Drupal as a Front-end to a service-oriented architecture

Session Speaker(s): 
Sunday, November 9 2014
Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm

HighWire Press is an online publisher of scholarly and academic journals and books. The center of the HighWire publishing platform is a central content database containing more than 100 million records representing the articles, chapters, figures, and tables from >1800 Journals and >10000 Books. Surrounding this central content repository is a suite of services which comprise a service-oriented architecture. On top of all of these services and content is Drupal.

Some of our biggest challenges are how to efficiently build over 2000 sites that give the feel of a custom site while maintaining a platform approach so we don't incur the work to support custom sites. We need to be able to configure hundreds of sites at a time in a flexible but consistent manner and roll out platform updates to all sites on a monthly basis with a minimum of staff. 

In this case study we will present how HighWire has used Drupal as a front-end framework for building sites to display published material and to leverage an XML-based service-oriented architecture. We present strategies for managing content in sites which contain >500K nodes and site-building approaches for sites that contain up to 2500 Books in a single site. We will also discuss performance optimizations for sites which serve several million unique users each day.

Finally we'll present approaches for automating site management, configuration and building. We'll also present a new approach for using CTools content types and Features to consolidate configuration options from a plethora of admin screens into a unified configuration tool to allow for efficient site building by relatively non-technical staff.

Slides of this talk are available at http://home.highwire.org/sites/default/files/additional_assets/ppt/BADCamp2014-CaseStudy.pptx