"Hook, Line and Syncer": Migrating existing websites within TERMINALFOUR Site Manager
 

"Hook, Line and Syncer": Migrating existing websites within TERMINALFOUR Site Manager

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Maurice Ryder from University College Cork: -"Hook, Line and Syncer" a look at how UCC used some of TERMINALFOUR Site Manager’s built in tools (External Content Syncer, Keyword Search Navigation ...

Maurice Ryder from University College Cork: -"Hook, Line and Syncer" a look at how UCC used some of TERMINALFOUR Site Manager’s built in tools (External Content Syncer, Keyword Search Navigation Objects, Content Type Statistics) to significantly reduce the time it takes to migrate sites that are already in Site Manager to a new code base.

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 "Hook, Line and Syncer": Migrating existing websites within TERMINALFOUR Site Manager "Hook, Line and Syncer": Migrating existing websites within TERMINALFOUR Site Manager Presentation Transcript

  • Hook, Line and Syncer Making Migrating Existing Sites Easier within Site Manager Maurice Ryder Multimedia Support Specialist | IT Services University College Cork
  • Hook, Line and Syncer • Background to the UCC Website Redesign Project • Migration – After the Redesign • The External Content Syncer: • From an external source • From Site Manager • From a CSV file • Keyword Search Nav Object • Navigation by A-Z • Navigation by Category • Content Type Statistics • Conclusions
  • UCC Web Redesign • Initiated November 2011 • Project kicked off in 2012 • Went to tender for Design (and chose Lloyd Northover, a UK based design company who were also working on our branding). • Aims: • Improve user experience • Better search, improved written and visual content • Introduce new brand • Introduce responsive design • Initially focussed on the upper levels of the site • Went live in February 2013 (only 2 months late)
  • UCC Web Redesign • An opportunity to reduce the number of content types • An opportunity to reduce the number of page layouts • Bring consistency across the board • Allow us to roll out improvements more quickly in future • Get everybody onto the same code base.
  • Migration – After the Redesign • Over 300 websites needed to be migrated • Multiple content types doing similar things • Too many content types focussing on layout (Text Left, Image Right and Text Left, Image 110px right) • Too many content types not utilising the media library (News Item 2007, Document etc) • Too many page layouts for websites at the same level doing broadly the same thing
  • Migration – After the Redesign Need to move from old design…
  • Migration – After the Redesign …to new design
  • Migration - Challenges • As I mentioned, there were over 300 sites. • We looked at reskinning in one go (just modifying the code of the existing page layouts and content types). • However, we dismissed this as unworkable as we would end up with multiple page layouts and content types with the same code, and any future changes would have to be made multiple times • It was time to bite the bullet.
  • Migration - Challenges • Initial projections of 18 months at a minimum • Looking at copying and pasting • Over 700 moderators would need to be contacted • A lot of disruption and we would be dependent on the end users’ time scales (which could have the effect of pushing out the project even further) • All seemed very daunting
  • Migration – The Pilot Phase • But, never give up, never surrender! • Formed a pilot phase so we could test out some suggestions from T4 • Chief amongst those was using the External Content Syncer to extract info from existing content types and populate new content types • We also decided to centrally manage the project and to use student help to perform the bulk of the migrations • Cost savings for individual departments • Little disruption as migration was carried out on test environment
  • Migration – The Process • Get end users to submit their sites for migration. • Get them to re-evaluate their site architecture at the same time (may as well kill a number of birds with the one process). • From our end: • Run a content type statistics report to get an idea of the number of old content types in use • Duplicate the site to the test environment • Apply the new page layouts • Migrate the content • Hand back to the end user for final approval • Go live
  • Migration – The Process • Look at the old content types and map them to the new content types • Create external content syncer for each old content type • Identify the content in each old content type for each site
  • Migration - Process • Need the section IDs for the content – use the Content Type Statistics Report for this (you’ll get to know excel a bit better!) • Construct the SQL statement to match the content • Pipe it into a new temp_content section • The content report will also tell you where to put the new content
  • Migration – The Process • Not all content types could be mapped precisely • Again, used the content reports to identify which ones needed manual intervention: • Identifying image and document content not in the media library • Identify other content types that needed copying and pasting • Took a bit of setting up, but a rhythm was soon established. • Syncing has to be done outside of core hours (as it causes Site Manager to run slow while the Sync is running)
  • Migration – How We Fared • Phase 1 took 2 and a half months • Migrated over 50% of pages (out of over 50,000 plus sections) • Largest site took ten minutes to sync and another 40 hours to fully migrate • The average site took about 10 hours • Reduced our initial estimate from 18 months to 12 months • Working on Phase 2 now (with reduced student assistance) • Aim to have completed migration by end of January 2014
  • The External Content Syncer • Not just for external sources • Can be pointed at site manager • Can also be pointed at a CSV file: • We’re using this in the redevelopment of our own IT Services site to import lists of services and people
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • Great for creating A-Z lists or categorised lists • Course lists • People lists • Service lists • Get the users to the content more quickly
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • Course Lists
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • People Lists
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • Service Lists by A-Z
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • Service List by Category
  • Keyword Search Nav Object • Takes a bit of setting up • For our Course A-Z, for instance, we have a number of content types: • • • • Content Type to add the course information Content type to display the list per letter Content type to contain the over all A-Z Different formatters to present the information differently depending on the context. • The A-Z needed some bespoke JavaScript • We were also able to create Keyword Search Nav Object to match courses by College.
  • Keyword Search Nav Object – The Big “However” • We used the external content syncer to import data from course module information system • Then, we used a Keyword Search Nav Object to match content from the module content type to the course content type (using a comma separated list) • At publish time, over 4500 modules need to be read every time Site Manager encounters the individual values in the relevant field in the course content type • Publish time went from 20 minutes to over 2 hours • (To solve this, we had to archive the course section and only publish once a night, which is fine because it doesn’t change that often)
  • In the End… • These tools are invaluable • Great time saver when used well • Small learning curve for the most part • But there are potential pitfalls • We’re still learning (after 9 years of using Site Manager) • Any questions?