How a Development Agency Reduced Web Application Delivery Time by 50%By John Booth on March 9, 2023
Project: Public-facing website
- Build a content rich, easy to use website to serve multiple audiences
- Have flexibility to add customized extensions to enhance functionality
- Satisfy requirements for robust security and ease of use
- Accelerated time-to-market with a full-featured website by 50%
- Made adding extensions fast and easy
- Provided robust security via roles and permissions
Not Your Typical Microsoft Shop
Based in the Netherlands, Taiga is software consulting agency that works together with the design artists at Studio Nieuwe Weide to create web applications for customers.
To design their websites, Taiga’s development team leverages open source software as well as traditional technologies from Microsoft.
“Although we specialize in .NET, we are not a typical Microsoft shop,” said Martijn Boland, software developer at Taiga.
“Open source software has played a major role in our development process since the beginning.”
Martijn’s team discovered Directus when they were looking for a content management system to manage content for a website they were building.
The client, Dementie Twente, is an interorganizational partnership in the East Netherlands that facilitates the exchange of information and cooperation regarding the prevention and management of dementia.
Roughly 50 million people worldwide live with dementia, and that number could reach 152 million by 2050. Although it cannot be cured, a focus on risk reduction through lifestyle management is gaining momentum.
Martijn wanted a platform that could provide advanced content management features and satisfy stringent security requirements.
“We noticed right away that Directus offers more sophisticated features than a traditional CMS,” he said. “It was the only system that met all of our requirements.”
Building out a website, front to back
The site, “Levenspad Dementie” (which means “Life Path Dementia” in Dutch) supports people who are dealing with dementia, including those who have dementia as well as their caregivers and health professionals.
Visitors can find information and links and follow a path of learning that corresponds to the different phases of dementia and care. The frontend of the site is built with Next.js, and Directus is used for the backend.
Martijn and his team leveraged Directus’s robust multilingual capabilities to render the content in Dutch.
“Building out the backend with Directus was really fast, and the platform has everything we needed – security, users, roles, permissions and more,” he said. “We thought, why bother with building our own stuff – Directus is tested and it just works.”
Extensions enable customization
Directus makes it easy to add customized functionality to any digital project. As such, Martijn and his team were able to build two custom extensions for the the website’s backend:
Automatic link checker: This is a scheduled hook that verifies that outgoing links are still working properly and sets a status field. Directus flows are used to send an email when a link appears to be broken.
Algolia full text indexer: Martijn and his team use Algolia for the website search function, and the hook updates the Algolia index whenever content is added, updated or removed in Directus.
“The content editors love the simplicity and the nice look and feel of the backend,” Martijn said.
Directus cuts time-to-market in half
Martijn estimated that Directus improved Taiga’s time to market with the website by at least 50%, because they didn’t have to build all the back end functionality themselves.
“We really enjoy the powerful data management Directus provides, because it enables us to build out our projects so fast.”