Web and Development
The MISD ‘web and development’ team is responsible for developing and delivering web based solutions to business and communications services throughout the UAS and wider University. There are three main areas of expertise represented within the team:-
Web content development, with a focus on usability, accessibility and information architecture. We provide content management services and continually run usability sessions and website testing, producing reports and metrics to help the content owners communicate with their key audiences effectively. We can advise on website structure and information architecture, design (implementing the current design and branding guidelines), web forms and surveys and search engine optimisation. We can help directly or train as appropriate.
Web based application development. Using Java, Ruby on Rails, .NET, PHP and Perl we can deliver bespoke and business process optimised solutions in any business area.
Data and systems integration development. Although primarily done in support of Web content and application development the team has a wide understanding of the key business systems and data and has developed web service based APIs (application programming interfaces) for CHRIS and CamSIS. Other interface work has been done for CUFS and a number of research systems.
Directory of Applications and Services
- Content management. We currently provide the following system with varying degrees of support from complete support (the In-house version, Moodle) to simple hosting (MODX). There is a currently running project to provide an enterprise class web CMS to replace the In-house system.
- In-house built system (and replacement project)
- Wordpress hosting and support (in collaboration with the Office of External Affairs and Communications)
- Moodle (Learning Management System)
- VTSurvey - online anonymous survey system complete with reporting.
Usability studies and audit. Using the MORAE usability auditing suite we can facilitate a usability study using members of a primary audience group and produce detailed reports and recommendations to improve the quality of any website. We can advise on changes to content, content structuring, information architecture, search engine optimisation, meta data management and any issues with the website that affect the impact or usefulness of the content.
Design guidance and technical delivery. We can help both in the support and application of the current Office of External Affairs and Communications approved house style and with developing and enhancing website design both within the guidance limits and outside of them. We typically provide minimum technical specifications for all bespoke design work to ensure minimum standards of usability and accessibility and can work with any design agency to ensure a smooth delivery of enhancements to the house style.
- Bespoke web development. We have a wide ranging and deep knowledge of most technologies related to web application development. We have recently delivered solutions in the following areas:
- Complex online forms and data collection systems. Using a range of approaches (depending on requirements, audience and user expectations) we can build interactive business support systems that help both the user and the 'back office' administrators effectively and efficiently manage data. Examples in this area are University car parking applications and management, applications for bursaries, a bursary calculator, employee self service, a global Alumni groups management system and a University wide events management system.
- Efficient publication workflow solutions. An example of which is the current Reporter publications system developed in collaboration with Cambridge University Press, the Secretariat and MISD to provide a fully automated XML/XSLT publication system.
- Cross systems integration. An example of which would be taking data from CamSIS and an (bespoke) Course and Tutor management system developed for the Institute of Continuing Education and exposing the combined data via the ICE website.
- Design and branding guidance. MISD have worked with UAS offices and external design agencies to provide websites within the OEAC house style (any UAS webpage and the School of Arts and Humanities for example), by extending the house style (the Alumni Office and this website) and outside the house style (BeCambridge, http://www.becambridge.com) for example.
- Representative portfolio of bespoke software
- Employee Self Service system (developed with HR). This is notable in that a number of RESTful web services were also developed to allow easier integration in future with CHRIS data.
- Recruitment advertising and the Jobs website. This is both a major software development to support job advert management across the University but requires integration with the current Jobs website. A web service based email management system in development as part of this service.
- University Events system - providing self-service events management across the university on behalf of the Office of External Affairs and Communications.
- Alumni relations systems - providing management (both in the Alumni office and self-service) of Global Alumni groups.
- Modified payroll (Modpay). Originally developed in-house we are now working with Payroll and HR to extend and improve the service by moving key functionality into the main payroll system which rebuilding the user interface around best user experience practice.
- BGAwards. Building on the work done for Modpay we are developing a management system for Student Awards on behalf of the Board of Graduate Studies.
- eSales and online payment systems. We have developed a web service based online payment gateway that allows the simple development (either by MISD or by departments throughout the University) of payment systems. Our system integrates with the CUFS finance system, the University Banking service and bespoke websites services to provide a simple online payment service.
- Conference Booking System. Built upon the eSales system this service allows any department to create a conference booking microsite that needs to collect payments for accommodations, meals and auxilliary services.
- Systems for Research Services. There are many 'back office' systems for research services including a Budget Calculator that calculates the Department/CHEST split for grant income and the RCO Database that is the main grant administration tool holding data such as contract terms, grant status, funder name and generating the RG number that is used as the grant identifier across the University. Many of these systems have both a web but also a Windows Forms Applications component (that is they are custom Windows applications) built on the .NET Framework.
- There are inumerous other services such as providing RSS feeds, social media integration, online map mash-ups and mobile solutions that span a number of other projects.