Orchard at the Smithsonian: Helping Folklife with their new Orchard sites

Orchard, Development, Smithsonian Institution, NetSuite

Everybody knows the Smithsonian Institution, because as the "world's largest museum, education, and research complex" it's kind of hard to miss. What not everybody knew until this blog post is that the Smithsonian, specifically the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage also uses Orchard to run their websites! And as you may have guessed, we at Lombiq had some part in it.

Folklife has three websites, all running on Orchard:

Since March we've been helping them with new features for these websites. The first one was quite tricky: To get single sign-on working with their NetSuite app that handles ecommerce checkout for Folkways. After that we supplied, and continue to supply various smaller features (including a widget to display related content for blog posts) and consultancy sessions. But what does Toby Dodds, Technology Director of Folklife say about all this?

As the Webmaster at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, I am responsible for the technical well-being of a handful of large web sites totaling close to 60,000 pages of content. Managing the sites is a complex challenge as we employ an array of different tools and technologies. Our web applications are based on Microsoft’s .NET Framework using the open-source CMS Orchard – which we love for its flexibility, good design and performance. One of the other strengths of Orchard is its stellar community of developers which we have been lucky to get to engage with. Partnering with an open-source community of developers is key to our IT strategy. Through that network we were lucky to meet Lombiq Technologies' amazing team.

This spring we completed a redesign of all our three main web sites (festival.si.edu, folklife.si.edu, folkways.si.edu). It was an enormous task that pushed our organizational capacity to its outer limits. Rebuilding web sites while maintaining existing sites is grueling and absolutely requires additional highly skilled assistance. We were fortunate to be able to lean on Lombiq along the way to clear hurdles that were too high for us to clear ourselves alone. On multiple occasions Lombiq was available to us on short notice and even at odd hours. For this reason we are forever grateful for their skilled and prompt assistance and guidance.

In addition to providing on-the-fly support services to our web development team, Lombiq also distinguished themselves this year by helping us break through on a challenging task related to our integration with our third-party e-commerce provider NetSuite. As a result our customers will be able to log in to our web site while simultaneously authenticating with our commerce platform. This unlocks a very exciting door for us moving forward and we would not be walking through it without Lombiq’s assistance.

In short, I can’t say enough about the high-caliber of service provided by this firm of brilliant developers and kind individuals. I would whole heartedly recommend them to anyone looking to partner or enlist similar services as I’ve described above.

And since the Smithsonian is a mostly government-funded institute that can pay with United States Treasure cheques we could even say that the US government uses Orchard - and is the client of Lombiq!

Is your company also ready to make the Orchard leap? Let's have a call!

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