University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Hi,

We're exploring new options to enter and display campus events here at Colgate. 

We're looking at Bedework. We've been told about Trumba. Anyone have experience with those? Any other options we should consider? Thanks!

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Hey Tim,

It looks like we are going to use Active Data Calendar. From looking at some of their flagship sites, I'm not wholly in love with the look and feel of their actual calendar pages. You can take the data (via XML/RSS) and skin and display it anyway you want, but I'd say the out of the box calendar look and feel is important.

Their admin and priviledge system is pretty nice and the people that interact with the administrative functions of the calendar are pretty excited about it. Their pricing is pretty low (or at least I thought, I'm still new at the .edu IT game, having come from a corporate world).
Hi Matthew,

Thanks for the suggestion.

We're thinking about Bedework because it's a free open-source program, and its latest version includes a nice default public interface right out of the box that looks pretty sharp. A consortium of schools, including Duke and RPI, are developing it.

I'll make sure to look into the admin piece of Active Data and its pricing. The admin piece is something we're struggling with a bit, in terms of a smart workflow for users and for administrators doing the approving.

tim
Hey Tim,

I'm really only tangentially involved in the school wide calendar project (I'm the Portal guy, so if they get something I like I could integrate it in, and I know a decent amount about web technologies so they asked my opinion). In looking at calendars, I consider 3 factors:

(1) The look and feel for the client.
(2) The administrative ease of use, power and flexability.
(3) The technology powering the system.

Active Data Calendar is a winner in (2) and (3) for us. As I mentioned before the Admin panel is quite nice and will provide all the options we need (and lots of expansion for future growth). Our external website is an Windows Server/ASP.NET affair, so Active Data Calendar integrated nicely there. I'm not wholly sold on (1), the client interface, however.

I guess if I've learned anything in our process it's to get as many people involved as early as possible in the decision making process. The Web people, your server people, your marketing group and the specific person that does calendaring (if you have one).

I have looked at BedeWork. I really like the version Duke has on their events page (calendar.duke.edu). As far as presenting what's coming up to a general audience, I think that look is great. What I don't like is that (from what I can tell) they don't offer a calendar-type layout at all. While a calendar layout doesn't really work for a college-wide calendar, when you drill down to a specific program/event type/department, it's (IMO) a necessary option. I do know that Bedework offers a calendar type view as I've seen it at other schools sites (RPI for example), but I don't find it much to my tastes. For a calendar based presentation I require (or at least desire) features such as color coded categorization, being able to mask on and off specific categories. Frankly Google Calendar provides the best client interface that I've come across, but it fails in many of the other tests so it isn't a current consideration for a college wide solution.

Still, 99% of the users of your calendar aren't going to be the technical people deploying it, the admin people adding events or the web developers modifying it. It's going to be the users checking out events. So I propose it's pretty important to weigh the client presentation quite heavily.

Hi, Tim.

I've seen your new events calendar (developed with Bedework). We are looking for a calendar solution for our upcoming new site at utulsa. How was/is the experience with Bedework? Advantages? Disadvantages? Do you know if it integrates with WordPress?

Thanks.

Hi Sarah -- Just as a wildcard suggestion, if your calendar needs are modest, you might want to consider http://tri.be/shop/wordpress-events-calendar-pro/. I've found that with some of the available extensions, it is very capable, and is of course WordPress-friendly. It might be a good choice for departmental or (in our case as a small affiliate university) institutional use.

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