Challenge

Radio Free Asia (RFA) was working on an upgrade from Plone 4 to Plone 5.2 and was looking for help with integrating their Plone Content Management System (CMS) to several Digital Asset Management (DAM) software, such as ResourceSpace and Associated Press. The goal was to streamline the content creation process by removing the mandate for web managers to leave the CMS in order to find images to include with their content.

Six Feet Up was asked to engage in a discovery phase to provide a proof of concept and confirm that the integration was possible. If the discovery was successful, Six Feet Up was asked to continue with the implementation of the connection.

Implementation Details

Going Agile

The Six Feet Up team first determined that the best method of development & project management would be Agile based. This included daily standup meetings with the client to review progress and to ensure that both teams were on the same page with regards to deliverables. 

Development was performed over the course of three months.

Proof of Concept

The proof of concept began with integrating ResourceSpace into a vanilla Plone site. Six Feet Up worked on allowing users to search for images hosted in ResourceSpace directly from Plone, as well as upload images into Plone and have them simultaneously save into ResourceSpace. The team also figured out a way to browse through the ResourceSpace collections and import image metadata, such as image size and captions, into Plone.

Associated Press

Six Feet Up then worked on integrating Associated Press to the RFA Plone site. This involved changing some behaviors so that the connection could work with multiple digital asset management systems, as well as adding a tab structure in order to provide users with the ability to search and browse within a specific system. Because the ResourceSpace instance was managed by RFA, the behavior also had to exclude the ability to allow the uploading of images to Associated Press. 

Project Management

The Digital Asset Management integration work was tracking to come in on time and under budget, so the RFA web development team decided to engage Six Feet Up for project management services for their own Plone 5.2 upgrade efforts. The project was being worked on in conjunction with other projects and was tracking late.

The Six Feet Up project manager determined each developer’s capacity, as well as got estimates added to each ticket in the Plone 5.2 upgrade plan. A series of sprints was then plotted on a timeline, providing visibility on what needed to happen and when. Weekly sprint planning meetings were held to ensure that the project would remain on track, and the estimated delivery date was well within the expected timeframe.

Results

Six Feet Up helped Radio Free Asia successfully integrate both ResourceSpace and Associated Press with their Plone site, and also provided a ‘plug and play’ framework to allow Radio Free Asia to connect other Digital Asset Management systems moving forward. 

The daily standup meetings between the two teams proved to be invaluable to ensure that all parties were on the same page and that the stakeholders were kept in the loop on progress. The meetings also helped prioritize tasks and, ultimately, establish a strong foundation for future needs. 

The RFA team is now able to manage and create new Digital Asset Management connections on their own, and a demo of the connections to stakeholders was a resounding success. With a new and improved workflow on the horizon, RFA content contributors are now able to maximize their time and effort while the web development team continues to focus on the upgrade to Plone 5.2. 

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