14 Oct 2014
Summer review - 7 sites, leveraging Drupal, ticketing integration, social content for storytelling and a conference
With the onset of greyer skies and colder mornings, summer has now surely finished. While the summer was long and lovely, we were very, very busy. Find out what we got up to.
With the onset of greyer skies and colder mornings, summer has now surely finished. It was a fun packed season though: a World Cup, heatwaves, Scotland thought about leaving and then decided not to, iPhones went bendy, a 100-year-old man climbed out a window. Meanwhile, we had an extremely busy period.
Over the last few months, we helped (re)launch over half a dozen sites:
All of them work beautifully on mobile, with a fair sprinkling of integrations - whether ticketing; ecommerce and payment gateway; or LARGE resource library. As usual, almost all came in on or under time and budget.
Leveraging Drupal for asset management
We've also been working on a wonderfully challenging project with the National Theatre for their NT Live press and marketing team, where we're integrating Alfresco and Drupal using CMIS as the glue. Alfresco is a great tool for asset management; CMIS provides a way to access Alfresco's document library using an open standard and publish assets to the web. Drupal provides us with an excellent interface between Alfresco, CMIS and the content editor. We'll be showcasing the project at this months' London Drupal Show + Tell, so hopefully more on that next time.
Using social content to support storytelling
Integration has always been an important part of what we do. We're working on a neat piece of Drupal and social integration (specifically Twitter and Instagram) for an exciting music project coming out of Cardiff very shortly. We'll be using a Drupal powered website and social media to tell the production story behind the creation of individual songs. Again hopefully more on that next time.
Drupal is great for integration projects - from ticketing to mapping requirements
Two final integration pieces: following Yvonne Arnaud's upgrade to TopTix's SR04 we added a clutch of integration features for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre website. There are new header widgets that handle specific events - so for example if you login, it says hello; if you add stuff to your basket, the basket widget updates. It's all managed via SRO4's JS library, and JS event handlers (no small task in itself) and across multiple iFrames.
Finally, following on from our support of the 'My Theatre Matters' campaign, we have also supported the '50p for Culture' campaign. This new site incorporates with postcode searches and GoogleMaps integration and some neat illustrations from our friends over @CogDesign.
Migrating to Drupal
All of the above projects centre on leveraging Drupal to achieve good things. It wasn't always so. Our previous CMS was a proprietary system but since 2009 Drupal has clearly marked itself out as the smarter, better option and it's proved its worth several times over since then. As part of a programme of winding down our old proprietary CMS we've worked our way on through several migration projects, the latest of which is Chickenshed. The site got a lovely responsive design treatment, uses Drupal Commerce (for both products and donations) with WorldPay payment gateway integration and has some nice workflow features (e.g. easy reuse of image galleries).
We've been to a host of events over the summer - from the regular Drupal Show + Tells and Dennis' Drupal DropIns to Culture24's 'Let's Get Real 2014' one-day'er and more besides. One of the biggest was the AMA Conference in Bristol back in July. It feels like a lifetime ago as Brian and Nadine joined 600 arts marketing professionals at the conference to talk about "The People Formerly Known As The Audience". And there was a lot to talk about. If you missed out the AMA have popped some of the presentations up online. (You can also take a peek at the video on their homepage and see if you can spot Brian!)
So the next few months are looking just as busy for the Tincan team. With Drupal 8 now officially in Beta, Rob will be getting back to finishing the Drupal 8 book, we have a few new client projects in the pipeline and a couple more migration projects (including one with several enterprise level pieces to it) and more upates to a few of the above projects.
No rest for the wicked.
ps - here's some stuff which has kept us joyfully distracted over the last few months ...