Completed project: Web content management system

Project site: https://www.iu.edu/~wcms/ ; see also the WCMS Project Wiki

Primary UITS contact: Brian McGough

Completed: March 11, 2010

Description: The goal of this project is to find and implement an appropriate web content management system (CMS) product for Indiana University. The primary objective of the project is to identify a web CMS that will make managing websites on IU's central systems more effective and efficient. The initial focus will be a review of the primary open source as well as commercial products, resulting in selection of one or more web CMSes to evaluate. This project began and ran parallel to the web hosting strategic vision and definition project.

Outcome: A successfully piloted web CMS that can support content management as a centrally supported service in the suite of centrally offered web hosting services

Milestones and status:

In November and December of 2006, needs assessment interviews were conducted with units with CMS experience (Wells Library, Kelley School of Business, School of Medicine, School of Social Work, School of Education, and Division of Recreational Sports). General needs assessment interviews were also conducted with IUB Media Relations/Creative Services, the College of Arts and Sciences Department of History, the IUN CIO and Webmaster, and the IUB Gateway Pages Webmaster.

  • June 2007: Kickoff and preparation for evaluation
  • July 2007-February 2008: Product selection process and evaluation
  • March 2008: RFP released
  • June 2008: CMS chosen; pilot project core team created; pilot project MOU and TOA drafted; pilot project call for participants; initial architecture configuration, implementation, and build out; initial product installation; IU community WCMS-L LISTSERV list set up and populated
  • July 2008: Potential pilot project participants analyzed; participant selection to be announced; pilot project WCMSPILOT-L LISTSERV list set up; ongoing architecture configuration and implementation: pilot project Confluence and Jira sites set up; CMS will be open to pilot project participants and IT Training
  • August 2008: Vendor-supplied training
  • September 2008: IT Training proposed a prerequisite three-class format; second test server configured and added to load balancing configuration; upgrade to Cascade 5.7 tested; CAS/LDAP integration initiated; review and one-on-ones with pilot project participants; feature requests reviewed
  • October 2008: IT Training proposal for three-class format accepted and approved; training offerings scheduled at both IUPUI and Bloomington; training materials in development; Phase I CAS integration complete on second testing server; upgrade to Cascade 5.72 complete; pilot participants positioning for December go live dates
  • November 2008: Initial production authoring servers in place, database traffic encrypted, integration with load balancing environment, integration with CAS, training materials in development, OVPIT and IUSOM at IUPUI finalizing site details for moves to production
  • December 2008: InfoShares with extended IT community in Bloomington and Indianapolis, CAS integration finalization, training environment setup, training series internal materials and content review, wcms site build and content created, Adaptive Technology Office review of system software and sites created
  • January 2009: InfoShares with UITS in Bloomington and Indianapolis, phased LDAP integration, web-services integration, training series external materials and content review, Security and Policy office review of authoring and database servers. First public offering of training series in Bloomington.
  • February 2009: First public offering of training series at IUPUI, LDAP integration, first production accounts created, web-services integration, training sites migrated to production, pilot participant sites migrated to production, initial integration of site manager administration tools, Cascade 6 beta released and installed on test instance
  • April 2009: Second offering of training series at IUPUI and in Bloomington; completion of site manager administration tools, including user and group admin and template builds; open InfoShare in Bloomington
  • May 2009: Scheduled hands-on regional training series at IUSB and IUN; initial integration of additional site managers tools for site structure creation; Contributor, Approver, and Publisher training in Bloomington reaches capacity with a waitlist; new KB doc on accessing WCMS from outside the IU network; School of Public and Environmental Affairs begins work in the WCMS. The Bloomington campus website redesign launched after being migrated to the WCMS, and the site is now published from WCMS.
  • July 2009: Ongoing integration of site manager site architecture tools; IUN begins efforts on site architecture for migration; refinement of site managers training materials; addition of individual use accounts, site manager tools, and templates; creation of school, department, and small unit perspectives video
  • August 2009: Site managers training at IUSB; InfoShare and panel discussion with IUB community and perspectives video; Hannon Hill case study
  • September 2009: Presentation of IU's implementation of WCMS at Hannon Hill users conference; InfoShare with Webserve account holders; installation of Cascade Server 6.0 in wcmstest; InfoShare at EduDev conference at IUPUI
  • October 2009: Development of admin tools; creation of new work environment tools including top level folder; corresponding subfolders and related admin containers
  • November 2009: Further development of admin tools; bulk addition of users; initial tests of migration process from global to sites area
  • February 2010: The IU gateway website redesign launched after being migrated to the WCMS, and the site is now published from WCMS.

Thus far, the tasks completed by the project team include a survey, a requirements list, an initial products list, and vendor presentations. A survey was sent to all LSPs, as well as account holders on Veritas and Champion, to determine which departments have implemented, are implementing, or are considering implementing a web CMS. The purpose of the survey was also to determine which systems are currently in use at Indiana University.

A list of initial requirements based on the recommendations put forth by the Website and Content Management and Strategy Task Force and suggestions by evaluation group members has been created and refined.

Research about the various web content management systems in use at IU and other large research initiatives has been conducted and used to create a short list of systems to be further examined and narrowed by the evaluation group for consideration at IU. Two commercial vendors and one open-source consulting company have given presentations to the evaluation group to expose group members to what a web CMS is and can do.

A set of standard WCMS tasks was created for the purpose of comparing how well they were handled by two commercial products and four open source products. These tasks were demonstrated to the project team by their respective vendors in mid-August.

Further evaluation of commercial and open source products is complete. The evaluation included installation and training for three representative products: CommonSpot, Cascade Server, and EZPublish. The evaluation allowed the project team to learn more about how a WCMS will complement existing web services. It was determined that an open source solution was not best, so an RFP process was initiated to procure a commercial solution.

The RFP process is complete. The selected vendor is Hannon Hill and the product is Cascade Server. A Pilot Project Memorandum of Understanding and Team Operating Agreement are drafted. Organizations and departments from both inside and outside of UITS will be invited to participate in the pilot project.

Acquisition, licensing, and preliminary installation of the software has been completed, and the sorting of details necessary to integrate the software with the current Webserve environment is ongoing.

The pilot project participants have been announced: IU Northwest Web Services, IUPUI Office of the Registrar, IU South Bend Web Services, IU Office of Creative Services, IU School of Medicine at IUPUI, and the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.

All pilot project participants, including the core team, met initially on July 23, 2008, to kick off the pilot phase of the project.

Comment process: Send email to Brian McGough.

Benefits: A centrally supported web CMS will support creating, editing, reviewing, approving, publishing, and retiring web content. Additionally, Integrated Image-compliant template sharing and workflow capability to permit more efficient and effective web publishing will improve web services for IU.

Project sponsors:

  • Laurie Antolovic', Deputy CIO
  • Dennis Cromwell, AVP
  • Sue Workman, AVP (Support ownership and primary OSE stakeholder)
  • Brian McGough, Director (Project leadership, service ownership)
  • Rob Lowden, Director (System architecture)

This is document auzx in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-09-30 00:00:00.

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