Web Technologies & Services

Revision as of 16:07, 1 September 2014 by Ian McBride (talk | contribs)

The Web Technologies & Services workgroup develops custom web applications and customizations to existing web applications, such as Drupal and WordPress MU.


The ChangeBlog is a private blog that lists the changes made to production web systems. Typically posts to the blog list the time that the revision was committed to source control, the person making the change, the name of the system, a unique identifier that can be used to look up the change in source control, and a short message describing the change. All LIS staff have access to this blog and we grant other staff access on request.

All of our code is kept in Source Control. We use git, a distributed source control system. Code that is currently only available internally, such as our custom Drupal themes, can be browsed via our on site gitweb repository. If you would like access to this information, please contact us for the username and password. Our public code is available in the Middlebury github page, Adam Franco's github page, and Matt La France's github page. Our collaboration with Amherst on Monster Menus is also publicly available.

Workgroup Procedures

Web Browser Support

This section applied only to the applications supported by the Web Technologies & Services group. This does not include Banner and INB. For information on those platforms, please see Troubleshooting Banner and BannerWeb.

Our policy is to make a reasonable effort to support every version of a major web browser (see list below) that is currently supported by the company or group that produces the browser software. If you are using an older version of one of these browsers, our site might work, but you are encouraged to upgrade. If you are using a development, testing, or beta version of one of these browsers, our site might work, but we have found there are usually a few glitches that tend to get fixed before the final version is released.

Known Issues: There are several glitches related to editing Drupal sites using Internet Explorer. Site editors are encouraged to use a different browser for editing. WordPress no longer supports Internet Explorer 7.


  • Create new documentation in this Wiki.
  • Add the "Web Technologies & Services" category to new documentation in this Wiki.
  • Document at least the procedure for getting a development copy of the software set up.
  • Migrate existing documentation to this Wiki over time.
  • If the documentation is not yet in this Wiki, include a link to it on this page.
  • List production host OS and details in the Web Application Versions Spreadsheet.


Web Technologies & Services maintains over 80 web applications for Middlebury. Rather than rely on a single service to manage all needs, we attempt to find best of breed tools for the most common requests. Here is a list of core services we support.

Web Application Versions Spreadsheet

Service Documentation Code
Museum of Art
Davis UWC Scholars
Projects for Peace
Launched in February, 2010, the new Middlebury website uses the Drupal content management system with a module named Monster Menus, developed by Amherst College, that adds hierarchical menus and permissions management to Drupal.
Active Directory Group Manager AD Group Manager: A web interface for Active Directory that allows self-service group creation and membership management. Using this tool, we can create permissions groups for any application that uses our Central Authentication Service. The manager automatically updates applications like Drupal with group membership changes. Code Repository
Athletics Databases We keep the roster and score history for all of Middlebury's varsity sports teams since the 1999-2000 season in a database that can be polled using a RESTful web service interface. This allows for subscriptions to sports updates via RSS and Twitter.
Banner List Manager Subscription lists for email newsletters are checked against person records in Banner, our central database system, allowing us to target newsletters to specific Alumni and keep our contact lists up-to-date.
Campus Maps Combining geolocation data from our Geography department with Google Maps and Google Earth, we show building locations and outlines for the Middlebury, VT campus. This application also features low pass flyover photography of the campus. KML Document
CAS We set up the Central Authentication Service (CAS) in 2009 and have since applied it to MediaWiki, Segue, MiddMedia, Drupal, the Athletics Databases, and Wordpress. This allows users of these services to move between applications without signing in each time and provides a well-developed method of authentication for our development team to apply to new services.
Concerto Harmoni Project Documentation
Course Catalog Course information extracted from Banner is given an interactive view using web service APIs in our new course catalog. Designed as a replacement from the print version of the catalog, this application operates outside of Banner, ensuring that students can view course information event during extremely busy registration periods. Code Repository
Course Hub The Course Hub is the definitive starting point for all course sites. Drupal 7 CourseHub
Dining Menus The menu site is a Drupal instance populated with meal information, showing students the menu options for each dining hall, and providing visitors with meal rates. Students can give Dining Services direct feedback about the menu by choosing the "fill out a comment card" option on the menu.
Directory A web interface to the information in the Active Directory database, the online directory shows the publicly available information for over 20,000 people. Complex business rules determine when to show, and what information to display, for people with relationships to Middlebury that include Middlebury Alumni now working for the Monterey Institute who also attend Language Schools in the summer.
Central Git source control repositories Gitolite browse repositories

GO is a URL shortening service. Anyone with a Middlebury account can create a GO shortcut to point to a site for easy reference. GO shortcuts can be used on campus by typing "go/name" or off campus (YES! It does work off campus) by typing "go.middlebury.edu/name".

Code Repository

Our local instance of MediaWiki (the software behind wikipedia.org) features a start-up script to quickly create a custom wiki for any course or office wishing to use this technology.

MiddMedia We run a local instance of Adobe's Flash Media Server. MiddMedia is a web interface to this service that allows Middlebury users to upload video in many formats, which is then transcoded on the server into a streaming media format, allowing it to be displayed on our website, learning management system, blogging server, or wiki using custom developed modules for those applications.

Current Students
Faculty & Staff

WordPress (Midd)
WordPress (MIIS)

An instance of Wordpress MU with custom developed themes and plugins to connect it to other applications we host. Middlebury allows anyone with a user account to create as many blogs as they like and hosts blogs for individuals, offices, departments, courses, student organizations, and our administration.

Middlebury Photo of the Week Plugin
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