WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Software and Technology Integration Policy
The WiscWeb team aims to provide key integrations with our service offering by regularly assessing new technologies that are adopted on campus. However, there are certain criteria that must be met in order for us to accommodate these tools. The following document will walk through the criteria we use when assessing whether or not to approve or deny software and technology integration requests within the WiscWeb service.
There are two support-related criteria that must be met in order for the WiscWeb team to integrate or interface with the technology:
Does Support Exist for the Tool?
WiscWeb will only integrate technology that is campus-supported. A team must exist within DoIT or another department/division that offers guidance and instruction on how to use the tool. They must have a formal process for triaging support-related requests (i.e. a place we can direct our users in case they have questions about the use of the tool). Ideally, this team would maintain documentation on the technology and must be willing to answer questions about setup, use, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc.
Can WiscWeb Reasonably Support the Integration?
There are times when the development of the integration technology or plugin is simple, but long-term internal support for it may be more challenging. As a small team, we will have to assess how feasible it is for our team to take on long-term support of the technology we’d need to build in order to handle the integration.
Usage Across Campus
As you can imagine, there are many tools/technology available to users on campus - some of which serve the same general function and some that are used by only one or two groups/departments. It would be both challenging and time-consuming for us to develop integrations for everything that exists. However, we aim to accommodate the tools that are most widely used on campus.
For this, we rely heavily on the upvoting and comments supplied on our feature request board. This allows us to more easily assess the impact of new features like integrations and connect with requesters to gather key insight on use cases. This insight helps form the path we take for developing new technology. Therefore, if there is an integration you'd like to see in WiscWeb, we highly recommend adding it to the feature request board at your earliest convenience: WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Submit a Feature Request.
Impact on Infrastructure
WiscWeb supports a multisite instance of WordPress. As such, anything we add to the service has the potential to affect the entire service offering for concerns such as page load times, security, and service stability. Therefore, we take new integrations very seriously. We review technologies for potential impacts and will not integrate if there is a chance that the entire service may be negatively affected in any way. Also, we will not take on any new integrations that could jeopardize security of the system.
In WiscWeb, we strive to provide tools and services that meet accessibility requirements. For that reason, we partner with the Center for User Experience to conduct accessibility evaluations of any new tools under consideration of integration. If a tool/technology has passed all of our other criteria, it must then receive an accessibility evaluation before we begin work on integrations. If there are accessibility concerns by either the Center for User Experience of the WiscWeb team, we will attempt to find more appropriate alternatives.
Whenever we get asked for integrations, it is really helpful for us to understand why this option is important to your group. We will request the following information from groups looking for integrations with their WiscWeb websites:
- What is the business case? What does this integration help you to do that you cannot do currently?
- How does the proposed integration positively impact the University mission?
- What is the level of importance for this request? How urgent is it? Do you have a deadline for when this needs to be in place?