UNSW Research Gateway Drupal 7

Drupal version upgrade and maintenance.

Three years ago, as an employee of Digital Eskimo, I was the lead developer of the UNSW Research Gateway. This year, in my capacity as a full-time contractor at UNSW, I was the co-lead developer on the upgrade of the Research Gateway from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. This was my first significant Drupal upgrade performed in a professional capacity, and the upgrade was a large and complex project in itself.

The most significant change made as part of the upgrade, was the switch from Apache Solr to pure Drupal Views for powering the Gateway's various search and listing pages. The decision to make this change was made based on the advancements in Views since Drupal 6, and also on the ongoing difficulty in maintaining and supporting the Solr environment. The Gateway's complex synchronisation scripts – for scheduled import of custom data from other databases within the University – also needed significant work as part of the upgrade.