The Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences offers courses of study in engineering sciences, computer science, economics and media disciplines. The entire range of courses is assigned to six faculties: Architecture and Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Computer Science and Business Informatics, Information Management and Media, Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics as well as Economics. With more than 8,000 students, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is one of the larger universities for applied sciences in Germany.
A technical highlight of the project is the specially created university calendar. Depending on their rights, certain users, such as lecturers, can request appointments, which can then be activated or rejected by other instances. With this, simple but also complicated workflows can be created to keep students and interested parties up to date.
Since the beginning of May 2017, the university's new website has had a new look with a mobile-optimized version. The detailed conception phase focused on an improved user interface for the operation of the site. Visitors can find content faster via navigation or search. Students and other interested parties can use the university's website equally well regardless of the end device used (smartphone, tablet or desktop PC). In addition, the principles of accessibility were an important point in the implementation.
During the relaunch the content management system TYPO3 was updated from version 6.2 LTS to version 8.7 LTS. In order to make this possible for such an extensive website, TYPO3 version 8.0 was used right from the beginning of the technical implementation. Every update jump of TYPO3 was immediately followed by the website, which was still under development at that time. Newly introduced changes and modernizations in the TYPO3 core were immediately taken into account in the configuration and in-house development.
The new possibilities in the administration of the CMS were conveyed to the editors directly in Karlsruhe by two trainers of the in2code GmbH in several trainings at the beginning of 2017. After an extensive migration of the data, the content was modernized and adapted accordingly by the more than 2,000 Backend users in a parallel operation of the old and new site (only accessible internally) over several months.
With the help of a historically grown collection of partially interdependent, generic extensions it was originally possible to display people, contacts, appointments, downloads and audio and video files in the frontend. In the course of the reconstruction we divided these into clearly defined individual areas (extensions) with the faculties as a common component in the centre. This division in connection with modern programming paradigms simplifies future extensions considerably (scaling).
The fully automated migration of content in the CMS affected many different areas. In the future, page contents will be displayed via "Fluid Styled Content" and with the extension Gridelements. The extension TemplaVoila was completely removed. In addition, faculties, downloads, contacts, forms, appointments, audio and video files were migrated accordingly. Furthermore, the extension news replaces the older extension tt_news.
A specially developed, comprehensive calendar allows the display of single and recurring appointments in the university and faculty area as well as on a global appointment page. A sophisticated, multi-level release workflow controls the release of appointments depending on the type and the desired display. Visitors can inform themselves about important events in a short, list, monthly, weekly or daily view. Individual appointments can be imported into your own calendar with a single click.
A specially programmed multi-upload tool enables editors to upload a large number of files simultaneously in the back end. Important meta information (title, author, copyright and keywords) is automatically imported from the image information (EXIF information). The corresponding copyright is shown below the image when displayed in the frontend.
Further features include a central administration of frontend and backend users (LDAP), maintenance of profile data for university employees in the frontend as well as the display in the central and faculty's own personal directory, automatic voice forwarding of the visitor, a backend module to notify editors about important changes via e-mail and another backend module in which webadmins (editors with extended rights) can set the permissions of other editors. Search results are displayed faster with the help of an external SOLR server.
A sophisticated zero downtime deployment supports the process of continuous integration of new software and ensures uninterrupted work in the backend. The server team of in2code GmbH takes care of the support and maintenance of the university's various web servers.
A trial study module with the presentation of courses enables future students to attend lectures on a trial basis. The maximum number of participants and possible overlaps in booking are automatically taken into account. Registered participants can be managed collectively via an Excel download.
With the help of a central authentication service, website and backend users on different web instances can authenticate themselves against a central LDAP. Content is then automatically displayed in a personalized manner.