Web-System D2

Articles spanning website and web-based system analysis, design, development, and implementation.

Adding a Drupal Webform to the Event Content Type

Have you ever wanted to add a signup form to your free events? The Webform module, which has been around Drupal for a while is a great option. The following is a simple recipe of modules and configuration that will allow you to add a signup form to your event content type ... or any other content type of course. The following steps assume you are logged into a default Drupal7 site.

Drupal Strategist

I am currently providing Drupal services on two Drupal sites. The tasks performed have included:

  • Drupal configuration
  • Drupal development strategies
  • Client training
  • Testing and Troubleshooting
  • Developer management
  • Planning and defining custom code requirements and logic
Client: 
QED Group, LLC
Role: 
Drupal Strategist
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2011.11
End: 
Present
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 

Training Program Development Support

I provided training program development support to Phase2 Technology. Support includes but is not limited to Drupal distribution instructional design and development.

Client: 
Phase2 Technology
Role: 
Instructional designer, Subject Matter Expert, Consultant
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2011.04
End: 
2012.02
Platform: 
Classroom
Sections: 
Technology: 

Drupal Commons Training Development

Designed and developed two classroom-based training courses for Acquia's Drupal Commons distribution.

  • Drupal Commons Community Manager Course
  • Drupal Commons Site Builder Course

The process included the following.

Client: 
Acquia
Role: 
Instructional designer and SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2010.12
End: 
2011.02
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 
Technology: 

What are Drupal 6 Panels Contexts

Note: Although this was written for D6 Panels, Panels continues to include contexts. I haven't tested the recent versions of Panels to see if anything has changed regarding contexts but perhaps this will provide a quick review before you get started.

There is a Drupal module called Panels. There is a Drupal module called Context. There is a feature in Panels called context. Panel's context and the Context module are not the same, not even close. According to Earl Miles, the developer of Panels: "In Panels, context is lingo for a wrapper around any significant object. By default, Panels supports 'Node', 'Taxonomy term', 'Taxonomy vocabulary', and 'User' as contexts." But what does that mean?

I recently purchased "Drupal 6 Panels Cookbook" from Packt Publishing, hoping to get all my context/relationships questions answered. I did learn a couple things from the book so it wasn't money wasted but it didn't answer all my questions. So I did what I often have to do, I starting clicking and observing what happens. This article is what I have figured out. I hope you find this useful.

Drupal Hands-On Intro for Builders

Description: In this classroom course you will build a site that has four site sections, custom content types, views and more. Each section demonstrates commonly used techniques used to build dynamic Drupal sites. In addition to using Drupal's many administrative features, you will use modules such as

Client: 
IDCM Innovations
Role: 
Instructional designer, Instructor
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2010.09
End: 
2010.09
Platform: 
Classroom
Sections: 
Technology: 

Custom Drupal Commons Training for Acquia

I was hired to plan and provide two one-day training sessions for Acquia's client. The first training session covered:

  • Tasks performed by authenticated users in a customized Drupal Commons site such as the creation of group nodes in different group configurations.
  • Tasks performed by content administrators and group managers such as setting up groups with different access configurations.
  • Free formed discussion and exploration of the site administration features, role definition, and community strategies.

The second session covered:

Client: 
Acquia
Role: 
Subject Matter Expert, Trainer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2010.08
End: 
2010.09
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 
Technology: 

Custom Drupal Training for IBM

I was hired to evaluate how their new Drupal site was configured and provide two days of custom training.

Training was casual and free form with the client asking general Drupal questions as well as questions pertaining to how the site was configured.

Client: 
IBM Center for the Business of Government
Role: 
Subject Matter Expert, Trainer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2010.08
End: 
2010.08
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 
Technology: 

Dumbarton United Methodist Church Site

On this project, my role was to develop a Drupal site for Dumbarton United Methodist Church. Tasks included:

  • Submit a proposal
  • Collect requirements
  • Create wireframes
  • Capture the design from the client
  • Coordinate theme development
  • Coordinate logo development
  • Coordinate hosting services
  • Develop the site
  • Develop banner images
  • Work with server techs to configure server to support Drupal
  • Design and deliver Drupal training sessions
  • Coordinate logo design and development
Client: 
Dumbarton United Methodist Church
Role: 
Planner (IA, UX), Builder, Trainer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2010.05
End: 
2010.08
Platform: 
Web-Drupal

Sections: 
Technology: 

UX Design and Drupal Websites: A Planner's Guide

In the past year, the letters UX have grown very popular in discussion posts, job ads, etc. UX design or user experience design can't be defined in a sentence. I found a definition of UX design on uxdesign.com @ http://uxdesign.com/ux-defined. As I read, the author of this article brings up the "profound and practical insights of Jesse James Garrett" and his diagram of The Elements of User Experience.

Drupal Demo Sites

As part of my bidding process, I provide potential clients with the opportunity to explore a demo site so they can see if they like Drupal and so they can see various options that might interest them. For example, this demo shows how the client could include content in regions across the top. The Zero Point theme is being used in this demo.

This demo site provides sample interactions requested by the current client. By experimenting, a client can get a feel for what it will be like to work in Drupal so that questions and concerns can be managed before launch.

Client: 
Dumbarton United Methodist Church
Role: 
Planner, Builder, Maintainer
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2010.04
End: 
2010.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Topics: 
Technology: 

The Legal Balance Fee-based Community Site

After experiencing some challenges with a Drupal developer, the owner of TheLegalBalance.com looked for a new developer. I was hired to take the existing theme design and make it the Drupal fee-base community she wanted.

