For starters, over 200 Drupal 8 sites already run CiviCRM! This post is based on my own research and conversations with those involved, and is intended to be informative and encouraging. As you may know, CiviCRM works with no less than four CMS at the moment, including three versions of Drupal, two 'officially'. Understandably with Drupal 7 end-of-support scheduled for Nov 2021, there has been recent discussion amongst those using or considering Drupal about which to use for your website.
- Many Drupal shops already support and recommend Drupal 8 with CiviCRM
- Preferred installation techniques for Drupal 8 have coalesced around the use of the Composer tool
- Tutorials and how-tos for installation by leading experts are available
Let's back up a step...what is different about Drupal 8? Well, Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 represents a major leap and upgrade. Whereas Drupal 8 to 9 (and beyond) should be significantly less laborious, according to the Drupal head honcho. The investment to jump to Drupal 8 will be offset by easier Drupal updates planned in the future. Compatibility with CiviCRM should be similarly less laborious to maintain.
The Make it Happen fundraising campaign for Drupal 8 & Civi is currently halfway there. But what's it for?
- Improvements to the CiviCRM core installer for use with Composer and a clean build process
- Funding the CiviCRM Core Team, who are already carefully considering and coordinating the sustainable architecture they will implement
- An officially supported Drupal 8 release listed for download
- Future maintenance
- Efforts to port these modules to Drupal 8 are already well underway, and nearing completion!
- These modules have little to no dependency on the Drupal 8 & core CiviCRM Make it Happen effort
- There are issue queues and sponsors for Entity and Webform. Code and financial contributions are welcome
Ok but "What do I do?" you may ask. First off, that's a deeply individual question, depending on what your website already does and what you need it to do with CiviCRM. But regardless it's a good idea to start this conversation right now. Here's some food for thought:
- Discuss with your CiviCRM consulting partner that supports Drupal. If you are a consultant, consider a proactive chat with your clients
- You don't need to wait for an official release, you can get started today building Drupal 8 with Civi using these tips and installation guides
- Get involved technically and financially by supporting individual module efforts and/or the Make it Happen
- Talk to others, ask their opinion, and get them involved. You can find support on CiviCRM's Stack Exchange or the 'dev' and 'drupal' channels of Civi's MatterMost chat
- You might consider another CMS for your new website that already has official CiviCRM support. WordPress and Joomla! come to mind of course. But it's worth mentioning Backdrop specifically in this category, due to it being a Drupal offshoot with a supposedly clean upgrade path from Drupal 7
- Or you could wait a little bit longer...and see what happens. Drupal 7 isn't going away at end of 2021, it's just no longer officially supported. Third-party providers are already gearing up for long term support of Drupal 7 into 2022 and beyond. So if you've built a behemoth with Drupal 7, you may be able to keep it active for quite some time
Hope this helps people get their heads wrapped around what's going on...comments welcome!
Thanks for these notes, the clarification on where things are at is helpful.