The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research was the first NIH institute to migrate to the CIT CMS platform. The first discussions were held in 2003 and the decision was made to proceed; however, work on the project did not begin until mid-February of 2004 because of other priorities at NIDCR.
When we analyze static sites migrating to CMS, we identify areas where we can leverage existing data repositories. Our philosophy is: “Why develop a new system to maintain data when we can go directly to the source?”
A good example of how we apply this philosophy can be seen in the Staff Directory section of the NIDCR website. All contact information is pulled directly from the NIH Electronic Directory (NED), eliminating the need for NIDCR staff to make any updates to this part of the site. It also allows users to search or browse the directory information in a variety of ways – either by searching for a staff member by name or browsing by Division/Branch or location.
The Calendar of Events in the News & Reports section of the site demonstrates development of a custom CMS module that can be re-used by any other client. The Calendar allows user to view upcoming events by the week or the month, drill down to specific event details, and even add the event to their personal Outlook calendar.
The site was built by early June, and user training was held to help the content owners understand the new process. A launch date of June 28 was set. It took the coordinated effort of CMS development staff, NIDCR website managers and content owners, and BOSB staff to ensure that the launch date was met successfully.
Since launch, NIDCR site managers have spent less time working on the maintenance of the website and have instead concentrated on finding new and better ways to automate the content generation for easier maintenance and quicker publication and integrating the site with other data sources to add additional, richer content for their users.