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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NIST.GOV Public Site launch

Fig Leaf Software, a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), based in Washington, DC is pleased to announce the Web site launch of www.nist.gov.

NIST's legacy site had 80,000 pages of static content and suffered from some important problems with Web site content:

  • no way to manage site information across organizational units
  • no way to enforce design standards or "look and feel"
  • no way to drive people to important content or content of interest to them

Having identified the problems, Fig Leaf worked with the NIST team to architect an enterprise solution built on industry standards.

Fig Leaf launched nist.gov as part of a phased approach to bring all NIST content under one standard content management system, the CommonSpot Content Server, a product of PaperThin, Inc. The current system utilizes CommonSpot in all of the main areas and it ties into legacy information and content while it is being migrated over into the CMS. This is important because of the size and amount of data that NIST manages. The NIST Web site has more than 1,000 content contributors and the system serves content from content servers geographically distributed across the US with fail-over and backup systems in place. The home page being generated as HTML to reduce load time.

The entire site is built on an extensive taxonomy which relates content to their organizational units and their information architecture. The Adobe Flash banner built into the home page template allows non-tech contributors with rights to manage photos on the home page.

The new site has an extensive "A to Z" index and subject area portals which display content based on taxonomy and organizational settings including:

  • Programs and projects
  • Instruments
  • News & events
  • Latest publications

One of the most complex portals developed was for Building and Fire Research. The portal based system draws together content from multiple repositories and Fig Leaf Software integrated the Google Search Appliance in at the taxonomy level so users can search on terms and change results using the drop down to search by relevance and date or by:

  • All content
  • Projects & Programs
  • News
  • Events
  • Staff Listing

The new site uses metatags from individual pages as content contributors tag content during the page creation or editing process.

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