Studie: Deutschland braucht eine "erstklassige digitale Infrastruktur"

heise online Newsticker - 14. Juni 2018 - 8:00
Rechenzentren sind neben Breitband das Rückgrat der Digitalisierung, betonen die Verfasser einer Studie. Die Bedingungen seien hierzulande aber "suboptimal".

Essen auf autonomen Rädern: Ford wird zum automatischen Pizzaboten

heise online Newsticker - 14. Juni 2018 - 8:00
2021 sollen Roboter-Autos marktreif sein. Davon geht der US-Autohersteller Ford aus, der in Pilotprojekten Lieferungen automatisiert.

Trump-Anweisung zur Rettung von Kern- und Kohlekraftwerken hat dünne Grundlage

heise online Newsticker - 14. Juni 2018 - 7:30
US-Präsident Trump hat sein Energieministerium angewiesen, die Schließung von alten Kraftwerken zu verhindern. Darüber gibt es Streit.

Strafe von halber Milliarde US-Dollar: Samsung geht gegen Apple in Berufung

heise online Newsticker - 14. Juni 2018 - 7:30
Samsung will im Patentstreit mit dem iPhone-Produzenten Apple nicht aufgeben. Der Fall geht in die nächste Runde.

myDropWizard.com: CiviCRM secrets for Drupalers: Drupal 8 + CiviCRM June 2018 Update

Planet Drupal - 14. Juni 2018 - 7:15

We're Drupalers who only recently started digging deep into CiviCRM and we're finding some really cool things! This series of videos is meant to share those secrets with other Drupalers, in case they come across a project that could use them. :-)

In the screencast below, I'll demonstrate the new demo of Roundearth! Roundearth is our Drupal 8 + CiviCRM Distribution.

Watch the screencast to see the progress so far on the Roundearth project:

Video of Roundearth June 2018 Update

Some highlights from the video:

  • Drupal 8.5
  • CiviCRM + Bootstrap based Shoreditch theme
  • Quick demo of adding Contacts, using a Group, and sending a Bulk Mailing
  • Quick demo of a Public Event

Please leave a comment below!

PreviousNext: Patch Drupal core without things ending up in core/core or core/b

Planet Drupal - 14. Juni 2018 - 7:08

If you've ever patched Drupal core with Composer you may have noticed patched files can sometimes end up in the wrong place like core/core or core/b. Thankfully there's a quick fix to ensure the files make it into the correct location.

by Saul Willers / 14 June 2018

When using cweagans/composer-patches it's easy to include patches in your composer.json

"patches": { "drupal/core": { "Introduce a batch builder class to make the batch API easier to use": "https://www.drupal.org/files/issues/2018-03-21/2401797-111.patch" } }

However in certain situations patches will get applied incorrectly. This can happen when the patch is only adding new files (not altering existing files), like in the patch above. The result is the patched files end up in a subfolder core/core. If the patch is adding new files and editing existing files the new files will end up in core/b. This is because composer-patches cycle through the -p levels trying to apply them; 1, 0, 2, then 4.

Thankfully there is an easy fix!

"extra": { ... "patchLevel": { "drupal/core": "-p2" } }

Setting the patch level to p2 ensures any patch for core will get applied correctly.

Note that until composer-patches has a 1.6.5 release, specifically this PR, you'll need to use the dev release like:

"require": { ... "cweagans/composer-patches": "1.x-dev" }

The 2.x branch of composer-patches also includes this feature.

Big thanks to cweagans for this great tool and jhedstrom for helping to get this into the 1.x branch.

Tagged Drupal Development, Composer

Acro Media: Drupal Point of Sale 8 Released!

Planet Drupal - 14. Juni 2018 - 2:28
Official 8.0 Version Now Available


The Drupal Point of Sale provides a point of sale (POS) interface for Drupal Commerce, allowing in-person transactions via cash or card, returns, multiple registers and locations, and EOD reporting. It’s completely integrated with Drupal Commerce and uses the same products, customers, and orders between both systems. You can now bring your Drupal 8 online store and your physical store locations onto the same platform; maintaining a single data point.

