Two of the most well-known Drupal development firms, SubHub and Phase 2 Technology, have joined forces to develop a new open standard for developing apps for the web content management provider. The goal: to make it easier to build, deploy and use Drupal apps.

Drupal Open App Standard Initiative

If you want to ensure your Drupal applications can inter-operate with other Drupal apps, then this initiative should be of interest to you. The standard is designed to support the development of applications that can be deploy-able across a number of Drupal marketplaces.

Our goal is to make trying out, adding, or removing Drupal functionality simple for site users,” said Jeff Walpole, CEO of Phase2. “Through partnership within the Drupal community, we've seen these aspirations become actualities in our own products. We look forward to seeing app marketplace growth match the pace of Drupal adoption world wide.”

Both SubHub and Phase 2, who both build a number of apps for Drupal, view the apps markets are critical to the success of the open source platform. They also have their own marketplaces to support them (see news on SubHub's App Market and Phase 2's OpenPublic).

If you read the Draft of the Open App Standard you see that it "aims to provide definitions, technical specifications, and best practices around creating, using and distributing apps in Drupal." This includes:

  • Definition of an "app"
  • Reasoning behind apps in Drupal
  • Definition of components and key stakeholders in the Apps ecosystem
  • Definition of the Apps API Architecture
  • Best practices around how an App is created, contributed, and shared
  • Best practices around how an App "marketplace" is constructed, owned, and operated
  • A common understanding and agreement of what elements of the Apps ecosystem belong to the open source community
  • Accepted practices for interacting with 3rd party service providers in building and selling Apps
  • Framework for enforcing best practices to ensure Drupal community needs

Open App Standard Supported by Acquia

Acquia completely supports the Open App Standard Initiative. In fact, it is reported that Acquia's Robert Douglass is the one who initiated the discussion with SubHub and Phase 2. Douglass publicly announced the new standard this week at DrupalCon London. There's a session at the conference tomorrow that invited interested parties to learn more and hopefully join in the process.

Having a single app standard will help drive the Drupal application market and support the easier installation and use of apps into Drupal-based websites and applications. This is something that could help Drupal push further into the enterprise space.