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Implementing a Web Content Management Solution. Case Study: Kent State University August 19, 2003. Joe Murray, Ph.D., Director, New Media Center Christine Shih, Senior Systems Analyst Lin Danes, Web Coordinator, University Communications & Marketing. Presenters. Agenda.

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implementing a web content management solution

Implementing a Web Content Management Solution

Case Study: Kent State University August 19, 2003

presenters
Joe Murray, Ph.D., Director, New Media Center

Christine Shih, Senior Systems Analyst

Lin Danes, Web Coordinator, University Communications & Marketing

Presenters
agenda
Agenda
  • Where We Were (Murray)
    • Institutional Snapshot
    • CMS Perspective, Objectives and Selection
    • People and Costs
  • How We Grew (Shih)
    • CMS Implementation
    • Site Development Objectives
  • Where We Keep Growing (Danes)
    • Key CMS Features Utilized
    • Lessons Learned/Benefits Realized (Murray, Danes Shih)
where we were
Where We Were
  • 29,739 Students(Includes 8-Campus Network)
  • 214 Academic Programs
  • 5,000 Faculty and Staff
  • 85 Administrative Departments
where we were5
Where We Were
  • All types of Web editing software used prior to implementation
  • Mostly PC based
  • Strong Mac usage in a few areas
  • 500,000 hits per day
  • 90% Web visitors using IE, 8% Netscape
where we were6
Where We Were
  • CMS selection process began in 1999-2000
  • CMS systems were high cost and corporate
  • No strong educational precedent or niche
where we were7
Where We Were
  • Resources included:
    • Gartner
    • Local development
    • NMC networking
    • Many live demos with users, editors, faculty and staff
    • PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Awards
where we were8
Where We Were
  • Costs for content management systems at the time ranged from around $12 K to $350 K
  • PaperThin’s CommonSpot™ Content Server was in the middle--at about $85 K
  • Purchased at version 2.5-- launched with version 3.0
web site stakeholders overall goals
Web Site Stakeholders: Overall Goals
  • Student recruitment: undergraduates and graduates
  • Provision of services and resources to current students and faculty/staff
    • Operations & Curb Costs
  • Faculty and staff recruitment
  • Enhancement of connectivity with and among alumni
  • Internal communication
  • Overall advancement of Kent State’s institutional identity on local, regional, national and international level
  • Support research, teaching, learning
web improvement plan content goals
Web Improvement Plan Content Goals

Redesign Must Provide:

  • Quicker, more intuitive navigation
  • Collective events calendar
  • Easier access to academic programs
  • No frames
  • Improved access to utilities such as online applications, WFS, e-mail and phone directory
  • Separation of current and prospective student audiences
  • Protection of sites redesigned in “family look” of generation II
web improvement plan technology goals
Web Improvement Plan Technology Goals
  • Improve system redundancy, failover protection and security
  • Leverage several key integrated technologies and innovations to improve data integrity (active directory, NSI Geoclustering, big IP)
  • Provide University Communications & Marketing (UCM) content editors with ability to directly maintain and publish content to the institutional Web presence
  • Replace homegrown TEXIS based system for content management
implementation challenges
Implementation Challenges
  • Implement new architecture without interrupting service
  • Systems analysts, developers, operators and UCM content editors must be trained
  • Coordinate conversion and build system in concert with next generation Web design migration and launch
  • Aggressive timeline
implementation strategy proposed is cs server architecture

HTTP Server

HTTP Server

HTTP Server

HTTP Server

HTTP Server

ColdFusion

ColdFusion

Various

ColdFusion

ColdFusion

CommonSpot

Read-Only Slave

Server

(P2)

Development

Server

CommonSpot

Read-Only

Master

Server

(P1)

