Dods approached us with a highly specific brief which included many features which would require cutting-edge coding, pushing Drupal way beyond its limits. If you haven't heard of Dods, do a quick search. Their content is essential reading for most of the key policy makers in the UK and EU, and their events help bring policy makers together.
The brief sounded relatively simple to begin with. Create a multi-domain content distribution and publishing platform with a media and content library that can automatically distribute content to hundreds of news and event websites. New websites should be easily cloned and created, automatically pulling exiting content using taxonomies and search criteria.
Secure content and asset sharing are two areas where there weren't suitable modules in place already. Writing modules to do this would be overriding some of the key core processes in Drupal. As always, the code needed to be standards-compliant with no alteration of Drupal's core code.
In the process of developing this website we created over 20 new modules for Dods - Entity Share modules for nodes, taxonomies, users, and files, with an expandable API to allow third parties to share their entities. We also created an entity-share stream wrapper to allow the Media module to select assets from a central Drupal website, all automatically pushing content changes to client sites in a secure way.
Another requirement was to allow selling of content creation rights and organisation directory entries. Third parties can pay to publish content on the sites. Parties can also pay to view a number of premium articles, with detailed reporting in place on node views, image impressions, whitepaper downloads, etc.
We also created modules for single-sign-on processes, integration with in-house content and event information stores (including attendee lists and verification), and many other bespoke additions that are far too numerous to mention.
Dods now have what they describe as the most powerful publishing platform in the industry and we are very proud of the work we're done.