Portals and CMS – Why You Need Them Both

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					   Portals and CMS –
Why You Need Them Both
  paul.browning@bristol.ac.uk
                Route map
•   Environmental scan
•   What is a CMS?
•   What is a Portal?
•   How does the CMS relate to the Portal?
•   Demo (maybe some magic, if there’s time)
•   Some reflections
        True confessions …
• We don’t (yet) have a centrally supported
  CMS
• We don’t have an institutional portal
• We plan to have made decisions on both by
  August 2002
• What follows is a mix of vaporware,
  prototypes and incomplete understanding
         Environmental scan I
• From the viewpoint of a research-led University
  say five years ago:
  – The Web is not life threatening
  – The Web is another hassle – what is it replacing?
  – We’re over-subscribed with well qualified
    candidates
• “It’ll be very expensive to put a server in
  Mexico”
         The pre-millennial Web
• A hobby for someone
• Apache on a file system
• Highly manual methods of content creation and
  maintenance
• In effect a read-only medium
• A spot of Perl
• A Webmaster
• Let the “professionals” get back to serious computing
• “Three clicks away from crap”
           Environmental scan II
• From the viewpoint of a research-led University
  today:
  – DDA 1995 & SENDA 2001
  – September 2002
  – Perhaps the Web is career threatening?
     • Let’s re-do the Web to make it accessible
     • Let’s re-paint the Forth Road Bridge again and again and
       again
     • Let’s work harder rather than smarter
The pre-millennial Web can’t scale
 • The pre-millennial Web is broken
 • We need a Web Content Management
   System:
   – A web site is like a dog – it’s for life
   – We need to move beyond the “Freds in the
     Shed”
   – We need a dynamic, automated, write-enabled,
     de-skilled Web …..
   – ….. supported by a multi-skilled Web Team
     (who never touch the content)
The content life cycle
 The defining features of a CMS
• A CMS has substantial overlaps with DMS,
  VLEs, Groupware, Weblogs, Portals ….
• Browning & Lowndes (2001)        CMS Portal
  – Versioning (checkout/in, rollback)   √      x
  – Workflow                             √      x
  – Integration (“joinupability”)        √      √
• Not a finished product; a concept, a set of
  processes, a framework
The most desirable features of a CMS
                      (IWMW, 2000)

  1.   Template-based self-service authoring for non-technical
       content providers (‘frictionless publishing’)
  2.   Roles-based security
  3.   Workflow management - submit, review, approve, archive
  4.   Integration with existing data/databases and user
       authentication systems
  5.   Metadata management
  6.   Flexible output - write once, publish many times
                  The Prospectus in 5 BC
                      (Before Cms)
  E-mail
                                                         Web pages
Word
                                   Page
   Fax                  Word       Maker       Printer

Fag packet



 Annotated copy
 of last year’s                     Fourth party

 Departments         Admissions   Marketing   Third party Webmaster
           The Prospectus in 5 AC
                (After Cms)
                                               Printer

 Browser                                      Web pages

Browser                                        Standard

                                      Robot
Browser
                     CMS                       Text-to-
                                               speech


Browser                                        CD-ROM



 Browser

 Departments   Admissions Marketing      Web Team
               CMS in 2002
• If you haven’t got one or aren’t thinking
  about getting one then you either:
  – Have a web site of less than 100 pages or
  – Have a web site with less than three authors or
  – Are probably dead meat
     Portal = MLE = VLE + CMS
  Portal

           Managed Learning Environment (MLE)
                           Student Information System


             Digital       Virtual Learning
             Library       Environment (VLE)

                                       eTools
            Content Management System (CMS)



eStrategy = an institutional understanding of these relationships?
              What is a portal?
A portal:
  • Aggregates information and applications one stop
    shop
  • Is personalised or ‘groupilised’ one size does not
    fit all
  • Aspires to be your desktop on the Web Webtop
           Examples of portals
                                  TABS

