Going above and beyond

One of the great things about open-source CMS Joomla is that it has so many pre-existing free or inexpensive extensions available, allowing the Joomla core to be easily adapted to incorporate just about any functionality you might need, for all kinds of different websites.

Sometimes there isn’t an extension available to do exactly what you’re after – but the other great thing about Joomla is that when this happens, it’s possible for your developer to program a custom extension that plugs seamlessly into the Joomla core, forging new ground while still having it take less time and money than it would to develop a bespoke system from scratch.

As part of a recent project involving the upgrade of Macrossans Lawyers‘ website to Joomla 1.5, we were tasked with building a custom “dropbox” extension: something that provided spaces on their website into which Macrossans’ clients could upload and share private documents with their lawyers. Electronic documents are a must-have for convenience’s sake, but Macrossans’ clients’ files were frequently too large to be attached and sent by email. A space was needed to let clients and staff exchange private documents, without exposing these to the web at large.

With their new web-based “dropbox” in place, clients now log into a secured area of Macrossans website to upload files, and Joomla takes the pain out of managing upload privileges and document access rights. Client uploads are automatically stored privately in an area that only the client and Macrossans staff can access. For client organisations, multiple staff logins can be configured to allow all of that organisation’s staff to access its documents. The purpose-built web-app is thoughtfully designed around client needs, removing the learning curve for new users, and the tidy web-based point of access communicates Macrossans’ level of professionalism and commitment to their clients.

Macrossans’ new custom extension is an investment in their website that will pay off, with benefits in human resources efficiency and in client satisfaction.

If you too are looking for something above and beyond what’s been done before with an open-source system, give us a yell to talk about what we can do for you. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of Joomla enhanced with a custom-built extension might surprise you.

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