A book about Configuration Management in Drupal 8
In December 2013, Packt Publishing asked us to write a book about the upcoming Drupal 8. They had seen the Drupal Association survey that showed the new feature Configuration Management was the most popular topic they wanted to learn about in Drupal 8. Since we are long-time evangelists of tracking configuration changes in code, we were excited about having the opportunity to write this book, which is expected to be published in March 2015 (like this week!). It's even more exciting because Packt actually donates a portion of sales of Drupal-related books to the Drupal Association. For this to work, you need to order or pre-order directly at Packt.
Since we did so much testing with and writing about Drupal 8, we also wanted to build something with it. So we built a microsite for the book and we were surprised about how smooth this worked. It took 9 hours on a Sunday to find an appropriate HTML template, install and configure Drupal and make it look the way it does now. After the book is published, the site will get some more functionality so we can publish questions and answers as well as errata. Since it will be quite a while until Drupal 8 is actually released, we are expecting there will be a few changes and some of our code might become outdated.
What will be in the book?
Chapter 1, Understanding Configuration Management, will give you a quick overview of Configuration Management. You will learn what types of configuration exist, why managing configuration is a good idea, and how to get started with it. It will provide a look at the several ways in which configuration was managed in Drupal 7 and then show how Drupal 8 approaches the problem.
Chapter 2, Configuration Management for Administrators, provides an introduction on how to use Configuration Management for users who are not developers, but administrators of a Drupal website who want to make use of the advantages of this new feature. We will show you how to use the Configuration Management interface and how to create a copy of your website, and you will learn how to move a configuration made on one site to another site.
Chapter 3, Drupal 8's Take on Configuration Management, will show you the inner workings of the Configuration Management system in Drupal 8. You will learn about config and schema files, and read about the difference between simple configuration and configuration entities.
Chapter 4, Configuration Management API, will teach you how to get your hands dirty and learn about the Configuration Management API of Drupal 8. Here, you will dive into the Simple Configuration API and learn how configuration can be overridden. Later, you will take a closer look at how to create custom configuration entity types, and we'll also teach you about the configuration's context system.
Chapter 5, The Anatomy of Schema Files, covers schema files and explains how Drupal uses them for Configuration Management. You will learn about the structure of schema files used by Drupal and write your own schema for custom configuration.
Chapter 6, Adding Configuration Management to Your Module, will teach you how to access configuration objects and how schema files are structured in the previous chapters. (You will surely want to know how to get all this fancy stuff into your shiny new module for Drupal 8). You will learn how to include the default configuration in custom modules, how to define and use your own configuration, and how to create configuration forms.
Chapter 7, Upgrading Your Drupal 7 Variables to Drupal 8 Configuration, will show you ways to convert your Drupal 7 variables into Drupal 8 Configuration objects and how to provide an upgrade path in your modules.
Chapter 8, Managing Configuration for Multilingual Websites, allows you to build comprehensive multilingual websites in which you can display a site's content in different languages and translate the user interface. While many features were built into Drupal's core in previous versions, building multilingual sites remained a very painful task. In this chapter, we will take a look at how Drupal 7 deals with different languages on a site and how Drupal 8 is trying to fix weaknesses from previous versions.
Chapter 9, Useful Tools and Getting Help, provides a list of links and tools provided by the Drupal community; these will be useful if you reach a point where you need help when dealing with Configuration Management.