The Drupal 7 version has been in the wild for a while now, but today marks the official, production ready release for Drupal 8.

Release Highlights

What features make up the new version of Drupal Point of Sale 8? There are so many that it will probably surprise you!

Omnichannel

Omnichannel is not just a buzzword, but a word that describes handling your online and offline stores with one platform, connecting your sales, stock and fulfillment centers in one digital location. Drupal Commerce has multi-store capabilities out of the box that allow you to create unique stores and share whatever product inventory, stock, promotions, and more between them. Drupal Point of Sale gives you the final tool you need to handle in-person transactions in a physical storefront location, all using your single Drupal Commerce platform. That’s pretty powerful stuff. Watch these videos (here and here) to learn more about how Drupal Commerce is true omnichannel.

Registers

Set up new registers with ease. Whether you have 1 or 1000 store locations, each store can have as many registers as you want. Because Drupal Point of Sale is a web-based solution, all you need to use a register is a web browser. A touch screen all-in-one computer, a laptop, an iPad; if it has a web browser, it can be your register. The Point of Sale is also fully open source, so there are no licensing fees and costs do not add up as you add more registers.

Customer Display


While a cashier is ringing through products, the Customer Display uses WebSocket technology to display the product, price, and current totals on a screen in real-time so the customer can follow along from the other side of the counter. Your customers can instantly verify everything you’re adding to the cart. All you need for the Customer Display is a web browser, so you can use an iPad, a TV or second monitor to display the information in real-time as the transaction progresses.

Barcode Scanning

Camera based barcode scanning
Don’t have a barcode scanner? No problem. With this release, any browser connected camera can be used to scan barcodes. Use a webcam, use your phone, use an iPad, whatever! If it has a camera, it works. This is helpful when you’re at an event or working a tradeshow and you don’t want to bring your hardware along.


Traditional barcode scanning
A traditional barcode scanner works too. Simply use the barcode scanner to scan the physical product’s barcode. The matching UPC code attached to one of your Drupal Commerce product variations will instantly add the product to your cashier’s display.

Labels

Generate and print labels complete with barcodes, directly from your Drupal Point of Sale interface. Labels are template based and can be easily customized to match any printer or label size so you can prep inventory or re-label goods as needed.

Receipts

Easily customize the header and footer of your receipts using the built in editor. Add your logo and contact information, return/exchange policy, special messaging or promotions, etc.

When issuing receipts, you can choose to print the receipt in a traditional fashion or go paperless and email it to your customer. You can do either, both, or none… whatever you want.

Returns

Whether online or in store, all of your orders are captured in Drupal Commerce and so can be returned, with or without the original receipt. A return can be an entire order or an individual product.

End of Day (EOD) Reports

When closing a register, you cashiers can declare their totals for the day. You can quickly see if you’re over or short. When finished, an ongoing daily report is collected that you can look back on. On top of this, Drupal Point of Sale is integrated with the core Drupal Commerce Reporting suite.

Hardware

Use Drupal POS 8 with anything that supports a browser and has an internet connection.

Technical Highlights

Adding to all of the user highlights above are a number of important technical improvements. It’s the underlying architecture that really makes Drupal Point of Sale shine.

Themable

Cashiers login to Drupal Point of Sale via a designed login page. Once logged in, the theme used is the default Drupal admin theme. However, like any other part of Drupal, your admin theme can be modified as much as you like. Keep it default or customize it to your brand; it’s yours to do with as you please.

Search API Enabled

The search API is a powerful search engine that lets you customize exactly what information is searchable. Using the Search API, your cashiers are sure to quickly find any product in your inventory by searching for a product’s title, SKU, UPC code (via barcode scanner), description, etc. Search API is completely customizable, so any additional unique search requirements can be easily added (brand, color, weight, etc.). The search API references the products on your site, and at any other store or multi-warehouse location to allow for you to serve customers in real-time. 

Fully Integrated with Drupal Commerce

The Drupal Point of Sale module seamlessly integrates into the existing Drupal Commerce systems and architecture. It shares products, stock, customers, orders, promotions and more. This makes Drupal Point of Sale plug-and-play while also making sure that the code base is maintainable and can take advantage of future Drupal Commerce features and improvements.

Permissions and Roles

When Drupal Point of Sale is installed, a “cashier” user role is created that limits the access users of this type have with your Drupal Commerce backend. Use Drupal’s fine grained permissions and roles system to manage your cashiers and give different permissions to employees, managers, marketers, owners, IT, etc. Any way you want it.

Custom Hardware

As mentioned above, all you need to use Drupal POS 8 is anything that supports a browser and has an internet connection. This opens the door for all kinds of custom Point of Sale hardware such as branded terminals, self-serve kiosks, tradeshow-ready hardware, and more.

We’ve been having fun prototyping various Raspberry Pi based POS hardware solutions. You can see some of them here and stay tuned for more. Drupal Point of Sale is open source, so why not open up the hardware too?

Drupal Point of Sale 8, Ready for your Drupal Commerce platform

We’re excited to finally release the production ready version of Drupal Point of Sale 8.0. There are many ecommerce-only platforms out there, but almost none of them can ALSO run in your physical store too. This is a BIG DEAL. Drupal Point of Sale gives you the last piece needed to run your entire store using Drupal Commerce allowing for centralized data and a single system for your team to learn and manage.

One admin login, one inventory list, one user list, one marketing platform, ONE. True omnichannel, without the fees.

Next Step

Commerce Kickstart
Starting a Drupal Commerce project from scratch? Use Commerce Kickstart to configure your install package (including Drupal Point of Sale).

Install with Composer
Already using Commerce for Drupal 8? Install Drupal Point of Sale with Composer.

$ composer require drupal/commerce_pos

Let Acro Media help
Acro Media is North America’s #1 Drupal Commerce provider. We build enterprise commerce using open source solutions. Unsure if Drupal Commerce and Drupal Point of Sale meet your business requirements? A teammate here at Acro Media would be happy to walk you through a replatforming evaluation exercise and provide you with the Point of Sale workbook to help you make your decision.

More from Acro Media

Lullabot: A Hierarchy of Software Quality

Planet Drupal - 13. Juni 2018 - 22:12

Our sales team often refers to our Hierarchy of Qualification when evaluating projects. This pyramid, inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, gives us the tools not just to evaluate the business needs of a project, but the human needs that are “encoded” in the project and team.

I’ve been thinking about how this applies to software development, particularly in the enterprise space. Enterprise implies that the software is maintained by large teams over long periods of time. Most developers have encountered internal enterprise software that leaves us shaking our heads, asking “how was this ever released?” Alternatively, we’ve used an internal tool that is quite good, but where the business has trouble repeating that success with new projects.

If we can describe the path towards self-actualizing software quality, we can elevate our teams from solving a series of one-off problems towards building value for our businesses and ourselves. It’s important to acknowledge that these steps are additive, meaning a team may benefit by mastering the lower rungs of the pyramid before moving on to the next.

undefined Describing software and how humans will use it

This is the base of the pyramid and undergirds everything else. Before writing a line of code, a team needs to have a good handle on who the audience is and how the software will affect them, along with the overall goals of the new project. Often, enterprise teams are given work to do by their customers or their management with the explanation: “a big internal department has told us this is a blocker, so don’t ask why and get to coding, so we aren’t late.”

This leaves project managers and developers in the dark, and unable to make reasonable guesses when requirements and technology conflict. Knowing the audience lets teams prioritize their work when time is short. Is the audience a group of editorial users? What’s their day-to-day workflow like? In that case, time may be best spent on testing and iterating the user interface, at the expense of implementing every last feature request. Is the audience another group of developers? Then perhaps the project doesn’t require a user interface initially, so developers can focus on great APIs and documentation. Not knowing the audience may lead to otherwise avoidable mistakes.

Like audience, project or product goals are another important piece of the puzzle. When goals are fuzzy, it is hard to know when a software project is done, or at least at a “1.0” release. Teams tend to leave projects at a nebulous “0.x” version, making future developers uncertain about the quality or robustness of a system. For example, perhaps a client asks to implement Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles on their website. It’s a reasonable request. Nevertheless, prematurely ending requirements gathering at “implement the feature” deprives your team of critical information.

There’s a business reason behind the request. Is the analytics team seeing declining traffic on their website, and worried the website audience is defecting to social networks? It may be good to suggest working on Facebook integration first, assuming you have some analytics data from existing Facebook posts to back it up. Or, perhaps the sales team is hearing from advertisers that they want to purchase ads against your content inside of the Apple News app. In that case, finding out some rough estimates for the additional ad revenue the sales team expects can help with qualifying estimates for the integration effort. If the estimated development budget eclipses the expected revenues, the team can investigate different implementation methods to bring costs down, or even rework the implementation as a one-off proof of concept.

Using audiences and goals to guide your development team makes it possible to discover opportunities beyond the immediate code, elevating the team from an “IT expense” to a “technical partner.”

Technical architecture and documentation

Writing the right software for today is one thing. Writing maintainable software that future developers can easily iterate on is another. Spaghetti architecture can leave you with software that works for now but is very expensive to maintain. For Drupal sites, that means avoiding god-objects (and services), writing true object-oriented code (and not procedural code that happens to live in classes), and avoiding side effects such as global and public variables. It’s important to document (preferably in code) not just what you built but why you built it, and how the architecture works to solve the original business problems. Think of it as writing a letter to your future self, or to whatever team inherits your code.

Determining the effort to put into this work is tricky, and time pressures can lead to quickly written, but poorly architected software. It’s useful to think about the expected life of the application. Look at similar applications in the company and ask about their initial and current development. For example, in our CMS projects, we often find we are replacing systems that are over a decade old. The code has gone through many teams of developers but is in a decrepit state as the architecture doesn’t follow common design patterns and the documentation is non-existent. No one wants to touch the existing application or infrastructure because experience has shown that may lead to a multi-day outage.

In cases like this, we know that following good design patterns and effectively documenting code will pay dividends later. A marketing site for an event in 3 months? You can probably take a lot of shortcuts without risk. Treat the project for what it is—a startup within an enterprise.

A culture of iterative feedback

Defining the software to write and following good architecture in its execution is important but we can do more. Now that our efforts are well documented, its time to create a proper harness for testing. Without one, it’s impossible to know if your team is meeting your quality goals. It’s easy for teams to fall into a fragile, untrustworthy process for testing. For sites, that typically means not defining and following deployment best practices or creating a QA bottleneck through infrastructure.

The typical git model of development implies not just a few branches that are merge destinations (like master and develop) but many feature branches, too. It’s not uncommon for developers to create multiple branches breaking a single ticket into smaller code components that can be independently reviewed and tested.

For developers, “waiting for a QA build” is one of the biggest motivation killers they face. For QA, trying to coordinate testing of various features onto a single QA server is complex and leaves them questioning the validity of their test plans.

Just as “smaller, chunkier” pull requests are a best practice for developers, a similar guideline helps QA analysts feel confident when certifying a feature or release.

Tugboat is one tool that lets teams implement automatic, lightweight, and disposable testing environments. When a developer opens a pull request, a complete working copy of the website is built and available for anyone with access to poke at. It’s easy to rebuild new testing environments because the setup is automated and repeatable—not manual. A process like this extends the effective QA team by including both developers (who can reproduce and take ownership of bugs “live” with QA, before code is merged), and the actual patrons of the build—project managers and business stakeholders—who will eventually need to sign off on the product.

These tools also change the culture of communication between stakeholders and implementation teams. Even with two-week sprints, there still can be an information gap stakeholders face between sprint planning and the sprint demo. Instead, getting their feedback is as frictionless as sending a link. There are fewer surprises at demos because stakeholders have already seen the constituent parts of the work that compose the whole demo.

Automated tests and quality metrics

Frictionless QA is great, but it’s still a manual process. It’s incredibly frustrating for an entire team to be going through manual QA for regression testing. Sometimes, regression tests uncover the sort of bugs that mean “rewrite the feature from scratch,” leading to failed sprints and missed demos. That’s especially likely when regression testing occurs at the end of a sprint, leaving precious little time for rework and another round of QA.

In contrast, developers love when automated tests alert them to issues. Not only does it save developers and QA time (they can work on a new ticket while waiting for a test suite to run), but it reduces the cognitive load of developing a new feature in a complex application. Instead of developers having to become the application experts, and maintain that knowledge in perpetuity, the automated tests themselves become the legal description of how the code should work.

Comprehensive test coverage, regardless of the actual tool used (like PHPUnit or Behat), also helps ensure that software quality remains constant as underlying dependencies are upgraded. For a Drupal site, teams should expect at least two significant upgrades of Drupal per year, along with an update to PHP itself. Automated testing means the initial work is as simple as “upgrade Drupal, run tests, and see what breaks,” instead of throwing a bunch of time and money at manual testing. It also means that testing of security patches is much faster, saving time between vulnerability disclosure and deployment.

Of course, there’s a cost to automated testing. Tests are still code that need to be maintained. Tests can be buggy themselves (like that time I accidentally tested for the current year in a string, which broke when 2018 rolled around). Someone has to pay for a continuous integration service or maintain custom infrastructure. Reducing these costs is a particular interest of ours, leading to templates like Drupal 8 CI and the Drupal Testing Container.

Again, knowing the expected life of the software you write helps to inform how deep into testing to go. I don’t think I’ve ever written automated tests for a microsite but for a multi-step payment form expected to endure for 5 years, they were critical.

Technical architecture, for all of its focus on “clean code,” can rapidly devolve into unresolvable conflicts within a team. After all, everyone has their idea of what “good design” looks like. While automated tools can’t tell you (yet) if you’re using the right design pattern to solve a given problem, they can tell you if your app is getting better or worse over time.

Start with enforcing basic code standards within your team. Code standards help team members to read code written by others, which is “step 0” in evaluating if a given codebase meets quality goals or not.

For example:

As a technical      architect, you       want reading the          code to feel as natural as             reading written text — so you            can focus on the meaning, and not       the individual words.

Think about how much harder it is to focus on the idea I’m trying to communicate. Even though you can understand it, you have to slow down and focus. Writing code without code standards sacrifices future comprehension at the altar of expediency. I’ve seen teams miss critical application bugs even though they were hiding in plain sight due to poor code formatting.

Luckily, while different projects may have different standards, they tend to be internally consistent. I compare it to reading different books with different fonts and layouts. You may have to context switch between them, but you would rarely have the paragraphs of the books interspersed with each other.

While code standards tend to either be “right” or “wrong,” code quality metrics are much more of an art than a science—at least, as far as interpreting and applying them to a project goes. I like to use PhpMetrics as it has a very nice user interface (and works perfectly within continuous integration tools). These reports inherently involve some subjective measure of what a failure is. Is the cyclomatic complexity of a method a fail at 15, or 50, or not at all? Sometimes, with difficult codebases, the goals come down to “not making things any worse.” Whatever your team decides, using these tools daily will help ensure that your team delivers the best product it can.

Continuous delivery

As a team addresses each new layer of the hierarchy, the lower layers become habits that don’t require day-to-day focus. The team can start to focus on solving business problems quickly, becoming an IT partner instead of an IT expense. Each person can fully participate in the business instead of the narrow field in front of them.

