Drupal Services Program Overview

10/5/2016 - The UT QuickSites service was successfully launched on August 17, 2016. A WordPress distribution was built that includes a UT-branded WordPress theme and a SAML authentication plugin for the CMS Hosting Platform (CHP) service. The UT Drupal Kit was integrated on the cloud website management platform. The CHP service processes have been designed and are currently being finalized and tested. The launch of the CHP service is scheduled for the week of October 10-14.

The Drupal Services Program will provide a new Web publishing service that will help simplify and standardize the Web publishing experience at the university. Each project of the Drupal Services Program will offer distinct services to meet the various technical skill levels and diverse needs of university Web publishers. The services will be built using Drupal, the university's main content management system (CMS), and will provide more efficient, secure and easy-to-use Web publishing options.

The program will focus on the UT Web publishing community's effort to create services that make Drupal simple enough for both technical and non-technical users and make it possible for them to quickly set up a website in fewer steps. The program will also give the means to Web publishers to contribute new functionality back to the community by sharing modules for others to use. As part of the program, a Drupal environment is going to be delivered in order to develop the new version of UT CMS for the home and core www.utexas.edu pages.


The Drupal Services Program involves three projects:

  1. Drupal Foundation Project (DFP)
    This project creates the foundation for future Drupal services that will be part of the new UT Web Infrastructure and University Communications Digital Experience (DigX) projects. The deliverables will be a Drupal 7 distribution package that includes an updated, tested and deployable version of Drupal, the related Drupal modules and the documentation necessary to use, support and maintain the distribution package. A Feature Server will also be created as part of this project and will serve as a repository for additional Drupal capabilities, where users will be able to download and contribute features.
  2. Digital Experience Environment Project (DEEP)
    This project will provide the foundation on which the DigX project will be built. The project will deliver virtual servers equipped with the Drupal distribution package from the Drupal Foundation Project. The DigX project will implement the new design and functionality prototype of www.utexas.edu on this Drupal 7 server environment. ITS will also provide the ongoing oversight, maintenance, documentation and support for the Drupal environment during the DigX project and will also be responsible for the migration of the Drupal environment to the UT Web Infrastructure.
  3. Managed and Hosted CMS Services (MHCS) project
    Formerly Managed Drupal Project
    Based on demand from IT governance and the campus IT community, as well as an internal need for the scalable management of large numbers of sites built on CMS platforms, ITS plans to build the following services:
    • Managed CMS – a highly managed, turnkey website solution built on the Drupal CMS, offering University-branded design and pre-built site features.
    • Hosted CMS – a flexible, cloud-based website management platform which allows users to host sites built in either Drupal or WordPress, with software update support available from ITS on a fee-for-service basis.
    The technical foundation of these services will be a cloud hosting platform that is optimized for performance and streamlined maintenance for Drupal and WordPress sites. The overall effort will include requirements gathering for the cloud hosting platform, solution selection and procurement, and service design and implementation.

Program Goals

The Drupal Services Program has the following goals:

  • Users will have access to services that make it easy to publish and manage their websites.
  • Users will have access to services that provide a more consistent, university-branded look and feel with abundant options and features.
  • Website development costs will be reduced because fewer resources - people and time - will be needed to manage and support the websites.
  • Technical support for these services will be more effective and efficient due to the use of standardized technologies.
  • These services will help departments comply with the university's security, accessibility and privacy policies.