•   Law Intranet
•   Blackboard
•   Amazon
•   Tesco
•   LSE for You



           CHANNELS or PORTLETS
        The benchmark? LSE For You
       Modules (=“channels”) already implemented

Room Booking           Student Photo Boards      Tuition Fees

Address Maintenance    Emergency Contacts        Private Accommodation

Exam Results           Reprographics Usage       Reprographics Jobs

Mailing Lists          Teaching Timetable        Payslips

Examination Details    Class Mailer              Locate a Study Room

Transcripts            DPA Consent               LSE Experts

Application Progress   Collect Network Account   Alumni Employment
The benchmark? LSE For You
Room Booking     Teaching Timetable
The benchmark? LSE For You
Address Maintenance   Tuition Fees
            What is a portal architecture?
                    Why bother?
Before (i.e. now) …..




                                                             User confusion?
    PIMS

          IRIS

  BOFINS

      BORIS

   Coda                                     Lots of stovepipes of
                                            variable length …
      Dolphin
                             Desk-    Pseudo-
                 Invisible                        Webified
                             topped   webified
                 What is a portal architecture?
                         Aggregation
After …..                                            Happy User

   PIMS

          IRIS
                                            Portal
 BOFINS                                  framework       Portal

      BORIS

   Coda
                       ?                  Extending, bending
                              ?           and merging the
      Dolphin                             stovepipes …
                   Desk-    Pseudo-    Webified   PORTALISED
                   topped   webified
      What is a portal architecture?
            Personalisation
After …..    = “stickiness”
                                        Prospective employee
                                           Prospective student
                                             Casual visitor
      Portal                     Show Room http://www.bris.ac.uk
   framework       Portal
                                 Back Office https://www.bris.ac.uk




      Multiple views depending                 Student
       on user and/or device
                                           Staff
                                         HoD
  Ahem …. don’t some CMS do …
 • Aggregation (a.k.a. syndication)?
 • Personalisation?
 • And other bits of a portal framework?
Yes ….
 • Conversant, Frontier (News/magazine type)
 • Vignette, Broadvision (E-business/e-commerce type)
 • Zope + CMF (Framework type)

 Which is why you need to be clear about
 the join between the CMS and the portal
   Dog’s dinner alert I ….

• what follows are just sketches
• by someone with a poor sense of screen design
• aimed at demonstrating some concepts
• a future portal will not look like this!
The “back office” – student1
University of Bristol
 Search       MyBristol       Library   Tools       Publish
              News and Events           Courses
STUDENT       Timetable
   ph0044

My home
address
     E DI T
              Progress File             Exams
My term       Transcript
address
    E DI T

My debt       Bookmarks                 Filestore
    P AY
        The “back office” - staff
University of Bristol
 Se arch     M yBristo l   Library   Tools       Pu blish
              News and Events        Courses
STAFF         Timetable
My home
address
    EDIT
              Porpoise               BOFINS
My next
of kin
    EDIT

My parking    Bookmarks              Filestore
    PAY
The “back office” – student2
University of Bristol
 Search   MyBristol   Library   Tools   Publish
 The “back office” – a customisable Webtop
   View of CMS and other
      U repositories Bwhich
 contentniversity of to ristol
    you e arch writeyaccess Lib ra ry TTW editing intoliCMS
       S have     M Bristol             Too ls    Pub sh
                            wyziwyg



                             We got 15 five-stars!
  The portal is
                                           Tools to automagically
 fundamentally                           upload, convert and publish
content-free – the           zlave
                                                 Office files

 CMS holds the               Publish Of fice file:

     content
       What makes a good portal
             framework?
•   Interoperable (open standards)
•   Agnostic
•   Secure
•   Flexible (incl. “skins”)
•   Stable, scaleable, supportable
•   Future proof
   Candidate portal frameworks?
• Blackboard Level 2 
• Blackboard Level 3 - Now BB Learning System
  £32k/annum + <= £60k consultancy for set-up?
• Zope 
• Long list of payware options 
• Short list
   – Oracle Portal ?

