The digital plans room was the first "suite" of tools that we decided to tackle as a part of our first major upgrade to our 3.0 system. Incidentally, a suite of eCommerce tools are also on the radar, but that's for another post.
We designed our system from the ground up to accept these types of bolt-ons, but until now, we had only created proof of concept style suites. This was our first real crack at filling out a fully thought out set of tools that had complicated "end user" requirements.
Imagine my team's position for a moment.
We have just created a content management system that allows our customers to control their content.
Our CMS framework has the ability to create users, give those users permissions and let those users interact with authorized tools to control ther site.
Our customers use our tools.
However, our customers have customers of their own and they want those customers to interact with their site. In this case, it is for the purpose of downloading building plans for new construction jobs.
We had to create an entire framework of tools for our customers within our master framework of tools.
From the end-user's perspective (the contractors that will be using the DPR), they are using a system (their digital plans rooms), within a system (the suite of digital plans room modules), within a system (WebWiz@rd 3.1).
[Insert Inception Reference Here]
We managed to pull it off and it's currently in the testing phase as of the writing of this article. I'm proud of our results and will be happy to show off the fruits of our labour to anyone interested.
As an aside, when the new tools make it to production, this will also signal our first minor upgrade from 3.0.X to 3.1. (*Note- since this blog post was written at the end of August, we are now at 3.1.1)