Architecting an Ambitious Student Experience in Drupal 8: Cornell's Opportunity Marketplace

Marcus Iannozzi

Cornell’s internal web development and CRM teams had a great idea: find ways to leverage their Drupal and Salesforce expertise to connect systems and streamline processes across the university. They wanted to begin with a Student Opportunity Marketplace to help students navigate a complex array of study abroad and other learning experiences managed within numerous departments and across platforms, some of which lived outside of the institution (TerraDotta). The platform would not only promote student opportunities but also funnel students into the unique application process for each program, driven by a dynamic application builder in Salesforce.

Suspecting there was a way to tightly integrate Drupal 8 and Salesforce but unclear how to architect a solution, Message Agency worked with Cornell’s team to help architect the solution across Drupal and Salesforce, working with the university’s internal and external partners.

This case study explores how we architected a streamlined user experience from a complex process, balancing the constraints of accessibility requirements, multiple legacy data platforms, distributed systems of record and data silos, and high profile stakeholders. By leveraging the strongest traits of each platform, the Opportunity Marketplace delivers a multifaceted solution that uses Drupal 8 as the front end, Salesforce as a backend, and other technologies as data feeds for the information displayed to end users.

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