   – uPortal ?
           Demo

• Is there time?
• If not, and you’d like see it,
  then back here @ 17:30
Oracle Portal demo




    • Glasgow Caledonian
    uPortal demo


• Delaware
        Dog’s dinner alert II ….
• what follows is a proto-prototype
   • constructed by staff with other day jobs and some students
   • no concessions made w.r.t. usability or presentation
   • running on a desktop PC
   • aimed at demonstrating some concepts:
        • Aggregation
        • Integration
        • Personalisation
        • Customisation
   • a future portal will not look or work like this!
              uPortal demo
• Bristol out of the box
• Bristol prototype
        What is a portal architecture?
                         Application           “Browsers”
       Content
                           server
                                             Portal channel
      PIMS, etc

   Database CMS                                   WAP
  The portal is        Servlet container
  File system (Zope)
 fundamentally         Portal framework           PDF
content-free – the
   Message store
 CMS holds the          XML/XSLT
     News store                                 Disabled
      content
     RSS feeds
                       Authentication          Applicant
   Anything XML           service
                                           Views depending on
                                            user and/or device
     LoadsaX’s to get our heads round

     • XML                                           Browser

     • XSLT
                                                     Printer
     • XHTML
                                                      WAP
                       XSLT
              XML
                                                     uPortal
Application
 or Data
              We all need a Sebastian Rahtz! XHTML
             Some reflections
•   CMSPortal
•   Siloware vs. Glueware
•   Senior managers
•   Who’s the CTO?
•   IWMW 2003
•   Putting lipstick on bulldogs
CMSPortal
How we’d like things to be ….

               SIS


                 Portal
    Digital   framework   CMS
    Library
                             Agnostic, open
                          standards compliant
              DNER        – plugs and sockets
      … but how it often is

Siloware
                   SIS


       Digital      Portal
                 framework   CMS
       Library

                             just sockets –
                 DNER          “do it our
                                  way”
Doncha love Senior Managers?
    • Why can’t we just use Google?
    • We don’t need a portal – we just need a
      well-designed Web site
    • Our SIS is ‘Best of Breed’ so it must be
      good
    • Why can’t we just use Outlook and
      Exchange?
               Who’s the CTO?
• Your Director of IT Services?
• UCISA? Siloware is often golfcourseware
    – “It gets sold to senior executives by smooth-talking
      sales executives who claim their products solve every
      conceivable business problem, is a doddle to install,
      standards compliant, holographic user interfaces,
      everything.”
•   SCONUL?
•   ALT?
                                We need to be investing in
•   JISC?                       glueware and the people
•   eEnvoy?                     who can use it
•   Who’s the CIO?
          The Scaleable Web
               (IWMW 2003)
• Making it easy for the end-user means more
  complexity behind the scenes
• The increasing dynamic Web will start to fail
  as sites get busier
• Who in your institution is looking at:
  – Load balancing
  – Clustering
  – Cacheing
• Amazon & Tesco have
• Overlaps with the GRID?
 The technology is the easier bit
"The worst thing you can do is to Web-
  enable a bad process," said Friedlein.
  "As a client once put it: 'There's no
  point in putting lipstick on a
  bulldog,'" he added.
Getting content management strategy right, ZD Net UK,
  Dec 12th, 2001, Geoff Choo

From Information Strategy to eStrategy?
           Future performance target:
           Four clicks away from 7x24 crap
From Desktop to Webtop
An Information Systems Strategy?


  stellar                     Many readers,        Casual visitor
                              some writers            Prospective student
  Maintrix
              eclipse             fsb                    Prospective employee
   CARB

                                  IRIS
                                                             HERO
   PIMS
               DataHub                          Show Room http://www.bris.ac.uk
  Dolphin                       VIOLET
                                                Back Office https://www.bris.ac.uk
   Coda
                              The Portal
              DataHaven
   User
                                  Web
   Aleph                       Application
                                 server
  Envision                                                   Student
                             Multiple views,
   Sports                   depending on role           Staff
                                                      HoD
Operational    Corporate       Information
processing    information      deployment           HESA

				
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