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: 617

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

David Dahl posted a discussion

Web Services Specialist, Towson University Libraries

The Albert S. Cook Library seeks a highly skilled and innovative Web Services Specialist to participate in all stages of the application development life cycle.  Under the direction of the Information Technology Librarian, this position provides primary web application development support for the Library’s online initiatives. Focusing on services that improve the user experience for the University’s students, faculty, and staff, the Web Services Specialist collaborates with team members, other…See More
7 hours ago
David Dahl joined Mark Greenfield's group
7 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out Naropa University’s new course catalog! It pulls course data from Jenzabar. Well done!"
7 hours ago
Profile IconDavid Dahl, tmogroup and Besart Bytyqi joined University Web Developers
7 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"How do you view change? Read what our CEO took away from this year’s eduWeb Conference about change in today's blog post."
10 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving the new look on the CSU Channel Islands website! Check it out: csuci.edu/ #responsive #accessible"
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Daytona State College on going live with their responsive design in OU Campus v10! Looks amazing! "
Aug 13
Profile IconNancy Boudreau, Rob Green and John Cady joined University Web Developers
Aug 13
Beth Hastings posted a discussion

Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!

We launched a redesign of our site on July 1. It was more than just a new skin, it was a reorganization of the content. In the past we've tried to serve all audiences - current students, prospects, staff, faculty and alumni. It ended up being link overload. It also used internal back office terminology that was confusing to prospects.Our charge was to gear the site toward prospective students and to move all content for current students and faculty & staff behind our existing portal.We…See More
Aug 12
Doug Minor posted a discussion

Anyone Willing to Share Your Mass Email RFP or Requirements Document?

We are in the process of reviewing various mass email services (services hosted in the cloud). Has anyone done this recently and prepared either an RFP or requirements document you would be willing to share?Some of our initial requirements are listed below.Agency model where we can serve as administrator to multiple, separate department accounts housed under the same agency/institutional account (each account would have their own separate login and billing)Only approved email templates can be…See More
Aug 11
Profile IconMoneca Pinkett and Lei Zhu joined University Web Developers
Aug 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It’s the last week to nominate for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards! Help us spread the word and let them know why OU Campus is the CMS of choice for higher education. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS…"
Aug 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Miss the E-Expectations webcast? Couldn't make it to this year’s eduWeb Conference to see the presentation? We've got you covered! Check out today's blog post."
Aug 6
Profile IconJoe Fitzsimmons, Lance Tully and Charlotte Marsch joined University Web Developers
Aug 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to our President & CEO, Lance Merker, for winning the 2014 Summit Award for Industry Excellence at the eduWeb Conference! Well deserved! (Pictured with Rich Vallaster)"
Aug 5
Charlotte Marsch posted a discussion

Assistant Director for Web Services at Southwest Baptist University

Job Summary: Working collaboratively with the Marketing and Communications team, this position has primary responsibility for SBU’s public website, designing and developing web sites and applications and ensuring the University is implementing web technology best-practices to communicate key messages to its audiences. Essential FunctionsDevelop and maintain site navigation and wireframe that utilizes responsive design best practicesAdminister a content management systemCoordinate with…See More
Aug 5
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"One does not simply become a new OU Campus user and not get welcomed. Great to have you with us, Murray State University!"
Aug 5
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A special hello to our newest customer, Kennesaw State University. Welcome to the OmniUpdate family!"
Aug 4
Cheryl Tiahrt joined Brent Hoard's group
Thumbnail

Sitecore

For users of the Sitecore CMS
Aug 1
Cheryl Tiahrt is now a member of University Web Developers
Aug 1

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