Drupal 8 Transition Development Progress

Work has been underway to facilitate migrating UNLcms websites to a new instance of UNLcms that runs the latest version of Drupal software. This has been discussed at WDN meetings this spring and summer and a tentative plan was established to begin opening up the new version for site migrations in August.

We've decided to hit the pause button on that timeline and reevaluate the path forward in accordance with the future goals of the UNLcms project. Rather than focus solely on migrating all sites as-is into the new version of Drupal, now is the perfect opportunity to think about the future of what a CMS can be and do at UNL.

Thus we are reorienting development towards a focus on what we are calling a "shared infrastructure" model that will better support content sharing and configuration sharing out-of-the-box.  We've talked for quite awhile about a vision of more consistent sites that share configuration and design properties; such as a faculty profile content type for example. Now is the opportunity to pursue that vision with Drupal 8 rather than going through an exercise in moving sites with a version upgrade as the sole benefit.

A firm timeline will be forthcoming but a rough timeline is as follows:
  • Fall 2016: Launch Drupal 8 with the UNL top level pages and a small number of IIM developed sites.
  • January 2017: Start to open up Drupal 8 for additional sites, with a primary emphesis towards smaller departments/units without dedicated web development resources.
  • Spring 2017: Evaluate this "shared infrastructure" model for its effectiveness in hosting larger, more complex sites.  Then either move such sites into it, or upgrade them to a Drupal 8 multisite instance.