As followers of this blog, you might have read that Acquia acquired two Drupal companies; security specialist Growing Venture Solutions and migration expert Cyrve. We wanted to do these acquisitions because they create a win-win-win situation; it is beneficial for the Drupal community, our partners and our customers. I personally championed and led those acquisitions so I want to take a moment to explain why.
How do these acquisitions affect Drupal?
I believe these acquisitions benefit Drupal by expanding its reach. Migration from legacy systems (like Vignette, RedDot and Interwoven) and from expensive enterprise solutions (like Jive Software, Adobe CQ5 and Sitecore) represents some of Drupal's biggest opportunities -- if not the biggest. My hope is that by acquiring and expanding Cyrve, we'll be able to bring more projects into Drupal. That leads to more site building work, more contributed module patches, and more people talking about their Drupal successes.
Similarly, Acquia's involvement in GVS gives it the resources it needs to pursue new security initiatives that will make Drupal more attractive to everybody. As always, we'll continue to return many developments to the community.
How do these acquisitions affect Acquia's customers?
Acquia's customer base has been growing rapidly, both in number and size. We plan to use these acquisitions to provide our customers with more product options and more experts. We will:
- Offer automated, self-service security tools as part of the Acquia Network.
- Integrate the services of both companies into our Professional Services group. We'll be expanding our security and migration teams, both by training existing consultants and by bringing new employees into the fold.
- Incorporate their curricula into our existing materials so we can help train many more experts on Drupal security and Drupal migrations.
All of these are good for Acquia's customers. But they're also good for the Drupal community at large: we need more migrations and security experts in the community.
How do these acquisitions affect Acquia's partners?
Many of our partners build Drupal websites, but few have in-house security or migration expertise. With Cyrve and GVS, we can all approach joint customers with more-complete offerings. This enables our partners to go after bigger projects.
In short, I believe these acquisitions are beneficial for Drupal, our partners and our customers. However, some people have expressed concerns that, with these acquisitions, Acquia is sucking up a lot of the Drupal talent. Because that concern is not limited to these acquisitions, I've decided to address that in a separate blog post: Does Acquia suck up all the Drupal talent?.
We've just reached another huge milestones at Mollom: we blocked our 500,000,000th spam message!
Furthermore, Mollom is currently protecting close to 50,000 active websites, that is a 75% increase since the beginning of the year 8 months ago.
It's sad that our websites get bombarded by idiots. But the fact that Mollom blocked half a billion of their attempts, actually makes me feel a lot better!
Screenshot of the scorecard section on Molom.com.
In the ongoing efforts to build on lessons learned during the Drupal 7 cycle and fast-track Drupal 7 bug fixes, a new policy has been introduced to help ensure stability of the code base, based on recommendations by key members of the core contributor team, most notably Nathaniel "catch" Catchpole.
During my keynote at DrupalCon Chicago, I introduced a new "cap" of 15 on the number of critical bugs. If the number of critical bugs creeps higher than this, no new features or clean-up patches would be committed until the bug count went back down below the threshold. This would ensure that serious bugs are able to be addressed without having to "chase" the code base due other patches performing major under-the-hood refactoring.
However, it became clear that this was not sufficient. Despite heroic efforts on bringing the number of critical bugs to zero before launch, Drupal 7 still shipped with several hundred "major" bugs. While this situation has dramatically improved since launch, it is important to keep this number down, so that when Drupal 8 is released it is stable and ready to go. Additionally, sometimes bugs are fixed or features introduced that do not perform requisite refactoring of underlying systems, and we accumulate "technical debt". This technical debt makes the code base more complex and difficult to understand, and makes Drupal harder to approach for new developers.
Going forward, new features and other major refactoring patches will only be committed to Drupal 8 if the following conditions are met:
- Critical bugs, across D7 and D8: no more than 15
- Major bugs, across D7 and D8: no more than 100
- Critical tasks, across D7 and D8: no more than 15
- Major tasks, across D7 and D8: no more than 100
See also the Drupal core code freeze, code thaw, issue queue thresholds documentation page for more information. The "Contributor links" dashboard block on Drupal.org now also contains these counts for easy reference.
The hope is that this will allow us to strike a balance between innovation in the future Drupal release, and stability in the stable Drupal release of today, which will in turn help increase Drupal 7 adoption.
The last time I organized a State of Drupal survey was in 2008. The results of the 2008 survey were instrumental in shaping Drupal 7 as well as directing the work of the Drupal Association on drupal.org.
Now three years later, I created a new survey. The results of this survey will guide thousands of people in the Drupal community over the next two years.
It shouldn't take more than ten minutes to fill out. Don't worry if you're new to Drupal: every voice counts!
I'll present the results during my DrupalCon keynote in London; the video and the presentation slides will be downloadable after. Please do tell us what you think these days about Drupal: your views will shape Drupal 8 and beyond. Thanks!
We have just released new versions of the Mollom module for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. In addition to various bug fixes, as well as usability and API improvements, we have included two new end-user features. First, we've provided the ability to control the strictness of the text analysis. This allows you to control how aggressively Mollom should show CAPTCHAs and block spam. Second, we ported the profanity checking from the Drupal 7 version of the Mollom module to the Drupal 6 version. This means that you will be able to choose to use Mollom to block obscene language in addition to spam. Progress!
I'm thrilled to announce that Acquia has received $15 million in its fourth round of funding -- that is about twice as much as any of our earlier rounds (series A, series B, series C). Our previous investors affirmed their confidence by participating in this round; they were joined by Tenaya Capital, which has roots in both the San Francisco Bay Area and our home turf of Boston. Tenaya brings more than money: Tenaya's Brian Paul will join our Board of Directors as well.
This is an incredibly exciting time to be at Acquia. Since the series C last November, our staff size has almost doubled, from 70 to 130. We're bursting out of our office space and will be moving to a bigger, 35,000 square feet office soon. We needed all those people to service our thousand-plus enterprise customers, and to plan for the future with new initiatives, such as Dev Cloud and the newly revised Acquia Network. We broke revenue records in Q1 and Q2 this year, following an extremely successful 2010.
Fundraising rounds usually occur either when a company is doing very well, or when it's doing very badly. When it's doing well, investors want to get in on the action to score big. When it's doing badly, current investors hope to turn it around to avoid losing everything they'd already put into it. By all measures, Acquia is doing very well, and this round of funding only confirms that. This is what is called a "growth round", with the money directed toward two objectives:
- Increase sales and marketing, particularly outside the U.S.. It's clear that there are tremendous opportunities for enterprise Drupal outside of the U.S., as our partners prove every day. We'll start by focusing on Western Europe, but are already planning expansion into Asia.
- Acquire talent and products that complement Acquia's own. These "acquia-sitions" (as we jokingly call them) will continue to beef up our staff, expand our product offerings, and respond to requests we've gotten over our three and a half years in business.
Acquia's growth is a testament to the growth of Drupal; we'll continue to give back to the Drupal community in everything what we do. Acquia wouldn't have made it this far without our customers, our partners, our employees and our friends. Thank you!