Drupal 8: What's New?

Hi again!

After D8 release about seven months have passed and Drupal shows that new version of popular web-platform has good potential. Also, as you may know from our recent blog entry, we participated in Drupal Camp 2016 hosted in Kyiv. So I want to summarize some thoughts about Drupal 8 in terms of new features included to the Drupal core and who might be interested in.

During last years stable trend in web-development is responsive design for achieving best layout on mobile devices. So if you want to build your website - you will have responsive design by default. Drupal use mobile-first approach in UI and front-end development that gives serious benefits in development modern web-systems. Moreover, not only clients design but admin side is also responsive so content manager now can comfortably edit website from their phones, tablets or any other device while sitting on the beach of sunny California:)

Responsive layout of Drupla 8 default theme for admin area

 

Everyone used Views module? Sure you did! Now in Drupal 8 we have Views included to core and they’re working better than ever. As well as multilingual functionalities! Developers and contributors took care about website owners who need this feature and included it to the core.

The other good news for content managers is the awesome authoring experience because of WYSIWYG editor built in (CKEditor). You can customize website according to your needs, there is an option to add pictures and even inline editing is now available. No need to open thousands of tabs - just edit your articles on pages where they’re displayed.

Just take a look:

Preview of onpage inline editing features in Drupal 8 project

Also we have new field types: email, phone, number and date which will help you to customize contact forms for e.g. Image field is very useful too - now inline images editing functionality is part of Drupal as well as responsive images. In Drupal 8 you can add images whereever you want: comments, taxonomy, user profile etc. Using image styles you can scale, crop, resize, rotate and desaturate images without affecting the original image. By default three sizes are defined: 'thumbnail,' 'medium', and 'large'. The thumbnail style, for example, is shown with the teaser for image posts and when browsing image galleries. Now designers can feel free on their creative path - Drupal will help them!

Developers who accustomed to procedural programming might not like the next new feature of Drupal 8. Drupal is becoming more and more object oriented. It is all about entities now. However in my honest opinion OOP will have a very good impact on the code quality and projects would be easier to maintain. Now Drupal can be used for development even more complex web-systems by using OOP approach. I guess that time of using Drupal in enterprise applications is coming!

Scalability and loading speed are also improved! In Drupal 8 we have:

  • a very efficient caching;
  • cache tags for precise cache invalidation;
  • client-side caching (HTML5 local storage/session storage);
  • PHP7 - ready;
  • RefreshLess, now only page elements that needs to be changed are being refreshed on the page.

BigPipe technique is also great news for high loaded websites. This awesome technique was brought by Facebook developers. In short how it works: first server sends the cacheable parts of the page, then the dynamic/uncacheable parts. This method leads to massive improvement of loading speed - you can check out demo of this technique here.

Need fast-as-hell website? Drupal is the only way!

Drupal 8 is not Content Managment System any more. It’s more bigger and powerful. Drupal 7 has label - Content Managment Framework. I can say that Drupal 8 we can name web-platform. There are many possible usage of Drupal in web-development. If you want to create one page site - Drupal 8 allow it and in the same time Drupal 8 allow to create complex corporate portal or e-learnig system with flexible arhitecture. Services API that Drupal 8 has in core allow to create complex RESTful application in short period of time. You can have Drupal for back-end and set of mobile applications or rich-media application written on modern client-side frameworks like Angular JS for example on front-end.

Who may need Drupal 8? Almost every kind of business. Drupal is a great fit for media portals, goverment public sector, entertainment websites, e-learning, corporate websites and any other content oriented websites. High security and and superior perfomance of Drupal will help your business to grow and prosper!

Some of our clients already enjoying benefits of Drupal 8. Want to join them? You know who can help:)