Marking an important milestone in our web evolution

Monday we’ll launch the new iUTMB page, and it signals reaching an important point for all of us involved in web development (and even web use) at UTMB. We’ll push the first of the new pages using the Sitefinity framework into production, and from there, there is no turning back. The conversion of the external home page will follow; we’ll have the timetable ready to share once we see how iUTMB goes and start to process the mapping and redirects to some 400 affected sites. (It’ll be roughly in the 10-15 days range.) In the meantime, we’ll finish up our site request form and start pushing out more information to developers and site owners.

No one ever thought this job would be small or easy. But it’s worth taking a brief minute to celebrate where we are and share some of the technical accomplishments that were necessary to get us here. A lot of planning and hard work are coming together. The framework for UTMB web’s presence has been rebuilt anew, looking strategically to the future. Kudos to our colleagues on the ITC, the many others that have supported the effort, and especially Mike Cooper and Toby Smith, who teamed up to grunt this work into existence. Just focusing on the technical tasks, here’s a partial rundown of what’s been done: 

Web Infrastructure

  • New Web Servers & IIS Configurations
    •     File/folder/site clean-up on all web server
  • New Databases
  • Multi-tenant web content management system (CMS)
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Nuget Package Manager
  • UTMB WebNav API (Web API Service)
  • TFS (Team Foundation Server) version control / project management
  • Site Inventory Tool
  • Sitefinity AD (Active Directory) group

Professional Modern Web Applications

  •  One frontend framework (presentation layer) for all UTMB web applications
    •     Sitefinity, WordPress, Web Apps/Sites
  •  Semantic, accessible, standards-based web architecture
  •  Adaptive approach to UI content delivery
    •     Mobile-First, responsive design (RWD) for modern browsers
    •     Static (adaptive) delivery for old IE
  •   Accessibility / SEO focused
    •     Content-first rendering
    •     HTML5 semantic elements – meaningful, targetted presentation for modern and future technologies
    •     WAI ARIA Roles for assistive technologies
  • Bootstrap-based frontend design and component framework
  • Lightweight, mobile-focused content strategy

Web App Asset Management

  •  One code base / source, versioned for all UTMB web templates – UTMB Web 2.0*
    •     UTMB Sitefinity
    •     UTMB Web Apps – C#.NET, VB.NET, C# MVC, Classic ASP
    •     UTMB WordPress
    •     UTMB Mail (work in progress)
  •  Sass / Grunt workflow – all templates / frameworks
    •     Leveraging automated tasks for speed, accuracy and versioning
    •     CSS and JavaScript linting for debugging / validation
  •  CDN delivered web assets (CSS, JavaScripts,fonts, images, etc.)
    •     Everything over SSL
    •     Caching (speed)
    •     Parallel download (speed)
  •   Nuget Package Management – all apps (except Classic ASP or HTML)
    •     Automated project version updates inside of Visual Studio
  •  TFS source / version control – all core web projects (work in progress
  •  UTMB WebNav API – single (web service) source for all institutional menus
    •     Institutional
    •     Academic
    •     Business & Finance
    •     UTMBHealth.com
  •  Site Inventory Tool (work in progress)
    •     Extend to incorporate content sign-off

The UTMB Sitefinity CMS

  •  The UTMB Sitefinity Framework
    •     UTMB SF frontend templates (presentation layer)
    •     UTMB widget integration
    •     UTMB Site Settings module for managing site templates
    •     UTMB Dashboard – welcome messages, notifications, etc.
  •  UTMB Sitefinity CMS: Four core multi-tenant instances
    •     Intranet – (dev, stage, prod)
    •     WWW – (dev, stage)
    •     Academic – (dev, stage)
    •     UTMBHealth.com – (dev, stage)
  •  Custom configurations
    •     Ldap Integration (SF AD Group)
    •     Disabled modules not in use
    •     MVC Feather
    •     Mail/Forms integration
      •         UTMB Mail (forms/newsletter) templates (work in progress)
  •  UTMB Alert Bar capability across sites
  •  UTMB Sitefinity Documentation (work in progress)
  •  UTMB Sitefinity Training (work in progress)

UTMB Web Root

  •  New SF hosted responsive home pages
    •     iUTMB and Public Home