Introduction to Aquifer, a Build System for Drupal

Don’t work harder; work smarter, because laziness is a virtue in software development. You’ve heard it a million times, but what do this look like in practice? In this session, we’ll talk about a new tool called Aquifer that can automate parts of the Drupal development cycle.

Build systems have been used for many years to automate parts of the software development workflow. These systems enable developers to track dependencies, versions, configuration, and other states in one central place. Commonly build systems also contain tools that can simplify the process of testing, linting, and many other tasks.

In the Drupal world, we have a few boilerplates and shell scripts that help us build sites using Drush make/Composer, however a number of other challenges are presented when using these systems. A few talented individuals have been working on a solution to these challenges, and have abstracted the lessons we've learned in a new tool we call Aquifer.

Aquifer is a command line interface that simplifies the process of scaffolding, building, testing, and deploying Drupal websites. It provides a default set of tools that allow developers to build Drupal sites using the Drush-make/Composer workflow. In addition, Aquifer ships with an extensions system that makes it easy to add additional tools to a project. It's been an extremely valuable resource on several large-scale projects at Four Kitchens, and we'd like to share it in hopes that it will be useful to others.

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