29 Mar 11 ALA Migration Report#2

I am delighted to report that the upgrade to our association management system was successful. A team led by Tim Smith, Assistant Director of ITTS began the work on Friday March 18 at 5:00 PM and completed at about 11:00 PM on Saturday. Jeff Dong, our Database Adminstrator was essential to the upgrade’s preparation and implementation.

Staff access to the database required in-person visits to their computers to properly remove the previous version and install the new one.  Member and Customer Service and Accounting were updated by Monday morning and all other staff who needed access were updated by Friday, March 25.

This upgrade will make it possible for us to move forward on a number of initiatives.  The most immediate impact is improved security procedures for password resets. The underlying infrastructure change makes more web services possible, which will enable us to proceed with improvements to the website and ALA Connect, and eventually, our e-commerce system.

Sherri Vanyek
Director, ITTS

02 Mar 11 ALA Migration Report #1


Official ALA Migration Report

A message from the migration team


Lots of behind-the-scenes work has been going on at ALA and at OJC Technologies, Inc., our migration vendor. We recently achieved a few milestones that I want to share:

The virtual servers have been created at ALA, and site construction work will begin soon.

Yesterday, working on their development servers, OJC successfully demonstrated the four migration scripts they developed to move site navigation, content, pods and metadata from Collage to Drupal. This was truly an exciting moment for us! I’m especially pleased that the 140 or so document types in Collage (required mostly because of the way Collage was structured; they didn’t provide much in the way of page layout choices) have been reduced to four in Drupal.

Divisions have prepared their banners and color choices for the migration. A group of division staff has been meeting to review the labels and organization of the top two levels of their information architecture, seeking to develop a plan for consistent labeling and organization across the division sites. Thanks to Steven Hofmann of PLA and Dawn Mueller of ACRL for providing leadership.

The question on everyone’s minds is: How soon can we migrate? We’ve identified about 70 portions of the site with their own looks and will have to move at least 10 of these per week to make our September 1, 2011 deadline. There’s still a lot of work to be done before the early-adopter test migrations scheduled for April are completed, so we’re establishing two-week time slots between mid-May and mid-August.  Some groups (offices and round tables) will be provided with an early and a late time slot choice, as it makes sense to move those areas at the same time.

If they haven’t already done so, divisions and those responsible for the content in the primary ALA site sections, such as Awards & Grants, Education & Careers, etc., should  provide me with their first, second, and third choices for best weeks to review their migrated materials. (Work will actually begin in the weeks preceding the chosen time slot, but preparation time will not interfere with website updating, which will take place in Collage up until the migration work is approved for go-live after a satisfactory review.) It’s also helpful to include information about the worst times, so that if the schedule slips I will be able to avoid rescheduling your unit at a time that does not work for you. I have already begun tracking preferred times in an Outlook calendar, and will eventually publish a link to the unit migration timeline here.

Staff and members have been working hard to perform site clean-up in advance of the migration. I don’t have a list of every person who’s been putting time in, but here are some people that I know deserve a shout out. Drum roll, please! In alphabetical order by last name, I’d like to recognize  Colleen Cahill of MAGERT, Brian Gray of LLAMA, Laura Schulte-Cooper of ALSC, David Vess of GLBTRT and LITA,  as well as the entire NMRT web group, and members working on ACRL sections. If you feel that you deserve a shout out for your migration prep, don’t be shy about it! Let me know so I can continue to recognize people in future posts. This is a huge team effort and if I could buy you all champagne and chocolates (or beer and pizza), I would.

Sean Bires has been running updated HTML Tidy reports for units that have requested them. Let me know if your unit would like one.  Be aware that your pages are all checked out to Sean when they’re being run, which prevents them from being updated. This can require about an hour for really small sites, or up to 24 hours for large division sites.

Louise Gruenberg
Sr. Usability Officer