University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I just started at Columbus State to help with their migration to OmniUpdate and a new design.  And oh boy do I have questions.... :P

1.  How does OmniUpdate handle news (and excerpts)?  Do you have to update in both places, or can you set up a Wordpress style excerpt?  (And how would you do that?)

2.  How much external code should we expect to have in our app?  (ie, how much .net or PHP)?  XSLT looks great, but that XML/data has to come from somewhere....

3. How do you make some news "sticky"?  For instance, I would expect news articles to get added every day or so...if we have an article about registration deadlines, we would want that to keep the top position, regardless of other news.

4. Would you recommend folders, or sub-sites?  Why or why not?  Right now, the college has many many sub sites scattered everywhere with disparate designs.  I'd like to see consistent design branding happen throughout.  Obviously that can be accomplished with sub sites as well as integrated ones, though having an integrated site would then allow a consistent CSS to be used (required).

5. The documentation recommends setting up page templates by section.  Would you recommend doing that, or creating page templates more based on functionality (ie, 1 sidebar, 2 sidebars) to make it easier for users to pick a more complex layout?

6. Did you implement pretty urls (esp on IIS 6) and what procedures did you follow?  Were you able to set them up to run dynamically (think WordPress' permalinks).  We need SEO friendly urls....and sometimes it's easier to rewrite them appropriately than rely on users to choose a logical naming convention.

I did read the excellent comment about using TCF files, and I am planning to do that....they look very powerful and will ease maintenance.  Does anyone have more life lessons about what they would/would not do?

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Here are some answers to your questions. Most of our client Admins follow us using our social network site You can get great feedback there as well. Our account manager for Columbus State CC is sending you an invite to get access to the OCN.

1. We fully support RSS feeds in association with the creation of a new page, and the content items of those feeds (Events, news, sports, etc.) can be elevated to higher level pages (home page, section pages, etc.) automatically via our "What's New Live" scripts. You would only have to create the info once, and have only one place to edit if changes are needed.

2. We are server side script agnostic, so whatever scripting system you are using is acceptable (ASP, PHP, JSP, CFM, .NET, etc.). You can query any external data sources easily within a page to get dynamic data to populate page content areas. All content that is under management in OU Campus is controlled there. Scripts are only needed to access external data not under CMS management.

3. We have modified versions of our "Whats New Live" technology to do exactly this. We have implemented this for many clients to set sticky news items that can be controlled by an administrator (or user given permission) to set or remove the 'sticky' setting.

4. OU Campus supports both modes (folders and separate sites). You can have as many sites under management as you want. You can also set sub-sites to have their own templates and CSS, yet still maintain consistency for branding.

5. With the recently added additions to the Page Properties functionality, you can have both. A single template can offer the end user the ability to change template layout, 1, 2, or 3 columns for example (even after the page is created). Also our Directory Variables settings allow you to tailor the CSS or navigation for an otherwise common template to be unique to where you are on the web site.

6. OU Campus always creates SEO friendly URLs. We have template examples that also allow you to create shortened and 'pretty' URLs (suitable for print or radio) that link to pages that may be many levels deep or have complex file names.

I hope this helps you. If you would like to follow up on this with us, please feel free to contact us at as we can best support you that way.

Is there any info on HOW to add jsp's, or include? I am in a sandbox trying to test using the system. I can't find any info on how to do anything I just see WHAT you can do.

I would really like to learn more so I can test adding dynamic content to the site. So far I find this pretty difficult to figure out.


The Asset Manager is how you can add any script into a WYSIWYG editable region so that it is protected (the WYSIWYG editor will leave it alone). Once a page is published, your script calls would then deliver the dynamic content to the place in the page where you placed the asset when when the page is served to visitors. We are turning on the Asset Manager in your sandbox so you can use it. 


Information on the Asset Manager can be found here:

The ability for your site to use JSP, server side includes or any other scripting language depends on the configuration of your web server. Which brings me to ask, is your sandbox being hosted by us here at OU or is it hosted somewhere else?

Feel free to call our support group and ask any questions you may have. 800-362-2605 x201

Additionally our support website is where all reference material, how-tos, recorded training sessions, etc. can be found.

Thanks to all. They did turn it on. I am however not able to make a simple ajax call to get external xml, I guess that is the sandbox.


Very simple call I made a quick page and tried to pull a page from my server here and it 302's, however if I look at the same page on my server the ajax calls the xml and the xml is appended.

Thanks for the help.

When previewing a page in OU Campus these calls are not executed on our staging server. Typically a placeholder is used on preview, and the real results as shown upon publish. OU Campus needs to support any client's server side scripting language, thus the staging server does not parse and execute the scripts. This can be resolved with the XSL stylesheets, where a conditional is set (and the ajax or script call in embedded in the XSL). When a preview is executed in OU Campus, the XSL can send the request to the production server to serve the results back and then the preview would contain the live data.
great thanks



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