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02 March 2007

Experimenting with Integration

I have the opportunity to work with two great companies: Our web guru's (Aspire!One) and our church management specialists (Fellowship Technologies). The only problem is that for a long time, the two were anything but integrated. Our site was designed by Aspire. Our CMS was plugged into our website via WebLink - a component of the FellowshipOne (F1) software. However, this meant that every time we captured information from the web user, a button would pop-up a F1 window and require the user login to the F1 database before proceeding.

It worked...but we had ideas...

Enter Aspire!One.

Our friends at Aspire went out of their way to work with our friends at Fellowship Technologies in order to come up with a more integrated solution. They pushed the envelope as far as they could with limitations in the F1 system and I think it is a huge enhancement.

Here are some screen shots of the changes:

New login feature allows the user to login and remain logged in throughout visit (browser session). Login box drops when user clicks the "login" link or whenever they click a button that requires F1 login.

Once logged in, the header changes to welcome the specific user and swaps the "create account" link for the "my account" and "logout" links. The "my account" link goes to a page that allows basic account management. Now don't get carried away - we don't allow full access to demographic information even though much of it is possible. Due to accounts being tied to financial giving our business department would rather be in charge of changing the occasional address by hand...

For the people new to the church we encourage the creation of a account. This page was also created by Aspire and links directly to the F1 database.

All I can say is, "Good job guys!" Collaboration and integration is where its at.