BrownSites: Year Two


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BrownSites: Year Two

  1. 1. BrownSites: Year Two Brown University WebServices Bill Bordac - Web Design Team Manager Alozie Nwosu - Senior Web Developer The Power of Drupal in Higher EducationJuly 31, 2012 — Acquia HQ, Burlington, MA
  2. 2. BrownSites & Drupal @ Brown•  BrownSites = Departmental Web Template Service•  BrownSites is part, not whole presence of Drupal @ Brown•  Other groups/apps using Drupal: o  Library o  Advancement o  Transportation o  News
  3. 3. Redesign Brown.edu2009: Public Affairs (PAUR) and IT (CIS) redesign effort
  4. 4. BrownSites BeginsSummer 2010: Development begins on new WebTemplate Service (BrownSites)
  5. 5. ReloadedFall 2010: redesign launchedBefore: Brown Home Page c. 2010After: Current Brown Home
  6. 6. BrownSites LaunchJan-Feb 2011: BrownSites Pilot Sites launchedBefore:Modern Culture and Media (MCM) - OldAfter:MCM Now - as BrownSite
  7. 7. BrownSites Year OneFeb 2012: Version 1.2 Sites in Production: ~80
  8. 8. BrownSites NowVersion 1.3Sites in Production: 100!!!
  9. 9. BrownSites•  the Product•  the Service•  the Support•  the Platform•  the Infrastructure
  10. 10. BrownSites as a Product: Features•  Departmental web template/CMS•  Customizable banner image•  Brown masthead with universal navigation•  Customizable banner image•  Default IA (customizable; designed for academic depts, but all depts use BrownSites)•  Footer—half Brown; half customizable•  Role-based permissions•  Workflow•  Revision support•  Newsfeed
  11. 11. BrownSites as a Product: Features (contd)•  Inline Media paste URL directly into Body embeds player -works with YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr slideshows similar functionality for local streaming server -Wowza•  CalWidget Bedework calendar integration•  Department Course Listings Banner integration (plus other data sources)•  Restricted Nodes users can restrict viewing to Brown community only
  12. 12. BrownSites as a Product: Lessons•  Default IA being used!•  Getting a sense of what customizations are frequently sought after•  Users want Google integration (calendars, forms, etc.)•  Content, content, content! Great templates dont make great web sites
  13. 13. BrownSites as a Product: Next•  D7•  Responsive Design•  Department Faculty Listings Banner integration (plus other data sources)•  MACE/Grouper integration (?)•  Restricted File Support
  14. 14. BrownSites as a Service: Features•  Base site free; depts pay for customizations•  Sites placed in new IA (as they migrate to BrownSites)•  One short URL per site•  Self-service short URL tool (similar to bitly)•  Online request system Spin-up script (incldg project management integration)•  Pay Services (partial list): Content Migration Plug and Play Features slideshows, external news feeds, etc. Custom Features
  15. 15. BrownSites as a Service: Lessons•  Overall adoption has been successful•  Quiet acceptance of fee-for-service model•  Universal navigation (masthead) can still be a hard sell•  Updating older versions problematic need to maximize use of Features instead of versioning base site, version individual Features
  16. 16. BrownSites as a Service: Next•  New Request System: o  fully automate approval & spin up process o  provide site owners with You Are Here in process o  system of record for site data o  track customizations (for metrics and for support)•  Feature-ize components
  17. 17. BrownSites Support: Features•  Attendance at 3 hr training session required•  Help Desk staff also trained refresher with each version BrownSites HD pros given Editor roles on all sites•  Online documentation for baseline BrownSites
  18. 18. BrownSites Support: Lessons•  User management is time consuming Site Owner role instituted to allow for adding of new users, changing roles, etc.•  Many departments arent ready to build lack of content strategy delays require retraining/site respins (versioning)•  Retraining issues with customized features due to staff turnover/lack of documentation
  19. 19. BrownSites Support: Next•  In-site documentation for customizations•  Expand documentation align with Features•  Add more screencasts
  20. 20. BrownSites as Platform & Infrastructurefrom 2010 Project Proposal:•  simple maintenance of core software•  easily supported, flexible, and scalable•  dynamic feature integration across multiple web sites•  easy migration from existing CMS
  21. 21. BrownSites as Infrastructure: Features•  Core CMS Implementation: o  Drupal 6.x - single core multisite•  Leverage existing web publishing infrastructure: o  Apache 1.x round-robin cluster o  PHP 5.x o  MySQL 5.x•  Platform maintenance utilities: o  drush o  custom site deployment scripts - Perl and PHP o  additional custom management scripts (PHP, bash)
  22. 22. BrownSites as Infrastructure: Lessons•  Needs over bleeding edge: o  Drupal 7 launched Jan 2011 o  BrownSites on Drupal 6 launched Feb 2011•  Set the stage: o  Staging platform a must for testing and upgrades o  Integrate deploy and upgrade tools•  Legacy lag: o  Legacy apps + BrownSites = updgrade headaches•  Keep friends (infrastructure teams) close: o  strong communication/coord REQUIRED
  23. 23. BrownSites as Infrastructure: Next•  BrownSites 2.0 -> Drupal 7 o  now building new students.brown service using D7 o  required for future upgrade to Drupal 8•  LAMP stack upgrades o  MySQL 5.x - already done o  PHP 5.3 - underway (Drupal 6 issues) o  Apache 2 - forthcoming•  Planning for custom and legacy o  Virtual hosts for one-off sites and apps o  Move to "touch-free" BrownSites infrastructure
  24. 24. BrownSites as Platform: Features•  Implement flexible and reusable functionality o  Modules, config, and content as package o  Planned upgrade cycle•  Transparent CMS o  Let departments be content experts not CMS experts•  "It just works"...or fail gracefully o  Caching o  Backup and Migrate o  Handling errors
  25. 25. BrownSites as Platform: Lessons•  Build to upgrade: o  BrownSites version upgrades labor intensive o  Upgrading existing sites requires extra work o  Difficult to manage features without Features•  For the Win/FAIL o  "Drupal does it" / "Theres a problem with Drupal" o  Platform improvement - invisible o  Platform errors - extremely visible•  Cache in hand: o  Boost module = significant speed increase o  Overall server performance gains o  Backup redundancy
  26. 26. BrownSites as Platform: Next•  BrownSites 2.0 -> Features (+ Apps?) o  ease deployment and upgrades o  consolidating modules and config•  Power Deployment - to be investigated: o  Jenkins? o  Aegir + multisite patch?•  Bolstering the Platform o  investigating Varnish cache w/UNIX team o  additional caching tools - APC and Memcache o  performance testing - measure, monitor, alert o  Shibboleth integration (for auth and groups)
  27. 27. Admin UI and Sites Folderswitch to desktop to demonstrate admin UI and to view core file structure
  28. 28. Contact Bordac Email: bbordac LinkedIn: Slideshare: bbordacAlozie Nwosu Email: alozie LinkedIn: Slideshare: alozie