Isobar Wins Acquia Engage Award 2018

Winning this year’s Acquia Engage award is a great way to celebrate our work with our client, Southwestern Health Resources (SWHR) and underscores a long-standing relationship with our partner Acquia. Winning  in the ‘Lightning In A Bottle,’ category is especially gratifying, since it rewards best practices in online development.

Like many of the projects we work on, has a lot of moving parts. The client is a partnership between two distinct healthcare providers: UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources, each with their own unique messaging and value.  From a technical point of view, our challenges included multiple content integration points, complex search requirements, and a variety of audience segments who are served distinctly different messages. Finally, the site is designed to expand in the future, potentially serving as a headless content source for other applications.

With all of these conditions, it was important to choose a tech platform that was both flexible and technically robust. We recommended the Drupal Content Management System, an open-source CMS that’s highly customizable and secure.

Over the last few years, Drupal’s become an important part of Isobar’s product mix, and we’ve worked closely with Acquia on many of these projects. Recently, we’ve built sites for Wyndham Destinations, Southwestern Health Resources and The National Marine Manufacturers Association, to name a few. In each case we’ve partnered with Acquia as the cloud hosting provider and used Acquia’s ‘Lightning’ distribution as the starting point for our work.

If you’re even a little bit familiar with Drupal, you know it’s built around a series of modules that work together like Lego blocks to add functionality to the base CMS. This makes Drupal an almost infinitely customizable solution that works well in many different circumstances. (Need to integrate with Salesforce? There’s a module for that. Need to create custom forms? There’s a module for that, too. In fact, Drupal is something of a blank canvass for building online applications.)

But, with all this functionality, it can sometimes be challenging to know exactly which modules are best to use in a complex, cloud-based application. It can also take a lot of time and testing to get the mix exactly right for both development teams and administrative users. And that’s where Acquia’s Lightning distribution comes in…

Lighting is a terrific tool for rapid application development. It provides a collection of modules that work together right out of the box, enhancing Drupal’s core functionality while helping developers get to work with minimal onboarding. Lighting also creates a top-notch administrative interface that gives editors tools for page layouts, media handling, workflow, and scheduled publishing. Since these are baked in to the administrative experience, our team was able to work faster and focus on site integration tasks.

We almost always use Lightning in conjunction with another tool — Acquia’s BLT (Build and Launch Tool)  — as the basis for all our development work. This is a full-stack development kit that installs a local environment designed to exactly match the conditions on Acquia’s cloud. This helps us know that the work we produce in the office will work perfectly when it’s time to deploy. Together, these tools saved us weeks of work, and helped us deliver a project that was on-time and within budget.

We’re extremely proud to have been selected as a winner in this year’s Acquia Engage Awards and look forward to building more client sites using best-of-breed tools and the Acquia platform.