Like many in the community my first exposure to Acquia came back in the first part of the year. It was an exciting time for the Drupal community and what we learned at Drupalcon in Boston suggested many great things to come. At the time I was running an independent Drupal development shop. The news that an organization like Acquia was going to come to the Drupal ecosystem was great news. Some had early concerns that Acquia might compete in the site development space. These fears turned out to be ill-founded and the entry of Acquia into the marketspace a great boon for small shops like ours. Now the future held the promise that we could continue to work on the development we were doing and help customers build great sites, while having a solid organization we could hand off day-to-day support on the back end.
Over the summer my excitement about Acquia grew. First talking to Robert Douglass and Chuck D'Antonio about the partner program Acquia was putting together was very encouraging. The model sounded like it would very much help our business and grow the opportunities for all kinds of great shops doing awesome things with Drupal. Beyond a solid model as the various meetings about the partner program progressed it became obvious that not only was the model good but that feedback was being incorporated and the offering tuned in response to input from those participating in the discussion.
As the days of summer grew hotter and longer I was fortunate to participate in the alpha and then beta testing of Acquia Drupal, then code-named Carbon and the Acquia Network which was once "Spokes". These early sessions indicated Acquia had great things going on. And then as summer vacations everywhere were drawing to a close an opportunity to join the great team at Acquia came along. So for the last month I've been making the transition from partner to employee. It has been an invigorating experience being a part of the launch of Acquia Drupal and the Acquia Network. Without a doubt there is plenty left to do but the first release of Acquia Drupal is out the door and the Acquia Network is live.
So what does all this mean?
At this very moment you can go to Acquia's website and do any of the following:
- Download the totally free Acquia Drupal 1.0 release - Complete with a great new theme developed by the folks at Top Notch Themes this distribution represents a combination of Drupal 6.4 and key contributed modules all wrapped up together with the documentation on how to get it all up and running.
- The opportunity to review and comment on our product and service offering roadmaps.
- An opportunity to purchase a subscription to the Acquia Network. A little birdie has hinted that prices for the Acquia network start at free if you get one between now and the end of the year.
- The ability to review all the levels of support offerings for Acquia Network.
- Oh yeah and last but not least, simply because it's Drupal which means it's fun, cool and just worth checking out
And while if you're reading this you're already using an Acquia Drupal website there are sites from places like Adobe's Flex site, JackBe community and Chris Bell for Senate that are already using Acquia Drupal. Over the next few days you'll see many more talking about their experiences I'm sure.
One last point I want to highlight is that while all of the work to get Acquia Drupal and Acquia Network ready has been going on, the folks at our company haven't stopped contributing to the Drupal project and community. I for one have been slower in responding to my issue queues of late because things have been a little busy, but this is more a short term ebb having to do with my personal schedule being crazy rather than a long-term change.