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Insight on digital media from the team at LexBlog, Inc.

Sitecore Biosync Plugin developed by LexBlog 

Exploring our latest solution—how we tackled user management challenges for our clients.
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Clint Adair, Unsplash

Here at LexBlog, we work with some of the largest law firms in the world. Firms that can have hundreds, if not thousands of attorneys who all then become authors on our platform. Since all of those authors have corresponding information such as names, biographies, photos, and phone numbers, it can become a challenge to keep everything updated when information changes.

The challenge

A few months ago, one of our larger clients came to us with an issue. They are constantly updating that kind of information on their firm website, and it had become a large time sink keeping that information synced between that site and the LexBlog platform. Any time an update was required, their marketing person had to update it all in 2 places. They wanted to know if there was anything we could do to help make that process more seamless for them.

The firm website in question is powered by SiteCore, which is a powerful service used to build websites for many top firms and brands. I started this project with a conversation with the senior software engineer from the consulting company the firm was using for their website. A few different options were discussed: one was instead of displaying biography information straight from their platform using some kind of an embed. But because we are often showing info from multiple authors in a single post, and that information is also sent to, this method would probably be messy and result in increased page load times. The other option would be to automatically update information on our end, whenever that info changed on their end.

The solution

So a new plugin was born: LXB Biosync. The technical details of this plugin are fairly simple. On the firm website, they were able to expose two API endpoints for our use. One endpoint, given two dates as arguments, will return a list of email addresses of attorneys who have had their bio information updated between the two dates. The other, given an email address as an argument, will return the full information of the given user, including biography, photo, phone number, website URL, and social media profile URLs.

On our end, the LXB Biosync plugin is set up to run daily. In the middle of the night, our platform makes a call to their endpoint to see which authors have been updated in the last day, since the last time it ran. It then cross checks the list of email addresses returned and checks if any of those emails are also users on the LexBlog platform. If they are, a second call is made to grab that updated information and save it to their blogs. And just like that, their info only needs to be updated in one place and will then automatically be propagated across all of the client’s blogs!

What it means for you and your firm

I thought this was an interesting anecdote to share in order to showcase the level of personalized care and attention that our clients get when partnering with LexBlog for publication. If you have an issue like this, we have a team of engineers that specialize in building robust professional publications, and are willing and excited to work with our clients to solve their problems. If you’re a current client that uses SiteCore for your firm site and would be interested in implementing something similar, let us know and we would love to see what we can do for you.

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