Going to Production with Joomla!
Since Joomla! 2.5 we are all equipped with previously missing key functionality in the core. I am talking about ACL, one-click upgrade, multilingual support, multiple database drivers and much more. By having all these features along with a robust framework in place we are ready to build advanced wed portals and integrate Joomla with additional open-source or commercial software and data sources.
Some time ago I was asked to lead a project in a successful company, which is developing reservation systems. Our mission was to build a new generation online reservation system and then upgrade the old installations from the legacy versions. The management wished to deliver more attractive web portals with fully editable content and extendable functionality as well as secure, and easy-to-navigate reservation shopping cart system to their clients. One of the key requirements was to build a solution that could handle more traffic and be bug-free.
In the first weeks of my assignment, I spent time analyzing the company’s products portfolio and the services they had been providing. After several discussions with internal teams I sat down with a system architect. During the meeting I came to an idea to use Joomla as part of the entire solution. I must admit it was not a coincidence that I brought Joomla to the table. I have been a Joomla admirer since it separated from Mambo, and I understand its strengths. So, we split the solution into two parts, the CMS and the reservation system and then worked on their integration.
By taking such a decision, we could focus primarily on our key business, the reservation systems and we could have left all the content management and visual presentations up to Joomla. We had to build our own Joomla extensions responsible mainly for the data synchronization with the reservation system, but it was a trivial task. Then we coded a few professional looking templates for our clients. Luckily, Joomla! 2.5 was released during this phase, so we could have immediately started building multilingual portals and assign administrators the right permission sets with ACL.
Success of the project exceeded my expectations. We saved on human resources and shortened the project’s timeline. Joomla worked great in all the different scenarios and handled high traffic with ease. Its flexibility was endless. It proved to be a stable, production ready and maintainable system for any serious online business.