University of Jyväskylä, Finland
10 Years Ago
In 2004 we began with a basic Plone site for staff training. At that time university and faculty websites were incoherent in structure and theme, and content was updated by a handful of IT specialists who knew how to edit raw HTML. In 2005 three faculties wanted to renew their sites, so the content was easy to update using just a browser. As we already happened to have some experience with Plone, we decided to go with it. By the end of the year, other sites followed. Soon thereafter, Plone became the official content management system (CMS).
During the years, University of Jyväskylä has used thousands of electronic forms in Plone. From registering for seminars to giving feedback or submitting information for recruitment, anything can be done with the form tools available in Plone. Data is easily viewable in the browser, email, or Excel/Open Office. Using Plone forms has saved uncountable work, pain, and money.
3rd Party Integration
Integration with other university systems became important, and in 2007 we added integration with TUTKA (a research and publication data system) and Korppi (a study data system). This automatically updated publications and courses, which meant less work for content editors and more accurate information. We also integrated with LDAP for easy login and enhanced security.
As an educational institute, delivering course material, whether written text, video or audio, became more and more important. In 2007 we upgraded our Zope-based video publishing platform, Moniviestin, to Plone. We had other e-learning platforms but teachers demanded the same ease-of-use they have with Plone. So in 2008 we released the first version of Koppa, a Plone-based system for delivering course material. Koppa has tight integration with Korppi groups—the course material is visible only to students enrolled in the courses and editable only by the teachers. No technical prowess is needed from students or teachers to add or view course material.
One million Euros/year in revenue go through the payment systems we have developed. There is of course an online store for buying books and university merchandise, but even more importantly, systems for paying for sports tickets, print quotas and parking. In addition, students at the Open University can enroll in courses at Korppi, pay the tuition fee online, and start studying at Koppa, watching embedded Moniviestin-videos. Additionally, there are forms for enrolling in and paying for seminars. Integration with Plone forms is a powerful and flexible way to initiate new payment services.
As a large public institute with government funding, the open source nature of Plone has proven to be an invaluable asset for us. Plone has allowed us to gradually grow our sites and services to match the plethora of different needs of our faculties and users. The unbeatable security record, scalability, and the inherent ease-of-use accompanied with what seems to be a never ending level of flexibility, has always allowed us to take the direction, or directions, we needed.
We have also developed many of our own Add-ons based on the various needs of users: portal views, personnel rosters, form integrations, themes, and so on.
Plone sets no boundaries. Upgrade to Plone today!