Website Previews for Core Development

Welcome developers

What is Tugboat?

Tugboat builds working versions of your Drupal website for every git pull request or merge request, which we call Previews.

With Tugboat in the Drupal Core development process, we're hoping to facilitate improved collaboration and faster time to issue resolution.

Tugboat in the issue queue

What you'll see

When you go to a Drupal Core issue with an open merge request, you'll see a Tugboat website Preview link in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the issue: sidebar showing View Live Preview via Tugboat link

The View Live Preview link opens a working version of the Drupal website, built with the code contained in that merge request. And the Tugboat link brings you here, so you can learn more about how it works.

Why the Tugboat + partnership makes sense

Tugboat is a web application preview tool built and backed by Lullabot, a Drupal development, design, and strategy agency. Because Lullabot built Tugboat to collaborate with clients on in-progress Drupal development work, Drupal is a huge part of Tugboat's beginnings. We're giving Tugboat to the Drupal community to support the ongoing development work of core and contrib. We're extremely grateful for the opportunity to give back to the Drupal community in this way.

Tugboat for your projects

Tugboat in the issue queue is only one aspect of how Tugboat can empower Drupal developers. You can bring Tugboat to any of your projects to make it easier to do things like:

  • Collaborate with team members or clients
  • Perform peer code reviews without pulling down code to your local development environment
  • Conduct visual regression testing via Tugboat's Visual Diffs
  • Use CLI or shell access to Previews to pair with other developers and debug thorny issues

To get started using Tugboat for your projects, sign up for free to try it out on your own projects — no strings attached. If you need help getting started building your Drupal projects on Tugboat, check out our Drupal tutorials, or join our Support Slack to ask questions directly.

Tugboat for enterprise and agencies

Tugboat started off humble — as a collection of scripts that pulled down production data, created new sandbox environments with new and in-progress work, and posted a link back to the pull request. From those humble beginnings, we've continued to hone the tool to better support large enterprise web applications, adding things like:

  • Enterprise Drupal sites with gigs and gigs of data can have a fully working preview in seconds, not hours.
  • Outbound email capturing so you can preview any email Drupal sends.
  • Domain and path aliasing to support Drupal multisite.
  • A REST API, a command-line tool, shell access to every service - and the list goes on.

Tugboat's product roadmap has evolved from making it easier for Drupal developers to work with large, enterprise Drupal websites.

If you have questions about using Tugboat for your enterprise or agency, or would like a demo, reach out.