Meeting Minutes: March 6, 2009
We posted a video of the meeting in a previous post on this blog. Topics for this meeting included:
- Movable Type Blog Upgrade
- Events Calendar Feeds
- Flash Streaming Server
- Web Content Management System
- Security & Vulnerability Scanning
- Preview of the Liferay Portal & CAS
Movable Type Blog Upgrade
We gave a short preview of the Movable Type blog system and introduced some of the new features that are available to blog users. New features include:
- Built-in asset management (images, documents, etc. that you add are automatically remembered by the system for easy access)
- User management for blog administrators – blog owners can grant permissions to additional users without having to request them from the system administrator
- simple VCU eID-based password protection for blogs
- a greatly improved interface
You can use the new version of the blogs by logging in at http://blog.vcu.edu.
Events Calendar Feeds
We’ve noticed that many webmasters are importing calendar “feeds” from the VCU Events Calendar using older scripts and methods. We’ve released several new versions that offer more advanced filtering and better views. Check out the latest methods for inserting a calendar into your website:
- Method 4: Adds the ability to display Ongoing events (multi-day events) and also lets you filter calendar events by “RSS keyword” (you can set keywords when you create events, then choose to display only events which match one or more keywords)
- Monthly View: The monthly view lets you show your calendar in a more traditional monthly view
Flash Streaming Server
Thanks to the generous contributions of the School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, we now have a Flash streaming server set up for testing. We streamed the WUG meeting live as a test and have made the archived video available. (Thanks to David Morefield for the help with that!) Once we are out of the testing phase, we will make documentation available on how to use the new Flash streaming server.
Web Content Management System
RedDot (the CMS we originally purchased) has changed names to OpenText. We have successfully produced several sites now within the Web CMS and are rapidly creating additional sites. Sites that are now being maintained via the Web CMS are:
Sites under development within the CMS include:
- Technology Services
- Student Services
- Family Medicine
- Grace Harris Institute
Security & Vulnerability Scanning
The Information Security department within Technology Services has a tool available for scanning web applications for common vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc. You can register your application or website to be scanned at the IT Professionals Intranet (you may need to request an account if you don’t already have one). Once you’ve logged in, the option is available under Security Resources > Vulnerability Scan Request on the left.
Having your web applications and sites scanned for vulnerabilities will be required for compliance in the near future, so getting them scanned ahead of time to prepare is always a good idea.
The Information Security department is also creating a central server log repository for all public-facing web servers. This repository will actively scan incoming logs to monitor for potential Internet-based security attacks. If your department hosts your own servers, you should get in touch with Greg Pendergast about automatically transferring your logs to the repository. This will help the university respond to security threats more quickly and proactively.
Preview of Liferay Portal & CAS
We provided a preview of the new myVCU portal that will be powered by Liferay. The new portal login will be powered by our Central Authentication Service, which will be load-balanced and production ready for other applications to use as well sometime in April. In April we also hope to have a test environment of the new myVCU portal ready for users to beta test with the production version scheduled to go live in late May or early June.
The Liferay portal essentially allows us to have two portals in one. We can provide a standardized VCU portal with the same gadgets and views for every user, and a customizable portal that will display only the gadgets you need or want in the layout you prefer. Using the power of AJAX, the new portal is extremely user-friendly and responsive – gadgets can be dragged and dropped, the layout is fluid and easily adjusted, and gadgets and tabs are simple to rename.
In transitioning from the old myVCU portal to the new one, some of your customizations will carry forward. Any favorites or single sign-on information you have saved in the current version will automatically be transferred to the new version. Customized layouts or stock data you may have in the old version will not transfer to the new version.