102 GovCMS SaaS sites live on the next generation open platform

We couldn’t be more excited to report that 102 GovCMS sites are now live on the new GovCMS platform, having moved from the Acquia-hosted platform to a Salsa Digital and amazee.io platform. This migration is a major project milestone and marks the official launch of the second-generation GovCMS platform based on our open source hosting platform, Lagoon.


Lagoon brings a lot to the table, with cutting-edge web technologies such as continuous integration (CI), containerization, self-healing, horizontal and vertical scaling, and significant automation. As part of our partnership with Salsa Digital, the new GovCMS also features a dedicated and unified helpdesk run by Salsa and amazee.io. This removes the helpdesk burden from the Australian government, saving them valuable time and resources.

Our open source stack delivers more freedom and flexibility in terms of how the platform is set up and will evolve in the future. The new technical enhancements will also deliver big benefits and are one of the key reasons the Department of Finance chose the Salsa/amazee.io solution.


The migration process itself was fully automated, making it a one-click migration process for each site. In the background over 100 individual tasks ran for every migration. Over the past couple of months, we’ve been running trial migrations to streamline the process. This meant that all sites could easily be migrated over the weekend.

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

With the platform successfully launched and 102 sites migrated, the focus is now on next steps. While the GovCMS 7 distribution (based on Drupal 7) was the primary focus, we’ve also been working on building out the GovCMS 8 (Drupal 8) tools. Because we were doing both at once, both distributions are available and functioning in the same way. This means agencies can now choose between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 for their SaaS sites so they can leverage the new features and API-first architecture of Drupal 8 while still benefiting from a fully managed platform.

As part of the migration, the Department of Finance has released a beta version of its own website, beta.govcms.gov.au, which is the first site running Drupal 8 in a SaaS configuration on the new platform. There are currently 36 sites in the GovCMS development pipeline, many of these are using Drupal 8, and will use the new hosting platform to manage the development lifecycle from end-to-end.

Continuous integration and deployment tools, combined with development tools like Docker and Lagoon, enable developers to create and test code with full confidence it will work when released to the live production site. This is one of the biggest benefits of Lagoon, but there are many more.

What’s next?

Work will continue on GovCMS 8, as well as the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) sites. Finance is also exploring a ‘SaaS+’ model, which delivers the upstream support, maintenance, and patching of SaaS while allowing agencies to do some unique and bespoke things on their sites.

We value transparency and open source in all we do. Learn more about how we are contributing back to the Lagoon project here or get in touch with us at hello@amazee.io to talk about hosting options today!