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Evercurrent: A Life Raft for the Ocean of Updates

June 28 2017
June 28 2017
By

One Tool to Keep You Informed of all Security Updates

Ever seen the bright red message that Drupal throws at you when there are updates for your site? It has its use, but it also has great limitations. The full list of available updates is a little better… if you are a developer and have time to go site-by-site applying them.

But what if you're a project manager or non-technical agency professional trying to schedule or perform maintenance work with clients? Or a developer drowning in update notifications from hobby sites?

Enter Evercurrent.

Evercurrent helps you understand if and why each of your Drupal sites are out-of-date, all in one consolidated email.

Let's get it set up.

Create Your Evercurrent Account

  1. From the Evercurrent homepage, click Get Evercurrent.

  2. Click Get Started!

  3. Our simple sign-up process begins:

  4. Fill out the requested details and accept the Terms and Conditions of Use.

  5. Tell us your site's name and address:


    For the email settings, we recommend you leave them as-is. You can optionally opt to receive email about All Updates if, for example, your site is still in development, and you want to know when modules you are using have released non-security updates that may contain new features.

  6. After that, it's time to...

     

Add Your First Site

You should now be looking at something like this:

 

At this point, it's time to:

  1. Install the Evercurrent Drupal module (as you would any other Drupal module).

  2. Turn it on.

  3. Put in the API key that Evercurrent gave you for this site in Configuration » System » Evercurrent in the admin area. The end result should look something like this:




    There are a couple things to note here:

    1. If you plan to use Evercurrent on multiple versions of the same site (for example, if you use Pantheon, Acquia Cloud, Platform.sh, or a similar multi-environment provider), you should set your API key using settings.php.

      1. Drupal 7: $conf['evercurrent_key'] = 'myapikey';

      2. Drupal 8: $settings['evercurrent_environment_token'] = 'myapikey';

    2. You'll want to check the Send update report when saving configuration box, since this is your first time contacting Evercurrent. After that, Evercurrent will keep itself updated every hour (note: Cron must be configured to run at least every hour, and you can change Evercurrent's update frequency in the ADVANCED settings on the form).

  4. Success!




    If everything went well, you should get an email that looks something like this:



    As you can see, the site I added needs a security update! We'll get to that in a bit. First, though, let's have a look at our dashboard. From the success screen, click the View the Dashboard button.

Understand the Evercurrent Dashboard

The dashboard informs you what updates are available, if any. You can filter down to just security updates using the dropdown above the table of updates.

At the bottom, you can see updates you have already installed. In this case, I haven't installed any, so nothing is shown yet. Let's change that. I'll apply the update to my site, send data to Evercurrent from the settings page again, and…

 

Voilà! Now the update is completed.

The features of the basic account are enough for many. But if you are a web agency, or even just administer a lot of sites, we also offer agency accounts.

Manage Sites for Your Customers with an Agency Account

Agency Accounts let you manage updates for all of your clients and track which sites belong to which clients. You gain access to the ability to snooze, ignore, and add updates to updates. Our JIRA integration is unlocked, and you can create tickets for the updates right from Evercurrent.

 

 

To unlock these features, click Upgrade and complete the process.

Add a Client

Congratulations on your new Agency Account:

 

 

It’s empty! Where did our sites go? Well, Agency Accounts work a little differently than basic accounts. With Agency Accounts, all of your sites are connected to “clients.” Your sites are still there, but the system needs you to add a Client to which it can link your sites. (Or you can just delete all of the sites and re-add them manually. New API keys will be generated in that case.)

We’ll create a client.

  1. Click the Add New Customer link.

  2. Fill out a username and e-mail address. You can choose whether you want the email you put as the client to be notified of their account or not (clients can also log in and use Evercurrent Basic to review their site status).

  3. Click Create New Account.

  4. The account is created, and you see its dashboard:


    As the message implies, your existing sites will be moved to this client within around 15 minutes. So we wait a bit. Let’s take a look at the global dashboard again by clicking on My Account at the top left.

    This is getting closer…

    [fast forwarding noises]

    There we go! We’ve added a client. Click on the client’s name, and let’s look at Agency Account-specific features.

Snooze an Update

I have added some modules to the site to flesh out the client dashboard some (I’ve filtered these to Show All Updates):

Let’s say that we need to ask the developer about the implications of upgrading Webform. We want to do it, but maybe in a couple weeks.

  1. We click Set Snooze to the right of the yellow row with webform in it.

  2. This seems OK. So we click Save.

The update disappears from our “inbox.” (You can show it by changing Hide Snoozed to Show Snoozed.) This is one of the ways in which Evercurrent helps you reach Maintenance Inbox Zero. But not the only way...

Ignore an Update

It’s been two weeks. The development team recommended skipping Webform 7.x-4.15 and waiting for 7.x-4.16. We don’t want to see this update until then, so let’s ignore it.

  1. Instead of Set Snooze, click Ignore Update:

  2. Select a reason and fill out notes (if you want — not required).

  3. Click Save.

And it disappears again! If we Show Ignored (instead of Hide Ignored), we can review the main ignore reason again.

Add Notes

There might be notes you want to show along with the update at all times. To do that, click Add under notes and add them. Then they’ll conveniently show up right on the dashboard.

These can also be useful alongside the snooze/ignore functions.

Connect a JIRA Account

Many agencies use JIRA to keep everything in order for our clients...including updates! And Evercurrent + JIRA makes this simple. Let’s set it up.

 




  1. (You will initially only see the button.)

    You can add several JIRA configurations, e.g. if you have clients that use their own instances.

  2. Fill in the information according to the inline help. You’ll need your JIRA credentials, and for some of the information, you’ll likely need to ask your administrator (if that isn’t you).

  3. Once done, scroll to the bottom and Save the user account.

  4. One more step! We have to tell Evercurrent which JIRA project code and configuration to use for each individual site. Your clients might use different JIRA instances, after all.

    1. Click on the website name, and then click [website] Settings.

      (By the way, this screen also lets you look at the ignore notes and unignore updates.)

    2. There are two fields to fill out on the next screen: Jira Project Key and Jira Configuration. Fill in the JIRA project key and JIRA configuration. The project key is the text before the ticket number in JIRA. For example, EVC-123’s project code is EVC.

    3. Click Save at the bottom to save the site settings.

    4. Repeat for each site for which JIRA tickets should be created.

  5. We’re ready to send ticket(s) to JIRA. Select the sites that should have tickets created, and click Create JIRA ticket.


  6. Confirm on the following screen.

  7. Wait a few moments, then confirm that you see JIRA information in the two columns that are currently empty.

You’re all set up!

Use Something else? Help us Beta Test our Zapier Integration.

We are developing an integration with Zapier, a commercial third-party service with which you can connect Evercurrent to over 750 other apps, such as Slack, Redmine, and Basecamp. Get in touch for a link to the private beta.

Stay Evercurrent.

You can add your sites to Evercurrent for free, so what are you waiting for? Create your Evercurrent Account now!


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