FAQ - SaaS Drupal 8

GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade FAQs

Overview

The following FAQs provide information related to upgrading your GovCMS SaaS Drupal 8 site to Drupal 9

A list of all D9 FAQ topics can be found at GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade FAQs.

1. What are your upgrade options?

You should only consider one option: upgrade to Drupal 9 as-is.

Drupal 9 is backward compatible with Drupal 8, meaning the upgrade path from D8 to D9 is relatively easy. GovCMS will prepare and execute the upgrade scripts and deploy the upgraded Drupal 9 site to a test branch. Any enhancements should be done after upgrading.

See FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What are your upgrade responsibilities? for more details.

2. What are your upgrade responsibilities?

The table below shows the SaaS Drupal 8 upgrade steps and your responsibilities versus GovCMS’s.

Activity Responsibility Description

Upgrade site

GovCMS

GovCMS will prepare and execute the upgrade scripts and deploy an upgraded D9 site to a test environment.

Regression test

Agency

You will be responsible for regression testing and identifying issues.

Remediation

Agency

You will be responsible for remediating all issues identified.

Enhancements

Agency

You will be responsible for optional enhancements.

Go-live

GovCMS

GovCMS will deploy your site live once approved by the Agency product owner.

3. What influences upgrade complexity?

Drupal 9 is backward compatible with Drupal 8 and therefore the upgrade path is relatively easy.

The main complexity lies around the use of Drupal 8 contrib modules. Specifically:

  • Contrib modules that have been baked into Drupal 9 core.  

  • Contrib modules that have been deprecated (not ported) with alternative options. 

  • Contrib modules that are deprecated (not ported) but have no known alternatives. 

Other complexities may lie in the theme layer, if references to deprecated functions are made or minor incompatibilities exist.

If you’d like to understand upgrade complexities specifically for your SaaS D8 site then you can register for our free GovCMS D9 readiness assessment.

4. Can you make improvements?

Short answer: Yes, you can. 

Longer answer:

You can make improvements only after GovCMS deploys your upgraded Drupal 9 site to your test branch. 

Once you have access to your test branch, you can test, remediate issues and make optional enhancements.

5. Where and how do you start?

GovCMS recommends all Drupal 8 sites should upgrade to Drupal 9 by the end of August 2021.

Finance will upgrade all SaaS Drupal 8 sites to Drupal 9 on a test environment between April and July 2021. You’re then responsible to test and fix any issues you may find on the test environment.

See the FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What are your responsibilities? for more details.

For agencies on SaaS Drupal 8 we recommend, as a first step, you prepare your functional and visual regression test scripts. This will help you quickly and systematically validate your upgraded Drupal 9 site and find any issues for you to fix.

It’s highly recommended you develop these scripts in preparation for when GovCMS upgrades your SaaS site. You can create these scripts yourself or we can help prepare them for you.

If you need assistance you may consider one of the following Salsa upgrade support services when you’re ready:

  1. Upgrade validation and remediation packages: Preparation of visual and functional regression test scripts and identification and remediation of upgrade issues.

  2. GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade technical advisory and support:  Access to Drupal expertise to provide your project delivery team with technical advice and/or ad-hoc support.

In the meantime, two free resources to help you plan are:

  1. Free GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade price guide: Our price guide helps you self-assess and understand your options, costs and timelines for testing, identifying and resolving bugs when upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.

  2. Free GovCMS Drupal 9 readiness assessment: Our free readiness assessment allows us to conduct a lightweight audit of your site to identify any known upgrade risks and issues, and provides you with a high-level overview of upgrade support options, costs and timelines.

Please contact us for more information on GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade validation, remediation and enhancement services.

6. What resources do you need?

For SaaS Drupal 8 websites, agencies are primarily responsible for testing and remediation. As outlined in FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What are your responsibilities? GovCMS will upgrade on your behalf. 

Given this, the type and level of resources required are relatively simple compared to migrations from Drupal 7. The typical roles for an as-is upgrade project are outlined below. The roles can often be fulfilled by the same person. The allocation for each role depends on the size and complexity of your upgrade.

Role Responsibility

Product Owner

Responsible for representing the business benefit of proposed solutions. Responsible for approving and ranking the user story backlog, accepting work achieved in sprints, and signing off on development milestones.

Project Manager

Project coordination and management of risks, issues, timeline, budget, resourcing and  stakeholder communications.

SCRUM Master / Business Analyst

Provide expert advice on the functional specification. Responsible for refining and grooming the requirements and acceptance criteria as part of discovery and throughout the project. SCRUM Master will also facilitate agile ceremonies including sprint planning, demos and retros.

Solution Architect

Solution architecture design. Facilitates technical decisions and alignment with all key stakeholders. Responsible for overall solution direction and roadmap, as well being the technical client liaison. Typically only required for complex upgrades where new/revised solution architecture is involved.

