American Hospital Association

Delivering performance-centric architecture, complex migrations, and secure workflows.

Chromatic was tasked to build the American Hospital Association (AHA) a flexible, streamlined Enterprise Drupal Platform (EDP) into which over a dozen digital properties were migrated. With a laser focus on optimal performance and usability, we designed and developed each facet of their CMS from complex search to custom theming to single sign-on integration using best practices and creative solutions. AHA's technical debt dramatically shrank and Chromatic tackled their hardest problems with cheerful grit.

aha.org

The Challenge

AHA was using a legacy content management system to support close to 50 websites. It was cumbersome and expensive to maintain and it had reached end-of-life status years ago. They needed an all-new platform to meet the growing needs of their organization, streamline their web operations, and reduce redundancy across their properties.

The Solution

Together, we envisioned, planned, and executed an all-new architecture, based on Drupal 8. We took AHA from a single, flawed Drupal 8 installation to a performant enterprise-level platform that could host innumerable client sites each with flexible, modular components, custom themes, and independent domains. We called it the Enterprise Drupal Platform (EDP).

Project Highlights

Content Management Strategy

Chromatic proposed and implemented a strategy for managing AHA's numerous domains within a single content management system for the sake of code maintenance, re-use, security updates, common theme layers, and more.

Maintainability

Passing the development torch to AHA's small, internal development team was critical and we prioritized leveling-up their talented crew as part of the development process.

Unified editorial experience

AHA’s initial Drupal 8 site architecture was refactored to serve as a bonafide platform in order to provide a clean, consistent end-user and editorial experience of their flagship and satellite sites.

Consistent content architecture

The overly complex and redundant data model was simplified by defining clear, distinct content structures for component re-use and design/layout flexibility.

Performance tuning

Performance audits helped identify and remediate slow queries and bottlenecks throughout the codebase. Additionally, flagship site performance was greatly improved through refactoring and simplification of custom modules, taxonomy permissions, content access rules, to name a few.

Custom Drupal migrations

Migration scripts were written, with replicable continuity in mind. In total, 15 properties were migrated to the new Enterprise Drupal Platform.

Reusable & lean front-end components

Reusable theme components and CTAs were custom designed and developed.

Custom SSO

An SSO solution for a number of AHA's gateway providers was crafted.

Institute for Diversity and Health Equity Screenshot
Institute for Diversity and Health Equity
Advancing Health in America Screenshot
Advancing Health in America
AHA Trustee Services Screenshot
AHA Trustee Services

AHA Staff Training on Drupal Best Practices

Chromatic trained and guided AHA's in-house developers (who were new to Drupal) to:

  • Use a Composer-based workflow for managing dependencies.
  • Get accustomed to Drupal 8 configuration management.
  • Conduct regular site maintenance and security updates.
  • Write hook updates for massive data re-assignments.
  • Implement custom theme changes and overrides.
  • Manage QA and production deployment processes.

In Conclusion

We took AHA from a single, flawed Drupal 8 installation to a performant enterprise-level platform that could host innumerable client sites each with flexible, modular components, custom themes, and independent domains. While we helped ramp up their internal team, we laid a stable foundation for their development workflows and forged a replicable migration pathway for all AHA’s digital properties.

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