Australian Law Reform Commission

Morpht upgraded the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, making it responsive and porting across custom functionality from the legacy site.

For people running a Drupal 6 site there is a dilemma: keep with the current Drupal 6 implementation and possibly risk it not being supported, or upgrade the site to Drupal 7 or possibly even Drupal 8. The decision is both easy and hard. On one hand Drupal 6 is rapidly becoming outdated. Many contributed modules are no longer back porting changes and the support path fro Drupal 6 is unclear as the community looks forward to Drupal 8. However, the decision is also difficult as a choice has to be made between Drupal 7, which is stable and well tested, and Drupal 8, which will have new features and improvements but does not yet have full release.

This was the decision which faced the ALRC as they contemplated an upgrade. In the end the decision was made to go with Drupal 7 - the battle tested, current version, of Drupal. The upgrade was to take a light touch and covert the look, feel and functionality of the site into the new version. The main improvement which was made to the site was to be a responsive design so that the site would work well in a variety of browsers, including mobile.

The process itself was divided into a number of stages. Firstly we had to deal with the upgrade of core and contributed modules. We had to do this in such a way that all upgrades could be scripted and rerun on the database if required. This meant that we had a completely automated way of updated the code and database in one go, with no need for human intervention. Secondly we had to port a number of custom modules over to Drupal 7. We also had to swap in some new contrib modules where legcay modules were no longer in use.

All up the project went very well. The ALRC website was converted across to Drupal 7 with very little disruption to the user experience and the data collection requirements of the ALRC. The main bonus was a responsive site which will future proof the site.