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This tool is user maintained and supported. Have some talent or experience to share? We’d love to hear about it. To become a content contributor, contact itc@utmb.edu.

UTMB Web Developer Resources

A site inventory, templates, tools, documentation and more are available to the UTMB web development community at http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/.

Recap of Aug. 4 Sitefinity CMS introduction

On Aug. 4, we presented an update on the Web Reboot initiative and an introduction to the Sitefinity content management system. The session drew a large and engaged audience with a lot of great questions. The meeting was recorded and the video, handouts, a session evaluation form and the presentation are now below:

Draft of new web guidelines ready for review and input

We’ve been working to flesh out some updated web guidelines in time to share at today’s large meeting between the ITC and members of the UTMB web development community. These are designed to align with new requirements and capabilities mapped out as part of the Web Reboot. The guidelines are now ready for review and feedback:

Please send your questions and suggestions to itc@utmb.edu.

First major Sitefinity system upgrade nearly complete

We took the Sitefinity CMS offline on 7/30 for a core system upgrade; it should be available to the users who are part of our staging pilot later today (about 12 people).

We knew upgrades are part of the Sitefinity ecosystem; our colleagues in Family Medicine have used this CMS for a few years and they had given us a sense of what to expect. Every good tool needs to evolve.

However, because so much work has gone into getting us to this point, we were a little leery of launching a new version. After a demo session about it, the benefits looked pretty significant. Even better, the update work has gone very well: the system is running faster, we have better support for ASP MVC 5 and .NET 4.5, and a number of new, very slick MVC-based widgets have been added. The upgrade made sense now, during the pilot and before we had a hundred new users.

Updates are part of our contracted service and we anticipate significant ones will come along at least annually. Once we are out of the build phase and operational, we envision those upgrades going through IS and following the sorts of protocols we use for other applications.

Introduction to the Sitefinity CMS for Web Authors, Developers, Managers

On Tuesday, August 4, members of the Internet Technology Committee will be presenting an introduction to UTMB’s new web content management system, Sitefinity. The session will offer an overview and demo of the tool and target anyone involved in web site creation or web management at UTMB.

Meeting details:

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015
1  to 2:30 p.m.
Research Building # 6, 1.206 Auditorium ***NOTE NEW LARGER LOCATION***
(Formerly Children’s Hospital) 

The meeting will offer a general project update and overview, define roles and types of users, show the CMS dashboard and primary tools, and describe the templates, navigation and types of pages and content. It will also outline how to request a new site, walk attendees through a checklist for creating or moving a site, address revised policies and requirements, and more.

To ensure we can accommodate all attendees, RSVPs are requested. Send an email to ITC@utmb.edu  to reserve your spot. The meeting will also be recorded and posted online. 

The content management system is part of a larger new web suite of tool and updates that were introduced this past May. Called the “Web Reboot,” the project also includes mobile site templates, link and spelling validation, a digital image library, new guidelines and page requirements, social media changes, and training and tutorials to support the web development community and those they serve.

Update on the Sitefinity CMS

It’s been a busy few weeks since we introduced the Web Reboot last May. In this post, I wanted to provide an update on where we are with one of the key tools of the project, the Sitefinity content management system.

 We’ve been working to build (and then optimize) the multiple installs/instances that will serve www, intranet, academic and .com. That work is finished, and we hit a major milestone last week when we started (on a limited basis) building actual pages.

We selected a few developers to help us kick the tires and do some initial development. Part of the goal is to stress test the tool, but we also want to help inform the development of the training. So far it’s been going well. One of the sites being built is a user reference for Sitefinty users and developers, and that will likely be one of the first items we share with you.

We will be working to push our first Sitefinity pages live in July; we are looking at dates in August for some classroom training sessions (on top of a decent amount of online content that exists or is being developed).

The sandbox/playground we’ve set up for the Web Reboot introduction is still available for you. We are using it as the starting place for people interested in the tool, to give them a chance to get a feel for how it works.  

To get the credentials to access the Sitefinity playground,  contact us at itc@utmb.edu.

There is a good library of Sitefinity-related material online; not all of it applies to every user or to our implementation, but it’s a good way to scan what some of the capabilities are:

More coming soon…

Project update: Razuna access and Sitefinity playground

It’s hard to believe it’s already been two weeks since we introduced the “Web Reboot.”  

Of the projects mentioned on the project cheat sheet, Razuna, Siteimprove, the templates, Google Search, Site Inventory and Angelfish  are ready now. We recently fleshed out some basic “how to” documents for the digital library (Razuna). We’re building them into a website, but you can get a PDF preview below:

We’re still building out the content management system (Sitefinity), adding some features and developing the training. There is a programmers’ group meeting weekly on module and application development. And, there is a “digital playground” in place for those eager to get a peek at the tool and its functionality. This playground is shared; swim at your own risk and be advised it will be wiped. It’s really just a sneak peek. If you want to try it, contact us at ITC@utmb.edu and we’ll send you instructions and the credentials.

Web Reboot video stream now online

We were thrilled to welcome and engage about 100 colleagues in Levin Hall on May 12 for the introduction of the 2015 Web Reboot. We had some great questions and discussion, and are looking forward to hosting additional topic- and tool-specific sessions in the future. If you missed the meeting, materials are below, and you can watch the webcast now:

We’ve placed the meeting materials online for your review:

Our thanks to videographer Raymond Curran and Classroom & Technical Services for their support, and to all who were able to brave the looming rain to attend.

Hope you can join us today for Web Reboot introduction

We’re watching the weather and hoping our 10 am meeting doesn’t coincide with a deluge; we’re looking forward to a great discussion.

The Reboot will introduce new tools, including a simple-yet-sophisticated web content management system, mobile site templates, link and spelling validation, a digital image library, new guidelines and page requirements, social media changes, and training and tutorials to support the web development community and those they serve. The meeting is today,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
10 to 11 a.m.
Levin Hall North Auditorium

The meeting is being hosted by the Internet Technology Committee and will be recorded and rebroadcast.

We’ve placed the meeting materials online for your review:

Meeting to introduce “Web Reboot” set for May 12

It’s time. After more than a year of work by a team representing every entity at UTMB, it’s time to share the project widely. Are we totally ready? No. We don’t have all the answers (we don’t have all the questions), which is why this is the perfect time to engage the larger community of campus web developers.

If this is the first you’ve heard of this, the “Web Reboot” is a multifaceted project a year plus in development. The project was developed and is being presented by the Internet Technology Committee (ITC); it was endorsed by the university’s leadership earlier this year.

The Reboot will introduce new tools including a simple yet sophisticated web content management system, mobile site templates, link and spelling validation, a digital image library, new guidelines and page requirements, social media changes, and training and tutorials to support the web development community and those they serve.

The meeting is set for Tuesday, May 12, 2015, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Levin Hall North Auditorium.

We’ll be providing an overview and starting a discussion. Some of the tools are ready now, some are close, others are still in development.

The meeting will not be streamed but it will be recorded and rebroadcast. The meeting is open to anyone at UTMB with an interest in Internet technology or development. Hope you can join us.

What is the 2015 Web Reboot and how will we learn about it?

Led by the ITC, the “Web Reboot” is a multifaceted plan consisting of revamped tools, resources, training and policies designed to elevate and enhance UTMB’s Internet presence. At the heart of the project is an approach that emphasizes collaboration, coordination and shared governance to introduce new efficiencies to the institution’s web development teams, and a better, higher-quality experience for the users of UTMB’s web sites.

A communication plan maps out the strategies to share the plan, introduce the tools and new policies, and engage participants.

Communication about the Web Reboot will target three primary audiences:

1)      Leadership, Managers: Will be offered a high-level overview emphasizing the objectives, strategies and capabilities of the project and its components, the opportunities and potential impact on their respective areas. Will be asked for input, and asked to support implementation. (Mike King and Pep Valdes)

2)      Web Designers, Authors and Content Contributors: Same as above, although this group will also be shown the actual tools in action, be invited to test and use them, and will be the subjects of more focused and targeted outreach and training around the tools and changes. (Multiple members of the ITC, coordinated by Pep Valdes and Matt Havard)

3)    Web Developers and Programmers: This group will plan and develop the “back end”: they will install and implement the tools, develop the programming to create functionality, develop modules to be shared with designers, authors and contributors. They will also maintain code and set and maintain programming/development standards. (Mike Cooper, Mark Schultze)    


Communication about the Web Reboot will take place throughout 2015, starting with leadership and managers. (Jan. – Mar. 2015). Communication to our other two key audiences (designers, authors and content contributors plus web developers and programmers) began in February 2015 and follow parallel, continuous tracks. The bulk of the detailed communication and messaging will be in place and launch by spring 2015, with the implementation/adoption of many the key “Web Reboot” tools, templates and guidelines under way by December 2015.

What is this “ITC”?

People at large organizations like UTMB love acronyms; for the past couple of years a new one has been circulating, and it’s likely you’ve not heard it. The “ITC” is UTMB’s “Internet Technology Commitee.” It’s a small group set up in 2012 by the former CIO Ralph Farr and the current CIO Todd Leach (who was second in command at the time). The charge is set out in the group’s charter:    

The ITC is charged with providing strategic alignment with institutional priorities and establishing the policies and guidelines that the university will abide by when developing and updating content targeting patients, students, employees, alumni, donors and other constituents.

This group will ensure there is consistency across mission areas in branding and functionality. Examples of issues and technologies that the ITC will provide guidance on include online branding, web sites, social media, and mobile/tablet device delivery.

The standing members of the group are below, they are frequently joined by others who contribute specific expertise, insights or perspective on different topics: 

  • Tonya R. Broussard, Business and Finance
  • Matt Havard, Information Services/B&F
  • Mike J. King, Information Services/B&F
  • Dr. Chris Edwards, Health System
  • Mary Feldhusen, Health System
  • Tim Hilt, Nursing Service/Health System
  • Jimmy Clark, Provost
  • Cindy Ferris, SON/Provost
  • Mary Jo Singleton, Provost
  • Mark Schultze, Provost
  • Dr. Lindsay Sonstein, SOM/Provost
  • Mike Cooper, Marketing & Communications
  • Pep Valdes, Marketing & Communications

A look back and a look ahead

There’s some rumbling underfoot in the UTMB Web World, and it’s not the “Big Dig” that has streets torn up around campus for the work on utilities and infrastructure. We (Internet Technology Committee) have been working quietly but steadily in the background, assessing tools, acquiring new capabilities, building the digital web equivalent of the robust infrastructure that the construction teams are burying under campus. Many of you have seen or heard about bits and pieces of it: mobile templates, inventory tool, site checking capabilities, image library, a new CMS. Now it’s almost time to reveal the entire package. While we can’t squeeze it all in a single post, we can share an infographic that summarizes 2014 and lays the groundwork for 2015 and beyond.

ITC Web Update and Goals
ITC Web Update and Goals

Congratulations to UTMB’s 2014 MCPs!

Pictured L to R: (back row) Roger Cooley, John Gibson, Toby Smith, Michael Seymour, T. Mathew, Chris King, Gary Cowan, Lance Hoang, Mike Cooper (front row) Anirban Chakrabarty, Ashley West, Alan Tang, Mark Thompson, Prasanth Manukonda, Jim Koppe, Titus Wiggins (not pictured) Nancy Stokes

Congratulations and great job to all of the UTMB web developers who earned their MCP certification by completing the grueling two week MCSD boot camp training course and exams. We know it was two solid weeks of long days, hard work and a lot of very strong, black coffee. Great work, all! And a special round of thanks to our gracious hosts, MCSD trainer, Alan Tang and CTREC/Hilton. Go Red Team!


We’re ready to run a report for you

Last November we started testing and piloting a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. It also has a nifty inventory feature that lists the number and types of pages, types of files, problematic content. During testing, we used the tool aggressively on UTMBHealth.com (our patient portal); more recently we’ve begun targeting our edu sites. Developers in our schools were also among our initial group of testers, and some other high profiles sites such as IHOP were in the first round.

The consensus: we like the tool, it’s proven useful. We still have a lot of work to do to address all the issues. But as we do, we’re also ready to help you with your sites by running some reports for the resources you manage. If you have a public facing site (not on our intranet and not a blog or business app on a dedicated server like MyChart), we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. If that’s not enough, we can get you access to an online dashboard.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s very gratifying to watch the reported errors drop. One little glitch in your navigation or a relocated/missing document in a shared footer can generate a lot of errors.

To request this service, contact Melissa Harman or Pep Valdes with your directories or sites to be scanned.

A recent screen capture of a UTMBHealth.com report
A recent screen capture of a UTMBHealth.com report

Feeling inundated?

Back in 2009, Bits (the NY Times technology blog) posted a story based on a study done at UC San Diego. In a nutshell, it said:

the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. (Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is only 460,000 words long.) This doesn’t mean we read 100,000 words a day — it means that 100,000 words cross our eyes and ears in a single 24-hour period. That information comes through various channels, including the television, radio, the Web, text messages and video games.

This was data from 2008. The iPhone arrived in 2007. It was 2010 before the first iPad hit the scene, followed by a proliferation of other tablets. I wonder what the numbers would look like today?

Read the full article

New responsive web templates now available


New institutional web templates have now been released. The templates are responsive; they are designed to work well across a wide array of devices, and take a “mobile first” approach to content delivery. While the new templates look similar to current designs (evolution vs. revolution), they function in a totally different way. We encourage you to visit the templates site and explore what’s available. (For best experience, visit with FireFox or similar modern browser. Templates are designed to degrade gracefully for older versions of IE. )

View templates and info: http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/templates/
Project contacts: Mike Cooper mgcooper@utmb.edu, Toby Smith tlsmith@UTMB.EDU

Site Check: testing for quality, broken links, spelling

We have been testing a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. We’ve found it to be very useful during our pilot on utmbhealth.com. For those being scanned in the public utmb.edu domain, we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. To request this service, contact us with your directories or sites to be scanned.

Overview: http://siteimprove.com/
Project  contacts:  Melissa Harman msharman@utmb.edu, Pep Valdes pvaldes@utmb.edu

Inventory Tool now being populated, used


As part of a larger initiative to update UTMB’s overall web presence, a new digital site inventory is now available. It will be shared with the entire UTMB community. As a developer, you can do a quick search under the “Site Manager” field for all the web resources currently associated with your name. You can log into the site (standard UTMB username and PW) to see additional details, and to add or make updates to the information associated with your resources. This tool is being launched with the information currently available, but we need your help to fill in or correct many gaps. If you have problems or need additional permissions, contact one of the team members below.

Site link: http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/sites/
Project contacts: Mike Cooper mgcooper@utmb.edu, Pep Valdes pvaldes@utmb.edu, Toby Smith tlsmith@UTMB.EDU, Myra McCollum mmccollu@utmb.edu (social media projects), Melissa Harman msharman@utmb.edu

What’s in the works?

There’s a great deal of additional work taking place at UTMB Health that will support developers in their web roles in the coming months. A review of the UTMB Identity System is planned; we are actively seeking a digital asset management tool (that will facilitate an image library); there’s an ongoing review of new content management systems and forms creation tools; new branded and responsive blog templates are being developed. New or additional video hosting options are being explored, and discussions have begun about a new centralized physician/provider database. We always invite your questions, ideas and participation.

Social Media and Logo Usage

UTMBSocialMediaBadgeFor those of you who manage or are involved with social media projects, we recently made a tweak to our logo usage guidelines specific to social media.  We recognized that in the square image area used for profile pictures by most of the social channels (e.g. the profile photo on Facebook), our rectangular UTMB Health logo was tiny and barely legible. We did a survey of how several similar organizations addressed this, and have developed a mark for social media only that plays off our brand and maximizes its “bull’s eye” aspect.

Additional information: http://blogs.utmb.edu/social/2013/10/01/custom-approach-to-logo-for-social-media/
Project contact: Myra McCollum mmccollu@utmb.edu