JutarnjiList mobile iOS app - driven by SilverStripe Framework
About the project:
Two years ago, we were approached by Hanza Media - publishers of Jutarnji list (Jutarnji) newspapers. Jutarnji is the most influential and the most sold non-tabloid daily in Croatia. A million unique users every day and more than 10 million unique monthly visitors consume content published in Jutarnji’s print and online editions (www.jutarnji.hr).
Our new partners wanted to expand it’s presence on mobile devices and they recognized that Fractas crew is more than capable for the task ahead - producing intuitive, smooth and easy to maintain iOS app.
We’ve developed the app and improved it into the product that automates task of publishing content on mobile devices, mirrors the structure of Jutarnji’s desktop site and takes almost no work from journalists to maintain.
To put things into perspective, it’s important to know that Jutarnji list publishes 150-200 media heavy articles daily in different categories and under different brands (Globus, Auto klub, Dobra hrana…).
First challenge was to enable fast and efficient importing of articles into the application. In addition to the new content being constantly published in Jutarnji’s CMS (Escenic), there was another layer of complexity - frequent changes to already published content. Continuous synchronization of published items in real time was essential in solving this issue.
Another challenge was to keep the front page structure intact. Basicly, we had to transform the layout of the articles on frontpage into article feed where most important news (picked by editors in Escenic) are on the top of the feed.
In addition to importing and mirroring the layout, it was necessary to process every content item for mobile presentation. The challenge was to customize articles, images, social media, image galleries, etc. and to properly display all of them in the app environment.
Besides basic functionalities in the application, it was necessary to implement usual online media bells and whistles: the advertising and analytics tools, unobtrusively as possible.
Last, but not the least, client also wanted ability to send Push notifications to users.
Meeting all the demands while having in mind one major requirement - automate as many tasks as possible - was tough, but we were up to the challenge.
Choosing the platform for the job was easy. SilverStripe was the perfect tool to fulfill all the technical and content requirements in front of us and to shape all of the ideas our customer imagined into robust and powerful app.
Importing published articles in Escenic (Jutarnji’s CMS) into SilverStripe system is done via scheduled tasks, using QueuedJobs module.
Every article goes through processing phase needed to populate articles with relevant content (images, embedded content, links, formating…) and connect them with corresponding categories. Background jobs continually check and synchronize the articles. We have enabled Editors role access to SilverStripe CMS.
- Editors can add, edit, or delete news articles, having full control over content which will be displayed in the mobile application.
- Editors can send Push notification for selected news or articles via simple and intuitive SilverStripe interface.
- Editors can add new categories, map them, ie. connect categories from print and web issues with categories for mobile application and add advertising zones on selected positions in application.
All of the above, made the Editors job extremely easy. The Editors are accessing SilverStripe only when they want to send a Push notifications to the app users while everything else is fully automated.