Wichita YMCA CCC Camp Registration Goes Paperless

Ryan Wyse
April 14, 2015
Worm-eye view of a giant stack of busted filing cabinets.

The Greater Wichita YMCA approached us in December of 2014, desiring to move their camp registration and waiver process from a manual, paper based process to an entirely online process, by February. This is a quick turn around for a very involved integration. Thankfully, we’ve been working with Wichita since the launching of their site in 2012, placing us in a position to help integrate more and more of their CCC (Christensen Computer Company) Webtime functionality into their website.

Greater Wichita YMCA came to us with a wireframe, a field map and a dream. CCC had already been engaged to extend their XML API for Waivers and provided documentation on how to update information and include arbitrary fields in the API calls. For our part, we used the Drupal Form API to build a multi-step form, helping members easily navigate through the endless fields needed for camp registration. 10+ pages and 100+ fields later we had everything we needed to send to CCC, which is where the process got interesting.

Being one of the first dev shops to use this API to its fullest limit, we encountered a number of limitations that we worked through. The most interesting was an occasional failure for the API to submit, seemingly without rhyme or reason. After running some tests with different data/user cases we discovered that the API had a 2,048 character limit, so depending on user name or address lengths the call would fail. To work around this we created a function to calculate the length of our API call as we made it and split it into multiple calls whenever we started to approach the limit.

Finally, we created a way for Wichita YMCA member’s to save their form progress, since the form process was a 20+ minute commitment. We used Drupal’s Flag module to let the users flag the camp they were registering for, and used a serialized field on the flag to save the user’s form state. Anytime they came back to the camp registration form, we would load their last state in, allowing them to pick up where they left off. Wichita YMCA has gotten great feedback from their members who really appreciate the ability to register their kids for camp at their convenience without having to keep track of physical papers.

Looking for help with CCC (Christensen Computer Company) API integration, or help customizing your Drupal CMS? We’d love to help! Give us a call, 816.866.3787 or send us an email amy@codekoalas.com !

Want to talk about how we can work together?

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Ryan Wyse