March 27 2017

De Persgroep Online Services launches brand-new site in collaboration with The Reference

At the beginning of last year, de Persgroep Online Services decided to give the existing platform a complete overhaul. The company gave The Reference the go-ahead to build a completely new site which included deep integrations with the backend system. The Reference pulled off this impressive feat in less than six months. 

De Persgroep Online Services represents several digital brands of De Persgroep Publishing, such as,, and With state-of-the-art technology and a data-driven strategy, the team create content which is geared towards online readers.

The star of Online Services is undoubtedly, the site which is used by thousands of jobseekers and employers every day in the search for talent. After the previous decision to give the Salariskompas a new look and feel, this time The Reference was tasked with completely redeveloping the site. The big challenge here was integrating the site with a backend system which had been purchased specifically for the recruitment market, based on technology. Another important component of the site is an intelligent search engine which matches candidates and jobs, alongside parsing technology which can distil specific data from CVs. From an architectural and technical point of view, these features also needed to be integrated using the latest methods.

“We chose The Reference because of their confidence in and experience with far-reaching integration projects. They mainly focus on an open and future-oriented architecture. The Reference was therefore responsible for a significant proportion of the architectural picture and connecting many different components in the solution.” – Marc Staut, Operations Manager, de Persgroep Online Services

The Reference chose an architecture based on microservices via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Microservices orchestrate the data traffic between all the applications, such as CRM, invoicing and CV database etc. Choosing microservices ensures a solution which will remain flexible in the long term. Backend applications can be modified without major effort and are not mutually dependent. The scalability of these microservices was also crucial: choosing services based on Microsoft Azure makes it possible to scale them up as required, independently of each other and in quasi real time. Umbraco was chosen as the frontend content management system (CMS). Umbraco is a leading Danish open source CMS, based on Microsoft .NET technology and hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The project was implemented using a highly Agile approach and a close-knit team was formed with the various stakeholders. Short lines of communication, transparency and a fast decision-making process were equally crucial to the successful completion of this project.

“The collaboration with The Reference went very smoothly, partly because they feel at home using Agile methods, just like us.” - Philip Saey, Digital Functional Analyst, de Persgroep Online Services

De Persgroep has high expectations. aims to strengthen its position in the sector, partly by focusing on big data. Together with De Persgroep's other digital channels, the company aims to get as close to its clients as possible by offering relevant added value at the right time.

It's more than digital, it's your business
The Reference is nothing without its customers. Melexis is the stock market-listed global player in the semi-conductor and sensors industry for whom we facilitated future company growth by updating the brand, building the completely new corporate website and giving shape to the use of online channels. Read more about this client.