Tubelines is a large organisation that runs The Tube public transport system in London. They decided that their website needed redesigning and they wanted to enhance it with live information about jobs that are available at Tubelines. They engaged the agency Hodes Digital to develop a new website for them and I was asked to develop a WordPress plugin that integrates with Tubelines’ ATS (Application Tracking System).
The purpose of the plugin was to regularly import all available jobs from the ATS via it’s XML interface, cache them, and add widgets and functionality to WordPress to make it easy for the site administrators to manage latest and featured jobs on the site plus a custom job search. It also needed to output SEO optimised web pages to enhance search engine ranking.
To start with I investigated the functionality and data available via the XML interface. Next I wrote a technical specification to detail the integration of the XML interface with WordPress and the additional frontend and WordPress admin functionality. Once the specification was agreed with Tubelines I developed a WordPress plugin which:
- Imports live jobs data every hour from the XML and caches the data in the MySQL database
- Adds widgets and areas in the WordPress admin interface for managing and displaying latest and featured jobs on each page in the site
- Provides search functionality so that users can search for available jobs
- Also provides WordPress Administration functionality to add what are called SEO pages
- Enables to users to apply online and unload documents to support their application. Applications are then processed and fed back to the ATS.
Integrating a CMS framework like WordPress with other systems is always interesting and Tubelines are delighted that they can create jobs and manage job applications in their Application Tracking System and the WordPress website takes care of itself.