tool with unified customer profiles and an automated decision engine. Rules-based triggers and logic select and deliver the best-next action for engaging customers.

One of the strengths of Acquia Journey is that it integrates many different technologies, from marketing and advertising technologies to CRM tools and commerce platforms. This makes it possible to quickly assemble powerful and complex customer journeys.

Acquia Journey will simplify how organizations deliver the "best next experience" for the customer. Providing users with the experience they not only want, but expect will increase conversion rates, grow brand awareness, and accelerate revenue. The ability for organizations to build more relevant user experiences not only aligns with our customers' needs but will enable them to make the biggest impact possible for their customers.

Acquia's evolving product offering also puts control of user data and experience back in the hands of the organization, instead of walled gardens. This is a step toward uniting the Open Web.

Introducing Acquia Digital Asset Manager (DAM)

Digital asset management systems have been around for a long time, and were originally hosted through on-premise servers. Today, most organizations have abandoned on-premise or do-it-yourself DAM solutions. After listening to our customers, it became clear that large organizations are seeking a digital asset management solution that centralizes control of creative assets for the entire company.

Many organizations lack a single-source of truth when it comes to managing digital assets. This challenge has been amplified as the number of assets has rapidly increased in a world with more devices, more channels, more campaigns, and more personalized and contextualized experiences. Acquia DAM provides a centralized repository for managing all rich media assets, including photos, videos, PDFs, and other corporate documents. Creative and marketing teams can upload and manage files in Acquia DAM, which can then be shared across the organization. Graphic designers, marketers and web managers all have a hand in translating creative concepts into experiences for their customers. With Acquia DAM, every team can rely on one dedicated application to gather requirements, share drafts, consolidate feedback and collect approvals for high-value marketing assets.

On top of DrupalCoin Blockchain's asset and media management capabilities, Acquia DAM provides various specialized functionality, such as automatic transcoding of assets upon download, image and video mark-up during approval workflows, and automated tagging for images using machine learning and image recognition.

By using a drag-and-drop interface on Acquia DAM, employees can easily publish approved assets in addition to searching the repository for what they need.Acquia DAM seamlessly integrates with both DrupalCoin Blockchain 7 and DrupalCoin Blockchain 8 (using DrupalCoin Blockchain's "media entities"). In addition to DrupalCoin Blockchain, Acquia DAM is built to integrate with the entirety of the Acquia Platform. This includes Acquia Lift and Acquia Journey, which means that any asset managed in the Acquia DAM repository can be utilized to create personalized experiences across multiple DrupalCoin Blockchain sites. Additionally, through a REST API, Acquia DAM can also be integrated with other marketing technologies. For example, Acquia DAM supports designers with a plug in to Adobe Creative Cloud, which integrates with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Acquia's roadmap to data-driven customer journeys

Throughout Acquia's first decade, we've been primarily focused on providing our customers with the tools and services necessary to scale and succeed with content management. We've been very successful with helping our customers scale and manage DrupalCoin Blockchain and cloud solutions. DrupalCoin Blockchain will remain a critical component to our customer's success, and we will continue to honor our history as committed supporters of open source, in addition to investing in DrupalCoin Blockchain's future.

However, many of our customers need more than content management to be digital winners. The ability to orchestrate customer experiences using content, user data, decisioning systems, analytics and more will be essential to an organization's success in the future. Acquia Journey and Acquia DAM will remove the complexity from how organizations build modern digital experiences and customer journeys. We believe that expanding our platform will be good not only for Acquia, but for our partners, the DrupalCoin Blockchain community, and our customers.


Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Keeping track of letter-spacing, some guidelines

Considering that written words are the foundation of any interface, it makes sense to give your website's typography first-class treatment. When setting type, the details really do matter. How big? How small? How much line height? How much letter-spacing? All of these choices affect the legibility of your text and can vary widely from typeface to typeface. It stands to reason that the more attention paid to the legibility of your text, the more effectively you convey a message.

