Working with our partners at The Associated Press to rebuild and migrate a critical platform.
The Digital News Experience platform is used to distribute ready-to-publish web content packages to member publishers all over the world. It is a source of advertising revenue for AP and its publishing customers.
AP had quickly outgrown the initial launch of their Drupal-based platform. It couldn’t scale, was not architected for agility, and didn’t meet customer expectations. AP hired DevSpark to help re-architect, rebuild and migrate the platform to improve efficiency, reduce costs and satisfy a wide range of customers eager for additional functionality and greater ease-of-use. Through a close collaboration between the AP and DevSpark engineers, the Digital News Experience has been transformed to reduce back-end complexity and meet stakeholder needs. It is now the fastest growing product by revenue at AP.
With the Digital News Experience already being used by 300 publishers and generating revenue, AP sought to accelerate the growth of the platform, which would require greater scalability and new functionality.
As the contract with their Drupal managed services provider was nearing its end, AP wanted to work quickly to migrate to AWS so they could avoid bearing additional costs and have more control over the platform. To that end, it was critical to scale-up an experienced team and initiate a close working relationship quickly.
The new Dashboard has helped the Digital News Experiences continue to grow and become AP’s fastest-growing product by revenue percentage.
Given current-state inefficiencies and because customers were eager for new functionality, AP needed to work quickly to address critical issues and then build a team to develop a long-term sustainable solution to meet the business need and keep revenue-generating stakeholders happy.
Web Services Migration
The platform was being served through Acquia, which did not offer AP the scalability and performance they needed for the Digital News Experience. The move to Amazon Web Services was mission-critical, but brought new challenges of large-scale migration, developing a new architecture and rebuilding many API components.
Drupal, and More
The existing platform had been constructed on Drupal, and AP needed a team of experienced Drupal developers and architects. The team also required developers experienced in PHP, Amazon Web Services and API configurations.
Many Sources & Complexity
The Digital News Experience needs to ingest content from many sources and in many formats and distribute content to publishers across the US. For AP, it was critical that the new platform be flexible and scalable enough to handle the complex demands of customers and stakeholders.
Big & Complicated Database
With a huge amount of content and a rich tagging system, the size and taxonomy of the database became hard and expensive to manage. The new solution had to reduce the size and complexity of the database without sacrificing their customers’ ability to discover relevant content.
Harvesting Institutional Knowledge & Collaboration
The engineering team at AP had tremendous knowledge that would be invaluable to developing a new solution. AP needed a firm that would become part of their team and work closely with their engineers not as a vendor per se, but as an extension of AP’s team.