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We Built This City (On Drupal 8)

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A “build-your-own” software approach gives the city of Sandy Springs the right formula for faster site speed and the ability to publish messages across multiple content channels — including a new digital signage network.

What you'll learn:
Why Sandy Springs chose a decoupled Drupal architecture
- How the new platform empowers Sandy Springs to create content once and publish it everywhere -- from the website and social media to a network of digital signage.
- Benefits gained from decoupled Drupal 8, GatsbyJS, and Netlify, including: a fast, reliable site, hosting costs, and ease of development for their team.

Published in: Technology
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We Built This City (On Drupal 8)

  1. 1. We Built This City (On Drupal 8) August 6, 2019 Decoupling Drupal for a Unified Platform
  2. 2. | 2 Speakers Zack Hawkins Senior Director of Front End Development, Mediacurrent Jason Green Visual Communications Manager, The City of Sandy Springs
  3. 3. About Mediacurrent Mediacurrent is a full-service digital agency that implements world class open source software development, strategy, and design to achieve defined goals for enterprise organizations seeking a better return on investment.
  4. 4. | 4 About the City of Sandy Springs The city of Sandy Springs incorporated in 2005. With more than 106 thousand residents, it is the sixth largest city in Georgia and the second largest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
  5. 5. | 5 Agenda I. Intro to Mediacurrent and Sandy Springs II. Project Challenges III. Create Once. Publish Anywhere. IV. Inside Sandy Springs’ Decoupled CMS V. Advantages of GatsbyJS + Drupal VI. Integrating Digital Signage and Distributing Content VII. Key Takeaways
  6. 6. | 6 Reaching People Where People are Looking Hi!
  7. 7. | 7 Digital Information Systems ● Websites ● Social Media ● Digital Signage ● Applications ● 3rd Party Platforms (event calendars, listing sites etc.)
  8. 8. | 8 It used to be so simple. Could you post this? The “Webmaster”
  9. 9. | 9 The “Webmaster” I have an update. Could you post this?
  10. 10. | 10 The “Webmaster” Change it today. I have an update. Could you post this?
  11. 11. | 11 Content Management Systems CMS Content Creators Customers Web Developer
  12. 12. | 12 Social Media Social Media Specialist Customers
  13. 13. | 13 “They have a website…. We want one too!”
  14. 14. Digital Sign Errr... CMS CMS CMS CMS CMS CMS CMSWeb Developer CMS CMS CMSCMSCMS CMS CMS | 14
  15. 15. | 15 Create Once. Publish Anywhere.
  16. 16. Digital Sign </> </> </> </> </> CMS Web Developer Front-end Templates | 16
  17. 17. | 17 Sandy Springs Unified Platform
  18. 18. CitySprings.com Website | 18
  19. 19. XML integration 40+ Digital Signs, 2 Video Walls, Marquee | 19
  20. 20. SandySpringsGA.gov Inside Sandy Springs Facebook </> Website </> Website Integration 2019-2020
  21. 21. | 21 What Made it Possible? Decoupled Content Management Systems
  22. 22. </> Back-End Interface Website Front-End Database Server-side Language Traditional CMS Template Code | 22
  23. 23. </> JSON { i } Back-end Interface Website Front-end Database Server-side Language Front-end Language Decoupled CMS Template code | 23
  24. 24. </> </> </> Server-side Language JSON { i } Back-end Interface Database Decoupled CMS | 24
  25. 25. Unified Platform - CitySprings.com Template (React) GatsbyJS Framework (GraphQL) Website Front-end Drupal 8 hosted on Pantheon.io GatsbyJS hosted on Netlify.com JSON { i } Back-end Interface Database
  26. 26. Template (React) GatsbyJS Framework (GraphQL) Website Front-end GatsbyJS hosted on Netlify.com webserver{ i} Unified Platform Drupal Data APIs, DBs, YAML, JSON, CSV, etc. Other CMSs WordPress, Contenful Markdown Documentation, Posts, etc. GatsbyJS | 26
  27. 27. | 27 Performance ● Gatsby is a web compiler — it takes your site components and compiles the fastest site possible ● With most frameworks, it’s hard to build fast websites; with Gatsby, it’s hard to build a slow website
  28. 28. | 28 Benefits of Gatsby to Sandy Springs ● Fast, reliable site ● Latest front end best practices ● Ease of development for the team ● $$$ saved on hosting
  29. 29. | 29 Integrating Digital Signage citysprings.com Unified Platform Digital signs
  30. 30. | 30 Distributing Content
  31. 31. | 31 Front-End Content Type Spectrum Promotional Informational Homepage Slider News ArticleFeatured News
  32. 32. | 32 Content Distribution Methods Creator AutomatedEditor Curated
  33. 33. | 33 Back-End Content Creator Interface: Distribution ● Destination ○ Creators select front-ends ● Tags ○ Creators select from a searchable dropdown list of tags. ○ Content-type specific tags: Events are tagged by genre, news is tagged by category
  34. 34. | 34 Digital Signage ● Powers RSS feeds utilized by signage templates ● RSS feeds can be customized easily by the client to create new content display logic Website Front-End ● Content is automatically displayed based on content type, then tags ● Powers front-end user filtering Utilizing Tags
  35. 35. | 35 Back-End Content Creator Interface: Promotion ● Promotion ○ Creators select from hierarchical drop-down menus ○ Creators can add as many promotions as they wish ○ More Information Link field allows for external promotions
  36. 36. | 36 Managing Promotions ● By default, promotions are displayed based on date logic ● Promotion queues can be managed and reordered by an editor
  37. 37. | 37 Processing Images
  38. 38. | 38 Image Processor ● Upload and single image and select the focal point ● Cropped images are generated ● All Unified Platformed front-ends are designed using three aspect ratios for images
  39. 39. “This all seems complicated…. I’m sure there’s a vendor that already has a product we can use.”
  40. 40. | 40 Software as a Service ● One Size Fits All ● Illusion of Customizability ● Rarely Up to Date ● Rarely act on feedback
  41. 41. Organizations need to develop their own software
  42. 42. Developing Software: Maximizing your Chance of Success Partner with a strong engineering firm Build on top of open source platforms Ensure the project has a champion Establish project management application workflows from the top-down Infuse your organization with technically oriented employees | 42
  43. 43. | 43 Summary of Benefits to Sandy Springs ● Content only has to be created once ● Content reaches more information systems and more people ● Customizable and Extensible ● Reliable ● Simpler to manage ● Better user experiences ● Zero Complaints
  44. 44. @Mediacurrent Mediacurrent.comFacebook.com/mediacurrent @Mediacurrent Contact Mediacurrent

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