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National Children's Study Public Site

Problem

The National Children’s Study (NCS) is a multi-year study conducted by a consortium of federal agencies to study the environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. In 2008 the NCS required a complete redesign of their public facing web site to coincide with the announcement of the study implementation phase. The previous site was redesigned several years ago in CommonSpot. The new site was required to be built in Microsoft Office SharePoint Services 2007. It would be the first public-facing site built for the client in MOSS and the architecture and approach used for the National site would be leveraged for the future web sites planned for the Study Centers and study locations across the U.S. All sites needed to be fully compliant with Section 508.

Resolution

Woodbourne Solutions successfully launched the new National NCS site and the first group of Study Center Web sites within 12 months of the initiation of the effort. The first phase, the National site, was completed in eight months. Key components of Phase I included:

  • coordinated a diverse team of Program Office Managers, Content Development Contractors, and Woodbourne staff members;
  • architected a staging environment for content authoring and review and a production (live) environment for published content;
  • customized SharePoint to implement desired look and feel and introduce desired custom elements, including a rotating banner;
  • developed a robust approach for migrating over 900 pages with over 1,400 links to internal and external content and many uploaded documents using a combination of an initial automated load using the Metalogix migration tool followed by manual remediation;
  • implemented an automated approach to migrate from CommonSpot to MOSS 2007 effectively to minimize manual edits to the content in MOSS 2007 and to ensure content integrity;
  • ensured 100% Section 508 compliance of the website and all content as determined by manual checks and the Accenture tool.

In Phase II of the project Woodbourne built new web sites for the first group of Study Centers, leveraging the approach for the National site while providing customized sites for each Study Center to update and maintain. Key components of Phase II included:

  • leveraged code and look and feel from the National Website while providing specific branding for each Study Center;
  • allowed for authoring and review of content by different groups across the country, including content approval workflow;
  • developed training materials similar to the guide for the National Website;
  • provided on-site training and training exercises to the Study Coordinators.

Value Added

Study Center web sites are a valuable recruitment tool. In addition, additional sub-sites can be easily added to Study Centers, as needed, due to the flexible nature of the design. Content authoring by different groups across the country and the approval work flow by NCS program staff is fully supported, helping to ensure shortened publication times and more current content.

Technologies Used

Woodbourne built both the NCS National Site and the first group of Study Center web sites in MOSS 2007 with separate environment to support authoring (staging) and production (live) content. The site is currently running on SharePoint 2010.

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