Case Studies - AEP

Online Book Editor

Software Developers

1 developer, 1 manager, 4 man-months

Software Technologies

Silverlight, WPF, PDF formatting libraries

Alpha Educational Print Ltd (AEP) in Manchester caters for the needs of the education market, designing and producing folders and prospectuses for schools, colleges and examination boards. Products range from simple booklets to perfect bound university style books.

Blueberry was awarded the contract to develop a bespoke online photobook application that would enable schools to create their own yearbooks, and free up the time of AEP design staff.

The Requirements

Previously, schools had been sending AEP all the photos they wanted included in their yearbook in the form of a CD, sometimes together with design ideas to help guide AEP staff on how the printed book should look.

Design staff at AEP would then use commercial editing programs, such as Photoshop, to create each page of the book, which needed to be approved by the school before it could be progressed to print.

This creative design step had always been very labour intensive for AEP, resulting in significantly reducing the profit margin on books. As a result, the company decided to invest in an online photobook editor system that would enable schools to create their own yearbooks, so both streamlining the process and removing the need for AEP staff to become involved in the design.

What We Did

Blueberry designed a system implemented in Silverlight comprising of:

  • An Online Editor which allows school children to create books themselves.
  • A PDF Renderer to automatically create PDF documents containing a full set of page images of the book, formatted so that they can be submitted directly to AEP’s printing machines.

The Results

Online book publishing

Blueberry implemented a system in Silverlight which allows school children to create their own yearbooks

The Photobook Editor application was successfully implemented by Blueberry, allowing schools to design their yearbook online at http://www.rhinoyearbooks.co.uk.

The online yearbook creation system allows all the editing to be done via Internet, so allowing authors /contributors to work on the project from any location without the need for complex image editing software.

The system allows users to choose from A4 or A5 sizes and three binding formats: hardback, paperback or booklet. Each yearbook cover can also be personalised for each student with their name and photograph.

Andrew Baker, Operations Director at AEP, said: “Blueberry was easy to work with, and the development was a team effort.  They willingly accommodated changes to the requirements during development to ensure that the final system delivered was just what we needed.”