With all of these prerequisites in place, you will start to see a shift in how your team approaches application development. Instead of a conservative and fragile approach to development, your team will start to design and develop applications without fear. Many teams find themselves rotating between the bottom two levels of the pyramid. With careful planning and hard work, teams can work towards the upper tiers. The whole software delivery process—from ideas to releases to hotfixes to security releases—becomes a habit rather than a scramble every time.

Hero Image Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Appnovation Technologies: Blazing Fast Drupal Workflow

Planet Drupal - 13. Juni 2018 - 20:34
Blazing Fast Drupal Workflow Why we need to improve our tools We are living exciting times as web developers. Nowadays, many great tools are available to develop and deploy Drupal websites. However, it is still hard to find your own way through the countless software and platforms available out there. Productivity depends on your tools and your workflow. Carefully picking softwa...

Offener RPC-Port: 20 Millionen Dollar aus Ethereum-Apps geklaut

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 19:00
Viele Ethereum-Systeme sind fehlerhaft konfiguriert und machen es trivial einfach, das angehäufte Krypto-Geld zu entwenden.

Studie: Entwickler lieben Java

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 19:00
Die alljährliche JetBrains-Studie zum Entwicklerökosystem will aufzeigen, was die Programmierwelt umtreibt.

ARD-Vorsitzender plädiert für europäische digitale Videoplattform

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 19:00
ARD-Vorsitzender Wilhelm will YouTube & Co. paroli bieten. Eine gemeinsame europäische Plattform für audiovisuelle Medien soll Qualität im Netz sichern.

The Last of Us 2 für Playstation 4: Top-Grafik und brutales Gameplay

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 18:30
Der neue Trailer zu The Last of Us Part 2 war der Höhepunkt der diesjährigen E3-Konferenz von Sony. Für schwache Nerven ist er aber ungeeignet.

Apple verbietet Krypto-Mining auf dem iPhone

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 18:00
Die Gewinnung von Bitcoin und Co. auf iOS-Geräten ist grundsätzlich verboten, wie der Konzern in seinen neuen App-Store-Regeln festgelegt hat.

Mars-Rover Opportunity: Gigantischer Sandsturm könnte Missionsende bedeuten

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 18:00
14 Jahre ist Opportunity auf dem Mars unterwegs und hat schon einiges überstanden. Nun steckt der Rover aber in einem Sandsturm, der das Ende bedeuten könnte.

Electric Citizen: Electric Citizen Presents...

Planet Drupal - 13. Juni 2018 - 17:20

Twin Cities Drupal Camp 2018 just happened and Electric Citizen were able to present no less than four sessions on subjects ranging from Drupal search, configuration management, local development environments and dealing with emerging tech.

Just some of the folks who showed up for camp this year

Telefonieren und surfen im Urlaub: Ein Jahr nach dem Aus für Roaming-Gebühren

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 16:30
Der Urlaub kann kommen. Beim Telefonieren und Surfen fallen in der EU keine Roaming-Gebühren an. Die EU will aber noch mehr Telefonkosten deckeln.

Autonomes Auto: Volkswagens Sedric für Aktive

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 16:00
Volkswagen zeigt sich auf der Cebit in zwei Hallen – und dabei auch eine neue Version seines "self-driving car".

#heiseshowXXL live von der Cebit: Zukunft der Robotik, digitaler Kapitalismus

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 16:00
Die #heiseshowXXL täglich ab 15:30 live auf der d!talk-Bühne in Halle 13 und im Livestream: Am heutigen Dienstag geht es um Robotik und die "neue Cebit"

Wirtschaftsminister auf Cebit: Deutschland kämpft um digitalen Spitzenplatz

heise online Newsticker - 13. Juni 2018 - 15:30
Die Digitalisierung stellt die Welt komplett auf den Kopf. Auf der IT-Messe Cebit werden die Trends sichtbar.