Our work for Yudu – A Retrospective
14 March 2015, by Amy Wood
Softwire built a next-generation digital publishing platform for YUDU media, which powers more than 1,000 new publications and 1,000,000 page views every day.
Build a bespoke, highly scalable digital self-publishing platform allowing publishers of all sizes to create feature rich, interactive publications at the click of a button.
YUDU Media asked us to build an online digital publishing platform. The system had to provide a cost effective way for publishers to take their content online, without making a major technology investment. They required a sophisticated web-based publishing interface, which could turn raw PDF, Word, Excel or PowerPoint files into an interactive experience for the reader. Publishers could enhance their publications by adding rich media elements, from videos to order forms, graphs and HTML5 interactivity, without any need for technical knowledge.
The end product had to be simple to use for all end users, both the publishers themselves and the readers. The system also needed to be able to cope with high usage volumes, with 1000’s of readers using the application at any one time.
Softwire paid close attention to detail in the scoping phase and took an agile approach to the development phase allowing us to create a highly adaptable, highly useable end product.
Softwire’s customer-centric and agile approach to development helped us to create a product which met the rapidly evolving needs of our client. Our autonomous team kept in regular contact with YUDU’s project manager regarding requirements and carried out speculative development phases to determine fiscally viable product features where requirements were not fixed. This helped Yudu to grow their product offering to the needs of their business and their market.
The core platform was developed using Java Enterprise technologies, including JBoss application server, Spring MVCX and Java EE, and uses Oracle databases. Dedicated PDF processing servers carried out the heavy-lifting of converting PDF files to a flash compatible format. The product also included an Epublishing marketplace implemented in Ruby to allow users to organise, promote and sell their publications. It also included a statistics server with a reporting web interface to monitor reader behaviour. Publications were rendered via a browser-based flash based page turning application.
Successful delivery of the system has allowed publishers across the world to digitalise their titles and YUDU have grown into a multinational award winning company.
Softwire have continued to work with YUDU to steadily build upon the original project. YUDU’s product is now used by just under 1000 publishers globally including TimeOut, Readers Digest and the Beano. More than 1000 YUDU publications are published and over 1,000,000 YUDU pages are viewed daily across the world.
Softwire’s expertise and attention to detail allowed YUDU to take a high quality product into the rapidly evolving market place of digital publishing. We have worked with YUDU as they have grown from a start-up company, to continually offer high levels of code, design and customer service.