The Drupal community has just announced a major upgrade to Drupal 8. This upgrade delivers a better user experience, turning the customer into a hero at work. From easier installation and more stable upgrades for the technical teams, to improved user experience for the marketing and content editor teams—Drupal 8.6.0 provides significant improvements over all past versions of Drupal.
A new demo is provided to inspire site builders with the art of what’s possible. Plus, marketing teams can publish complex content with ease using new content editor features, including: improved video embed support, a new media library, a workspaces feature for enhanced workflow moderation, and significant layout improvements. As with any major feature update, users will also see quite a few overall fixes and testing improvements.
Megan Sanicki, Executive Director of the Drupal Association, said, “Drupal 8.6 is a significant upgrade because of its emphasis on ease of use. This version levels up the customer experience, making it easier and less expensive to migrate from older versions, easier to install, as well as easier for marketing teams to deliver impact, faster. With a highly engaged community focused on delivering features that make customers shine, I’m excited about this release and what is on the horizon for Drupal.”
So what’s new in Drupal 8.6.0?
A great feature in Drupal 8.6.0 is that migration support is greatly improved and makes it easier to migrate from Drupal 6 and 7 to Drupal 8. This release sees both Migrate Drupal (migrations from previous major Drupal versions) as well as Migrate Drupal UI (upgrade user interface) modules provide a solution to update older sites. This means that if you have a monolingual Drupal 6 or 7 site, you can now use a supported and built-in user interface to migrate your site to Drupal 8. Multilingual migrations are still experimental and now wrapped in the Migrate Drupal Multilingual module.
Also new in this version is built-in stable support for embedding remote media, shipped preconfigured to support YouTube and Vimeo videos. Also, in a new experimental module, you can now browse existing media and add new media using an integrated widget. The media library can be customized depending on customer needs.
The layout capabilities in Drupal 8.6.0 are much improved. The experimental Layout Builder module is an exciting advancement for site builders as it supports per-display customizations (e.g. full mode vs. search result). Rather than being limited by fields stacked on top of each other, users can create layouts with dynamic sections—creating more opportunities for custom layouts. It is also possible now to add content unique to a specific layout. This is useful for things like a promotion that is only visible within a single landing page.
Drupal 8.6.0 also offers a new demo profile and theme within the installer. This is particularly interesting for CMS evaluators and development agencies as it provides an easier way to see what’s possible with Drupal 8. The cooking magazine demo, Umami, is a beautiful, modern demonstration of Drupal’s capabilities using an imaginary food site to showcase Drupal’s data modeling, listing, page composition and content moderation capabilities. Sample author and magazine editor users are created to experience different aspects of using Drupal’s content management interface.
Digital agency Palantir.net’s CEO Tiffany Farriss states, “Drupal has powerful capabilities. For too long these have been hidden behind the scenes where only existing or technical users could experience them. We are thrilled to now have Umami, to show the strength and capabilities of Drupal to both technical and marketing users, right out of the box.”
Drupal 8.6.0 is also offering a new experimental workspaces module that is crucial when reviewing large amounts of content. The existing content moderation functionality is great when you need to move individual pieces of content through an editing and approval workflow. The new experimental Workspaces module will allow packages of content to be reviewed all at once, with the ability to define multiple workspaces, make changes and deploy between them with an intuitive user interface.
Recognizing the need for lightning-fast communications within its organization, Alimentation Couche-Tard consolidated several legacy systems to create one, global intranet to connect its workforce. Called Inner Circle, the new intranet provides a powerful platform to share messaging and operational information across the company while creating organization-wide synergies and efficiencies for more than 100,000 employees. It takes advantage of Drupal 8’s content authoring, workflow, and multilingual capabilities to create a forum that’s both super-local and super-global.
“Couche-Tard can aggregate all of the organization’s knowledge, content, and resources into one place, and then filter through and deliver a highly personalized experience for every employee or stakeholder, based on their role, geography, and language,” said Marie-Noëlle Cano, Alimentation Couche-Tard senior director of global communications. “Couche-Tard improved the scope, speed, and substance of its internal communication with Drupal 8 while reducing costs.”
The Drupal community has worked hard to make it significantly easier to start a quick evaluator or development environment; the numerous technical improvements allow quick setup that opens a browser ready to use. The installer now also recognizes existing configuration and provides an option to easily rebuild a site from that existing configuration—pulling content from the cloud rather than requiring the content to be stored locally.
“This update is full of new and exciting features which show that Drupal is the go-to platform for ambitious digital experiences. On behalf of the Drupal Association and the Drupal community, I want to thank everyone who contributed to Drupal 8.6.0,” said Sanicki.
Drupal is content management software. It is used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance and excellent security. What sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need.
About the Drupal Association
The Drupal Association is dedicated to fostering and supporting the Drupal project, the community and its growth. The Drupal Association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at Drupal.org.