February 12, 2024

A Developer Portal Shows the Flexibility of Drupal

Black Knight, Inc. is a financial services company that provides integrated software, data, and analytics solutions primarily to the real estate and mortgage lending sectors, as well as to the capital and secondary markets. Originally founded as Computing and Statistical Services in 1962, the Jacksonville, Florida-based corporation is a national leader in providing automated solutions that span the homeownership life cycle. Note that Black Knight has recently been acquired by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

In January 2022, Black Knight approached us to create a developer portal to benefit both internal Black Knight users and external developers in the mortgage lending and real estate industries. The company’s goal was to build a one-stop storefront with a catalog of all its integration products (APIs, web services, events, and extracts) and self-service capabilities for external and internal users.

What They Needed

Black Knight requested a portal developed through Apigee Developer Portal Kickstart (more on “Kickstart” in this blog post) with all of its out-of-the-box functionality, supplemented by existing Drupal modules.

Specific requirements included:

  • Self-service registration/email confirmation and registration approval

  • Mapping of registered users into roles (consumers, publishers, dev portal administrators)

  • Public and non-public content and catalog categories to be created by dev portal administrators

  • Catalog items to be created by publishers and assigned to categories

  • Role-based gatekeeping for catalog items

  • Catalog hierarchy, catalog search, and product overview accessible to all registered users

  • Restricted catalog item details (including technical specs) viewable only by those granted access, with a request access, self-service workflow

  • Two environments, one for testing enhancements and one for implementation

  • Documentation of Apigee Kickstart customizations, portal administration tasks, publisher tasks, monitoring and alerting, module updates, and a developer handbook

Landing page image of the Developer Portal

What We Did

Enhanced security and powerful integrations with the flexibility of Drupal

As far as developer portals go, this was a challenging undertaking. Black Knight had over 100 APIs and complex needs related to partitioning API content between different user groups and levels of access. The project requirements went beyond Kickstart’s out-of-the-box offerings, necessitating the use of additional Drupal modules, such as Group, as the foundation for a custom access control module.

Security was a major concern for the client, requiring customized solutions on top of the standard password policy. The site has strict password requirements and two factor authentication, as well as single sign-on for employees. We also added an auto session expiration, which terminates a session after 15 minutes if the user is inactive.

The project took a phased approach, with the initial site launched in December 2022. To further enhance security, we will be introducing an inactive user workflow to permanently delete accounts that are not used for more than three months.

The end result is striking, user-friendly portal that provides API access to four different categories of users: mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, secondary markets, and enablers. Additional catalog products related to data and analytics are forthcoming in the current phase of work.

We invite you to learn more about Black Knight / ICE and its digital offerings on their website

If your business needs include a developer portal, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today to talk about your needs and project goals.