My role included

Client: 
The Legal Balance
Role: 
Web planner, builder, implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.07
End: 
2009.11
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

Planning Drupal Sites - Resource and Training Site

The content in this site is now a Wiley/Wrox book. Drupal: The Guide to Planning and Building Websites

How do you make the default installation of Drupal into what you want? How do you know which modules you will need? How do you organize your content? How do you get your content into your site? How do you sustain a Drupal site?

This book helps you define what you want for your Drupal site, making it easier to do things like

Client: 
IDCM Innovations
Role: 
Subject Matter Expert and Author
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2010.01
End: 
2010.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

KDMD Portal Implementation

The USAID Knowledge Driven Microenterprise Development (KDMD) Portal is a Drupal-based portal of sites built on Drupal 6.x. My role with the QED Group included both liaising with QED’s web development vendor during the site development process and helping to build internal Drupal capacity among the KDMD team.

Responsibilities included

Client: 
QED Group LLC
Role: 
Requirements Analyst and Technical Assistant
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2009.08
End: 
2010.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

EG Learning Center Implementation Support

The QED Group contracted with me to help them with this Drupal implementation project. For this project I was asked to assess a site they had received from their developer and then help them bring the project to launch. My tasks included

Client: 
QED Group LLC
Role: 
Requirements Analyst and Task Leader
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.09
End: 
2009.11
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

IDCM Innovations Organic Groups

Earlier this year I had some client inquiries regarding Drupal's Organic Groups. I wasn't familiar with OG at the time so I started to investigate. The documentation was not exactly abundant or clear so I decided to figure it out on my own. I documented what I found in preparation for my clients to decide if they wanted to use groups.

My normal practice when investigating is to:

Client: 
IDCM Innovations
Role: 
Web planner, builder, implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.05
End: 
2009.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Topics: 
Technology: 

Power Training Coach Site

The Power Training Coach website was developed in Dreamweaver per the request of the client. It uses Dreamweaver templates and libraries. The client maintains the site using Dreamweavers site management features and integrated FTP.

Client: 
BJ Basham
Role: 
Web designer and developer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2008.04
End: 
2008.04
Platform: 
Web-Dreamweaver
Sections: 
Topics: 
Technology: 

Post-Harvest Hub Site

Partnerships for Food Industry Development sponsored the development of this site to share the resources from the International Workshop on Post Harvest Technology & Management Practices for Fruits and Vegetables.

The resources included presentations, videos, additional readings, resources and speakers that allow you to not only learn, but also, interact, contribute and keep up with the ever-growing knowledge database of post-harvest technology.

Client: 
MSU PFID-F&V
Role: 
Web planner, builder, implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2008.07
End: 
2008.09
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Topics: 
Technology: 

Sener Learning Services Upgrade From D4

Sener Learning Services, know known as Sener Knowledge LLC, has been a client since 2003. I built John his first HTML site that included a blog, RRS feed, and dedicated site search.

Client: 
Sener Learning Services
Role: 
Web planner, builder, implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.05
End: 
2010.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

IDCM Innovations

This site is a Drupal site. I started with Drupal 4.6.8 and recently upgraded to Drupal 6. I find the best way to learn Drupal is to experiment with your own sites. Of course, using a sandbox (development area) is highly recommended for those large design adventures.

Client: 
Myself
Role: 
Web Developer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2008.12
End: 
2009.06
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
After

Before
Sections: 
Topics: 
Technology: 

Drupal Roles: Wearing Multiple Hats

If you do a search for Drupal jobs, the most common jobs listed are Drupal developer, Drupal themer, and Drupal designer. If you look at the skills required for each, they say basically the same thing: HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, and Drupal experience. If the job is graphic, you might see additional requirements such as Photoshop, Flash, etc. I wonder what the person will be doing in these jobs. Is a developer the same as a coder or is a developer the person who builds the Drupal site?

Instructional Design versus Building Online Courses

When we are given a tool that makes the development of online learning easier for the novice, we risk loosing the power of the design process. The temptation to open the course shell in Blackboard, for example, and start adding sections, items, folders, documents, etc. can be overwhelming. Add to this temptation the fact that the course is already being delivered in the classroom, why bother with design? Or, the belief that the if the classroom course is using Blackboard to host its classroom materials, then taking the course online is a snap, so why design?

Online Database Workshops

As the Webmaster for the Instructional Resource Center at George Mason University, I designed, developed, and delivered two introductory workshops on online databases.

At the time these were created, faculty and staff were starting to see the advantages of putting data online via a database. GMU was not prepared to allow all faculty and staff to create database driven dynamic websites. In an effort to help GMU and its faculty and staff decide how to proceed, I presented:

Client: 
George Mason University
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, and SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2001.03
End: 
2001.04
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 

Dreamweaver Workshop Series

As Senior Instructional Designer for the Instructional Resource Center at George Mason University, I designed, developed, and delivered three Dreamweaver workshops: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

The objectives for each workshop are listed below.

Client: 
George Mason University
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, and SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
1999.04
End: 
2001.08
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 

COLD Technology Requirements Evaluation

As a consultant for Work Smart, Inc., I performed a technology evaluation for a major health insurance company. Computer Output to Laser Disk (COLD) is a technology by which computer generated reports and documents (such as accounting reports and in-house generated invoices) are stored electronically. In 1993, the insurance company implemented a COLD system using an Optical Disk (OD) solution to replace their Computer Output to Microfilm (COM) operation.

Client: 
Business Consultant
Role: 
Business Consultant
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
1998
End: 
1998
Sections: 

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