University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I have recently been asked to evaluate the Datatel Active Campus system (which runs on Microsoft's SharePoint Server).

I was wondering if any of you have been requested to do the same at your institution(s), and what information you compiled (feature set comparisons, user adoption trends, usability studies, cost comparisons, implementation process comparisons, etc.).

I know...I'm not asking for much, am I? hehe...

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If Datatel Active Admissions is a component of this, you should talk to our colleagues at Montgomery County Community College (PA). I have heard that they have it and have not been very happy with many aspects of the process and product.
Steve, thank you for your reply. I will do just that.
Any word on findings? I was just hired and we are looking to implement that solution(I had nothing to do with it, just arrived on campus last week). any experiences/things to look out for?
Dan,

My understanding is that Datatel has two products called ActiveCampus -- yes, confusing.

One is an enterprise CMS called ActiveAdmissions/ActiveCampus. And AA/AC is based on MS .NET/SQL technology. The other ActiveCampus as your Dan's subject line indicates is a portal. And that one runs on MS SharePoint.

I believe that Montgomery College is using the the enterprise .NET version.
So if people here are talking about ActiveAdmissions, they really mean a new full CMS implementation for the external website including Admissions? Or just the Admissions area?

And if they are saying ActiveCampus "Portal" that is an internal Sharepoint tool that is seperate and more of what you would think a portal would be?

Thanks for your clarification, it is confusing, especially getting thrown into the process and trying to understand the direction of everything when different things are named the same or very similarly.

Dan
Yes.

If you hear ActiveAdmissions associated with Datatel, you can think of it is a module coupled with a full CMS (which they also refer to as ActiveCampus). So, it can serve as the external website, including Admissions. The key is that the Admissions module/portion integrates with Datatel's Colleague database.

And the ActiveCampus "portal," as I understand it, is exactly as you described.

George
Thanks so much for the clarification on this George.

D
We are a Datatel site and have SharePoint for our internet-facing web site. We too are scheduled for an ACP demo.
At this point in time we are moving toward an ActiveCampus "Portal" implementation (to replace our existing WebAdvisor system online for students). Based on the specs I've been given by Datatel, this implementation will involve the "Portal" server to house the ActiveCampus portion, a "SharePoint" server, an indexing server and a MS SQL server. (with indications of several 'portal/web' servers needed for load-balancing for our particular FTE count).

We are told that our implementation of this "Portal" iteration of Datatel's ActiveCampus is scheduled to begin sometime in Jan./Feb. 2010. We are not currently in discussions about the ActiveAdmissions portion of the product, and our existing CMS is OmniUpdate's OU Campus, which we are very happy with.
We've been running the ActiveCampus portal for just over a year now. Please let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll try to answer them for you.
Are you still using WebAdvisor? It appears that some see the retirement of WA as a natural course of action following an upgrade to ACP (Datatel Portal).

How long, how many FTEs, and how $ in services did the project entail?

Were you already a SharePoint site prior to ACP?
We have been phasing out of WebAdvisor outside the portal -- still using it for our CEU students and former students who don't have portal accounts and need access to transcripts, etc. Current students have to use the portal's version.

Our timeline was pretty short: Spring 2008, we brought up a proof of concept to shop around campus. Once school was out for the summer, we started working on the actual project, which launched the first week of Fall 2008.

We did everything in-house, except for the initial instal of Sharepoint. We have 2 FTE running the portal (actually, about 1.5 FTE, as I also have most of our other web systems to take care of). We do all the design, programming and management of the portal with these 2 people. Most of its content comes from other areas of campus. In addition, we have a database admin. that takes care of all our patches/upgrades (except for ones direct to Sharepoint) .

Our system is currently running 3 front-end MOSS severs, 1 MOSS server that manages search and central admin, 1 database server (SQL), + ISA. This is our first portal (and first experience to Sharepoint).

I wouldn't suggest you can easily do it with only two people. My counterpart is an amazing .net developer. We have transitioned away from many of Datatel's delivered webparts to ones we've built in-house (we wanted better flexibility and performance that we just weren't getting with theirs). We are happy to share code if anyone is interested.

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