Acquia- your virtual Drupal training wheels

Aylon Steinhart · June 4, 2008 · Short URL:

There is a common trend that nags the world of sophisticated software- it’s not always so easy to use. Just like a kid getting on a bike for the first time, the common Internet user does not always have the know how to maneuver through the intricacies of otherwise valuable software. But as we can expect from our ever-progressing cyber world, an invention is made to help our young biker get on his way to winning the Tour de France: Training Wheels. This is where Acquia comes in.

Acquia is a new software company that provides value-added software products and services for the Drupal social publishing system. What this means is that Acquia is aimed to increase the use of Drupal by further developing the core technology and providing value-added software products and network services.  But in order to understand the training wheels, we must first understand the bike, so let’s take a brief overview of Drupal.

According to their website: “Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website.” Essentially, Drupal is used to build a diverse range of websites. From personal web sites or blogs, social networking sites, community web portals, to e-commerce applications and corporate web sites, Drupal can deliver results. Drupal also includes many freely-available add-on modules, which allow the integration of content management systems, blogs, forums, picture galleries, podcasting, newsletters, file up and downloading, and more. And with over two-million downloads since inception, Drupal is already catching the interest of a diverse array of web-developers.

But as is true with even the nicest bikes, not just anyone can jump on and ride without a little bit of help. Drupal’s main setback is that its true potential can only be reached by those with developed technical knowhow and resources, which means that many common-users remain a bit aloof. But with the addition of Acquia to the Drupal foundation, even the novice riders are getting a chance to coast around.

Acquia has basically made Drupal more user-friendly. Through picking out the best modules and offering a commercially supported version with technical support and network services, Acquia is making Drupal fit for anyone interested in developing a website. It is very likely that with this diversification of potential users, Drupal will see substantial growth in use over the next few months. After-all, the software is free! Founded in December 2007, Acquia has already seen investments from North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, and O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures.

With simplicity and growth just around the corner, it’s hard to tell just how big the Acquia- Drupal team will get. With spiffy new training wheels for our nifty bikes the road ahead looks promising for these software companies.  


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