Last week, Acquia introduced the Acquia Cloud Site Factory. Acquia Cloud Site Factory is intended to enable marketers to create dynamic, customized sites in minutes with easily configured templates that can include repeatable content, design, features and structure. Its goal is also provides an intuitive authoring experience so even non-technical users can rapidly create great digital experiences that bring together content, community, and commerce without the extensive training or coding that traditional web platforms require.
Using Acquia Cloud Site Factory, organizations can accelerate digital campaign execution while reducing the costs and complexity when compared to managing more expensive, bespoke multi-site platforms. The Cloud Site Factory is a platform to create and manage multi-site deployments at scale, simplifying new site creation. A key component to the Cloud Site Factory is that it delivers the Drupal as both product and service. Each site you build benefits from the innovation that the Drupal open source web content management system can deliver.
Acquia Cloud Site Factory is both Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Acquia's new product and service shouldn't be a surprise to Acquia watchers and Drupal fans. The Factory builds on Acquia's proven Drupal Gardens OpenSaaS software and infrastructure, on which more than 100,000 sites have been built. Here at CMS Report we've covered Drupal Gardens since the days before it was even a real product and it's been an interesting story to revisit from time to time.
Over the years, my impression have always been that Drupal Gardens was a great way to start a Drupal site quickly, but also worrisome once your site needed to grow beyond the Garden's offerings. One of Drupal's strengths has always been that it just isn't a CMS, but also a framework. Drupal's framework lets you push beyond the limits of your original vision for the site, but within the walls of Drupal Gardens that same ability to innovate always seemed a bit too confining for my taste. Acquia Cloud Site Factory seems to be the company's answer for those customers that needed more from their SaaS.
Dries Buytaert, Co-founder and CTO of Acquia, wrote about this very evolution from Drupal Gardens to Cloud Site Factory on his blog.
Acquia Cloud Site Factory is the result what we learned from delivering Drupal Gardens as a solution to large enterprises. Many of our customers benefit from Drupal Gardens as a multisite management platform. However, other customers ran into limitations with Drupal Gardens, namely the inability for developers to add modules, and could not experience the full freedom of Drupal. Based on our customers’ guidance and our own experiences, we built the new Acquia Cloud Site Factory to give organizations access to the full capabilities of Drupal, including custom modules.
As a fully managed service, Acquia Cloud Site Factory enables organizations to focus on the core elements of their business by simplifying the operation and management of digital experiences. Site builders have the freedom to add any of the thousands of Drupal modules to their own site factory. With a single dashboard, Acquia Cloud Site Factory makes it possible for just a few administrators to build and manage hundreds of sites, manage users centrally, and integrate sites with their entire digital marketing toolset.
With Acquia Cloud Site Factory, marketers can dedicate their time to creating unique brand experiences built on the open source Drupal web content management system. "Global organizations that struggle to keep up with the pace of change for their digital marketing initiatives now have a solution for building immersive experiences across their brands with Acquia Cloud Site Factory," said Tom Erickson, Acquia CEO. "We're knocking down the barriers of cost and technical complexity so organizations can grow their capacity to support multiple brands and gain the freedom to grow their business with engaging campaigns and digital experiences that win market share and increase revenues."
Acquia Cloud Site Factory is a great fit for media and entertainment companies, as well as consumer products companies with many brand and campaign sites. Additionally, digital agencies that create and run digital campaigns for clients and franchise business owners who want to deliver cost-effective, consistent digital platforms to their franchisees can do so Acquia claims at a fraction of the cost of proprietary alternatives.