Jan
20
2015

The EdWeb distribution – it’s the same thing but with a different flavour

We’ve always wanted to make the new EdWeb CMS offering as flexible as possible and one way that we are achieving this is to allow people to take a copy of the CMS distribution; install it, host it and run it themselves. For those technically minded folk who know what a LAMP stack is the EdWeb distribution is now available for download. Details are at the end of this post.

The EdWeb distribution is a fully packaged Drupal based Content Management System and is similar to that of the centrally hosted EdWeb CMS. What is important to understand though is that while it’s the same CMS it’s a completely different type of service. So don’t worry if you are used to Polopoly and all the advantages you get from being part of that. The same high standard of support and training will still be available to you. You’ll move to the new CMS as part of the migration schedule and you don’t need to worry about doing anything with the distribution at all. But for some areas the need for greater flexibility overrides some of the benefits of being part of the central service and we wanted to be able to offer this as just one more factor of the whole flexible package.

There is no denying that this has been a huge amount of work for our development team who are already working flat out on the building of the actual CMS. So it certainly took longer to get out the door than we initially expected. However we wanted to offer this as a fully functioning, stable and secure package that will run alongside the central service in a sustainable way. And thanks to the knowledge and skill of our development team we’ve managed to achieve that.

Part of the University’s strategic plan is encouraging and supporting innovation. We believe that allowing people to take the distribution and change it to meet their local business needs will eventually benefit the whole University. Changes will be fed into a Change Advisory Board which is in the process of being set up. These changes can then potentially become a part of the central service and open up this new functionality to everybody.

How do I get the EdWeb Distribution?

The EdWeb Drupal Distribution is available from http://dist.drupal.is.ed.ac.uk and works in the same way as Drupal Distributions available on drupal.org.

  1. Download the tar.gz or zip file for the current version (7.x-1.0 at time of writing).
  2. Extract on your LAMP server. The download includes Drupal core.
  3. Install Drupal as normal by going to the install.php file in a browser and select the EdWeb Distribution option.

Detailed information on installation, configuration and distribution options and content including demos, is available in the Distribution presentation on the Drupal Comms log at http://bit.ly/drupal-comms-log. We strongly recommend you review this presentation before you download the distribution.

Further documentation on development and use of the distribution will appear on dist.drupal.is.ed.ac.uk. We expect there to be regular updates to the distribution as development continues. Comprehensive documentation on general project development (some of which does apply to the EdWeb Distribution installation profile) can be found at https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/x/UbeOCg .

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