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Installation profiles on Acquia Cloud Site Factory

Acquia Cloud Site Factory is based on using installation profiles to define base functionality for your platform. Acquia recommends that you use the Lightning Drupal distribution as a base profile in conjunction with the tools provided in Acquia BLT. Lightning extends Drupal 8 to provide profile inheritance, which enables you to create sub-profiles that allow for creating distinct groups of websites that share baseline global functionality, but may differ in information architecture or features. After a profile has been deployed to Acquia Cloud Site Factory and enabled, site builders may select it when creating a new website.

Depending on your needs, your Acquia Cloud Site Factory platform can contain a single profile for use on all websites, sub-profiles for large groups of websites, or nested sub-profiles for more tailored functionality. When designing your profiles, you should take the following aspects of website governance into account:

  • 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


To avoid development missteps and wasted effort, you should not begin development on individual websites until you have defined your platform’s profile architecture as part of your Acquia Cloud Site Factory governance strategy.

When designing and implementing profiles, you should consider the following items:

For instructions about enabling installation profiles on your Factory, or selecting a profile when creating a new website, see Managing installation profiles in your Factory.

Architecture considerations for profiles

When selecting a profile architecture for your platform, consider the following questions from a platform—not individual website—perspective:

  • What global configuration is valid across websites sharing a profile?
  • What configurations (such as modules and permissions) should differ across environments?
  • What default configurations, such as theme and website name, should site builders or administrators be able to configure?
  • Does your development and testing process account for creating new websites on the profile as well as providing updates to existing websites that were created with older versions of the profile?

Minimum requirements for profiles

To work with Acquia Cloud Site Factory, an installation profile must meet the following requirements:

Drupal 7 installation profiles

For information about creating a Drupal 7 installation profile for use with your codebase, see How to Write a Drupal 7 Installation Profile on

Creating an installation profile

The method you use for creating an installation profile depends on the tools you have selected for use in your platform:

Until you have added your installation profiles to your custom distribution and then enabled the installation profiles, Acquia Cloud Site Factory will not display the installation profiles on the Create a new site page.