Technical Lead

Provides implementation blueprint and technical solution direction, technical governance and engineering process. Responsible for user story estimations, code reviews, peering, coaching, and troubleshooting.

Backend developer(s)

Backend Drupal development, integrations and content migrations, user story estimations, peering, coaching and troubleshooting.

Frontend theme(s)

Frontend Drupal theme development, user story estimations, peering, coaching and troubleshooting. 

QA

Design and execute test cases (including automation if/as required), collaborate and verify fixes, etc.

The following design related roles are optional and are only considered if your upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 requires new/different designs from your current site.

Role Responsibility

Design Lead

Overall visual strategic direction, representing clients’ brand while ensuring user needs are front-and-centre. Creating individualised designs while leveraging design systems for usability, accessibility and cost savings. 

UI/UX Designer

Drives user-centred design, including creative workshops. Responsible for taking the client’s website design from low-fidelity wireframes to high-fidelity mockups for user testing. Works with the Design Lead to leverage relevant design system components, focusing on the user experience and user interface.

7. Costs and timelines

Upgrading from Drupal 8 requires a ‘relatively’ simple upgrade process. See FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What are your upgrade options? for more details. 

For SaaS sites on Drupal 8, upgrade complexities, and thus costs, are mostly informed by: 

  1. The number and complexity of contrib modules that are no longer supported nor available in Drupal 9.  

  2. Theme layer complexities if references to deprecated functions are made or minor incompatibilities exist.

The FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What influences complexity? covered this in detail.

For Drupal 8 sites on SaaS, GovCMS will be taking most, if not all, responsibility for the upgrade and resolution of deprecated and incompatible modules. This means costs will be little (and potentially non-existent) for agencies upgrading and resolving these issues.

However, any theme layer issues resulting from the upgrade will not be identified or fixed by GovCMS and thus are your responsibility.  

Also note that while GovCMS will upgrade and resolve known incompatible issues/modules, it is your responsibility to fully regression test your site (on your new Drupal 9 upgraded test branch as provided by Finance) and remediate any issues identified. 

Please refer to FAQ SaaS Drupal 8 - What are your responsibilities? for more details on this.

Accordingly the cost to you is mostly informed by regression testing and remediation of any issues from the theme layer.

The table below provides a price guide to support your GovCMS Drupal 8 SaaS site upgrade. It provides a range of block hours to test your site and remediate any issues identified after GovCMS has upgraded it to Drupal 9 on your behalf.

Upgrade packages, costs and timelines

Suitability and summary of inclusions

Basic site: Out-of-the-box theme

Hours: 30 block hours
Cost: $5,250 (ex-GST)

Timeline: 1 to 2 weeks
Sprints: 1 sprint

For SaaS D8 basic sites using the out-of-the-box theme templates.

Quick familiarisation with site features, content structures, modules, UI templates, views, search, webforms, integrations, etc. 

Visual regression of up to 5 distinct page types. Functional regression of up to 5 key functional areas. 

Remediation of a minor number of basic regression issues.

Moderate site: Extended theme

Hours: 60 block hours
Cost: $10,500 (ex-GST)

Timeline: 2 weeks
Sprints: 1 sprint

For SaaS D8 sites with a moderate number of theme templates and extensions.

Quick familiarisation with site features, content structures, modules, UI templates, views, search, webforms, integrations, etc. 

Visual regression of up to 10 distinct page types. Functional regression of up to 10 key functional areas. 

Remediate a moderate number of medium complexity regression issues

Complex site: Custom theme

Hours: 120+ block hours
Cost: $21,000+ (ex-GST)

Timeline: 3 to 4+ weeks
Sprints: 2+ sprints

For SaaS D8 sites with a large mix of theme templates and customisation.

Quick familiarisation with site features, content structures, modules, UI templates, views, search, webforms, integrations, etc. 

Visual regression of up to 15 distinct page types. Functional regression of up to 15 key functional areas. 

Remediate many and/or complex regression issues.

Self-assess to qualify your costs further or take up our free D9 readiness assessment

Salsa has created a free, comprehensive GovCMS Drupal 9 upgrade price guide that allows you to self-assess your upgrade costs and prepare your upgrade budget. Our price guide provides greater granularity on what is represented above (including an explicit and clearly defined set of inclusions) and is designed to allow you to self-assess based on your Drupal 8 site’s current configuration.  

You can request this price guide here: GovCMS D9 price guide registration.

Alternatively Salsa has designed a free D9 readiness assessment service that gives you a high level overview of your upgrade options, costs and timelines. With this service we take you through our four-step process to get you ready for Drupal 9.  

You can register for this service here: GovCMS D9 readiness assessment registration.

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