Founded in 1996, Positive Technology is part of the Positive group of companies, a full-service marketing and technology agency based in London. By taking on a true understanding of marketing requirements, they deliver quality technology solutions which are best-fit and highly effective. Through SilverStripe, they develop extremely creative and flexible content management solutions to meet the highly dynamic and speed-to-market needs of today’s marketing departments.
Thames Valley Housing (TVH) owns or manages some 15,000 homes in London, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. These include traditional rented housing, shared ownership, key worker and student accommodation.
Positive designed and built the SoResi website for Thames Valley Housing on SilverStripe in 2017. The project was part of the launch of a new So Resi brand for Thames Valley Housing aimed at creating a unique identity for the marketing of shared ownership properties. The site included a fully mobile responsive front end, with an improved user experience for existing clients to access the TVH self-serve portal.
SAML2 is used for single sign-on (SSO) between the website and portal and Salesforce is integrated to receive inquiries from the website.
Secure content for registered users including My Profile, My Applications, Property Search History and My Property Details are presented on the front-end from data accessed via the portal’s APIs. The lengthy property application process has been modified into a multi-step, save-and-continue format so that the user can return to the process if they break-off at any stage without having to re-enter previously entered responses.
Positive took advantage of a number of community modules including:
- Sortablegridfield for drag and drop on grid field,
- Recaptcha for spam protection,
- GoogleSitemap for the XML sitemap.
Other modules that were utilised included php-saml for single sign on which was used as the methodology for SSO between the main website and the secure portal.
Hosting is on AWS which has proved to be straight-forward and robust with test, staging and production environments.
As always, time and budget presented a challenge but, by working ‘as one team’ with the client’s in-house development team and their portal developers, these were overcome.
The project created new and complex data exchange requirements between the website and the portal. All three parties worked collaboratively to develop the requirements and processes and then to develop and test the APIs.
All parties had access to the code-base and developers were able to contribute by working on different branches with the client’s team deploying to AWS when all changes were ready so that integration testing could take place efficiently.
The results of this build are a well designed, responsive and clean site offering an improved UX for their target audience. Registered users and property owners now have a seamless one-stop-shop experience. Positive continue to work with TVH to roll out a programme of continuous improvements which currently include updates to search methodologies and changes to comply with legislation regarding GDPR.