Last updated July 24, 2012. Created by nedjo on September 28, 2011.
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While the Debut feature set is designed for use in Drupal distributions, it's also easily used as a basis for building out a single site.

In doing so, you'll want to pay attention to the release status of individual Debut features. Are they still in beta? If so, you can expect them to have rough edges and also to be potentially unstable in terms of an upgrade path. This doesn't mean they can't be of value in building a site. It just means you should be prepared to do some legwork yourself.

Select and assemble the features

  • Review the Debut features as listed on the Debut project page and decide which ones you may require.
  • Assemble the selected Debut features and their dependencies. Options include:
    • Install the Debut Apps connector along with the Apps module and use the Apps interface to install Debut apps.
    • Manually download the features and their listed dependencies from their project pages.
    • Download a distribution like Open Outreach that includes the Debut features and manually copy out the ones you want.
    • Use a Drush and Drush make, starting with the "Debut features" section in the openoutreach drush make file.

Install Drupal core

When installing Drupal core, you may wish to use the "minimal" install profile, since "standard" will add a number of configuration options that will duplicate or conflict with what Debut features provide.

Enable features

After installing the site, enable the Features module and its dependencies. Then visit admin/structure/features to select which Debut features to enable.

Customizing

In building your site, a key decision to make will be the extent to which you wish to receive upgrades. There are two basic options with any component (content type, field, view, etc.) provided by a Debut feature:

  • First, you can decide to leave it as it is. This means that it should be possible to upgrade to future versions of Debut features, receiving fixes and new functionality.
  • Alternately, you can decide to "override" (edit and customize) the component. By doing so you can adapt it to your site's needs, but you won't get changes from upgrades.

Both approaches have their merits, and many sites will combine them--leaving many components alone, but selective customizing others where changes are particularly needed for the site's requirements.

Upgrading

Debut features are upgraded like any other module, by downloading the latest version. However, being based on Features, they have a potential additional step. See this blog post for additional details on handling overrides in Features.

More features

Because Debut features are designed to integrate together, building your site on Debut should make it easier to integrate any future Debut features that become available. You can check the Debut project page to see if there are new features available that will meet your site needs going forward.

Looking for support? Visit the Drupal.org forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.