Posted by Long Tran on 06 Aug, 2015
Long Tran is a Senior Developer here at BrightLemon. One of the many websites that Long has worked on is CIMA Connect, the community website for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). We asked Long a few questions about the project.
 

Why was Drupal a good fit for this project?

The CIMA project was classified as a large, complex and feature rich website that needed to cater to a large amount of users. This is what Drupal is best at. CIMA’s requirements on authentication process and user interaction are complex and unique. Drupal addresses this with its flexibility of implementation.
 

What problems did you face and how did you overcome them?

Integrating Drupal with Oracle’s Siebel CRM was the main challenge as it had never been done before. We were the first people in the Drupal community to take on this challenge. Specific integration workflows needed to be followed so we worked closely with the technical team at CIMA to ensure that all parties had a clear understanding of the scope.
 

What specific feature did you like most about this project?

There are lots of great features in this site:
 
  • The traditional drupal user authentication was replaced with a custom authentication against Siebel which acts as the master data centre. Most of the user data is stored in Siebel, Drupal retrieves the data and keeps it in sync with the master Siebel CRM. I also like that the integration provides Single Sign On (SSO) authentication between Drupal and Siebel via the use of token in url. Users can stay authenticated seamlessly between 2 separate systems. Several important taxonomies in Drupal are kept in sync with Siebel daily.
  • We implemented a lightweight integration with DoubleClick to provide targeted adverts tailored to each user based on personal data.
  • There is an activity stream tailored to each user or section and an activity digest notification which gives immediate/daily/weekly options.
  • The CMS editors have comprehensive data reporting based on users’ activities. 
  • Each user has a student progression table - a graphical data representation that reflects the student’s progress based on their academic data received from Siebel.
 

Is there anything you would like to add to the site during the next phase of the project?

  • Full scale SSO experience between MyCima and CimaConnect.
  • Enable 2-ways integration with Siebel.
  • Add proper geo-location to user data and events for proximity search.
  • Create an interactive exam planner.
  • Integrate with an external adaptive learning platform such as Knewton.

In what ways does this project showcase BrightLemon putting the User Experience first?

  • Content is personalised and recommended to users throughout the site.
  • Available actions are prompted prominently to the users.
  • A personalised data visualisation on student progress.
  • Targeted advertisement.
  • The site is mobile friendly.

Key Lesson(s) Learned?

 
Clear scope documentation helped clear out any misunderstanding in terms of both technical requirements and expectations.

Tags: Online community, Drupal community, Drupal Case Study

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