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: 628

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
"Loving all the gadget ideas! Have you submitted yours? http://omniupdate.com/campaigns/gadget-challenge/2014/"
7 hours ago
Sean Walsh posted a blog post

The Results are in: TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey

In our first annual higher education web survey report, almost 250 individuals and 169 higher education institutions reveal where they focus their online marketing activities, how they measure their online efforts and how they engage with their audiences. Discover the results for yourself by downloading a free report today: http://www.terminalfour.com/survey2014/See More
10 hours ago
Mike Tackett is now a member of University Web Developers
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Look who’s responsive now! Clark College went live with their new site. Congratulations! www.clark.edu/"
Wednesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  How well do your campus emails render on mobile devices? Read about our Email Campaign Manager in today’s blog post! "
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nominations for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards are closing Oct 1! Don’t forget to submit OU Campus for consideration. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS, Best Cloud CMS for Enterprise, and Most…"
Monday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  After the mad rush of classes starting, how do you keep your web editors energized for the rest of the academic year? Read how Lower Columbia College does it in today's blog post!"
Sep 12
Profile Icondavid wickins, Alice Nguyen and John Hartley joined University Web Developers
Sep 12
Seth Meranda posted a discussion

Seeking an Web Interactive Producer

I'm looking to add someone with HTML/CSS and UI/UX experience to my team at Concordia University, Nebraska. We're located just outside Lincoln, NE.Position Summary:  This position serves as a member of the marketing communication team and provides leadership and strategy for the creation, implementation and maintaining of web and email productions used in promotion and advancement of the University's mission.General Duties:Implements, designs and optimizes user interfaces for cune.edu and…See More
Sep 11
Nancy R. Bailey posted a discussion

Web Development Specialist

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University is looking for a web development specialist (technology support analyst).  To provide support and consult on web development, design, coding, and modifying hosted websites.  Provide web application development and web communications support, as well as maintain duties for web-based projects which include interactive multimedia, graphics, tutorials, and social media.  Knowledge of and experience with…See More
Sep 10
Maggie Slater commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Such great information within the talk! Thanks for sharing!  :)"
Sep 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Missed yesterday’s E-expectations talk with Chris D’Orso, Stephanie Geyer, and our own Lance Merker? See it here."
Sep 9
Sara Clark posted a discussion

Missouri State University seeks new media specialist

Missouri State University is accepting applications for a new media specialist in the offices of university communications and Web and new media.Position comes with superior benefits, including group health insurance, life insurance, retirement, tuition waivers, wellness programs and professional development opportunities. Learn more about benefits.Responsibilities:Works to ensure that assigned websites and social media content,…See More
Sep 8
Profile IconAmy Filardo and Jeremy Cumbo joined University Web Developers
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Central Connecticut State University went live with their responsive website. Great job!! www.ccsu.edu"
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn more about our 2014 Gadget Challenge with today’s blog post! "
Sep 3
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Part 3 of our E-Expectations series available on our blog! Get the facts you need to improve your best resource—your college website. "
Aug 29
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please note that OmniUpdate will be closed this Monday in observance of Labor Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!"
Aug 28
Beth Hastings replied to Beth Hastings's discussion Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!
"Thanks - I appreciate it! It was a  lot of "new" for us. Personally, I'd done a little bit of responsive design (took a class) but nothing at this level. I'd not done HTML5 or really delved into CSS3 and then finding…"
Aug 28
Patricia Pokrocos posted a discussion

Web Developer

Position SummaryThe School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in the midst of an exciting period of growth in its capacity to prepare leaders and solve societal problems, and seeks a web developer for the large-scale project of moving the Schools current website to a more modern platform. Reporting to the Director, Engineering Communications, the primary role of the web developer is to setup and build the framework for the new website (utilizing Drupal). The person in this position will…See More
Aug 27

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