Allegheny County is the 2nd largest county in Pennsylvania with a population of just under 1.3 million. In October of 2006, the county issued a request for proposals to redesign their existing web site to be more progressive and easier to navigate. The main requirement was that the design integrate with a content management system of their choice.
An Asp.Net Content Management System was selected by the County to house their 3,000+ pages and 48,000+ files.
We began by sampling the pages, noting the format and structure of the source code. We established unit tests and wrote regular expressions to extract the content from the files and insert into the database in batch processes. We found that page titles that exceeded 250 characters and special characters such as ampersand would cause issues, so additional verification and processing methods were created.
Once the content was loaded in, we turned our attention to adding/modifying table information for url rewriting. We accomplished these tasks with several custom SQL procedures, to work around ntext fields and to create custom attributes not provided by the API. The result was a set of utilities that could be reused to administer many aspects of the database.
The next phase of the project involved the page architecture and design. We created Master Pages and Sub Master pages for each department. We created high-level, structural templates, so that each department could inherit a 2-column, 3-column or full page template without generating an additional template.
Zeo and the County conducted several in-house beta tests to ensure proper functioning of the content management platform and formatting. Errors, when found, were recorded and categorized. In-line formatting and the excessive use of blockquotes to indent text surfaced as the most severe errors. Zeo wrote SQL cursors to search for in-line styles and to reformat page content, to allow the CSS to manage the style of the site.
The site launched on May 20th, 2007.
ASP.NET C#, Ektron CMS, Regular Expressions, SQL Querieshttp://www.alleghenycounty.us