InternetUsers

ColdFusion

ColdFusion

HTTP Server

HTTP Server

Implementation Strategy Proposed IS/CS Server Architecture

Firewall

KSU Only Contributors

Firewall

Moulton

MS-SQLDB Server

CommonSpot Standard or Enterprise Edition

LicenseAuthoring Server

CommonSpot Standard or Enterprise Edition

LicenseAuthoring Server

Big IP Load Balance Security Redundancy

Clustered Databases

In Different Locations

Library

MS-SQLDB Server

Firewall

Firewall

Staff Assignments/Responsibilities

Hardware System Administration: Wearley

Database Administration: Ritley

CS Application Administration: Shih

Network/servers: Roberts

commonspot implementation timeline
CommonSpot Implementation Timeline
  • Approximately 7-month span from initial install to data migration and launch on Aug. 26, 2002
  • Initially 18 professional staff from four different departments in the IS division (New Media Center; Network Services; Academic Computing & Technology; Help Desk) and 23 staff from UCM and other departments contributed to successful completion
why we chose commonspot content server
Why We Chose CommonSpot Content Server
  • Good out-of-the-box features, interface, documentation and customization capabilities
  • Price
  • Support relationship and continuity
  • Genuine interest to improve product, and work to make our implementation successful
implementation steps
Implementation Steps
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Template building
  • Content population
hardware software
Hardware: Software:
  • OS – Windows 2000
  • ColdFusion 5
  • CommonSpot 3.2 SP1
  • One authoring server
  • Two target servers
  • Two SQL servers
hardware challenges
Hardware Challenges
  • Firewall all the servers located in two buildings
  • Load balancing between the two target servers in two buildings
  • SQL servers in two different locations

Solutions

  • BIG IP and Geoclustering
hardware diagram
Hardware Diagram

Firewall

Authoring

Target 1

Target 2

SQL 1

SQL 2

GEOCLUSTER

hardware setup modified
Hardware Setup Modified

Firewall

Authoring

Target 1

Target 2

SQL 2

SQL 1

SQL 3

replicate

MSSQL CUSTER

www kent edu
www.kent.edu
  • Institutional site has five tiers
    • Each tier has a different look
  • Departmental and Regional Campus templates also vary
  • Challenges
    • Tabs with highlights
    • Left-hand side navigation changes with tab
    • Alternating images on the home page and 2nd tier pages
    • Text-only versions of all sites required
template solutions
Template Solutions
  • Use templates written in ColdFusion for each tier/level
  • Use Javascript in the templates to control the alternating images and tab highlighting
  • Page layout is done in the templates
additional web goal operations
Additional Web Goal Operations
  • Examples:
    • Online admissions
      • Fall 02 = 1st time online; 11% submitted electronically
      • Virtual tours
      • Arrange for campus visit
    • Grads/president’s list ($11K savings)
    • E-inside
    • Viewbooks
where we keep growing
Where We Keep Growing
  • Key CMS Features Utilized
  • Lessons Learned/Benefits Realized
ongoing challenges
Ongoing Challenges
  • Replication stability
  • Sluggish through dial-up
  • MAC compatibility issues
  • Dual servers create short-term content inconsistency when large amount of changes are applied
  • Rollout to Departments
rollout not a challenge after all
Rollout Not a Challenge After All!
  • Administrative AND academic units coming on board
  • 35+ sites in various stages of development (templates only made available in late February 2003)
  • 10+ sites already live
  • Minimal public relations – all clients predominantly contact UCM based on word-of-mouth testimonial from other clients
benefits of implementing a cms pre defined templates
Benefits of Implementing a CMS & Pre-Defined Templates
  • Advances integrated marketing at institutional and departmental level
  • Provides departments with free resource to help:
    • Non-techies maintain departmental Web sites
    • Redesign for departments lacking budget for design
    • Web sites now compliant with recently approved Web Publishing Policy
  • Templates comply with the recently approved Web Publishing Policy
  • Use of WebTrends to monitor hits, most popular pages, etc.
key features of commonspot
Key Features of CommonSpot
  • Meta tags, alt tags
    • Support ADA compliance
  • Freshness reminders/publish dates
key features of commonspot31
Key Features of CommonSpot
  • Link management (PDFs, upload files, e-mail notifications, broken links)
  • HTML option
  • Workflow control
how departments migrate to commonspot
How Departments Migrate to CommonSpot

Four part process – online as pdf

  • Scope meeting
    • Preview available templates
      • Departments
      • Regionals
  • Assessment
  • Pre-production
  • Production
regional campus site
Regional Campus Site

www.salem.kent.edu

questions
Questions?

E-mail:

Joe Murray – [email protected]

Christine Shih – [email protected]

Lin Danes – [email protected]

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