Pennsylvania-based Lafayette College worked with Portland Webworks to help them evaluate potential web portal solutions to create a “communications hub” for students, faculty and staff. Their goal was to recreate many of the features delivered by off-the-shelf education portal suites, while avoiding the risk of vendor lock-in, and retaining extensibility and maintainability options for their in-house development team.
Drupal was ultimately selected as the backbone of the platform, given its open-source roots, and the extensibility provided by its library of community developed modules. With such a flexible foundation, our team then worked to integrate access to the college's key applications, including Moodle Learning Management System, Zimbra-based email and calendar and Google Gadgets. Access to all of this was handled via customization of Drupal to respect the college's CAS-based authentication, roles and permissions.
The resulting solution, developed during a year-long engagement, delivered a greatly improved experience for students, staff and faculty, providing single-sign-on access to key tools and information through a customizable dashboard interface. Implementation also involved integration of a continuous integration and testing infrastructure, utilizing Jenkins and Selenium to streamline the development of future features.