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Case Study: Airfield Management at SFO
"Drupal isn't a CMS, it's a web app platform." It's a popular refrain in 2013, and it's true: here's the proof.
San Francisco International Airport is in the process of replacing its airfield management software with Drupal. The culmination of several years of work by an in-house team, it's an excellent example of Drupal being used as a web app. On the SFO airfield, there is no "content" in the traditional sense. There are bird strikes, VIP's, inspections, closures, construction, and repairs. A team of Airfield Safety Officers is responsible for knowing everything that goes on once the planes touch down.
As a Drupal app, this project presented unique challenges:
- Sophisticated logic for tracking events and tasks with related planes, people, animals, and locations
- A fluid system that allows the ASO's to change the system itself, without letting them touch the inner workings of Drupal
- Responsive web design that allows full functionality from a desktop or from mobile devices in the field
- Development had high manpower requirements, including teams from the client, in-house development, quality assurance, project management, server management, and hardware support
- A "best practices" workflow involving three servers, local development environments, tracking of hundreds of issues across all teams, and git flow (of course)
- Unique performance issues: Because the system is real-time, no caching allowed
I'll go through all these challenges, and our solutions, in a single session. This is mostly an architecture presentation, but there will be a few minor technical details regarding responsive design and performance.
Best of all: the project will be open source and released as an official distro on Drupal.org! Not in time for badcamp, sadly. But here's a list of the modules and custom code I go over in my talk, along with my powerpoint: http://koplowiczandsons.com/performance
This session will be presented by Jordan Koplowicz, a local Bay Area developer with 9 years of experience working with Drupal. Jordan has worked for SFO as an in-house developer since June 2013. He also co-runs the San Francisco Users Helping Users meetup.