To better ensure your success with Acquia Cloud Site Factory it is important to implement platform governance practices, which can help you and your organization ensure that your platform is architected, built, and maintained in a sustainable manner. Platform governance is a decision-making framework that enables your organization to assign ownership, set priorities, and define shared guidelines, standards, and processes for all platform users.
As you review our general, product-agnostic governance strategy documentation to prepare your product implementation plans, be sure to also incorporate the Acquia Cloud Site Factory-specific features described on this webpage.
Before you determine the configuration that is most appropriate for your organization, familiarize yourself with the Acquia Cloud Site Factory platform's layers and the facets of each layer that you should consider when developing your governance plan.
Platform functionality by layer
When determining what needs your platform will serve, you should examine the websites you intend to migrate to your platform to determine their common needs. These needs can be grouped into the following categories:
- Platform - Core functionality of your platform, on which functionality is built
- Backend functionality - Features and functionality available for managing, creating, and interacting with content
- Front-end layer - Content in your websites, and its formatting and display
Your planning should focus on identifying common, reusable features that will be useful to all websites on your platform, instead of identifying one-off needs for specific websites.
You should not begin your platform development until you have defined your profile architecture. Developing without a plan increases both cost and the likelihood of architectural mistakes that must be undone later, costing your organization time and money.
The platform layer is the core upon which your entire platform is built. It is important to select stable, feature-rich technologies that enable you to extend and customize features instead of forcing you to work around limitations later as your needs grow:
- Acquia Cloud Site Factory - Provides built-in support, monitoring, and website management tools
- Drupal core - Standard release of Drupal, containing basic features common to content management systems
- Management tools - Applications that automate project setup, enforce best practices, and speed platform setup (such as Acquia BLT)
- Base distribution - Distribution built on Drupal core (such as Lightning) that provides additional tooling and speeds development
Backend functionality layer
Building on the platform layer, the backend layer extends the platform with additional features and customizations. Although organizations can have different functionality needs, the following items are common:
- Base theme - Theming framework, such as Cog or Bootstrap, which can be overridden by website-specific themes, to customize appearance and retain core structure and functionality
- Modules - Core set of features available to all websites, including common features such as search, social sharing, and ratings
- Content types - Blueprints for content types, including standard fields and architecture
- User management - Functionality and appearance of user registration and management
- Analytics - Common forms of measuring activity and engagement
- User forms - Consumer-facing forms that users may fill out and submit
- Search engine optimization (SEO) features - platform characteristics that follow SEO standards and conventions, such as
robots.txt, sitemap.xml, and schema files
- User data protections - A secure and compliant system for the collection of personally identifying information (PII) and user account management, including single sign on (SSO) and social media sign-in
- Workflow management - Set of standard workflow options, permissions, and roles for managing content approval and publication
Your front-end layer includes your content, its formatting, and its layout. This layer will involve, but is not limited to, the following criteria:
- Content - Text, images, and videos
- Look and feel - Items such as objects, custom fonts, text colors, background colors, and logos that can be configured by variables inside of a website’s base theme
- Content layouts - The arrangement of objects and components on a page, and how they react to changes in screen size
- Advanced Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) - Any website-specific CSS styling that cannot be configured using variables in the website’s base theme
After identifying your needs in each of the layers, you can determine which profile configuration is right for you.
Profile configuration on Acquia Cloud Site Factory
After reviewing the layers of your platform, you are ready to determine the best profile configuration for your organization. Some common profile configurations in Acquia Cloud Site Factory are as follows:
- Baseline distribution with no profiles or sub-profiles - Changes to the distribution immediately affect all websites on the platform, and individual features can be enabled or disabled on a per-website basis
- Single profile for all websites - Features of the distribution can be overridden globally, and subthemes of the base theme can be provided
- Multiple profiles available to websites on the platform - Features of the distribution can be overridden in some profiles but not others, and subthemes can be provided per profile, increasing flexibility
- Multiple profiles available to websites on the platform, with multiple nested sub-profiles - Features of the distribution or of profiles can be overridden for groups of similar sites, increasing both flexibility and complexity
For information about creating sub-profiles when using Lightning see Lightning sub-profiles.
For additional, in-depth information about creating a governance strategy, see Planning your governance strategy.