Chicago Medical Society

Ditching disparate, independent services for a seamless solution.

Chicago Medical Society is a non-profit association of medical specialties that encourages professionalism, supports continuing education, promotes public health, and provides timely information to members.


The Chicago Medical Society was using multiple web applications for calendaring, events, online forms, social collaboration, and site hosting. These separate applications resulted in fees for services, multiple login credentials per user, separate editorial workflows, contrasting themes, and required using iframes to display calendars and events from other systems. Unfortunately, some applications provided little to no service support, resulting in frustrated users.

The goal, implement a content management system to manage members, events, and online collaboration for more than 17,000 physicians that would:

  1. Integrate with 3rd Party web applications
  2. Have single sign-on access
  3. Share events
  4. Host unlimited (and free!) online forms


Use Plone’s built in services

One of the things that sets Plone apart from other Content Management Systems (CMS) is its built in functionality. Plone comes with 3rd party integration capability, interactive forms, calendaring and events, and flexible workflows. These core services were leveraged to meet the Chicago Medical Society’s needs.

3rd Party Integration and Single Sign On

The Chicago Medical Society needed to integrate two SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications with Plone. The project requirements included a single sign on authentication system and a shared theme. Authenticated users would log in once and have the same visual experience whether they were working in Plone or one of the two SaaS systems.

A modern theme was applied to Plone and the SaaS systems with Diazo, Plone’s dynamic built in theming engine. With Diazo, themes can be applied to 3rd party web applications without needing access to those systems.

For single sign on, a custom plugin was created, Single Sign-on PAS (Pluggable Authentication Service). This let members login to Plone by authentication against the SaaS system for member management. As they navigate between Plone and other members-only sections in the SaaS systems, members stay logged in.

Calendar and Events

Part of the Society’s mission is providing continuing education. Having a central calendar and being able to publish events was a critical component of success. With Plone’s calendar capabilities, the Society can manage past and future events, include various event details, and customize how events are displayed on the site. Event information is also included in site searches. 

Interactive and Free Online Forms

Finally, the Society could stop paying for online form services.  With Plone, non-technical editors can create and manage as many forms as needed. Users can register for conferences and expos; event administrators can export submitted data into MS Excel or any other productivity tool for managing registration lists.

Stop paying for services that Plone offers for free. Upgrade to Plone today!


  • NGO/Non-profit


  • Robust Scalability
  • Enterprise Integration
  • Limitless Extensibility

Project developed by

Contextual Corp.