Tackling major challenges together, utilizing synergies, sharing knowledge and expertise – these are the ideas behind the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s program. The ministry runs an ideas competition four times a year in support of the program.

The information platform is the first port of call for German and European companies interested in the program. The portal gives an overview of the positive contribution to the economy made by developmental partnerships thanks to a sleek design, modern user interface, and Drupal 7 based information architecture. Applicants can submit information on eligibility criteria, partners, and all necessary documentation clearly during the application process. Completed development projects are presented on in a project database, which provides a variety of filters to enable browsing through industry and region-specific categories.

]init[ designed and developed for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

Prior to the relaunch, the site was managed with a bespoke CMS created for ]init[ has experience with a wide range of CMS solutions and platforms, including Open Text, CoreMedia, Wordpress, Infopark Fiona, Drupal and Typo3.

Drupal 7 was chosen for a number of reasons, chief among which was the fact that it satisfied all the project requirements. More than 90% of the requirements were achieved using out-of-the-box solutions offered by the Drupal core and contributed modules, which led to fast and stable development. Drupal’s API made it simple to extend Drupal to achieve the remaining 10%.

The Drupal Command line Drush meant configurations could be performed in seconds. Other important factors included flexibility and ease of use for content editors when structuring content through the use of taxonomies, and the fact that further development of the website is straightforward due to the modular approach, which makes it easy to add forums, closed user groups etc.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

The relaunch’s goals were to increase visibility for and highlight its successfully completed development projects, as well as to drive increased participation in the ideas competitions. The project was achieved with a distributed development team across locations in Germany and India. The outcomes included greatly enhanced information architecture, which helps users to complete the application procedure for the ideas competition as well as making it much easier for visitors to find the information they are looking for. This has lead to an increase in traffic to the site.

Key modules/theme/distribution used: 
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 
  1. Features: Features meant that Drupal content types, views and most other configuration settings are exportable to code which is key to keep developments step in a version control system, helping developers to work in parallel on the project and makes deployment to different stages (i.e. stage or live) and continuous integration possible.
  2. Views Content Panes: Allows Views content to be used in Panels, Dashboard and other modules. It gives website developers the flexibility to choose which fields from views should be displayed, and simplifies frontend administration. Most of the doorpages on this website use Views Content Panes to display data.
  3. Entity Translation: A core functionality and requirement of this website is that it is multilingual. Entity Translation allows all fields to be translated into any language, provides extra support for taxonomy term translations, and also provides an option to enable/disable the language fallback.
  4. Pathauto: This module was used for generating automatic clean URL aliases for content pages. Custom patterns can be set for specific content type pages, and custom URLs can be used which override the defaults.
  5. Views Data Export: This module integrates with the Views module to effectively export the results of Views in various formats, e. g. csv / xls / doc / xml. It was used to export lists of the site’s newsletter subscribers.
  6. Touch (Theme): Touch is a lightweight theme with a modern look and feel. It is not dependent on any core theme or module, and is compatible with a wide range of browsers including IE7, IE8, IE9+, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. It provides 11+ collapsible block regions on a page to render content wherever required, and is highly customizable. Features include support for one / two / three column layouts, multi-level dropdown menus, support for custom logos and favicons, etc.
Organizations involved: 
Project team: 

This project had three developers, one designer, and one project manager. Two new developers were introduced to the Drupal community as part of this, their first project. We used Jira for internal project communication. During development we used a Drupal Features based approach, and tried to keep most of the settings and configurations in code. To facilitate distributed development by multiple developers concurrently, we used the Drupal Features module and Subversion. Bamboo was used for continuous integration of code into the development and production servers.

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