Drupal announces ‘Starshot’ release for less-technical users

Drupal, the open source content management system used by a handful of states, announced it will soon publish a new version with features that make it accessible to a wider audience.
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Drupal, the open source content management system used by a handful of states, announced this week it will launch a new major version, called Starshot, at the end of this year.

Starshot will build on Drupal Core modules — which are run by states including Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina — and exist as a parallel version, according to a Monday announcement. Starshot includes more than 50,000 modules created over the past decade through the Core version and is intended to provide a version of the software that requires less technical expertise to set up and operate.

Features of Drupal Starshot include a “next generation” page builder, a project browser and “recipes,” automatic updates, key contributed modules, easy configuration and default content, according to the announcement.

Nikhil Deshpande, Georgia’s chief digital and AI officer, said his state uses Drupal. He said he’s excited about the new version because it offers a solution for people who thought Drupal was too complicated to implement, and therefore lowers the barrier to entry.


“Drupal has been a proven technology in the public sector for more than a decade,” said Deshpande, who’s also a board member of the Drupal Association. “Drupal’s out-of-the-box features like workflows, accessibility, and security help government organizations comply with state and federal regulations. I’m encouraged to see the proposed new initiative Starshot which aims to make web development easier and faster by accessing Drupal’s powerful capabilities without the need for deep technical expertise.”

Dries Buytaert, the Belgian programmer who founded Drupal, said at DrupalCon in Portland, Oregon, on Monday that Drupal’s future success will come from making it more usable to a wider audience. He said Starshot will accomplish this by opening Drupal’s powerful tools to non-developers.

“We built this amazing platform to power the most robust digital experiences. And now we will make it more accessible to non-developers,” Dries said in the announcement. “Drupal Starshot is an initiative that will deliver this new version of Drupal within eight months.”

Keely Quinlan

Written by Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan reports on privacy and digital government for StateScoop. She was an investigative news reporter with Clarksville Now in Tennessee, where she resides, and her coverage included local crimes, courts, public education and public health. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Stereogum and other outlets. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in social and cultural analysis from New York University.

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