Customer Spotlight: University of Richmond

By Kat Liendgens — Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 at 11:00am
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The University of Richmond integrates a liberal arts core with a top-ranked school of business and the nation's first school of leadership studies, as well as schools of law and professional and continuing studies. Its smaller size, coupled with an abundance of opportunities for students, makes Richmond a unique learning environment for its students and faculty.

Richmond has been using Cascade CMS since 2006. Unlike most CMS users who publish HTML outputs directly to websites, Richmond’s web team took a slightly different approach by implementing over 50 Content Types in Cascade CMS, each rendering XML to be inserted into an XML database (eXist db) for maximum flexibility. Then, they extract the content out from those databases to render it on pages via xquery. In order to pull content into pages from other sources, they simply extract it from RSS feeds, atom feed, or an Oracle database.

The web team also implemented a calendar system and five school catalogs in Cascade CMS, integrating with Ellucian’s Banner system. Several of the schools provide Banner extracts, so it’s easy to use web services to insert schedule data into the CMS.

Here are a few examples:

Course Selection 

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Schedule

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Courses

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First Year Seminar 

Content comes from forms submitted by faculty and is also pulled into the page via web services.

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Catalog Section

The catalog includes pages that don’t use web services. Instead, everything is managed with Cascade CMS's content entry fields known as Data Definition. The course catalog page is a good example. 

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Major and Minor Pages

The University of Richmond set up a true COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) framework. No piece of content needs to be duplicated.

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Calendar

The University’s calendar is another example of content reuse. Users can add and edit events right within Cascade, and are then syndicated in a number of places, including the middle section of school pages and other top level pages, such as Student Development.

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Because University of Richmond designed their Cascade CMS asset organization around object-oriented concepts, managing each object as a separate asset, content reuse is easy. For example, for the top level asset “promo”, there are other sub-assets, such as adminpromo, faculty accomplishment, infographics, media placements, promos, quotes, single photo, slideshow, stats, and YouTube. So instead of housing content in big clunky blobs, users manage it in smaller, more reusable chunks.

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