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Drupal Workflow Concepts


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Drupal Workflow Concepts Overview slides from the TriDUG Meetup on Feb 21. Used to introduce the open floor discussion on how people manage Dev -> Staging -> Production workflows.

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Drupal Workflow Concepts

  1. 1. Drupal Workflow Concepts Some concepts needed for understanding Drupal Dev., Staging, and Production workflow needs
  2. 2. Site Lifecycles <ul><li>New Site design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality, Layout, Coding, Theming, Review, Rework, Deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site maintenance and updating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core/Module updates, add functionality, fix problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site overhaul </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality, Layout, Coding, Theming, Review, Rework, Content migration/ Deployment </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Development, Staging, & Production Sites <ul><li>Development Sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One or more sites used to develop code or themes that resemble the production (but not exactly match) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staging Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A site that closely resembles the production site with new items from the development sites integrated in. Used for testing, client approval, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Production Sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The “live” site </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Benefits of D-S-P Sites <ul><li>Allows multiple people to do site development </li></ul><ul><li>Supplies a “safety net” for updates </li></ul><ul><li>Changes can easily reviewed by key stakeholders before they are released to production </li></ul><ul><li>Supplies a safe environment to test or problem debug without affecting the real site </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages workflow methods that allow for roll back/change tracking </li></ul>
  5. 5. Disadvantages of D-S-P Sites <ul><li>Requires more effort than “just updating the production site” </li></ul><ul><li>Copying/Merging Drupal sites can be “painful” </li></ul><ul><li>Requires people to “play by the same rules” </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrectly “Cloned” staging sites could: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>accidentally use the same “schema/database” as the production site and cause MANY problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>send erroneous messages to your live site users </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Parts of a Drupal Site Settings.php <ul><li>Core </li></ul><ul><li>Modules </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><li>Attachments </li></ul><ul><li>And the like </li></ul><ul><li>Variables </li></ul><ul><li>Node types </li></ul><ul><li>Block Layout </li></ul><ul><li>Views </li></ul><ul><li>And the like </li></ul><ul><li>Nodes </li></ul><ul><li>Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>And the like </li></ul>FILES DATA Code Content Settings Content
  7. 7. Basic File Cloning <ul><li>Code </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideally, should use a good version control system like GIT. But a set of zip/tar archives could work too. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can use version control but generally not a good idea. A set of zip/tar archives with a good transfer tool works. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practice is to only “pull” content files from production (unless initial deploy). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If possible, keep the same directory/file structure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ALWAYS modify the settings.php to use the correct database </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Basic Database Cloning <ul><li>Create a backup using the Backup Migrate module </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure ALL cache_* table content is excluded. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Import via command line or SQL admin tool </li></ul><ul><li>Clear cache </li></ul><ul><li>Run update.php (in case modules updated/relocated) </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up settings, change user e-mails and the like. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Some Cloned Database “gotchas” <ul><li>Pending user notifications in the database tables get sent with cron runs. </li></ul><ul><li>Cloned users should have e-mails changed to prevent accidental messages. </li></ul><ul><li>If URL change, e.g. ->, some embedded URLs might send you to the production site or not work. </li></ul><ul><li>Theme cache problems (clear cache via DRUSH if needed) </li></ul><ul><li>File paths may need to be reset in admin screens. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Questions / Open floor discussion This has covered the basic concepts but a lot of details about best practices, merging changes, and the like need discussion.