Intershop-based web portal with Drupal CMS

SCAND development team has built a web portal that allows users to search for railroad tickets by specific criteria. In return, they get the list of the most suitable offerings from carriers. The technical side of the web portal utilizes the Intershop platform and the Drupal content management system.

Challenge

The customer required a reliable solution for the railroad tickets search. The key tasks were the following:

  • Integrate the Intershop platform with the Drupal content management system.
  • Add automated product list export.
  • Automate the process of tickets search and payment within the web portal.
  • Add the extended user roles system.
  • Integrate the reporting system.
  • Add the localization support.

Approach

For the front-end, we utilized the Drupal content management system. As this system uses its own repository, we needed to include an extra data synchronization ability. Our developers added the product list export function that had two functional modes: FTP and Product Data Feed. Export is executed automatically once a week. It refreshes product files that have been changed throughout the previous seven days. Also, the system performs the complete export every month.

The back-end of the portal is based on the Intershop platform. As it allows a user to utilize both the Intershop and Drupal parts of the web portal, this scheme requires single-session support. Hence, the user’s cart is handled on the Intershop server while all the requests from Drupal are performed with the help of Ajax queries.

  • Fulfillment Partner System

As soon as the order is created and purchased, it is being exported and sent to the FTP Fulfillment System. Here, the ticket is processed, printed, and sent out. The new order export file is loaded to the FTP server. Then, the status is renewed in Intershop by loading the file from the FTP and importing it.

  • Pagelets

The standard pagelets mechanism is used to display the editable components. Thanks to them, banners, promo messages, and online support are displayed. Also, this mechanism allows editing the HTML content of individual site elements through the BackOffice that helps to avoid the assistance of developers.

  • Products Import

Products are imported from CSV files. The standard import procedure was adapted to the project requirements including the format of the input data.

  • Roles and Access Rights

We implemented the extended roles and access right management system for several internal and external users. The default Intershop system was supplemented with multiple new roles and a separate Order Process for internal users.

  • Translations

We developed a system for convenient localization of the web portal pages. Unlike the default Intershop solution, all localized content can be edited by the administrator through the BackOffice without involving technical specialists. Also, the support for the Asian languages was implemented.

  • Analytics and Web Optimization

Throughout the web portal pages, we integrated the scripts to analyze and monitor visits. They support Google Analytics and other systems.

Features

The main goal of the project is to help users purchase railroad tickets without being connected to a certain carrier or company. The search based on the required route is performed including some additional details. For example, it may be group trips or special offerings. Next, the system selects the most suitable services provider and the overall cost to provide a user with the required tickets.

  • Order Processing

All steps of an order creation are adapted to the needs of the customer. The cart uses an Ajax-based interface to edit the parameters of the selected product, delete, add special items (for example, insurance or gift wrapping), and select the shipping method. Along with the server-side validation, the JavaScript validation is implemented for all pages to help users fill in the forms quickly and easily.

  • Payment Service Provider Integration

Ogone is used as a main payment service. Also, the integration of order processing with Ogone is implemented. All settings for the payment system can be edited and configured separately for each site within the portal from the administration system. Moreover, we built an automatic order cancellation mechanism that refunds a payment to a buyer.

  • Emails and Notifications

When the order is created, a user receives a notification email. Also, the user receives a letter that confirms a successful payment, which includes a PDF receipt, and then an extra letter when his order is sent.

  • Shipping Methods

The planner sends orders from three different countries in several ways (standard, express, urgent, etc), so the Advanced Shipping Costs system has been implemented. The system uses the destination country and suggests one of the appropriate shipping methods. All the available methods for each country as well as prices can be edited in the BackOffice.

  • Pricing

We implemented a custom system that automatically allocates the price based on exchange rates and special rules. When the system determines the location, the user immediately gets the prices in the relevant currency.

  • Reports

This railroad tickets system brings together more than 30 railway companies in all European countries, so we have developed a sophisticated reporting system. There are several types of reports that are generated automatically (daily, monthly, and yearly) and include total sales, profits, taxes, returned tickets, etc. Reports are generated for each site separately and include general data as well as individual statistics for each partner.

 

Highlights

The advantages of the Intershop platform for this project include:

  • The ability to create several user interfaces depending on the region that are based on the shared server data store.
  • Ready-to-use functionality concerning storage of products, search, and purchase as well as users and their roles management.
  • Flexible administrative part that includes functionality to control products and their purchases.
  • CMS subsystem that allows configuring the user interface without the assistance of developers.

Result

Custom integration of Intershop and Drupal

SCAND development team has successfully completed the development of the railroad tickets web portal. It required deep integration of the Intershop platform with the Drupal content management system. The portal meets all the requirements of modern passenger transportation systems and provides convenient selection of tickets for thousands of users from around the world.

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