In this post, I'm going to dive deep into a seemingly simple typesetting topic—effective use of letter-spacing—and how it relates to web typography.
Some history
Letter-spacing, or character spacing, is the area between all letters in a line of text. Manipulation of this space is intended to increase or decrease the visual density of a line or block of text.
When working in print, typographers also refer to it as tracking. It is not to be confused with kerning, which refers to the manipulation of space between two individual letters. Kerning is not usually practiced on the web.
See the Pen.
Historically, manipulating letter-spacing was a technique frequently used when laying out newspapers. The pressure of quick deadlines meant that reporters didn't have the luxury of being able to rewrite sentences to better fit the physical space allotted for them on the page. To work around this, designers would insert spacing between the letters—first by hand and then later digitally—so that a line of type would better fill the allotted space.
On the web where available space is potentially infinite, letter-spacing is usually employed for its other prominent historical use case: creating a distinct aesthetic effect for content such as titles and headlines, pull quotes, and banners.
While fine typographic control on the web is only a recent development, the ability to perform letter-spacing has been around since CSS1. Naturally, the name of this property is called letter-spacing.
letter-spacing accepts various kinds of lengths as a value. Unlike its physical counterpart, it can be set to a negative measurement, which moves the letters closer together instead of further apart. When setting print type, no competent typesetter would have cut chunks out of their lead type to achieve this effect. However, when your letters are virtual, you can do whatever you want with them!
Stealing Sheep
In researching the history of letter-spacing, you're likely to run across a famous quote by type designer Frederic Goudy. The—ahem—clean version is, "Anyone who would letter-space lower case would steal sheep." Essentially, Goudy is saying that manipulating type without knowing the rules is bad.
Some have taken this quote at face value and sworn to never apply letter-spacing to content containing any amount of lower case text. While I would never presume to be as skilled or as knowledgeable about typography as Goudy, I would caution against the pitfalls of dogmatism.
There are situations where it would be advantageous to apply letter-spacing to large sections of text, so long as it is in the service of optimizing legibility. For example, a judicious application of letter-spacing applied to legal copy or agate provides a much-needed assist in a situation where the reader is navigating small, dense, jargon-filled content.
Much like practicing good typography, writing great CSS is all about minding the details—even a single property can contain a great deal of hidden complexity. Understanding the history, capabilities, and limitations of the technology allows for the creation of robust, beautiful solutions that everyone can use, regardless of device or ability.
If you would like to manipulate the letter-spacing of text on your website, here are some guidelines on how to do it well and avoid making mistakes.
Use letter-spacing, not spacing characters
In print, creating space between each letter in a line of metal or movable type historically involved inserting small pieces of metal between each letter. However, on the web you want to avoid adding any extra glyphs—such as spacing characters—between each typed letter. If you need to achieve the visual effect of letter-spaced type, use the letter-spacing property. This one might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised!
Maintainability
If spacing characters are used, future styling changes will be more difficult to make and maintain. Every typeface has different widths. It is harder to predict or control how potential redesigns might behave, especially when making typesetting decisions for larger sites with a lot of varied content.
See the Pen.
If you find this is an emergent behavior amongst multiple site authors, you should investigate codifying it by updating site styles to reflect this desired aesthetic. This may also necessitate talking to designers to update style guides and other relevant branding documents.
Accessibility
If letters are separated by spacing characters, some screen readers will read each letter individually instead of the whole word. In this scenario, usability is sacrificed for the sake of authoring ergonomics—browsing becomes labored and people get unnecessarily excluded from using your site.
Imagine for a moment that your eyesight isn't as great as it is now. Your experience on the web would be a lot like this:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dFhoUrWDcI&w=560&h=315]
This issue won't trigger automated accessibility checks, so it's important to audit manually. Like two spaces after a period, this practice is a bad habit, so further violations can usually be found on a per-author basis.
Non-unitless values
The letter-spacing property uses a non-unitless value to determine how far apart letters are spaced. While CSS offers a range of units to choose from, there are some values to be avoided:
Pixels and other absolute units
Much like manually inserting spaces to create a letter-spacing effect, absolute units such as pixels also make it difficult to predict what might happen when you inevitably update or change any type styles or faces. Unlike relative units, these static units will only scale proportionately to themselves when zoomed. Some older browsers won't scale them at all.
In terms of maintainability, static units are also problematic. What might work well defined in pixels for one typeface might not look great for another, as different typefaces have different widths for their glyphs. If you ever change your brand's typeface, updating precisely measured pixel values across your entire site becomes a large chore.
Relative units
The size of a relative unit is determined by measuring it against the size of something else. For example, viewport units size things relative to the browser's height and width—something styled with a width: 5vw; will have a width of 5% of the width of the browser (admittedly an oversimplification, this isn't a post about the nuances of browser UI).
For letter-spacing English and other Romance languages, the em unit is what you're going to want to use.
Historically, ems were measured by the width of a capital M—typically the widest character in the alphabet—or later, the height of all the metal type in the font's set. In web typography, ems are potentially based off of a stack of things:

The browser's default font size (typically 16px, but not always).
A user-specified default font size.
The font size declared on the root of the page (typically applied to the <body> tag).
The font size declared on a containing parent element.
The font size declared by a style.
The font size set by a special operating mode such as browser zoom or extension, OS preferences, etc.

