“Next Steps”

When we were planning the agenda for the Oct. 27 ITC meeting, there was one really clear theme: what are the “next steps.”

The Sitefinity CMS is up and running smoothly and efficiently. Many of our top-level edu pages are now in the system, and we’ve been adding a few additional projects to the mix. There has been some major work since the last blog update, including a redesign and simplification of the server structure for the content system (more on some technical stuff in a future post). We’ve also been making improvements and refinements to the templates and core tool, and pushing those updates out after hours.

We’ve also completed work on the registration form; this form is important as it will do several things: a) it will be the way you request any new site, including one to be hosted in Sitefinity; 2) we’ll use the info collected in the form—including things like site owners and assigned roles—to populate our site inventory; 3) it will provide the framework for the annual follow up/review required for all sites. We built “tips and guides” into the form, but one thing that came out of the ITC meeting was the need for an introduction or explanatory cover page for the process. We are developing that now and plan to have it ready for people next week.

The same team in Information Services that currently sets up web sites will be getting the registration form requests; a meeting among them to go over Sitefinity took place this week, so that’s in place.

We are planning a pilot Sitefinity training/demo class for the second week in November; once we have details we will push it out to the developer group. The class will target midlevel users, the role we are calling “designers” (planning a post soon w/ details on roles). These are people who are setting up/building sites and populating the initial content. We’re going to cap this first group at about 25 people, but we do plan to record the session and it should be a handy complement to the online documentation that we’ll be introducing.

One final issue we discussed was adjusting our timetable, which originally had us all branded, in the new template and/or in Sitefinity by the end of this calendar year (you know, like now). That’s going to be rolled back and we’re going to propose the end of the fiscal year (next summer) as our new deadline. We think that’s very realistic and will give even the busiest people and areas time to work this in among other priorities.