Addendum E – Web Software Development Tools
Web Software Development Tools for Creation and Maintenance of Official Unit Web sites that Reside on the Primary UIS Web Servers
- The UIS Website Project
- Legacy Web sites
- About Web Site Content
- About Front Page Software
- Graphics and Media Tools
- Databases and Other Tools
- Best Practices
The UIS Website Project
In January 2006, UIS began implementation of a new system for official unit Web sites. We are using the Adobe (Macromedia) Web Publishing System with Contribute Web editing software. We are systematically redeveloping all official unit Web sites.
To date, we have redeveloped about half of the official unit sites. We use official templates that are technically correct and that meet state standards for Web accessibility. The construction of the templates and site navigation is based on extensive research with particular attention paid to meeting our need to attract prospective students and to limit the
amount of technical support our Web sites require.
- Effective January 2006, every official unit Web site must use Contribute Web editing software and must be connected to the Adobe Web Publishing System. We expect that all official unit Web sites will be redeveloped by January 2008. Between now and then, we will have some Legacy sites (see below).
- Personnel who are assigned to be Publishers and Writers for official unit Web sites must attend Contribute software training before they will be allowed access to edit the site.
Legacy Web sites
Many official unit Web sites have not yet been redeveloped and are not yet part of the new system.
- Publishers of those sites may continue to edit their sites as they have done in the past until their new site is developed.
- Limited technical support will be available.
- Department Web personnel can greatly speed the process of site redevelopment by following the Academic Program and Department Guidelines for The UIS Website Project – available on the Office of Web Services Web site.
About Web Site Content
Our redevelopment project addresses the technical construction of Web sites and the software used to maintain them.
- The Office of Web Services does not create content for official unit Web sites. Content creation is the responsibility of the individual unit.
- Accuracy of Web site content is the responsibility of the Manager and the Web Liaison of the Web site.
About Front Page Web Editing Software
Microsoft has ceased technical support for Front Page Web editing software. UIS will cease to support Front Page software in the very near future.
If you are using Front Page software, we strongly advise that you stop using it as soon as possible.
What are your options?
- Move quickly to prepare your Web site materials according to the Academic Program or Department Guidelines noted above. Then, the Office of Web Services will redevelop your Web site. After you have been trained in the new system, you will use Contribute software to maintain the site.
- Begin using Adobe (Macromedia) Dreamweaver or Contribute software to maintain your Web site. Free workshops are available from the ITS department.
The above are your only two options.
- Effective January 2008, UIS will cease to provide technical support for Front Page software and Web sites.
- UIS will only support Contribute and Dreamweaver Web editing software.
- If you use other software, you will not be able to receive technical support from UIS.
For more information about Front Page and Technical Support, contact the ITS department.
Graphics and Media Tools
We strongly advise the use of Adobe Photoshop/Image Ready for creation and editing of graphics for Web site.
This software is available in all campus computer labs. Free training and techncial support is available from the ITS department.
The ITS department continually tests software and production methods and makes recommendations for the software and methods that will be supported on the UIS campus. Contact the ITS department for more information.
If you choose to use software and methods not supported by the UIS ITS department, you will not be able to receive technical support for your projects.
Databases and Other Web Development Tools
The following addresses some basic mandates related to construction and maintenance of official UIS unit Web sites.
About the Use of Frames in Unit Web sites
- Using frames in construction of UIS unit Web sites is not recommended or supported. Frames are difficult to troubleshoot when something goes wrong, and they are not conducive to maximum Web accessibility.
About Microsoft Word as a Web Editor
- Microsoft Word and its “Save as Web Page” feature is not recommended or supported for use with unit Web sites.
- Unit Web sites should be constructed and maintained with Contribute or Dreamweaver.
Feedback and Other Forms
- UIS no longer supports the use of Formmail software for forms on UIS Web sites.
- Any UIS Web site that requires the use of a form, must use the Web Tools provided by the UIUC campus.
- These tools are easy to learn and use. Once or twice each year, free workshops are held on this campus.
When databases are used in conjunction with Web sites on UIS servers, the following policies apply:
- Microsoft Access or a comparable database program may be used for content that allows read-only access.
- Microsoft Access or a comparable database program may be used for content that allows write access to the database, only if the users are in the UIS domain.
- UIS Website developers may not construct databases that allow anonymous users to write to a Microsoft Access database, (i.e., when a WWW user from outside the UIS domain is completing a form that will send results to a database).
- If you contact the Technical Support Center to set up a database connection for a Web site, you will be required to provide specific documentation about your database. If you do not, you will not be able to receive technical support for your Web site.
- This policy is necessary to preserve maximum security for UIS Web servers.
For more information about databases connected to Web sites, contact the Technical Support Center.
At this point in the development of the Internet, there are many conventions and standards that have been agreed upon by professional INternet-related organizations and Web developers. If you are not a professional Web developer, you may not be aware of these conventions. It will be helpful for you to read and follow the guidelines prepared by the UIS Office of Web Services.
Please download and read the Best Practices document from the Office of Web Services Web site.