What Kalabox Can Do For Your Organization

By Alec Reynolds,
Kalabox ship

Once upon a time, a Drupal shop owner hired a contractor for a project. The contractor signed papers, met the team, and then started work.

On the first day, the contractor’s invoice listed “local environment setup” as a line item.
On the second day, the contractor’s invoice listed “problems refreshing local environment” as a line item.
On the third day, the contractor’s invoice listed “fixing PHP version-related error” as a line item.

Are you a character in this story? Does it have a happy ending?

Kalamuna has been talking a lot about why Drupal pros and novices should adopt Kalabox 2.0. However, Kalabox has even greater benefits for Drupal shops and organizations with Drupal teams. Kalabox 2.0 allows your team to keep their existing tools while benefiting from greater standardization, leading to tangible savings and creating happy endings for team leaders, developers, and clients alike.


But We Already Have Development Tools


Talking to many of you while presenting Kalabox 1.0 at various DrupalCamps for the past year, we heard a consistent criticism: “Kalabox looks really cool and we support it as a way to bring people into the Drupal ecosystem, but we already have our own set of tools.” Perhaps your team has made an investment into Vagrant, or your developers are so comfortable with their own tools that you’re reticent to rock the boat.

Well, now you can have your cake and eat it too. Kalabox 2.0 offers workflow integration with Pantheon, Acquia and Aberdeen Cloud, as well as a sleek, friendly UI on top of your existing toolkit. All this comes from a new plugin system that leverages lxc container technology via Docker. All you have to do is “Dockerize” your existing tools: write a simple JSON file describing your server architecture and put it into the Kalabox plugin directory. Heretofore! your DevOps team can empower EVERYONE -- not only people in your own organization, but your clients and contractors, too. With the one-click Kalabox goodness, you get tremendous time savings and efficiency gains.

Have a nginx and php-fpm appserver that talks to a separate MariaDB server? You’re good to go! Using nginx as a reverse proxy to serve static files via Varnish with a Apache/PHP5.5 backend that uses separate redis and solr servers? Still good to go. Have a traditional LAMP stack? Yup, still good to go!

AND! Because your files, data and code are stored in a decoupled data container this means that your team can easily switch between different environments in seconds, maintaining production parity easily with little to no overhead.


What If We Don’t Use Pantheon or Acquia?


If you’re maintaining a custom hosting solution for a client, the new platform API (called Switchboard) will allow you to write a custom integration. By extending an existing class in the API with code interacting with your hosting provider, Kalabox can list all of your hosted sites, pull them down to your local machine, and refresh your local site content.


What If I Hire People Running Windows or Linux?


Tired of having your Windows users use something different than your Mac users? By using node-webkit, a tool for creating cross-platform desktop applications using NodeJS, Kalabox 2.0 will eliminate the “it works on my local” excuse by using an integrated workflow solution that works on Linux, Mac OSX and Windows reliably.


Let’s Write a New Chapter In Your Dev Workflow Story


Kalabox gives you the ability to onboard anybody who can click a button into a Drupal project and have them be able to contribute in minutes. Think we’re missing something? Great! Kalabox is now open source so you can contribute your own code, easily write plugins, and help guide the project.

With your help, we can write a new chapter in how organizations develop Drupal projects, transforming wasted hours into meaningful work and a happy ending.

Alec Reynolds


When his long-standing interest in programming and this "internet thing" became relevant to his entrepreneurial inclinations, Alec found himself helping launch a series of startups. This experience has provided Alec with a deep understanding of young businesses and the product development process, where he participates from the code to the customer.