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How BLT Can Standardize Your Development Efforts?

How BLT Can Standardize Your Development Efforts?

In today’s digital landscape, Drupal offers a huge toolbox to support developers to build outstanding digital experiences. They can enhance the way developers work and the reliability, quality, and success of Drupal applications. Acquia BLT is one such tool born from the Acquia Professional Services team to make building, spinning up, and testing of Drupal websites easier. Acquia team aims to organize a set of conventions and tools, which would allow us to

  • Easily opt for continuous integration, Deployment, and Automated Testing
  • Reduce developer onboarding and project set up time
  • Improves the website quality by enforcing Drupal best practices

Why do we need to Leverage Drupal BLT?

When starting a project, we are faced with tons of confusion as far as the work environment, tools, testing, general strategies, and best practices are concerned. This will significantly affect our productivity.

BLT can also aid to make a unified development environment for larger teams that should enhance productivity.

Benefits of Acquia BLT

  • With pre-commit hooks in BLT, you can check the code against Drupal best practices and coding standards before it leaves their machine.
  • BLT offers the libraries, commands, configuration and example tests to keep you up & running quickly.
  • With fewer configurations, your Drupal site will perform code validation and run automated tests for each GitHub Pull Request.
  • BLT doesn’t commit any dependencies to the repository. It downloads and enforces proper patches for the dependencies as a component of a build process, which ensures a production safe artifact.

With all these benefits, you might think to replace all of the development tools and go for BLT. However, it’s recommended to understand the scope of BLT responsibilities. Acquia BLT is built to offer:

  • Standard project template for projects based on Drupal
  • Tools, which automates most of the setup & maintenance tasks of projects
  • Document and impose best practices & standards of Drupal via automated testing, continuous integration, and default configuration.

It’s not designed to provide

  • Drupal app features (e.g., workflow, media, layout, etc.)
  • A local hosting environment
  • A replacement for Professional Services

Ways BLT contributes to the success of Projects

  • Spin-up project from ramp up to production in just two hours - Before BLT, setting up tools like configuration management, Behat testing framework, DrupalVM development environment, and automated cloud deployment independently requires a significant amount of time.
    Generally, in Sprit 0, the main aim is to set up all these processes. BLT not only save time in project set-up, but also offers an inclusive set of development tools and processes for every project.
  • Accelerate developer onboarding – with standardized tools and process across the entire project, BLT makes developer onboarding easier. Thanks to the step-by-step documentation, supports, and training for these tools, it’s often enough to make the developers read the docs.
  • Improve development velocity, thereby deliver consistently – By standardizing complex processes, BLT reduces the possibilities of errors and length of feedback cycle of code review.

Features of BLT

  • Documentation templates (architecture, onboarding, how-tos, etc.)
  • BLT Git Hooks - prevent invalid code from ever being committed!
  • Testing Framework - out of the box Behat & PHPUnit testing!
  • Commands for common project tasks
  • (Re)installation of Drupal
  • Executing tests and validating code
  • (Re)building front end assets (e.g., CSS compilation)
  • (Re)building and patching dependencies
  • Production-safe artifact generation and deployment
  • Syncing local development environments with upstream environments

Conclusion

By leveraging Acquia BLT in Drupal development, you can make your teams focus on the core business impacts instead of spending time on framing the project architecture. BLT will help developers to reduce incidents of duplicated work and speed up project configuration. With all these features, BLT is recommended for developers who are looking for ways to spin-up projects more quickly, improve onboarding, accelerate velocity, and upgrade delivery consistency.

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