How to use the ITS specific web CMS

In a Hurry or Just Need a Review?

Here's where you go to get right down to work if you've used the CMS before:

 


top

New to the ITS CMS?

If this is your first experience with the ITS CMS, please take time to study the following organizational basis for the ITS Web presence. It will make designing, creating, and organizing your services much easier, however abstract it seems at first. Although theory can be a pain, in Web design, doing more thinking and planning up front can make all the difference in the user's ultimate experience on your site. For further training information, visit the Learning and Professional Development CMS Training page or contact the ITS Solution Center - 928-523-1511. 

top

Welcome to the ITS CMS Guide

cms1
As with any new methodology or set of tools, there is a learning curve to building sites within the CMS. However, the payoff comes rather quickly once the initial lessons are absorbed because content becomes the primary concern for contributors rather than presentation. No longer is it necessary to grapple with CSS or HTML or try and track images or manage links across locations which may never be accurately documented, resulting in missing pages, duplicated and conflicting material, and user frustration. Although the concepts may at first seem strange, once you've cycled through the process of designing and creating your pages, you'll see greatly reduced time and effort in putting new content onto the ITS website.

top

The Fundamentals: Structure and Organization of Services

The ITS home page and the website overall consists of four kinds of web pages:

  • Services
  • Implementations
  • Learning resources
  • Policies
The vast majority of pages that are created are typically learning resources, but fundamental to it all is the service.

Relationship of Services, Implementations, Learning Resources, and Policies

Let’s examine the definitions. Although this may seem rather high-level and abstract for the moment, it does help to get a thorough understanding of the terminology and the relationships among the items so that you can more easily organize your content for ease of access by users. After this, we promise, it all becomes much more concrete and clear. It is suggested, however, that you take the time to think over your content in terms of the following explanations—how does what you're deploying fit into this model? You'll discover that by imposing these four basic principles of classification that your material will take shape more easily for presentation through the ITS CMS.

  • Service
    • service is a response, beyond simply serving up a web page, to a user action, whether the response is by human or automated means. The service itself is an abstraction—that is, no specific technology, vendor, or product is named. This allows the website to absorb changes and organization without disrupting the fundamental navigational model.
    • Additionally, services may be subclassed into finer groups, for example, Email may be a superset containing Webmail, Email Clients, and Mailing Lists  
    • No service may exist without service implementations. A service can only be usable if it has one or more implementations. 
     
  • Service Implementation
    • service implementation is the specific means by which a service is performed, for example, email, may have implementations in Gmail, Macintosh Mail, and IRIS. Help may have implementation through a phone number, an email request, a self-diagnostic page, or an online chat.
    • Note that a service is something ITS Provides, and implementation is how ITS provides it. 
    • No service implementation may exist without belonging to a service and it must eventually have associated learning resources. We say "eventually" in acknowledgment of real-world deployments of new product—sometimes the documentation or training lags a bit in availability—but ultimately every service implementation must have learning resources.
     
  • Learning Resource
    •  Learning resources encompass all information about services and service implementations, regardless of delivery system—text, video, how-tos, style guides, best practices, code examples, and so on. Simply put, anything that increases knowledge about services offered on the ITS site is a learning resource. Well, there is one exception, which is the next and final classification.
    • Nolearning resource may exist without association to a service or service implementation. After all, what good is instructional material if there is nothing to which it pertains?
     
  • Policies
    • policy is a formal document required to explain and declare how services may be used, who may use them, when they may be used, and any restrictions or requirements for their use. These are part of the larger university-wide collection of policies and are affected by external legal forces. A policy is different from a procedure in that a procedure explains the specific steps and actions for successfully employing a service, whereas a policy is a governing statement of the conditions under which the service may be used. Procedures, naturally, are learning resources. One example of this division is password protected accounts: policy might dictate that they must be employed, that they be changed every 120 days, and that they meet some standard of complexity; however, the procedure for how to construct a good password would belong to the learning resources area. You can think of it this way—the policy is the authorizing document for the procedure. But don't get too caught up in this because policies typically are clearly marked as such and are the result of an administrative process that itself requires a formal process, tracking, and control. It is unlikely that any ambiguity will creep in that will make distinguishing a policy difficult.
        


top

Logging In and Navigating the Structure

Now you're ready to add some content! We'll start by creating a service.

  • Log into my.nau.edu to check enterprise groups, should be contributor for specific team.
  • Set your browser to: https://cmswork.nau.edu/cmslogin.aspx
  • Click the “login” button and login through CAS using your normal NAU login.

cms2
  • Click the “workarea” button.

cms3
  • Click the “Content” tab on the right upper area of the window.

cms4
  • Navigate to the ITS folder: Administrative->ITS->Your group

cms5
  • Click the folder for your group name to expand its four underlying folders. Here is the example for LPD. All others are similarly structured.

cms6

The folder labeled “Files” will contain all images and files for your page.  “Implementations” is where service implementations will be placed. “Learning Resources” will contain the smart forms for documents, courses, videos, and other media for supplying information and training. “Services” will hold the abstract information for the services that are provided by ITS, that is, the explanations of services and links to the implementations. The “Services” folder is the folder that should be tackled first, since any material in the “Implementations” folder will need to reference it as metadata. 

Regardless how you wish to add material (and it is fine to do learning resources first, or however you envision your process, so long as the fundamental relationships are supported), select the appropriate folder to create a new page.


 

  • Thus, for example, click the “Services” folder...or the "Learning Resources" folder...or the "Implementations" folder. The initial steps are all the same.

cms7
  • In the upper left hand corner, click “New” to create a new smart form.

cms8
  • Click on the smart form that relates to your selection. Services and service implementations use the "ITS Service" smart form. Learning resources use the "ITS Learning Resources" smart form.


top

Ready to Build Pages

Now you're ready to add content and all the other associated data for the page.

To see a quick guide to the document and text controls, see Basic CMS Controls.

If you're creating a Service page or a Service Implementation page, the Minimal Guide to ITS CMS Smartforms for Services and Implementations will take you through the process.

If you're creating a Learning Resource, use the Minimal Guide to ITS CMS SmartForms for Learning Resources



top