New Mexico Consortium

Case Study about The New Mexico Consortium websites development. New Mexico Consortium is one of organisers of such annual conferences as Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) User Conference and International Conference on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems 2010 (SCES).

New Mexico Consortium: Conferences

The New Mexico Consortium (NMC) is a non-profit corporation formed by the three New Mexico Universities under a teaming agreement with The University of California (UC) to partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to advance scientific research and education in New Mexico. The New Mexico Consortium integrates the strengths of New Mexico's research universities and builds strategic connections with scientific institutions throughout the world in order to support and promote scientific research and education in the state.

Project Outline: CINT and SCES Conferences

The New Mexico Consortium is one of organizers of such annual conferences as Center for 'Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) User Conference' and 'International Conference on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems 2010 (SCES)', websites for which were deployed by Quintagroup team. The following is the description of the main features implemented into those projects.

1. Plone Integration for SalesForce and

CINT User Conference website includes the Registration Form for future conference attendees. This form was created with PloneFormGen product and its aim is to collect personal, contact, and payment information from conference attendees. All data collected there goes to Salesforce except information related to credit cards. Payment information goes to for processing transactions.

With help of wonderful combination of such Plone products as PloneFormGen, PloneGetPaid, and SalesforcePFGAdapter we managed to create a PloneFormGen form that collects and validates some desired information, then integrates with third-party system to create records based on data collected from this web form; besides it also integrates with third-party payment processors (in this case to collect funds associated with the information.

2. Plone Authentication against SalesForce

The main purpose of authentication task was to automate creation of new Plone users for Network New Mexico Consortium website after submitting a form on a different New Mexico Consortium website. So, user information is collected on one website to be used on another one.  Two sites were supposed to be related by the user database within SalesForce. As a result of submitting a registration form on one website, Contact object is created in SalesForce, treated as Plone user object for Network New Mexico Consortium website.

User management can be carried out in Plone, so such Plone functionality as managing roles, changing user properties remains even though users are created via SalesForce. It is also possible to create users manually within SalesForce interface, as well as manage them within Plone. Such solution is rather flexible, allowing advanced user management.

3. Abstract MS Word Reports

People on the site submit some scientific materials (abstracts) for the organization review committee to approve: there are forms on the site that allows users to submit the body of the abstract as a word document attachment, while other information about the abstact is filled into the corresponding form fields. All information about abstracts together with the attached files are transferred and keeps stored in Salesforce.

According to the client's request we were challenged to provide a tool for automatic generation of Word-format report on the basis of data stored in SalesForce. The task was difficult due to the fact that text data from SalesForce fields was expected to be combined with information stored in .doc attachments. Also, we were supposed to provide a way for sorting data within such reports according to different criteria.

Since there are no ready-to-use solution in Salesforce for creating such type of reports, and those solution that exist - lack necessary functionality, we decided to develop our own scripts to let external software work with the attachments using API calls. Thus, we managed to do the following:

  • create sortable and exportable (.csv) SalesForce reports that collects information about Abstracts (without attachments data)
  • the report was extended with additional fields for subsequent importing Abstract attachments data
  • with MS Word MailMerge functionality we generate documents with all Abstract information from .csv file with placeholders for upcoming attachments bodies
  • with report .csv file and several python scripts we downloaded all attachments into a single directory.
  • After all needed information was collected - we replaced all placeholders in a Word report with attachments bodies.

As a result we succeeded to generate Word document on the basis of differently stored data, so the process of merging Abstracts was automated.

4. SEO Issues

Both conferences sites: center for integrated nano-technology (CINT) and strongly correlated electron systems 2010 (SCES) were supposed to be shown up in Google as soon as possible after their launch. That is why Quintagroup helped New Mexico Consortium with urgent SEO issues.

  • Plone SEO product was installed for making possible to customize site HTML titles according to desired keyword phrases. We have changed html titles on some pages to make them more friendly for Google according to defined keywords phrases.
  • Both sites were registered using the Google Webmaster Tools. Besides, Plone Google Sitemaps product was installed to configure and register sitemap there, which helps to inform Google about new internal pages.


5. Site Theme

BrendA Plone Theme was used on both conferences sites. It was configured - proper images were selected for front pages and inner sites sections. New Mexico Consortium and conferences logotypes replaced BrendA theme default logo. Santa fe pictures were added into portlets on secondary web pages (conference details, contacts, links, registration, organization).

Project Outline: q-bio Conference

q-bio.pngNew Mexico Consortium organizes q-bio Conference on Cellular Information Processing, websites for which was deployed by Quintagroup team. The main issue of this website - is advanced lodging reservation/booking system provided via Plone's integration with and

We created table view for each available dorm with its basic information and 2 links for reserving & paying for the room, and putting a room on hold. To make lodging reservation move  usable, all lodging (dorms, suites, appartments) are presented with floor plans.

When a person select specific room on a listing of rooms, click 'Reserve and Pay' link will lead him to the online PloneFormGen form. On this form, a person can reserve a room for himself by providing some personal information and paying via credit card. Rigth after 'Make Payment' is hit - new Lodging Reservation object is created in salesforce, with all information gathered on the form. Besides, payment info goes to where payment process is completed. As a result, conference manager can have all occupants information in one place and see how payment process is carried on. After all, room's status changes to 'paid' and noone else can reserve this room.

Another option available for conference attendees - is to put a room on hold. This is especially suitable when a person can not pay for the room right away, or wants to reserve this room for someone else. After room is put on hold, the person for whom it is reserved receives a payment link to his email with a possibility to continue room reservation.

Other Projects

Also Quintagroup took active part in implementing a bunch of other projects for New Mexico Consortium.

Sonoma Country, California, RESCO online project for which Quintagroup: a) implemented package that configures registration and payment functions for newly created websites on the basis of earlier implemented NMC websites; b) developed ‘newmexico.policy' package that installs BrendA skin, New Mexico logo, sets up manager account and configures mail server settings.

Annual NM Geothermal Conference in Las Cruces project for which Quintagroup: a) finetuned online forms by excluding some extra fields; b) updated SEO properties for the front-page.

NHMFL Users Committee Meeting project for which Quintagroup helped to update payment card, registration fee and other fields - this was not a trivial task since all fields were related to and were required.

Viral Dynamics Workshop was created on the basis of CINT website, but with VDW own logotype and SEO properties.

26th Rare Earth Research Conference (RERC11) project for which we configured the instance on the basis of the previous ones; we also set up sending abstract files attached to the on-line form to SalesForce.


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