University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Any CourseLeaf, Acalog or SmartCatalog users out there?

We put out an RFI for a catalog management solution and recently sat through short demos about these three products. Looking to chat with schools how are using or used any of these products and get some general impressions.

Views: 659

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We use Acalog at GVSU, but I am not that directly involved. If you wanted to run questions by someone I could probably dig up a contact for you.

Thanks, Ben. Thank would help me out a lot...

Personally, my impression of those three (I've demoed them all previously as well) is that they were solutions built by programmers. Meaning, tons of features without a lot of regard for how they actually need to be used by the people that use them. If memory serves, CourseLeaf stood out as the best of the three, mainly for their PDF conversion abilities.

<vendor>
That said, that's why we worked on CatalogM (http://catalogm.allofe.com/catalogm/home). We built it from the ground up to meet the needs of the registrar at the university I worked at previously. And like our mapping platform, we wanted to make it more than cost competitive with current market alternatives. Our platform was built with university flexibility in mind - dealing with the idea that no two schools build their catalog the same.

If you want to watch the webinar we did on it a while back, it's archived here: http://info.nucloud.com/view-online-catalog-webinar/. Feel free to shoot me any questions if you want.
</vendor> 

Thanks. I'll definitely check CatalogM out. I was actually impressed how far these products have come since we looked five years ago, but none seems the "ideal" fit.

We've dealt with one of these vendors. Our problems are related to our own internal processes, where plan is a four-letter word and lack of accountability means deadlines are missed and life goes on.

Moral of the story: you need to have a handle on your own processes to make any product work for you. If your process is broken, no product will fix it for you.

Good point - even the best tool is worthless if you aren't setup internally to use it properly.

That said, we're wrapping up an installation with one of these vendors and, as Michael said, it definitely looks like it was designed by programmers. I can't even figure out how to work the darn thing. I wish I had been involved in the selection process. (What is it with "enterprise" software companies forgetting to hire interface designers?)

Tatjana, make sure you can take it for a real test drive with the people who will actually be using it. A demo likely won't reveal usability issues.

I agree, internal processes are critical. We have been using a homegrown online catalog CMS for about ten years, so we've worked through a lot of the workflow kinks and have a good idea of what we are looking for to fit with our environment and resources. We're also lucky that we have a good cross section of people involved in the selection process and we're trying to be very thorough. I just recently have been dealing with another hosted "web solution" by a "big name" company that was chosen by a senior administrator (it's what they used at his old school...), and it has been a nightmare, definitely designed for programmers of which none are involved on our side... Even the public facing end has some serious usability issues. :(

Anyhow... It was actually the catalog demos that brought me here to seek out concrete experiences with specific products. During the demo one product looked super techie and not very user-friendly for those entering information. Another seemed geared to developing very structured data, that has a definite appeal for re-purposing  data throughout our institutional site, however, I am concerned that it might be too difficult to implement given the current diversity and complexity of the current catalog content. I'd like to know some first hand of pluses and minuses of these tools in action.

If anyone is willing to share some details of their experiences, please contact me directly.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our customer, Eric Li from Wharton County Junior College, shares his experience presenting on WCJC's Faculty Website. Read it now! "
yesterday
Pamela Riesmeyer joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

Accessibility

This group is for all those interested in Web Accessibility.See More
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The OmniUpdate family is happy to welcome Bard College at Simon's Rock! "
Thursday
Tim Yandel is now a member of University Web Developers
Thursday
Mahmud Rahman is now a member of University Web Developers
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please help us welcome our newest customer, Butler County Community College! Thanks for joining us."
Monday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are you working to increase your institution’s ranking in search results? Read today's blog post to learn how!"
Nov 12
Ronna Johnston posted a status
"Is anyone willing to share their RFP for a Content Management System? We are pursuing a university -wide tool. Thanks in advance."
Nov 12
Jonathan Thompson posted a discussion

Front End Developer--Johns Hopkins University

The Front End Developer is part of a team that provides development, analysis of websites, web-based applications, and web-based services in support of the work of the Johns Hopkins University Office of Communications and reports to the Director of Digital Strategy.The primary duties and responsibilities of the job include:Works at high programming and creative level, demonstrating proficiency in interpreting graphic visual or interaction designs using modern web standards and technologies…See More
Nov 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"There’s still time to submit your Topic Table proposal for OUTC15. For more information or to submit, visit our Call for Proposals page. Don't miss your chance to receive ½ off registration.The deadline for submissions is…"
Nov 10
Jonathan Thompson is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 10
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Have you seen The University of South Alabama’s awesome News System? It’s responsive! southalabama.edu/news"
Nov 7
richard ota joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

WordPress

This group is for all those using WordPress as both a blogging platform and as a CMS
Nov 6
richard ota joined DNI's group
Thumbnail

Cascade Server CMS

For folks who use (or are interested in) Hannon Hill's Cascade Server CMS productSee More
Nov 6
richard ota joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Nov 6
richard ota joined Arlen Johnson's group
Thumbnail

Calendars

Discuss event calendars and calendaring - identify products, solutions, and needs
Nov 6
Kari Johnston is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to UC Irvine School of Social Sciences for going live with their new responsive website! www.socsci.uci.edu"
Nov 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn the real difference between on-premise and cloud-based software solutions in today’s blog post! "
Nov 5
Anita Rao posted a discussion

Digital Library Web Developer at Amherst College

The Amherst College Library seeks a talented programmer to help develop and maintain systems and tools supporting digital asset management, digital scholarship and publishing, and digital preservation. Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst’s students consists of Pell Grant recipients, and many more are first generation students; nearly half of our students…See More
Nov 5

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service