Last week I had the chance to sit down with W-Systems Software Engineer, Jeremiah Goyette. After discussing some of his most recent projects, he mentioned how he recently customized our customer's custom SugarCRM portal to include videos. I thought this was pretty cool because not only was our customer's portal users allowed to view the videos within the portal, but they were also able to take quizzes through them. After sitting with Jeremiah for awhile, I knew I had to jot the interview down and share how he was able to create the customization. Below are some of the questions and answers from our chat!
Lydia: Can you explain the project you most recently wrapped up?
Jeremiah: I just finished one where I designed a way for our customer to use educational videos on their website using their portal that W-Systems originally created. With this set-up our customer can upload videos that include embedded quizzes. Once an individual watches the video and takes the quiz within it, the results are sent through the portal and automatically recorded into SugarCRM. In essence, this customization extends their educational purview to the online platform.
Lydia: How did you come up with this solution?
Jeremiah: Our customer came up with the idea to embed videos into their portal and we created the custom solution that would make it possible. After some research we figured out a way for them to put the zip files of their videos on Amazon S3 so that they would be accessible by the portal, as well as a way for their customers to have the ability to purchase the online courses (and essentially the videos as well). To do this we had to extend their existing shopping cart and add the ability for one to purchase these online courses.
Lydia: What software or tools did you use to make this customization possible?
Lydia: What was your favorite part about this project?
Jeremiah: I think what made it great for me was all the tricky parts and problems that we were able to solve, such as pulling the zip files down from S3 and getting some of the video components, like the quiz, to talk to Sugar.
There were two particularly difficult issues that we faced with the project and that we were unsure how to overcome at first, but later did find the solution. The first issue was that we had to make sure the video files constantly stayed fresh, so that if our customer updated the videos they would be pulled into the portal. The second problem was that once we had the zip files on our servers we had to hook our code into the video code so that it could communicate with Sugar and save the quiz results.
This particular project was a delight because of the challenges that it posed, and because we, with the help of other outside developers on the project, were able to engineer stable and reliable solutions that in the end were relatively straightforward. It was a case where upfront it seemed slightly daunting, but with perseverance, a viable and working solution finally emerged. For me, this is what engineering is about—to conquer difficult problems with patience and calculated choices.
A snapshot of the video and quiz results in SugarCRM
To find out more information on this project or other W-Systems solutions, contact us here.