Presentation Type

Panel Session

Description

Audience: Systems and Subject Librarians.

Abstract: The UW Libraries house a variety of custom database backed, legacy web applications which consume much time for maintenance and development. In order to ease maintenance and development for system administrators, programmers and librarians, thus increasing the efficiency and reliability of these applications, I decided to port them to Django, a popular web framework. This presentation uses the Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD) as a case study to illustrate the benefits and process of migrating from a custom solution to a standard open source solution. As background, our architecture librarian wished to add new data fields to the database and make more changes to the public facing pages, however, the developer who built the PHP/Postgresql application had long since left the position. Custom applications, regardless of how well crafted, require significant time investments to learn and the knowledge gained does not generally carry forward to other applications. The porting of this web application to a Django application took two librarians, neither of whom are actual web developers, working part-time for less than 5 months, to complete for production. This presentation covers the benefits of the migration and briefly touches on the how it was accomplished. Benefits include many ready made solutions for programmers, an easily extendable administrative interface for subject librarians or content creators, and strong separation of presentation and content for web designers, all of which translate to a more responsive user interface for patrons. Finally, the presentation mentions other library applications for which similar migration procedures are planned.

Conference Track

Other

Start Date

5-2-2010 9:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2010 11:00 AM

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/19918

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Feb 5th, 9:00 AM Feb 5th, 11:00 AM

Moving to a Sustainable Web Development Environment for Library Web Applications

Audience: Systems and Subject Librarians.

Abstract: The UW Libraries house a variety of custom database backed, legacy web applications which consume much time for maintenance and development. In order to ease maintenance and development for system administrators, programmers and librarians, thus increasing the efficiency and reliability of these applications, I decided to port them to Django, a popular web framework. This presentation uses the Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD) as a case study to illustrate the benefits and process of migrating from a custom solution to a standard open source solution. As background, our architecture librarian wished to add new data fields to the database and make more changes to the public facing pages, however, the developer who built the PHP/Postgresql application had long since left the position. Custom applications, regardless of how well crafted, require significant time investments to learn and the knowledge gained does not generally carry forward to other applications. The porting of this web application to a Django application took two librarians, neither of whom are actual web developers, working part-time for less than 5 months, to complete for production. This presentation covers the benefits of the migration and briefly touches on the how it was accomplished. Benefits include many ready made solutions for programmers, an easily extendable administrative interface for subject librarians or content creators, and strong separation of presentation and content for web designers, all of which translate to a more responsive user interface for patrons. Finally, the presentation mentions other library applications for which similar migration procedures are planned.