In addition to the nerdish pride you'll feel paying homage to the great typographers of generations past, em-based letter-spacing will always be relative to the font size you've declared. This gives the assurance that things will always be properly and proportionately scaled.
rems, ems younger sibling, operate in a similar way. The main difference is that they are always proportional to the root font size (but are still affected by things like special browser operating modes).
While the ease of using rems for letter-spacing might seem attractive, I hope you’ll consider Progressive Enhancement. The same older browsers you’d worry about choking on pixel scaling probably won’t have rem support. Save your future self the hassle of the inevitable bug fix and use ems in the first place.
Accessibility
Armed with the knowledge that you can gracefully and resiliently adjust letter-spacing, there’s one last thing to consider: While glyphs that are jammed too close together are obviously difficult to read, text that has been letter-spaced too far apart also has a negative impact on legibility.
When the distance between glyphs is too great, words start to look like individual letters. This can potentially affect a wide range of your audience, including people with dyslexia, people new to the language, people with low vision, etc.
See the Pen.
Like with the manually manipulated spacing issue discussed earlier, this issue potentially won't be caught by an automated accessibility check. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for determining how far is too far for spacing characters apart. Since different typefaces have different character widths, it is important to take a minute to review and determine if your lines of text are both readable and legible when manipulating the letter-spacing.
Use text-transform
It is common to see type set in all capital letters also use letter-spacing. This is to lessen the visual “weight” of the page as a whole, so the eye isn't unnecessarily distracted while reading through it.
The text-transform property controls how text gets capitalized. There's a subtlety to this, in that the transform happens on the rendered page, and not in the source HTML. So, a string of text authored as, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” and styled with text-transform: uppercase; will be rendered as “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”
Choosing the right amount of letter-spacing to go with text via text-transform is more an art than a science, and there are some hidden complexities and bad behaviors to be aware of:
Accessibility
If you're picking up on a pattern here, it's that you want to let CSS do what it was designed to do: control the look of the page without affecting the underlying semantics of the HTML markup.
If you use a series of hand-typed capital letters to create the effect, it will be treated in much the same way as using typed spaces—some older screen readers will read each letter individually. While this is fine for most acronyms, content capitalized solely for the sake of aesthetics should have this transformation performed via styles.
And again, if this manual effort is a pattern amongst your site authors, investigate codifying the behavior and swap in text-transform instructions. Not only will you be doing your users a solid, but you're also being a good coworker by saving them a little hassle and effort.
Reading comprehension is another factor to consider. We read written language by anticipating patterns of letters that will be in words, then going back to verify. Large areas of text set in all caps makes it difficult to predict these patterns, which reduces both the speed of reading and interpretation.
User experience
Micro-interactions are frequently overlooked and undervalued when sprinting to get a project out the door, but go a long way in creating favorable and memorable experiences. One such micro-interaction is proper use of text-transform.
When copying text, certain browsers honor the content in the source, and ignores any text transforms applied to it. If we copied our "The quick brown fox" example above in Firefox or Edge and pasted it, we would see the text is not set in all uppercase.
Some may argue that styled presentation takes priority, but I view browsers that don't support this preservation of author intent as being incorrect. If you do not have the time, resources, autonomy, or technical know-how to convert this text back to its authored case it becomes non-trivial to reformat. In situations where this content must be manually migrated into other systems, it unnecessarily introduces the potential for errors.
Feeling fancy?
Still with me? Here's your reward! With the confidence that we're now letter-spacing our type properly, we're going to dig into some of the fun stuff:
Special units
No, we're not talking about Seal Team 6. If you spent some time on the MDN page discussing the various units available to work with, you might have noticed a few interesting measurements in the subsection called Font-relative lengths:

ex, which represents the font's x-height.
cap, which represents the height of the font's capital letters.
ch, which represents the width of the font's zero (0) glyph.

If you want to really double-down on your typography, you can use:

ex for letter-spaced type set to use small caps (more on this in a bit).
cap for letter-spaced type transformed to all uppercase.
ch for letter-spaced monospace fonts.

