Hello Everyone! Dr. Frankenstein here! After almost 7 months we (read the kind hardworking people at ONSWEB) have been able to get our Automated Patron Registration up and running!
Okay okay, not actually Dr. Frankenstein - still John here, but I did feel like shouting the classic "It's Alive, It's Alive", with a potential slightly evil sounding laugh - but since I am sitting here in public at a Starbucks in London I decided not to do it. You might wonder why an automated registration system got me so excited...
When we initially created Atlantic Forum, which as a brainstorm started around this time this year we realized that we only would have a skeleton crew (pun intended) to work with, and that we wanted to keep a) things as easy as possible, and b) keep the overhead as low as possible. Automating registration became an initial idea in our concept planning. One of the reasons we went with this website/platform, is that it would allow us to have the registration automated, and more important safe and secure. The personal data stored by registration is stored on a private server, which weekly security updates. With GDPR in mind, we wanted to make sure your personal data was not stored somewhere on an excel doc in a dropbox, ready to be leaked out by anyone with basic hacking skills.
Getting to this, as you may have noticed, was more difficult that initially appeared. In the first iteration of our plans, we were looking to work with a company called Buckaroo, a well established Payment Service Provider with nearly 15 years of experience, and the first to provide safe iDeal payments. Unfortunately we could work out a contract that both parties agreed on, which in turn led us to Mollie, one of Europa's largest payment service providers. Having lost a lot of time on our negotiations with Buckaroo, we could not integrate Mollie in time for the launch on April 4. About a month later the system was in place, and working as intended over the Months June and July.
Somewhere mid July we made a few changes to the CRM back end, and somehow broke the link in the automated registration. Patrons trying to register after summer would be looped back to the patron's only page, but skip the payment and account creation step - at the same time Mollie's backend would create an outstanding payment, that after 48 hours would close - without patron's being able to access the payment window this would automatically lead to half a registration, without payment and without account. This certainly became an issue as we launched more of our patron only activities, such as the Atlantica Magazine and the High School Program Trainer's scheme.
We are still not sure what change in the CRM caused the issue, and which of our quick fixes turned out to fix it now. All I know that it is all working as intended again. In this we are a bit like Dr. Frankenstein, reviving a put-to-gether mangle of old systems, and making it work - withouth knowing why it is suddenly working.
In the coming weeks we will follow-up on the half registrations to complete their account registrations, and focus on a patronage campaign growth to catch up on the lost time.
See all Dev Diaries here: https://atlantic-forum.com/developer-diary