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Clarion Blog

A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

Drupal 8 on azure 7 reasons why it is a match made in heaven

Drupal 8 is touted as the greatest release of Drupal, the most widely used enterprise web content management system. Developers love it for its speed and flexibility. The core platform has more than 200 features built in to help businesses create memorable digital experiences.

Drupal 8 offers mobile-first approach and supports responsive design. The content authoring is easier. With a better globalisation and multi-lingual support, Drupal 8 helps in creating great online experiences for audience across the globe. Dries Buytaert, in his blog post, shared that with more than 60,000 Drupal 8 sites, Drupal 8 is being adopted twice as fast as Drupal 7 had been.

Drupal 8 code includes object-oriented classes, inheritance, interfaces, it makes use of PHP standards and requires at least PHP 5.5. One of the most common questions which business owners come to us asking about the right platform for hosting their Drupal websites. While there cannot be one solution which fits all, we have seen that Drupal 8 sites on Azure deliver a lot of business benefits. Here are a few reasons why Microsoft Azure makes a good platform for Drupal 8 hosting.

 

Drupal WebApp:

It is extremely easy to migrate a Drupal website to Azure Web App. With easy to follow steps, the entire Drupal site can be moved in less than an hour. The simple steps in this migration process include the creation of Azure website, the creation of MySQL database and copying it to Azure Web Apps, and deploying the code using Git BitBucket or other such version control tools.

 

Ready Modules for Authentication, File Storage etc.:

There are multiple readymade modules available in Drupal for commonly used tasks such as access control, authentication, and distributed file storage. Using these modules, developers can save a lot of development time and leverage the readymade connectivity with Azure platform. Most of these modules use libraries written by Microsoft and are fairly stable and scalable.

 

Pre-Installed Drupal Tools:

The Composer is almost becoming a standard for managing dependencies and packages in Drupal applications. Git and BigBucket are some of the popular version control tools used by Drupal developers. Azure has made these tools available pre-installed or as simple plug-and-play with its platform. With this, the developers can continue using these tools of their choice and improve their development workflows.

 

Availability of Caching Tools:

Content-heavy websites need to use caching tools and tools for providing better search options to create a smooth user experience. Caching tools such as Varnish and Memcache and search experience enhancers like Apache Solr are popular amongst the Drupal developers. These tools are available as plug-ins with Microsoft Azure making it extremely easy to integrate with the websites and enhance the website speed.

 

Application Performance Management with Application Insights:

Application Insights is an extremely useful service for web developers which helps them monitor the performance of their live web applications. It automatically detects the performance issues and provides useful analytics tools to help the developers diagnose issues and usage of the application by the end users. Using the insights, developers can continuously improve the performance and usability of their application. Application Insights is one of the many services hosted right within Microsoft Azure and it is free to use until the application has substantial usage.

 

Industry acceptance:

Worldwide, leading organizations and educational institutes are leveraging the combination of Drupal and Azure for their web applications. Some of the popular names include –

  • ESADE Business School, which is one of the major international professional training providers delivering high-quality training for luxury and hospitality customers
  • Group INSEEC, which is one the major international professional training providers delivering high-quality training for luxury and hospitality customers
  • King Abdullah Education Tatweer Project, which is aimed towards Saudi’s goal of spreading education throughout the Kingdom
  • Shezlong, an Egypt-based startup offering online psychotherapy for millions of sufferers

 

Premium Partnership:

Microsoft Azure is Premium Technology Supporter for Drupal. Through this partnership, it is extremely easy for Drupal developers to instantly start using Windows and Linux Virtual Machines, apps, and infrastructure within Microsoft-managed data centers around the world. Using the integrated Visual Studio tooling, developers can develop and debug apps fast. With features such as built-in auto-scaling and pre-minute billing, organizations using Drupal can not only save money but also be agile.

If you are looking for hassle-free Drupal hosting, you should check out the various options provided by Microsoft Azure. Azure is highly secure and offers great performance for delivering seamless digital experiences through your Drupal web application. Microsoft also offers good documentation and videos for quick assistance in hosting and deployment.

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