In the recent years we have been observing how the internet & mobile revolution brought changes to the publishing industry. It has become a serious challenge for magazines as they need to quickly adjust to the trends and changes in the behaviours of their clients.
"We use an approach of one universal platform that will support an automatization of multi-device content distribution. The platform needs to be flexible, fitting our editorial routines and providing ultimate experience for our readers. They still value our content but there are different ways how and when they want to read, listen and watch it.
That is why we have decided to introduce a tailor-made application for smartphones and tablets to provide our readers with full mobile experience and staying in touch with POLITYKA." - Joanna Chmielecka - Digital Publishing Editor, Polityka
Our Partner’s goal - taking electronic publishing to the next level
In order to meet client’s goals we proposed a dedicated digital platform, a new back-end system and mobile applications:
Business logic - we focused on designing mechanisms needed to manage and distribute digital content - from content purchasing mechanisms and billing system to embedded audio player.
Microservices architecture - this approach to software building allowed us to deliver independent back-end (admin) and front-end (mobile, web) systems that communicate through APIs. This modular structure gives us and the client full flexibility in future development as content and data may be delivered to any system with API including new marketplaces. In the first stage we have introduced a mobile app for and iPhone and iPad (iOS), later we have implemented the Windows 10 multi platform application (Windows 10 PC, Windows 10 phone & tablet). Microservices architecture gives us the comfort of efficiently plugging in new interfaces.
Integrations - new digital publishing platform had to connect with various systems inside the company and with the third party solutions:
Polityka Cyfrowa online platform - allowing thousands of paid subscribers of POLITYKA to log-in using the same access data to the website and mobile apps while making sure that they access content which they paid for. internal Polityka publishing platform - mechanisms to upload content to the system so that it can be consumed on mobile apps.
Apple iTunes Connect - to allow clients to buy content directly from their iOS apps.
Delivering new mobile apps:
- iPhone/iPad app - choosing magazines to buy or download and embedded player allows you to play the audio content
- Windows 10 (mobile/desktop/tablet) - choosing magazines to buy or download and embedded player allows you to play the audio content
“For the last years we have been successfully selling electronic versions of POLITYKA magazines through various e-kiosks and our iPad app. But we needed universal system that would support our processes of content distribution.
To handle new demands we have decided to build the whole back-end system from the scratch. Integration with our Polityka Cyfrowa system was a must as we had thousands of users accessing our online content through this channel.
TEONITE rose to the challenge - I’m satisfied with our new product launch and looking forward to our long-term cooperation.” - Marek Rafałowicz - Project Owner at Polityka
As we wrote in our previous article, „5 guidelines on how to choose a software company” when building tech solutions you should look for partners instead of subcontractors. Polityka was aware of that and they have decided to go for a long-term co-operation with us to secure proper development of their electronic content platform for upcoming years.
We have set a goal to improve user experience as new technologies emerge and to make sure that we can improve the way users interact with the content.
3 tips for building mobile solutions
There are a few tips we would like to share with you that we have learned from this case:
Investing in continuous deployment workflow
It took us long months of building our software development processes based on Docker containers infrastructure - which was a fundament to our continuous delivery platform. What does it mean to the client? Lower costs in a time & material model and better tested software that can be deployed efficiently.
Load & stress testing
Test automation and handling edge cases is a standard for us but what surprised us the most in this project were load and stress testing that we introduced. We thought that our apps were rock-solid and in fact they were. But with these types of QA procedures in place we detected flaws in the server environment configuration and could quickly react to it.
Your app may be great but you need to make sure that with thousands of users on board the whole platform can handle the load.
Content and users migration to the new system
If you are building a new back-end system from scratch, you need to make sure that you have a solid step-by-step plan to migrate all of the clients from the current solution to the new platform. So the goal for us was not only to deliver better mobile apps but also to make sure that the transition to the new system goes smoothly. Users logging-in to the app on the next day after the launch just as they did on the previous day was also part of the experience we took care of.