What we did
The website the Open Polytechnic required was extremely complex, involving a public website, sophisticated registration forms, and a number of internal databases which all needed to be connected seamlessly. Using SilverStripe technology, we were able to bring all these elements together.
As well as our technology being the glue for the project, SilverStripe Ltd also played a key role in the development of the site. We took responsibility for developing the core parts of the overall solution.
The new system runs on a load-balanced Linux, Apache, PHP, PostgreSQL platform, and intergrates with a variety of Microsoft SQL Server and .NET systems. The website was previously a marketing focussed website without an enrollment system and ran on Plone CMS.
The usability, information architecture and wireframes for the site were created by Optimal Usability, and design work for the site was done by *experience, and implemented by SilverStripe. We integrated a number of custom web services to collate, and process data about students from various sources. Together this created an interactive enrolment plan which acts as a shopping cart prior to enrolling into a course. The interface aims to simplify the decision making process around time commitments, by estimating and summarising study hours in selected courses.
Since the SilverStripe CMS platform was used, we collaborated with in-house developers at Open Polytechnic, and mentored them towards being able to maintain a shared code base.
The Scrum-based project ensured a high level of collaboration between different stakeholders, including co-location of SilverStripe developers at client offices.
We imported the details of hundreds of courses and programmes, with thousands of additional relations like availability indicators, in a per-formant fashion which allows the business to update large amounts of critical data without relying on us as a vendor.
Despite the wide scope, SilverStripe Ltd were able to deliver the project within the tight timeframe of six months, and the site was relaunched in December 2010.
To deliver against very tight timeframes, an Agile process was used. This was lead by the Open Polytechnic and delivered great results.