Leveraging RedDot CMS to create UNICEF websites around the world at Summit 2007

A little late in starting. Presenter reminds me of Rosemary, for some reason.

Organizational structure (IT team separate from content entry) similar to how we want to work. RedDot responsible for publishing the sites.

RedDot chosen to allow for easy internal customization of interfaces. Fits internal plans of decentralization while allowing a centralized technical system.

Set up a LOT of projects and project groups. Publishes in multiple languages. Update content without programming. Lots of non-technical staff in the field. Limited telephone access. Little experience with internet and internet technology. Slow/unreliable connections. Inclusive of users in developing world.

Extensive use of permissions in the interface to ensure clarity in what can/cannot be done.

Really simple workflow. Need to ask more questions about that.

Made use of a lot of CSS to make it obvious what’s being edited. Put in 3-5 word descriptions next to red dots for easy understanding. Custom blue dots give access to intranet data.

Work in 14 languages, website has 5 languages. Using ASP to dynamically switch out image content depending on language. Have done an Arabic site. Did a lot of planning in advance, which helped make the project work well. Ended up being a separate project more than a language variant. Could still reuse content and share templates, but managed separately. Russian launching at end of 2007.

Fairly simple design, easy to build and adapt.

Did the same sort of work, outputting Flash content as XML data for reading into Flash components. Had do use a number of workarounds to cover development done with a third-party vendor.

Lesson learned: As project grow in number, it becomes more imperative to do code cleanup. (Same idea mentioned by others at the conference.)

Technical team: 3 template (front-end) developers, 2 backend developers (RQL and run servers), and a server administrator. Run Oracle as the DB (Oracle does not run as quickly as SQL Server for publishing — BUMMER!).

Use translations editor for French and Spanish, but not for Arabic and Chinese. Workflow is used, but not extensively. Anchor links in other languages appear to be an issue.

One of the other attendees has a 22 GB Oracle-based project. Three RedDot servers (load and failover).

Using Google Appliance for search at the moment, but switching to another vendor (a competitor to FAST).

Asked afterwards the intention for doing a separate project for Arabic vs. using a language variant. They said the variant was totally possible, if your templates could handle being right-aligned through CSS. Major issue comes in Flash templates. Suggest is to use Swish as it handles Arabic much better than Adobe’s IDE.

2 Replies to “Leveraging RedDot CMS to create UNICEF websites around the world at Summit 2007”

  1. Hey Sue!

    I’ll do you one better. Not just a homepage, but an entire website: http://www.rolex.com.

    It’s possible, but not easy. You have to manage your content through RedDot, but you publish out to an XML file that the Flash component can then read. Anyone who tells you that you can do all of this in a CMS is grossly understating the work. But RedDot definitely does it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *