Digital resources management_information_outreach_CSE
Digital Resources Management and Information Outreach Learning from CSEs experience Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Objective of the presentation• Case Study : CSEs ongoing migration from its isolated information systems to a creating a common digital knowledge platform• Whet these ideas with your experiences and see if they appeal to you• Understand and discuss challenges that you may face implementing such things at your organisation• Discuss some potential solutions Disclaimer: While most decisions in change in content workflow and management process have been made collectively, they have been primarily CSE/Ms. Narains direction/vision of simplifying processes at CSE; I/Srijan do not claim originality of most of these ideas Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
How is CSE currently organised downtoearth.org.in LibSys Down To Earth (print mag) cseindia.org.in ScannerNewspapers and Journals Omnidocs Daily News Bulletin (DNB) Digital storage of Manual Stock Photos entries (Filemaker) Acquisition methods rainwaterharvesting.orgInformation Sources Digital/Print Output Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Digital/Print Outputs : Understanding them• downtoearth.org.in • Down to Earth magazines website • Made using a proprietary Content Management System• DNB • A compilation of the days top news • Collected from various newspapers and journals • copied/scanned, abstract written, entered into Libsys (to be discussed) • Sent out to nearly 100,000 subscribers • Sent using an open source mail management system• cseindia.org : website of CSE India• rainwaterharvesting.org : website on information and knowledge articles about Rain Water Harvesting• Repository of Stock photos: • Filemaker • Several DPI versions of stock photos, including thumbnails Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Digital/Print Outputs : Understanding them• Libsys • Repository for • Journal articles • Newsclippings (some of these become part of the DNB) • Books (abstracts, images) • Government documents • Unpublished research thesis and papers • Propreitary system using MySQL database (open source) in a propreitary manner • Extracting data to take to other information repositories has been painful and completely dependent upon Libsyss technology team/management + paid exercise Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
The Knowledge Portal : Vision• While CSE was using it own library for research and writing articles, the database was not accessible to the community at large• As an example, it seems from the 21 participants, only 3, would have liked to visit a library for research work• Most of the study required for presenting papers, thesis, wiritng articles, is done on the net these days• Hence a real need for a knowledge portal, and freeing up CSEs database built over the last 15 to 20 years• This portal would, thus, become a key repository for environment, climate change, indigenous knowledge, other and possibly become one of the premier portals on the subject in India and the world• It would become a platform for community interaction and knowledge sharing• It would also serve as a premier Directory database of all non-profit and government organisations, communities, individuals, on the covered subjects Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Initial Steps• CSE made some concepts• Srijans engagement started with helping to clarify the concepts through use of Wireframes • Lot of discussion on concepts • Identification of types of content • Output was a set of Powerpoint slides depicting the broad portal concepts, key navigation, and content wokflow within the portal • Knowledgebase/Topic Tree was a key concept proposed to create a web-directory like access to content • Tagging all articles, news, books, images, was proposed as a central concept Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Challenges• There was no clear picture of where to start implementation• Content capturing was (and is) happening on a daily basis• Hindering these for developent and deployment of new systems was not an option• Libsys was too much of a critical system to work on initially Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Options in Platform choice• Srijan had expertise in TYPO3 (PHP/MySQL) open source Content Management System (CMS)• Drupal was the other, initially, less-preferred choice, in which Srijan had gained relative expertise Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Why open source?• Zero license fee• Large worldwide development communities; thus stable and continuous development• CSEs team would have access to working on the platform, whenever they chose (unlike the proprietary CMS and Libsys, for which they had to depend upon their tech teams each they wanted some modifications)• Most of the proprietary systems in use at CSE had/have poor or non-existent (even intentionally not encouraged) systems of data-exchange between systems• GPL license prevents holding back of code from the customer; customer gets complete control on system• Established systems of data exchange such as RSS feeds• Option to write customised code using internal tech teams or through agencises like Srijan• No vendor locking• Database access available for migrating data to any system in future Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Choosing Drupal CMS• Finally Drupal was selected for the following reasons: • Tagging and Taxonomy concepts are managed superbly in Drupal, and part of its core strenghts • Knowledge Portal was eventually conceptualised to be a community platform, which has been the core strengths of Drupal • Cacheing in TYPO3 is known to be problematic (being re-written currently) which can lead to load on Server in cases of very high-traffic (millions of Page Views) situations; On the contrary Drupal is known to scale in cases of such high load - www.theonion.com, a big online news portal is known to receive 33 million page views a day • TYPO3 has a separate Back End mechanism to enter articles; Drupal on the contrary has a slightly simpler Front-end interface • Even though TYPO3 is a preferred choice while writing Extensions (customised functionality), writing front-end interfaces for all CSEs content type entries would be a very expensive and time-consuming exercise Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Srijans challenges• When we started Srijan had built only one online news portal for a Malaysian company• We were concerned about being able to estimate the complete project in one-go (as most traditional It companies tend to approach application development), especially in face of the confusion around where to start, and the near-certain process and workflow changes which would have to be carried out during this exercise Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Knowledge Portal : Agile/phased development• A win-win situation for CSE and Srijan was to approach the development of the portalin a phased manner (Agile development)• A migration of current Down To Earth magazine content – the largest articles repository at CSE – residing in MS-SQL database, was recommended• And the project development begun; it is currently under development• Next steps were/are: • Entry forms for Newsclippings, Articles, Books • Migration of News clippings database from Libsys to Portal Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Workflow and process changes being planned• Portal to become the one-point entry source for all content at CSE (there may be some variations in this as we go along) • Libsys to be dropped; Content entry point to be made the Portal • Propreitary CMS for downtoearth.org.in to be dropped; Content entry point to be made the Portal • Filemaker system for images system to be dropped; Content entry point to be made the Portal• Entry of Newsclippings, Articles, Books to all begin in Portal shortly Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd.