French Ministry of National Education
Eduscol is the Ministry of National Education's public portal. The site offers official educational information to primary and secondary school teachers. It serves approximately 855,000 teachers and more than 63,600 public and private schools.
Eduscol has two portals: a custom content management system for Ministry members and Plone for school teachers. The school teacher's portal takes advantage of Plone's ability to accommodate a large number of content contributors, most of which are non-technical. The end users also enjoy the intuitive interface that allows them to create and manage content with minimal technical knowledge.
To migrate data from a legacy database into a modern web platform.
The teacher’s portal was running on Plone 3, a version that is now 9 years old. Not only was the technology and functionality of the site dated, the data had become inconsistent over the years. Eduscol needed a modernized site and improved performance and user experience.
The biggest challenge in refreshing the portal was extracting the data without breaking the existing database, since it contained years of valuable knowledge equaling large amounts of data.
Other needs for the new portal included:
- An easy way to modernize the site’s look and feel
- Improved site performance
- More flexibility for customizations like different kinds of content
- Ease of use for non-technical users
Upgrade to Plone 5
The portal was running on Plone 3 and could have been migrated to the next version, Plone 4; but doing so would have required multiple add-ons and system customizations. Instead, the portal was upgraded to Plone 5. The fact that Makina Corpus is an active community contributor to the Plone project made this a natural choice.
Plone 5 offered everything need to refresh the site:
- Diazo to customize every aspect of the portal’s theme
- Dexterity for creating custom content types
The data was safely exported as JSON from the existing database in Plone 3 and imported into a clean Plone 5 database with Transmogrifier.
Plone 5 was ready for use as soon as it was released in September, as Makina Corpus delivered the new portal that same day. Since they were actively contributing to the Plone community, they were able to collaborate on Plone 5 before its release.
The result was a robust, user-friendly upgrade to Eduscol’s portal.
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