It’s been more than 3 years when Drupal 7 was released and now the whole open source community is eagerly waiting for the next version of this popular Content Management System (CMS). Drupal which was originally developed by Dries Buytaert 13 years ago, has come a long way into developing into a powerful CMS. Currently the whole Drupal developers community is abuzz on the next release which is believed to take the whole CMS to a much higher level.
Drupal 8, to be released somewhere 2014, is getting ready for a beta release in few weeks. Let’s have a look at some of the key features of Drupal 8 which is causing this excitement.
1. Shift from Content Management System to Digital Experience Management
The major strategy move in Drupal 8 is a clear shift from a CMS based environment to Digital experience management. As companies are beginning to use content as their major strategy to drive traffic and generate leads, it’s essential that Drupal needs to move towards in embracing this digital transition. The quintessential need in Drupal 8 is to adapt to this enormous change that’s happening in the market and provide a complete digital experience to the users.
2. Multilingual Improvements
A website that caters a global audience needs to support multiple languages. Though multilingual support is present in Drupal 7, there is a long gap in achieving an ideal multilingual CMS. Drupal 8 would feature new intuitive interfaces which would provide a seamless multilingual feature across websites.
Drupal developers have been working hard on this feature, if we have look the frequency of the developer meetings and the sheer volume of discussion that’s happening in this dedicated community, we can understand hard work and commitment that these developers have put, in bringing this multilingual support to Drupal 8.
3. Data Migration
Websites which were already developed in Drupal have some good news in this update. Drupal’s core development team decided in to include a powerful Data Migration API for upgrading websites which run in Drupal 6/7. The database update scripts which were previously used to upgrade is now replaced with a new migration module
4. Mobile Shift
In Drupal 8 all the inbuilt themes would be responsive to mobiles and tablets. In addition to this the entire admin module is built on a lightweight foundation which helps users to publish the content right from their mobile screen.
5. Configuration Management
To enable ease of use to site administrators and to provide a complete control over the changes in the website, Drupal 8 is planning a launch a revamped configuration management. The file based configuration management makes it easier for site administrators to roll over their changes from their development environment to the live sites.
6. Web Services
When Drupal had this vision of shifting from CMS to a Digital experience management, it was crucial that it allowed an error free interaction with diverse applications and devices. The system should allow a continuous flow of data between Drupal and the other applications. Drupal 8 supports a robust scheme of built in web services which will allow a seamless integration with various third party systems and services.
7. HTML 5
Drupal has taken a serious leap in HTML 5, by including it in one among the major initiatives of Drupal 8. HTML 5 provides a variety of features in form elements, audio, video and geo-location. This HTML 5 initiative will help in creating impressive themes, new form elements and simplified scripts.
Drupal, which began as a hobby for Dries Buytaert, has evolved a lot in the past 13 years. The upcoming version (Drupal 8) is just an indicator of the contribution provided by the Drupal development community and other open source enthusiasts.
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