British Online Archives

British Online Archives

“The approach taken by LibLynx eliminated a lot of risk, and it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off our shoulders”

Danny Le Page, Developer

The Challenge

Growing usage with limited technical resources

Code Complexity

Legacy access controls had developed organically over many years and the functionality was heavily embedded within the user interface code, making upgrades to the user experience complex and time-consuming.

Technical Debt

With limited technical resources, maintaining the access code was becoming harder and technical debt was building up. And gaps in expertise meant that supporting single sign-on solutions like OpenAthens was challenging.

Collection Maintenance

Managing their growing content was getting increasingly difficult as they required expertise to create and maintain collections – customers either had automatic access to everything new or existing subscriptions had to be manually updated over time.

Customer Administration

Customer administration tools were rudimentary and split over 2 systems (individuals, institutions), making the process of adding new customers time-consuming. They also required expertise to track access statistics by time and content.

How We Helped

Time spent resolving access issues estimated to fall by 80%

Interface Improvements

Separating access controls from the rest of their codebase greatly simplifies future interface improvements, allowing them to move ahead with confidence.

Future Proof

Moving access management to the LibLynx cloud provides a painless and cost-effective upgrade path, freeing up internal IT resources from maintaining their legacy codebase.

Powerful CRM

The LibLynx CRM delivers a quick and easy tool for adding and maintaining customers and collections, as well as providing much greater flexibility in developing new business models to monetise their content

“We now have peace of mind that LibLynx will allow us to keep sufficiently up to date with developments within an ever-changing industry, as well as ensuring day-to-day operational delivery to our clients”
– David Sarsfield, Head of Publishing

The Implementation: Development and integration of a PHP API client

We provided an API client library suitable for their PHP-based delivery platform, and performed the integration of that client into their codebase. We added tracking to each page where controlled content was served to support accurate logging of access statistics. We also configured a test server to enable their staff to test authentication of customers and the functionality of the CRM.

The code changes were developed to enable easy analysis and rollback. First, existing authorization logic was refactored into a replaceable module. Then an alternative module was supplied that re-implemented the authorization logic using LibLynx Connect.

The only work required from them was to provide access to source code and core database, review iterative changes provided via a staging environment and to provision servers to enable a risk-free deployment. By adopting an agile, iterative approach to the code refactoring, it only took a few hours for their development team to evaluate the changes.

About British Online Archives

British Online Archives (BOA) is a growing archive of teaching and research-based collections of primary materials sourced mainly from UK libraries and repositories. Institutions and individuals subscribe to all or part of BOA, with authentication via username/password, IP range and Single Sign-On.

Please contact us to explore how we can help provide your users with a one-stop service for all resources.

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