Rebooting JCE Online

Rebooting JCE Online into a new, interactive web CMS platform is a large undertaking. JCE Online has had a fairly long history, several contributors, and contains a lot of content. The content is typically static HTML and was created using numerous tools and  methods. Some content is available only to subscribers. From a technical standpoint, migrating such disparate content into a database-driven, content management system (Drupal) is a challenge. In order to maintain stewardship of this content, the challenge must be met. How we are meeting the technical challenges will documented in this blog. The user interaction challenges will be described once we have finished with the technical ones.

Initially, our efforts are concentrated on getting the legacy content to co-exist with the new web platform. The challenge here arises from how Drupal insists on managing "missing content" and user authorization. Drupal also does its best to route all reqeusts through it. We think that we have met this challenge by configuring the web server to deliver the legacy content if it exists and route to Drupal is it does not. Drupal then handles the request as it sees fit.

A second challenge is in regard to subscriber-only content. Such content is currently protected by the web-server. We need to move the authentication of users and the authorization for access into Drupal. It is this challenge that we will work on simultansously while we migrate the subscriber-only content into Drupal.

The Chemistry Comes Alive! (CCA) video collection is the first content we are migrating. The CCA content will be migrated one volume at a time. We have completed the migration of  CCA Volume 1 content. Since this is subscriber-only content, we have suppressed its availability to those who have accounts with the new site.

We will keep you posted as build out the rest of the site with migrated legacy content. We will also keep you informed through this blog about our progress in other areas of the site and the policies that we are implementing for its use.