By the Power of Plone - Case Carousel at University of Jyväskylä

We have used Plone for over 10 years at our University. In many cases Plone itself or combined with some cool add-ons have proved to be highly valuable. In this presentation I will highlight some of the most successful cases of Plone usage, with a hint of agile aspect in the process, but not forgetting the whole product life cycle. As a first case I will bring up Plone Form Gen. There are some thousand forms created with the tool over the years, by regular users. Form Gen itself is a great tool, and it uses Plone metaphors consistently, making it easy to use. I will also will present some of our own Form Gen additions, including Excel integration and payment systems. Other highlighted cases include ePortfolio, Plomino, Portalview and Dexterity Content Types (Sivuaineet), to mention few. Some of the cases have started by just giving the users some add on to test and to use. Sometimes they miss, sometimes they hit, but the overall cost is usually low. Additionally I will discuss about the importance of real user feedback in development. It is vital to be able to show something, anything, for the users early on. This is where Plone very often shines, there is so much available out-of-the-box. It is much easier for the users to communicate about their needs over “preview-sites” rather than vague Excel sheets with rows and rows of made up system requirements. Often the users are able to start creating content while the development of the whole system is in progress. This brings real user needs visible and makes the actual release happen sooner. Then there is product or service life cycle. At a university context, one must think of how the multitude of services are maintained in a sustainable manner. As a secure and mature system, we can trust Plone-based services to run with little maintenance. Also every long running service at some point benefits of an ultra flexible role and permission management. Did someone say Plone? Yeah, I thought so. This presentation is aimed to everyone who is interested in hearing real world use cases for Plone, from mostly a non-technical perspective.


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