Case study

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) is the self-regulatory body which administers the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry, independently of the ABPI.  It was established by the ABPI on 1 January 1993.

The Authority is responsible for the provision of advice, guidance and training on the Code as well as for the complaints procedure.  It is also responsible for arranging for conciliation between companies when requested to do so and for arranging for the scrutiny of advertising and meetings on a regular basis.

Pmcpa
We told ClerksWell, if we go live and website users are not aware an upgrade has taken place, then it has been a success. This was achieved.

The Challenge 

The PMCPA’s website was on Umbraco version 7. Umbraco version 7 is reaching end-of-life in September 2023, making it an unsupported software. This would have exposed the PMCPA’s website to security threats, and lead to reduced functionality due to outdated features, which caused significant concern. We needed to upgrade to Umbraco 10, the newest version that offers long-term support.  

The Solution 

ClerksWell’s solution was to adopt a 'lift and shift' approach to a rebuild on Umbraco version 10.

The main challenge was making sure every aspect of the website worked once migrated to Umbraco 10 despite some uncertainties along the way. 

The 3 main stages of the project were: discovery, build and test.  

Discovery:

The discovery phase lasted approximately two weeks. During this time, we created a test specification and carried out a full website assessment. This provided us with a breakdown of functionality across the site. 

Build:  

This phase started with a series of set-up tasks, the most significant of which was the set up of ClerksWell’s accelerator kit and tailoring it to this project specifically. We also provisioned the Umbraco 10 Cloud environment and took a copy of the live database.  

Following this, the page templates were divided into 5 broad categories and assigned to a specific developer. They were ported over to Umbraco 10 one by one. During this process, we moved individual templates to Umbraco 10, observed what aspects were broken and then upgraded the code accordingly. This approach had two notable benefits, the developers were in strong control and there was clear visibility of development progress throughout the build.  

This build phase took approximately two months. 

Test: 

Our QA team ran a very thorough QA phase of the project. This led to a very successful UAT phase. During this phase of the project, the client only raised one bug. This is a brilliant reflection on our in-depth approach to QA. 

The result 

Overall, this was a hugely successful Umbraco 10 upgrade project. It was delivered in line with predicted timelines and budgets, and the PMCPA were delighted with the result. 

Thanks to the upgrade of the .NET core version, the website’s performance has noticeably improved, with faster page loading times. Their new, upgraded website will now provide the basis for future, ongoing branding changes as part of a broader rebranding journey.