Project WIP


It’s alive! (the new SLG)

A few months ago I wrote about the Shropshire Learning Gateway project and the particular challenges it presented. One of the biggest was the deadline – due to the urgent need to retire the existing aging server hardware (which needed regular restarts), the new one had to be ready to launch on what was essentially the last day of term before the Christmas break! You’ll be glad to hear that we managed to meet that deadline and thankfully (lots of wood was touched) the switch-over went smoothly. Here is what Steve Compton, the Education Adviser who worked closely with us on the project had to say:

“The Shropshire Learning Gateway (SLG) was first launched in 2008 and was originally built on a SharePoint  platform.  It had become one of the key portals for sharing information with schools in Shropshire but by 2013 the dated hardware and software were making maintaining the platform more difficult.  We explored a range of solutions and opted to go for the Umbraco solution as it offered us the functionality that we needed and was also very cost effective. The Umbraco based platform was launched in December 2013 and has been exceedingly well received by all users.  Staff in schools are finding navigation much simpler than with the old platform and editors comment on the system being far easier to edit than SharePoint. Several features have been very popular such as the creation of filters that utilise drop down menus to allow visitors to find relevant training courses. Another of the key features that has been very successful is the ability to permission areas for different users thus giving schools access to additional resources depending on the service level agreements that they choose to buy. The Shropshire Learning Gateway has now been live for just over a month – it has had over 100,000 page views and continues to go from strength to strength.”

This was yet another chance for our team to hone our Umbraco skills, and the stats and feedback we’ve had so far have been very positive and encouraging. In the longer term we will continue to work with the Education Improvement Service – who asked us to build the SLG – as well as all the other services offering information to schools via the site, helping them to develop and maintain their content and keep the site useful and relevant for users.

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