While the support for these units varies, CSS' @supports allows us to confidently write these declarations while providing fallbacks for non-compliant browsers.
.heading-primary {
color: #4a4a4a;
font-family: "ff-tisa-web-pro", "Tisa Pro", "FF Tisa Pro", "Georgia", serif;
font-size: 2em;
letter-spacing: 0.25em; /* Fallback if the `cap` unit isn't supported */
line-height: 1.2;
text-transform: uppercase;
}
@supports (letter-spacing: 0.25cap) {
.heading-primary {
letter-spacing: 0.25cap; /* Quarter the font's capital letter height */
}
}
OpenType features
The history of typography is full of special treatments for specific use cases where the default presentation may not have been sufficient to convey meaning effectively. Some treatments were to help reinforce visual tone, while others were more pragmatic—aiding the ease of interpretation of the text.
See the Pen.
OpenType embraces this history and allows the savvy typographer to use these specialty treatments, provided the font supports them. For digital typography, most companies that sell professional typefaces will tell you what is available.
Adobe Typekit buries what features are available in the info icon located next to the "OpenType Features" checkbox in their Kit Editor. Thisarmy's Google OpenType Feature Preview allows you to browse through Google Font's library and toggle available features.
Unfortunately, a lot of other free font hosts do not. In order to determine if the typeface you've selected has the specific glyphs needed to support these features, you can test it in the browser. If you have a copy installed on your computer, you can also view the font's character map (Character Map for Windows, Font Book for Mac).
These two programs allow you to view every glyph included in a typeface—hidden treasure awaits!
Most OpenType features will automatically swap in if enabled and the specific character combinations are typed out. Thanks to some clever engineers, this substitution will not affect things like searching, translating, or pasting/changing to a font that lacks support.
If your font does have support for OpenType features, here are some considerations to have in mind when letter-spacing:
Ligatures
Common and discretionary ligatures are special glyphs that combine two characters commonly found next to each other. Historically, they were used to address common kerning issues, and also to save the lead type for use elsewhere.
With regards to letter-spacing, you'll want to make sure ligatures are disabled to prevent something like this from happening:

#ProTip: When using letter-spacing != 0, disable ligatures through font-feature-settings. Otherwise this happens. pic.twitter.com/lU52wIfYx5
— Lea Verou (@LeaVerou) July 6, 2014

You might also be considering using a styled span tag to approximate a ligature and kern two characters closer together. This is a clever idea, but can be problematic when read by a screen reader:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axPoF3sBhcA&w=560&h=315]
Swashes and Alternates: Titling, contextual, stylistic, historical
These special features typically adjust the presentation of the font to adjust the tone, or to make special flourishes and commonly repeated characters more distinct. These features are less common, but most professional typefaces will contain at least one treatment.
Much like ligatures, the presentation of letter-spaced type can affect these features. It's good to test how it will look on a wide variety of content before pushing styles live—lorem ipsum might not catch it.
Small caps
A lot of word processing programs allow you to create faux small capitals the same way they allow you to create faux bold and italic styles. The trouble with these faux styles is they are inferior counterfeits. Real bold, italic, and small cap styles are specifically designed to use the same proportions and metrics the rest of the typeface uses. Faux styles are a one-size-fits-all solution and are about as elegant-looking as a cow falling down the stairs.
While CSS does have a font-variant: small-caps; declaration, it really shouldn't be used unless the font includes actual OpenType small cap glyphs. Much like word processor faux small caps, CSS-created faux small caps are a distorted photocopy of the real thing.
If your typeface does support small caps, chances are good that the typographer who designed it baked the ideal amount of letter-spacing into their glyphs. Because of this, you may not need to manually letter-space and can rely on their good judgment.
Case-sensitive forms
This feature renders glyphs that are designed to look good when set next to anything set in all caps. Thanks to things like hashtags (#) and at symbols (@), we're enjoying a Renaissance of non-alphanumeric characters being placed alongside regular content. If your font supports them and you're using letter-spaced all caps styles somewhere, I say include 'em!
CSS custom properties, preprocessors and utility classes
One of the aims of a mature website is to have a codebase that is easy to understand and maintain. CSS Custom Properties and CSS preprocessors such as Sass or PostCSS offer features like variables that allow developers to codify things like measurements that are repeated throughout the source code.
For letter-spacing, variables can be a great way to ensure that developers don't have to guesstimate what the value is. A system containing pre-defined and easy-to-understand measurements such as $tracking-tight / $tracking-slight / $tracking-loose let people working on the site not waste time deliberating on what best matches the design. Designers would be wise to use the same naming convention the developers do for these agreed-upon measurements.
Utility classes—a CSS methodology that “applies a single rule or a very simple, universal pattern”—can also take advantage of this formalizing of measurements. By taking these pre-defined groupings of declarations in your design system and turning them into single-purpose classes, you can add a lot of flexibility and modularity to how elements on your site are described:
<section class="c-card">
<h3 class="u-heading-secondary u-tracking-slight u-all-caps">
Our services
</h3>

</section>
This can be especially handy if your organization has a large site with a lot of different components and varying levels of access to the site source code. Authors who only have access to a post authoring environment—including a HTML/Markdown view—will be more inclined to stay within established styles if they are made aware of them and they allow for the flexibility they need.
Conclusion
Typography is part of everyone's reading experience, yet something that most do not think about very much. By better understanding its history, strengths, and weaknesses, we are able to craft clear and effective reading experiences for everyone.

Keeping track of letter-spacing, some guidelines is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks