Quickstart and Drupal 8

With Quickstart, the UA Digital team has been changing the way that our University tackles the web. Instead of every web development team building what they need in parallel, UA Digital has brought web developers together to create solutions together. 

  1. As more needs are met, Quickstart becomes more useful.
  2. As more sites adopt Quickstart, the pace of improvement increases.
  3. More solutions.
  4. More adoptions.
  5. Repeat.

Since Quickstart has been built for continuous delivery, even sites that are already built continue to improve.

As this flywheel started spinning, the value that we started getting out of even minor improvements started increasing as they were improving more and more sites on campus. Additionally, the maintenance burden of bespoke sites was decreasing with each site that switched to Quickstart. 

With that background, there has been a lot of conversation about when it would be the right time to start working on the Drupal 8 version of Quickstart.


When would the benefit of moving to Drupal 8 be greater than the benefit of continuing to improve the current platform?

The time is now.

Now that the Drupal 7 version is Feature Complete enough to meet the needs of large and small colleges, academic and non-academic departments, central offices and centers; the list of necessary improvements has gotten much smaller.

Now that Drupal 8 has a stable release of the Media Module and Layout Builder along with a clear path forward for the overall Drupal project, there isn't anything else that we need to wait for.

Quickstart Timeline

This is what it should look like:



Drupal 7

Finish Active Development

Continue active development on Drupal 7 Quickstart until the following features are complete. (Targeting October 2019):

  • Adding the Events improvements from the College of Law
  • Adding the News improvements from UA News
  • Adding the Person improvements from Eller
  • Adding the Blog content type from CAPLA
  • Adding Roles and Permissions
  • Adding a central Quickstart Admin page to manage sitewide settings.

Switch Drupal 7 Quickstart to Stable

Continue supporting Bug Fixes and Security Updates through Drupal 7's End of Life in November 2021.

Drupal 8

Phase 1: Discovery & Architecture

May - November 2019

Our Drupal 8 "Discussion Series" has already begun. We are carrying out a series of spikes to determine the best path towards meeting our needs in Drupal 8. This is being tracked in Confluence.

Phase 2: Active Development

November 2019 - July 2020

We expect to start active development on the next version of Quickstart on "Date?". 

During development, we will be building in Drupal 8, but targeting Drupal 9. By the time we reach this stage, all of the Drupal 8 code that won't make it into Drupal 9 will already be marked as deprecated so that we can avoid it.

Phase 3: Beta Release of MVP

July 2020

We are targeting delivery of a minimum viable product coincident with the release of Drupal 9. This MVP will include migration paths for all of the most commonly used Content Types, File Types, Views and Blocks.

This branch will continue active development for six months.

Site owners will be able to begin migrating simple sites at this point.

Phase 4: Ongoing Stable Releases Every 6 Months

December 2020

Switch to our new Release Management strategy.

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