The MIT Press is a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, and the arts. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring scholarly standards, and distinctive design.
MIT Press has a strong heritage of art and science that is reflected by their extensive catalogue of beautiful books. The MIT Press website needed to showcase its inventory and act as the canonical source for meaningful information about its books.
MIT Press has more than 8,000 unique titles, so the primary challenge was understanding how to deliver all of this data on the web. MIT Press’ previous workflow included exporting a large file from the publishing database and then importing that data into the website, but this produced challenges as there was no control over editorial workflow or how information appeared on the site. It also meant updates to titles on the site only happened when there was time to import massive files to its site.
The organization also relies on an internal database to record all titles, including information like when a title was published, cover image files, and more. This database is essential to the organization’s workflow, and needed to be maintained as the system of record for documenting book information.
Working in partnership with Palantir, MIT Press integrated Drupal on Acquia Cloud with a custom API that pulls all book data from the internal database. Everything on the site comes from the API, even related book titles.
Acquia Cloud provides the stable platform that allowed Palantir to demo work for the client on the staging environment and quickly deploy. The Acquia Ready team performed load testing that revealed caching issues before the final launch of the MIT Press site. Acquia caught leaks with respect to the calls to the external API, which allowed Palantir to evaluate its caching strategy and design an effective load test.
The integration between the internal publishing system and the Drupal website allows MIT Press to continue using their existing editorial workflows. All editorial content is still maintained in the existing publishing system and the website can now be updated more frequently to reflect that canonical business data.
MIT Press can now use information pulled in through the API to spin up marketing landing pages and other content to help showcase their books in new ways.