Webcast Q&A:Oracle WebCenter Connects Patients and Professionals in Cancer Control Mission

Yesterday we had the first webcast in our WebCenter in Action webcast series, "Oracle WebCenter Connects Patients and Professionals in Cancer Control Mission", where customer Wayne Roberts from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Rohit Mathur & Pankaj Mittal from Oracle Partner Apps Systems shared how Oracle WebCenter is powering www.cancerview.ca to help patients and professionals find cancer related information and connect with one another.

In case you missed it, here's a recap of the Q&A.  

Wayne Roberts, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer: 

Wayne Roberts
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you ran into when rolling out the solution?
A: Our biggest challenge was that as we transitioned from WebCenter Interaction to WebCenter Portal, was not losing that business focus. This needed to be a business driven, sustainable platform. We weren't looking for the typical portal development project -- we wanted a data driven portal managed by business users. There were a few challenges, mainly just because WebCenter Portal is a fairly new product, but overall things went well.

Q: You mentioned you were one of the earliest adopters of Oracle WebCenter Spaces. How did that process go and why did you choose Oracle WebCenter for your portal platform? 
A: Going back to when we first started this initiative, sustainability for us (limited resources, small IT support team, etc.) of the platform over our mandate was a major concern. We were looking for an enterprise platform that was rich in functionality that aligned with our requirements that we wouldn't have to do custom development. The Oracle WebCenter platform aligned very well with our bus requirements and where we envisioned the platform heading. I'd be lying if I said we didn't have a few scars along the way in the early days, but it's gone very well and the product has come along and matured quite well. And with this latest project, we are very pleased. Overall, it’s been a very positive experience for us.

Q: How many contributors on the site?
A: From the IT side, out of the 90 employees, it's around 10 people. We have Architects, Business Analysts, Project Managers, & Java Developers. It’s a very small lean team, so hence we are very conscious as it grows that we can sustain it.  From a content perspective we have a team of 6 people that over see and manage contributions to the site.  From the Business side, we have over 200 collaborative sites with over 2,000 registered users. Regarding usage of the site, we probably get 3,000-4,000 unique users a month and 20,000-30,000 page views a month. It’s not a high volume, but our audience is more narrow since we are focused on the cancer control audience in Canada.

Rohit Mathur & Pankaj Mittal, Apps Systems:

Rohit MathurPankaj Mittal
Q: When you go from page to page, the whole page is getting refreshed. Why is that? 
A: That is correct. We could have used Partial page refresh feature and not have a  full page refresh, but one of the key requirements from Canadian Partnership Against Cancer was that the URLs be accurate , user-friendly and bookmark-able. With a Partial page refresh the URL would not have been updated, so this was done to satisfy a business requirement.

Q: Were you able to re-purpose anything from the previous portal based on Oracle WebCenter Interaction to the new portal?
A:  Yes, we leveraged the most of the infrastructure components like WebCenter Content, Oracle Identity Manager, Oracle Identity Directory and Oracle Access Manager. We had to restructure content and its metadata to fit in the new portal and make it more usable and efficient. 

Q: Were there any hurdles you ran into along the way with localizing the website in multiple languages?
A: We approached this project by leveraging the content server in Oracle WebCenter Portal and attribution of metadata on the server. Whenever you go from page to page, the content comes dynamically from the server based on the context the user is in (language, location, etc.) This is something different we have done compared to other implementations, but we didn't face any issues.

Q: The custom skins that were created, can those be repurposed across the site?
A: Our design strategy and approach for this project was to focus on building reusable components - navigation, skins, search UI, etc. built in a way so we can repurpose it in another portal. This gives us a lot of reusability . The methods we used to deliver large number of pages using a few templates, the context sensitive behavior of port lets, the skins etc can absolutely be repurposed. A new site might be slightly different, but these components can easily be changed and reused. This can also help with accelerated development of any new portal. Also there is the possibility for some components  to be exported and incorporated into a new portal.

Q: Is this site built using Oracle WebCenter Sites or Spaces?
A: This web presence was built using Oracle WebCenter Portal. We did integrate with WebCenter Spaces which was a separate depolyment meant for collaboration.

Be sure to catch the replay to see a live demonstration of WebCenter in action! 


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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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