YAXS: AGFA : a multi-language collaborative extranet powered by Instant Zero

Posted by: instantzeroon 2008/1/22 16:17:38 6816 reads INSTANT ZERO, the specialist of Internet Solutions based on Open Source technologies, is happy to announce its latest creation, the Extranet of a Division of AGFA.

In August 2007, our company, Instant Zero, has been contacted by the "Western Europe" Department of this division (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France).
After a feasability study based on specification book provided by the customer, we started our work on this website reserved to AGFA registrered customers.
You will find below all main specifics of this project and solutions Instant Zero implemented to answer those needs.

Website Usage
The website will be used by two categories of people : the AGFA employees, the AGFA customers.
The first category will provide website content, the second one will make use of this content but will also be able to participate.

Website goals are several :
1/ To provide up to date informations to customers who make use of AGFA products, through articles published as news.
2/ To provide support through FAQ and forums
3/ To inform on some specific events (like training sessions for example)
4/ To build progressively a knowledge database

Integraton with AGFA corporate website
We particularly worked on the website integration with preexistant design, that is in use on AGFA corporate website.
Several Instant Zero partners worked on the graphic/design area : Catzwolf, XoopsDesign, and Incama (from Core74).
We indeed want to thank this latest one for his huge work made on module templates and the finalization of the theme, that brings many new pleasant features.

Due to the fact that AGFA is an international company, the website content had to be available in several languages.
We particularly worked on that concern, to optimize content appareance and display performances.
The website content is actually available in french, english, german, dutch, spanish and italian.

There is a chance to see it managing more languages in a near future.

Improvements on contents management / Modules
On modules area :
• Standard user profile management (and subscriptions) has been delegated to a dedicated profile manager, that has been fixed from several of its bugs (fixes have been send to the module's author).
• A content manager module (and some cloned versions) has been installed and modified (for example for the generation of the PDF and printable versions of the articles).
• For the forum area, we made use of CBB . For compatibility purposes (agfa theme), all module's templates have been rewieved by Incama who made an excellent work on that area (he became with that work an expert of CBB templates).
• As WYSIWYG editor and Images manager, we made use of TinyEditor. Our customer is very satisfied with this module and we personaly want to thank its author, Franckblack, for all his help.
• The website makes use of some other famous modules : MyIframe, Extcal, Liaise, Multimenu, Wordbook, SmartFaq, Mydownloads, Mylinks, Edito and iSearch.
• All those module have been reviewed and enhanced for multilanguage purpose and work now perfectly under the Mysql5/Php5 environment.
• All enhancements added to the modules, that are not specific to the project, have been or will be reversed to community.
We greatly thank Agfa for its authorization and its contribution to Open Source world.

Workflow and collaborative writing
Through that project, we build a specific release of the well known News module.
This modification permits the collaborative writing of Articles, in 6 languages and also, with a workflow system, the publishing of articles after an approbation step for each language :
• The article's author can start the article's writing in one of the 6 managed languages and lock the article till the finalization of his writing work.
• After that, he can ask for its validation.
• The translation of the article into the other languages is permitted only if the article is at first translated and validated into english and the original language.
• After the writing+validation of the articles in 6 languages, it is no longer editable by its authors.
• Only an admin can de-validate the article.

Performance enhancements
To prevent any problem on site performances, we made a performance audit of the website to apply some optimization on its database (modules and Xoops Core tables), on some modules and on Xoops Core itself.
We recently published an article dedicated to those concerns, to share our experience.

We are happy to announce the grand opening of this website, which conception lasted near 3 months, and we strongly thank AGFA for this collaboration.
Due to the fact that this website is dedicated to registrered customers, we don't provide its url.

All the Instant Zero team