By Interactive Strategies
Oct 19, 2011

Drupal.org contribution - the iMIS ISGweb module

A few weeks ago, I posted a new module to drupal.org -- the iMIS ISGweb module. The module is used to integrate a Drupal 6 site with the "ISGweb for iMIS" product developed and hosted by ISG Solutions.

While the ISGweb product can be visually integrated with any CMS via HTML iframes, this module establishes a direct data sync between the iMIS and Drupal databases and provides a greater opportunity for Drupal developers to create other modules based on iMIS member data. The module authenticates users against the ISGweb web service endpoint, syncs data to Drupal, and can optionally be configured to replace core user module pages with ISGweb iframe pages (e.g. new user registration, password reminder, user profile view and update).

The project grew out of some work we recently completed for the Virginia Association of Realtors, who represent more than 30,000 realtors active in all phases of real estate brokerage, management, development and appraisal. VAR tasked us with decoupling their iMIS SSO authentication routine from their current third-party member portal, and instead authenticating iMIS users directly from their Drupal site. In order to remove the middleware portal from VAR's infrastructure, we created a custom Drupal module to handle the required web service calls to ISGweb and then sync member data back in to Drupal's core user table. Additionally, the module also provides enhanced "Find a Realtor" and "Member Search" functionality directly from the Drupal site, based on data that is pulled from ISGweb during Drupal's nightly cron run.

Based on our work with VAR, I saw a neat opportunity to create something that could be useful to the larger association community -- and particularly those who have elected to use ISG as their iMIS support vendor. Historically, I've worked extensively with ISG on both direct integrations to the iMIS database, as well as ISGweb implementations for client sites -- I had a pretty good feeling that somebody out there would find a Drupal module like this pretty handy.

So I put in a bit of extracurricular time on branching the module to remove any VAR-specific business logic (particularly as related to the search functionality and roles synchronization), and to accommodate a more basic set of integration requirements. The result was the 6.x.1.x version currently posted to my drupal.org sandbox -- the mod is currently going through the requisite Drupal code review process and will hopefully be available as a full-fledged release very soon.

To learn more about the module or take it for a test drive, we encourage you to visit the project page on drupal.org...any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated! And better still, if your association currently uses iMIS and ISGweb and may be interested in contributing a sandbox iMIS database and hosting environment to help get a demo site up and running, we'd love to hear from you!

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