AlignMinds Technologies logo

Architecture Modernization –
ERP for a leading Media House

About the Client

Asia Insurance Review was launched in January 1991 to meet the information needs of insurance practitioners in Asia in particular and the rest of the world in general. It quickly became the premier and comprehensive professional regional magazine, read by all the key decision makers and readers in the insurance industry.

The Challenges

  • Redevelop the entire portal to the current trends and to introduce new features to the portal to make it richer and attractive to the end users as well as backend users
  • The Classic ASP application has scalability issue and most of the built-in objects and methods were obsolete.
  • The performance issue was there in the portal mainly in the areas of searching of the archived articles or magazines.
  • Classic ASP was not a compiled scripting language, and instead was interpreted. This means it runs slowly and risks breaking if there is a syntax error somewhere in the code. It also lacked debug support, meaning that debugging was always something you had to do via trial and error.
  • The Classic ASP application has scalability issue and most of the built-in objects and methods were obsolete.

Old Architecture


  • 1.The proposed solution was to implement an open-source Content Management System and customize it according to the needs of the backend users.
  • 2.Microsoft Dotnetnuke (now DNN), which was a leading Content Management System with the Microsoft technologies and it also has an open-source community edition which has almost all the features.
  • 3.Using DNN modules, we can extend the features of the framework according to the requirements of our backend users. Once we develop the modules, we can install those modules in the DNN and use it along with the other modules of the DNN. For example, for the admin users, we have extended the DNN HTML editor to have the features of Zoom and Crop for the article images.
  • 4.We have also developed additional custom modules to provide custom features for the AIR users. For example, drag and drop features to prioritize the article order before publishing the articles automatically to the site.

The Process

Analyzed the existing system to identify the workflow of the existing application features and the new features to be incorporated to the system.


Installed the DNN framework and as part of the installation, the DNN database also created.


Developed independent DNN modules according to the user requirements to install it on the DNN framework.


Created the DNN skins with the layouts according to the latest designs approved by the Asia Insurance team.


Integrated all the built-in modules and custom modules to the site according to requirement.


Identified the data points to be migrated from the existing database to the new DNN CMS database


Created a migration plan to import the data from the old database to the new DNN database and executed it.


Created a new MEIR site in DNN by duplicating the AIR site and changing the theme to middle east.


Integrated the PayPal payment gateway system for the magazine subscriptions and other product purchases from the portal.


Implemented the Conference microsites using the DNN micro site concept. Created a predefined template for the conferences and new sites created using this template and the skins and themes can be modified easily using the DNN backend.


New Architecture

Development Challenges

  • Performance issue on search functionality on a huge database of archived articles and magazines even after migrating it to the new database.
    We had added different indexing to the data tables and resolved it to a certain level. For archived articles, the datatype was nvarchar for the article field and we changed it to varchar and resolved the search performance issue completely.

  • The CMS to be built on open-source Microsoft technologies and chosen Dotnetnuke as it is a proven CMS with community edition with almost all features. The team was new to the chosen DNN platform, but the team worked hard to make a minimal learning curve for the solution.
  • The conference section of the portal requires micro sites for each Conference with different themes. We handled it by make use of the DNN microsite feature to the fullest.
  • The automated publishing of the different newsletters and articles to the site based on a predefined days and time.
    We have used a crone job C# application to publish the articles to the portal on a specified time and to send email newsletters to the subscribers on time.
  • Zoom and crop feature integration for article images for the admin users. We have extended the HTML editor module of DNN with a third-party plugin which has zoom and crop feature.


  • The end users have a better user-friendly and secure website which can access all the features of the web site with ease.
  • The new application is highly scalable and can easily incorporate new features by extending the DNN modules.
  • The front-end themes can be managed easily by non-technical users.