Center for Information Technology Services
CITS Web Development Department
What do they do?
The CITS Web Development Department was established in 2002 to serve as the central web resource for the UM campus to use for developing web applications, standards, designs and related technologies. Many of the schools and organizations within UM, and others that work in collaboration with UMB, utilize the services and support of the highly-skilled CITS Web Department. The CITS Web Development department is UM’s primary resource to create customized, online solutions using a variety of tools and technologies. The web department is also available to assist the UM community with web application development, design, layout and navigation by developing custom dynamic web solutions using a variety of web development tools and technologies.
The Web Development Department also supports a Content Management System (CMS) and provides back-end support and maintenance for it. As of October 2012, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs will provide help with CMS website updates, template designs and branding related tasks. If you are considering updating or redesigning your web site for any reason, we recommend that you first contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs before looking to other resources or vendors. By using the combination of resources from the CITS Web Department and Office of Communications and Public Affairs, the campus provides unique services that can utilize and access on-campus applications, tools and information that other resources and vendors cannot.
Advantages to using the CMS
In addition to web development work, CITS also hosts its own web and database servers and is responsible for their maintenance and support. In 2003, the campus acquired a Content Management System (CMS) called “Site Executive” in order to make it easier for anyone at UM, regardless of their technical background, to create, maintain, and update web content within their sites. Websites in the CMS are easier to maintain because the system writes HTML code in the background as developers use an online editing tool. Developers can also utilize other customized applications offered through the CMS, and take advantage of the CMS link and content management features that prevent broken links and improve accuracy. Please refer to the instructions on how to get setup in the CMS and its advantages, or contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for more information. In addition, the CITS Web Department is available to develop customized CMS modules and applications using a combination of Coldfusion and a backend Oracle databases. The CITS Web Department provides training and technical assistance to anyone interested in using the CMS. There are also manuals available online to guide developers in how to maintain their websites in the CMS. We can provide customized designs, layout and functionality within your existing or new website by utilizing our technical skill set and tools.
Why use the CITS Web Department?
By using the Web Department to assist you with your web site needs, you will be able to take advantage of their technical expertise, latest tools and technologies, and benefit from their ongoing services and support. Please contact the Web Department at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss a business process, functionality or feature that you would like added to your web site.
What else do they do?
If you are interested in redesigning your website or re-organizing your site’s content, please contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs or submit a work request to discuss your ideas. However, if you do choose to utilize another group or vendor to redesign, host or manage your website, the CITS Web Department and Office of Communications and Public Affairs is limited to how much assistance and support it can provide. Please refer to the following scenarios below making your decision:
- The Office of Communications and Public Affairs is available to help with moving website content from a non-CITS web server to a CITS web server. They are also available to provide consulting on design, layout and navigation of the site if a redesign is needed.
- The CITS Web Department will help coordinate any DNS changes that may occur due to a website being moved from one server to another.
- If an outside vendor is used to redesign a website, then the Office of Communications and Public Affairs can assist with any questions regarding the previous website (if it was hosted on a CITS managed server) and will help the vendor to get access to the CMS so that the site can be designed in the CMS. However, the CITS Web Department will not provide hosting of the website if it is not designed/put into the CMS initially. The department/area that chooses to have an outside vendor design their site will also have to work closely with the vendor to understand any customized code or functionality that is being put into the website so that they can maintain those parts of the site. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs and CITS Web Department will not provide support or maintenance of any advanced/customized code that is developed by outside vendors. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs will provide developers with training and assist them with maintenance and support of the site in the CMS.
- In the event a UM website is hosted and maintained by a group other than the CITS Web Department, but there is a desire for the CITS Web Department to host and maintain customized applications, credit card forms, or other advanced functionality that the other group is unable to develop and support, the CITS Web department will address these requests on an individual basis depending on the scope and needs of the project.
- In the event customized code or functionality is created by the developer in the CMS rather than using the Office of Communications and Public Affairs or Web Department’s resources, these departments are available to provide guidance on where to find solutions to any issues or concerns with the code; however, it is up to the developer to understand and maintain their own customized code.
- If a UMB website is hosted on a non-UMB server, then the CITS Web Department and Office of Communications and Public Affairs are unable to assist with any maintenance, issues or support of this website. They can assist and coordinate moving websites from non-UMB servers onto a UMB server.
- If a UMB website is hosted on a UMB server that the CITS Web Department does not manage, then the Web Department can provide guidance on issues or concerns regarding the web sites, but will refer you to the department/area that hosts and manages the server for any maintenance, issues or support that is needed.