After almost 3 years in the making, American Jewish University's website has evolved. Originally created in the late 1990's as the University of Judaism, it was developed and implemented with what was at the time, a state of the art proprietary CMS (Content Management System). At the time, CMS offered substantial economies of scale in web content management, but as technology evolved over the years, the old CMS started showing its age.
When the University of Judaism merged with the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, creating American Jewish University, it became apparent that a new, more robust system was needed to complement all of the events, facilities and resources available to this great institution. The decision was made to purchase a new more robust CMS, and based upon their clientele (Microsoft, ESPN, Kodak, The Home Depot, Nasdaq, NASA,Walmart, and many others), the Ektron 400 CMS was implemented.
The Ektron CMS has many built-in features which allow us to "create, deploy, and manage enterprise-scale, global, personalized websites and deliver dynamic web experiences." It is very customizable, and in our case, we have implemented numerous third party components such as the menu system and script libraries for fancy animations, video and other effects. We developed a number of customizations demanded by our clientele as well, and other features for security and domain management.
Some of the main built-in features which we utilize are the specialized document management system (searchable PDF, MS Word, Excel), media management (for images, video, flash and other embedded content), dynamic content management, security and user management, and many other features.
Originally the website for the University of Judaism was designed and implemented as one single website and the existence of a sub-site was purely an afterthought.. In the new design, the websites were designed with modularity in mind, on both a macro and micro scale.
( Webpages sample )
On the macro scale:
1. The websites were split into individual sub-sites based on the needs of individual university departments. This allowed each of the departments to have their own design, menu structure, content area, graphics, and most importantly, individual sub domains. ex: CAS can be reached directly by going to college.ajula.edu, MBA to mba.ajula.edu, MAEd by maed.ajula.edu, and so on. (see structure below)
2. Each website has specific requirements for menus, forms, and content, which can be separated from or applied to other websites.
3. Search functionality can be separated from site to site and domain to domain.
4. DMS (Document Management System) can be customized as needed.
5. Completely separate AJULA home page, and individual website home pages, allows for autonomy of individual sites as well as an overall AJU branding of all sites.
On a micro scale:
1. Components can be implemented individually of other websites. For example, directory and contact information can be individual to a site or across multiple sites.
2. Design features for look and feel are separated from content, which allows for quick customization.
3. Specific features such as the functionality of the right side bar can be customized to the requirements of the specific client.
1. Custom animation on all sites headers implemented via jQuery, milonic and in-house built components.
2. Custom slideshows, media display features such as video, images and flash can be implemented on a page by page need.
3. And many other custom components.
A brief technical background:
1. Domain registrations, security certificates provided by GoDaddy
3. Back-end is implemented on MS. SQL 2008 dbms and IIS7 or IIS6
4. Security implementation (you guess, because we won’t tell.)
5. All development is produced to support the most popular browsers (IE6 thoughIE9, Firefox 3 & 4, Chrome, Safari and Opera).
6. Google trends are used for statistical analysis
AJULA designs were built in the spirit WEB 2.0 concepts. Strict compliance with XHTML standards were designed and implemented on all client site features. All HTML designs are HTML 4 and CSS2 configured as needed. Some features were implemented in HTML 2 and CSS 1 for browser compatibility.
For additional information about the process and technology used for the website contact firstname.lastname@example.org