The Olmsted Foundation manages the Olmsted Scholar Program that awards scholarships to highly qualified, active duty junior officers in the United States military in order to pursue language studies and overseas graduate-level education. Created in concert with the Department of Defense, the Scholar Program provides one year of foreign language training followed by two years of study at a foreign graduate school.
Up until 2017, the foundation was relying on outdated technology application to manage their scholar profiles and their related research papers. The application, known the Scholars Corner, was built on ColdFusion technology and had not been updated in a while. It was also housed on physical servers located in the foundation’s office. Managing data was a cumbersome process and the foundation leadership was concerned about security of their data and accessibility of the system should anything happen to the physical servers in the office.
LNI Digital Marketing migrated the application from outdated ColdFusion to Drupal content management system. This was done through writing series of custom plugins, modifying existing plugins, and creating custom theme to meet the design standards of the foundation.
The process also involved ETL – Extract Transform Load. The data was extracted from the old ColdFusion application, transformed to another format, and loaded onto the new Drupal application. The process ensured that users from older system still had access to the new system and all their data integrity maintained.
The application was also moved from local, physical servers to the cloud, significantly improving the accessibility, security, and scalability. Pantheon was chosen as the cloud hosting providing, fully benefiting from their enhanced git deployment process and multi-environment to manage code changes, development, and testing.
The response from users as well as the foundation staff has been overwhelmingly positive. Since launching the new application in 2017, it has added many new users and their research papers. The new site also allowed non-scholars, potential scholarship applicants, to register and create an account with limited access to get a flavor of what the foundation has to offer to them. Aside from applying quarterly security and plugin updates, the site has been performing well since it was launched.