Testing the water with Acquia Search for Drupal

Acquia used the first day of DrupalCon DC as well as their corporate site to announce the availability of their new service via a public beta program, Acquia Search. Acquia Search is "based on the powerful Lucene and Solr technologies from the Apache project" and "creates a rich index of your site content".  While Apache Lucene and Apache Solr are "free" and open source, the implementation and maintenance of these products can be rather daunting.  Acquia wishes to solve this complexity problem by offering Solr search as a service in their Acquia Network.

Acquia Search Status on Acquia NetworkBefore the beta was available to the public, was invited by Jacob Singh to join the private beta program to test and review Acquia Search. I have only been using Acquia Search for a week so I still have some learning to do in order to take full advantage of the advanced configuration options in Apache Solr.  Although I'm new to Apache Solr,  I have to say that from a website owner's perspective the implementation of Apache Search was extremely easy.  After I signed up for the service on the network, implementing Acquia Search within the Acquia Drupal CMS was just a matter of activating the appropriate modules and waiting for my content to be indexed by the server.  Acquia Search works straight "out of the box" and I couldn't have asked for anything simpler.

Moving onto Acquia Drupal

Acquia logoLast year I was one of the beta testers for Acquia's Drupal distribution and the Acquia Network.  I was evaluating Acquia's products and services for a potential intranet project at work.  For this particular project, unfortunately, it looks as if Acquia or Drupal wasn't the right solution.  Our regional folks wanted a solution similar to Microsoft's Sharepoint that is more integrated with Microsoft Office and heavily featured in document management.  That's alright though bec

Acquia unveils enterprise support for Drupal

Last December, I mentioned my excitement about Drupal's project lead, Dries Buytaert, along with Jay Batson starting a company called Acquia. While it was known that the $7 million startup would focus on Drupal for the enterprise, what was not known was the products and services that would be offered by the company. In a press release today, Acquia finally unveiled its roadmap to commercially support Drupal.

The company announced the two initial products and services it will be offering, Carbon and Spokes. Carbon is Acquia's commercial supported version of Drupal which will focus on social publishing applications. Spokes is an update will be an enhanced update notification sercice that provides "site owners personalized alerts with actionable recommendations". At this time I'm, not clear as to whether Spokes will be available for just Carbon or for all Drupal distributions. Both services will be available through a subscription offering.

Drupal and Dries: A business model that works

I just completed one of the most exhausting days at work I've had since switching over from operations to IT. Everyone wanted a "minute of my time" which translates in the real world to 20 minutes (if I was lucky). The last thing I really wanted to do after work was touch a computer. Yet, I find myself too excited to not type about some great news.

What is the good news? Dries Buytaert, project leader for Drupal, is starting his first Drupal startup. The working name for the company is Acquia.

Thus, I'm starting a Drupal company whose current working name is 'Acquia'. Acquia's software products will include a number of Drupal distributions -- for community networks, digital media properties, corporate websites, and others. In addition to providing Drupal distributions, Acquia will build the Drupal-tuned analogue of the RedHat Network, over which we can deliver a wide variety of electronic services intended to be useful to people developing and operating Drupal websites. An example such service is an automated upgrade/update service, an uptime and performance monitoring / reporting service, a configuration management service, etc.

Does anyone else see the irony in Drupal's founder not beginning his first Drupal startup until seven years after releasing Drupal publicly? Think of all the developers, IT leaders, and companies that have prospered over the years from Drupal. In all that time, Dries has been very careful to not benefit more than others in the Drupal community. All in all, I think Dries has shown the highest respect for open source as well as loyalty to the Drupal community.

Already, some of the other CMS news related sites are wondering how the Drupal community will react to Dries' announcement. Comparisons are already being made to other open source CMS projects that have been torn between commercial and community interests. Take this CMS Watch post for instance: