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SilverStripe Kapost Module: Bridging technologies

Lead Developer Rob Mac Neil from Webbuilders Group talks about how their new Kapost-Bridge module integrates the SilverStripe CMS with Kapost.

Posted in Open Source

Tagged Kapost, content, modules, CMS

Posted 6 November 2015

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In this guest post, Lead Developer Rob Mac Neil from Webbuilders Group talks about how their new Kapost-Bridge module integrates the SilverStripe CMS with Kapost (a content workflow tool).

We recently had the opportunity to work with an enterprise company on the redevelopment of their website and CMS platform. Since they are a fairly large organization, there were a number of existing tools used that we simply couldn't replace (even if we could technically rebuild these tools using SilverStripe, the company was closely tied to them so we had to adopt them into our processes as well).

One of their key tools used - that we had to somehow connect with SilverStripe - was Kapost: a web-based content workflow utility. Kapost allows content authors to plan, create, distribute, and optimize content over a number of mediums. An administrator could set up a workflow for anything from a simple blog post to a new TV commercial (define stakeholders, approval milestones, etc). Although the organization was using Kapost to manage the workflow of their web content, getting it from Kapost to their website was very time-consuming and cumbersome. The process in Kapost was smooth, however once a piece of content was finished administrators had to manually copy and paste every single field from Kapost into their old CMS. This created all sorts of problems - it was very time-consuming and made room for human error.

This is where we saved the day with SilverStripe! We built a module that bridges the gap between Kapost and the SilverStripe CMS. In many ways it's very simple: once a piece of content is ready to be published from Kapost, the administrator sends it over to SilverStripe where it can be 'ingested' (essentially setup as a new page or set to replace an existing one). Here's a simple diagram showing the concept:

Picture1

No more copy and pasting of fields manually, and much faster content turn-around. Previously, our clients' time-to-market (from Kapost to the production website) for each finalized piece of content was around 10 days. They  now average 3 days after our solution. In some extreme cases, content turnaround that took 45 days was being delivered the same day, nice!

The module also introduced a number of other benefits (not to mention, now that their old clunky CMS was replaced with SilverStripe they had a much more solid web platform for us to build solutions on):

  • Administrators can see pending content (pushed from Kapost) in a friendly list.

Picture2

  • Provides a detailed overview of the information delivered from Kapost (to make sure it all arrived correctly).

Picture3

  • Can be customized to accommodate your custom Kapost Content Types and SilverStripe Page Types (and is highly extendable to support more than just Pages).

  • There's a conversion history to show which Kapost admin pushed what content, when. This also helps performance tracking/measurement for content managers.

Picture4

We are working towards bringing this module to SilverStripe Module Standard 1.0. We welcome any feedback on the GIT page for this module, and anticipate supporting/improving it over time. 

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