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Plonified: Harvard SEAS hits Plone site trifecta

September 1, 2009

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be presenting bits on the recently launched Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences public web site, intranet and faculty/lab subsite infrastructure based on Plone.

Harvard SEAS Public Website – New Site Design (2009)

After initially attending Plone developer training from Jazkarta, SEAS engaged Jazkarta’s professional services team on a larger site redesign project involving the following key facets:

  • A new information architecture and visual design that would increase awareness of research happening at the school.
  • A new intranet site that would offer the SEAS community easier access to important resources.
  • A scalable Plone software architecture that would…
    • Accommodate a shared authentication system.
    • Integrate with a centralized LDAP-based user directory.
    • Provide faculty and staff organization tools including directory listings and bios.
    • Aggregate and distribute news and events syndicated through other university systems.
    • Support multiple faculty/staff-managed “subsites” within a common infrastructure.
  • A soup-to-nuts implementation that would leverage Jazkarta’s expert team of designers and Plone developers.

Harvard SEAS Public Website – Original Design

You can get a more thorough background of the project via a talk given this spring at World Plone Day 2009 Boston, an event hosted by SEAS and the Boston Plone Users Group.

We also presented a case study at Plone Symposium East 2009 (45 minute video, via Penn State’s media streaming service).  Slides from this talk are shown below.

See the video from this presentation.

In forthcoming posts, we’ll dig deeper into project requirements, project management techniques, and Plone best practices, including some exciting uses of emerging Plone technologies and community-provided extensions. For now, congratulations are in order to our friends in the SEAS Communications and Computing & IT groups. The SEAS team provided excellent leadership, content, and technology support during the project. Best of luck to SEAS with their new site!

See part 2 in this series of blog posts about the Harvard SEAS project…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2009 11:01 am

    This is a great help as we use Plone at Western and have been contemplating a similar arrangement.

    One question: Did I understand correctly that they are providing both internal and external content all from within the same instance of Plone?




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