Drupal CMS system is becoming more and more popular. Among its wide list of useful features, Drupal provides powerful tools for creating rich graphical user interfaces and building state-of-the-art interactive web sites. These features can be interesting for associations that want to combine a good-looking Drupal site with a powerful wizard-based business netFORUM site.
Fig. 1: netFORUM - Drupal integration scheme
Avectra netFORUM system provides xWeb API for external applications that may or may not have official integration with netFORUM. So it actually gives the Drupal based site the ability to access netFORUM data (get, create, update and delete). In this way the data obtained can then be easily displayed. A full list of xWeb methods can be found here.
A Drupal site can in turn be extended by PHP-written modules that can wrap and access xWeb methods. Drupal may use SOAP for this purpose. However, it can be a difficult task if you’re not a Drupal system expert. Fortunately, some open-source wrapping modules are already available in the network. Of course, they still require some skills and time to master, utilize and extend them.
Association sites usually have lots of the association-related wizards and business logic. The shopping cart and payment process, membership sign-up process, events registration and some other commonly used wizards are presented in netFORUM baseline. Since it’s not rational to recreate these wizards on the Drupal-based site, it becomes necessary to use a single sign-on mechanism for the two integrated sites.