Bounded versatility, content governance and efficient development frameworks: the journey of Ithaca College into Drupal 8

Ithaca College strives to become the standard of excellence for student-centered comprehensive colleges, fostering intellect, creativity, and character in an active and inclusive residential learning community. In this case study session, we’ll talk about how Four Kitchens teamed up with Ithaca College developers to bring that spirit into their web presence with a new, modern and versatile implementation of their website.

How to make a Drupal 8 site visually attractive and versatile while keeping it easy to handle by editors at the same time you ensure boundaries are not trespassed? How to address content governance from a technical standpoint when you need to reflect an organization as decoupled as higher education ones are? How to get the most from your continuous integration stack so you can focus on delivering quality code?

We’ll help you drop some light over these and other interesting topics. Among others, we’ll discuss:

- The development framework and workflow we set up to smoothly automate code life cycle, from local development with Docker to testing and deployment leveraging the combined power of CircleCi and Pantheon’s Terminus library, in an efficient and effective way.

- How we combined the power of Emulsify and Paragraphs to implement a flexible, robust and extensible component-based architecture that works and looks great

- The hierarchical content governance system we developed using the Group module where every portion of the site is controlled in a different way by a different set of people with different privileges.

- Our approach to search, that made possible to combine content from both the legacy system and the new site in the search results.

- Our implementation of the migration process that brought thousands of structurally different pieces of content from legacy CMS to the new site preserving the ownership of content, and gave users a chance to moderate, curate and validate it before publishing, with optimal use of database space.

- How we adapted our project management process to ensure the best outcome on short timelines while keeping high-quality standards as a result of constant communication and continuous revision by stakeholders.