Extending Umbraco CMS to Manage Business-Specific Data

Aaron Branson
March 25, 2011
Web Strategy

It almost never fails. Whenever we implement a content management system for a client, there always seems to be some additional core business data or processes that tie into the website but are currently managed via a separate and usually primitive, single-function web app. This is usually a one-off application that was built quickly and specifically for managing whatever this business data is.

Of course, one of the primary objectives of implementing a CMS is to simplify and streamline the website management process. So we always look for ways to retire these stand-alone apps and integrate them into the CMS platform of choice to keep just one single point of administration.

Recently, we had this same situation with a client of ours – a national flooring wholesaler. Since this situation happens so frequently, I thought I’d share in case other people are dealing with multiple administration tools for their websites. In this case, we implemented Umbraco CMS for them and along the way discovered a small, single-page app that the business used to do some basic data management of their showrooms around the country – and also manually enter geocode data (latitude and longitude) used by the mapping service.

We were able to rebuild this functionality directly into Umbraco as a custom section. The business users retained all of their functionality and instead of manually entering latitude and longitude, we enhanced the app by passing the address data to Google Map’s API and getting back the geocode automatically.

umbraco 

As a result, the business was able to retire the old app and have a single administration platform for the website and this showroom management instead of two – and no longer do they have to hunt down and enter latitude and longitude data.

If you are interested in step-by-step instructions on extending Umbraco yourself with a custom section, here’s a great tutorial that may help.

But if you still need some help or if the customization you’re looking to make is more advanced, give us a call.

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