A One-Point Access Web Portal for One of the World’s Leading Independent Digital Media Publishers

Challenge

A US-headquartered digital publishing company with more than 20000 published audio titles and other digital assets, and one of the world’s leading providers of digital media to an array of markets (including consumer, retail, professional, school, library and infotainment ones) requested Envion Software to assist them in developing a Web-based one-point access system to provide centralized customer access to their own and other providers’ digital media.

The client’s one-point access system is intended to serve as a gateway to a comprehensive collection of curated e-books, audio titles, movies, online courses, music, online radio broadcasts, videos, magazines, websites, web apps, and other resources.

Internet users who subscribe to a library hosted by the gateway can create a single account to access any of the multiple services the library is subscribed to. A library user can perform a search for a required media asset using multiple search criteria that vary depending on the service to which access is granted. These criteria may include Keyword/Title, Genre, Language, Cast/Crew, Director/Producer, Festival, Channel, Year of publication, Duration, Audience(family, teen, or adult), and more.

Library administrators can access and subscribe to any of the multiple services made available via the gateway. Wherever allowed by a specific service, they can choose to subscribe only to those materials that they need, or define various settings. For example, it is, sometimes, possible to set an adult content warning to be displayed, or to limit access to some of the content provided by the service.

In addition, library administrators can access marketing materials associated with the services their libraries are subscribed to (for example, marketing and promotion materials associated with athletic training, language-learning, and other brands), and generate reports on the usage of their collection of services. It is also possible for library administrators to filter users based on Library Card Number, IP, Barcode, and other parameters.

Library administrators can be assisted by Portal administrators.

There are several types of Portal administrators and the rights they have vary depending on a specific type. Some can only view library-related information and generate reports (Sales Managers), while others (Super Administrators) can create libraries, perform library-requested subscriptions, and email library administrators and library users, filtering the latter by country, region, state, or service. Just like Library Administrators, Super Administrators can also filter library users based on Library Card Number, IP, and Barcode.

The number of libraries the system is used to provide one-point access to is currently in excess of 2000, while the number of these libraries’ users is now more than 1.3 million

 

Solution

The project has been ongoing for 3 years now, and the number of the Envion experts deployed on it has varied from 1 to 4 during the different stages in its implementation. Most of the time, we had two software engineers deployed on the project, who worked in contact with the client’s QA team. By now, the bulk of the system’s functionality has been implemented by us, and the system is currently fully functional.

Making an additional effort was often required while working with the client’s multiple B2B customers whose business needs, business procedures, and willingness to cooperate with the Envion team have varied to a great extent.

The most demanding technical challenge was implementing load balancing between the system’s several servers with a view to responding to the high system load associated the with very large number of its concurrent users.

 

Technology Stack

The Envion project team used the following technologies to implement the project:

  • JS/(different libraries) JS, JQuery/ JQuery and AJAX plug-ins
  • XHTML/CSS, HTML5/CSS3
  • PHP5
  • SQL (MySQL5)
  • Apache2
  • Ubuntu, Red Hat
  • Memcached
  • Solr

Result

Envion’s client is now equipped to offer an altogether different, much higher level of service to both their B2B and B2C customers, which has had a dramatic effect on the growth of their customer base.

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