After years of service, the website of the Flemish Parliament was in need of replacement. Calibrate delivered a hypermodern Drupal site that is completely up to date with the latest technologies and standards.
From the start, Parliament's main concerns were transparency, communication and accessibility.
Below you can read how Calibrate, in close cooperation with the client, succeeded in translating the needs of the Flemish Parliament into a modern content management solution via the Open Source Drupal CMS.
The Flemish Parliament wants to set a new tone when it comes to government websites. A very strong focus lies on the clear and transparent presentation of data to citizens and professional users such as administrations of other authorities, the press, students, political parties, civil society, ... .
The website has the Anysurfer label, which means that the website is optimally accessible to blind and partially sighted people, and that it complies with a number of concrete guidelines.
In order to involve interested parties even more actively and better in the workings of the Flemish Parliament, you can subscribe to updates of the content of the website. You can choose to receive a daily or weekly email with all the tailored updates.
The content of the newsletters is compiled via close integration with Open Data and the Google Search Appliance. The seamless link with MailChimp and Mandrill ensure the handling of the actual sending.
All the information in the parliamentary database had to be made accessible. On the one hand, via a powerful search function and, on the other hand, via the navigation interface of the entire website. This is transparent for the visitor. Drupal content and external content can therefore simply be used and read together.
A widget developed by Calibrate with Raphaël.JS, SVG and JSON is used on the home page and all pages where voting results are displayed. The widget clearly and interactively shows where a representative or political group is, and how each representative casts his or her vote.
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Scrum is an iterative project approach that enables us to deliver projects quickly, very transparently and efficiently.
The Drupal application makes its data available as Open Data, and in turn consumes other Open Data data, directly from the Open Data interface of the Flemish Parliament. An example of this is the datasheets of the representatives of the people, or the reports of committees.
From a technical point of view, we supported our approach by setting up a solid environment in which the team can work and easily integrate new changes on different environments without having to worry about repetitive tasks such as updating code on different servers.
For the Flemish Parliament project we work with a Continuous Integration workflow based on Jenkins. This automates a wide range of tasks related to releasing and managing the platform. For example, each time the code is changed, a new version of the website is automatically released on the development environment, and unit and integration tests are performed to check the integrity of the new release.
Each time the code is changed, a new version of the website is automatically rolled out on the development environment.
Through our Technical Cookbook, we have built up a technical overview throughout the entire project, which forms the documentation for the team that will take care of the aftercare.
Through our communication tool we have a Wiki environment at our disposal, where all information about the project can be found.
Calibrate developers also dare to look for solutions outside Drupal's borders. For this project, Composer was used to integrate a number of components in order to take Drupal to an even higher level. Specifically, Symfony components, Guzzle, Mandrill and MailChimp were used.