This is the second post in the series of Drupal 8 distributions. In the first part of the series, we introduced Drupal distribution and benefits of using those distributions. In this post let’s explore Lightning distribution of Drupal.
Lightning accelerates Drupal 8 development and streamlines authoring experience for business users. It enables developers to create great authoring experiences and is easy for non-technical users to create and manage content.
Although Lightning is focused towards creating authoring and publishing experiences, it can also be leveraged as a starter kit for Drupal 8 development. It brings together critical functionalities needed for scaling enterprise business solutions.
Modular development, adding more features via other custom and contributed modules can also be done. By using Lightning to get started on Drupal 8 development reduces the development time by 20% (as per Acquia).
Features of Lightning
Lightning helps organizations in customizing the four key components of digital experience that any marketing or editorial team requires. Following are the details:
Drag and drop layout
Lightning enables non-technical users to create flexible and responsive layouts for creating pages and other content without any developer intervention.
There is no need of installing the media related modules and configuring them to build a library for media management. Entire media management including ready to use media library pre-exist. Users can directly start uploading images and videos to the platform either from URL or from their laptop.
Business users can easily configure content workflows to streamline review and ensure editorial quality. Since the basic content workflow is already available, adding governance to publishing by adding some additional states to the workflow is effortless.
Lighting showcases publishing prowess with ability to conduct comprehensive review of entire content consisting of text, images, videos etc. before publishing. This is a crucial and highly beneficial feature for publishing process.
Let’s consider a Business Use Case
Marketing team requires constant content publishing, consisting of text, images, and videos. It also requires managing marketing campaigns and cross channel experiences. The team consists of Content Writers, Editing Manager, Content Publisher, and Marketing Manager. With the use of Lightning distribution and Faichi’s Content Creation Publishing framework one can create a seamless publishing solution. Compared to building a solution ground up, this combination saves 30% of development / release time. Faichi’s framework handles multi-channel publishing and cross channel experiences inherently.
Content publisher or Marketing manager can easily create a different layout needed for a specific marketing campaign with available layouts or creating a new layout with the drag and drop functionality.
Content writer or the Editing Manager can add images or videos for marketing campaign. They can also select the previously used images or videos from the media library, ensuring re-usability of media assets.
It ensures seamless flow of content among Content Writer, Editing Manager, Content Publisher, and Marketing Manager. This workflow ensures seamless collaboration across different stages for e.g. Draft, Needs Review, and Send to Marketing Review.
Marketing manager can preview content and conduct comprehensive reviews on various devices before publishing.
Lighting provides you sheer peace of mind due to the following merits.
Constant Development Support
Since it is a Acquia released distribution, it will constantly be supported with bug fixes, security patches, suite of automated tests etc.; reducing the maintenance burden for developers.
All the stable releases of Lightning are scrutinized by Drupal’s Security Team. There is a dedicated security team constantly working towards making Lighting more secure.
Test Driven Development and Automated Testing
Lightning focuses on automated testing, with a test-driven development approach for the modules added to the distribution. Automated testing has been used including unit tests, behavioral testing with Behat, and Selenium testing, ensuring that modules work cohesively.