White Whale Web Services: Custom application development for higher education

From our portfolio

The Directory of Research and Researchers at Brown

The Directory of Research and Researchers at Brown, part of the Brown Research site, is a comprehensive database of Brown faculty. It allows faculty to maintain a wide variety of information relating to their research interests and professional credentials, including publication lists, project descriptions, pictures, links, and much more.

Using a custom-built, easy-to-use interface, faculty members can keep their own information current; faculty profiles can also be managed by adminstrative staff or departmental representatives. Since its launch, the reach of the faculty profile system has been extended: the database it's built on now provides data to most departmental websites at Brown. This means information only has to be entered once. And this makes Brown faculty and staff happy.

Try searching the directory to get an idea of how it works.

Duke Today is a daily magazine targeted at Duke's faculty and staff. It functions both as Duke's primary public news dissemination tool and as a portal to all kinds of useful information and resources. The site also incorporates video content and several channels of RSS output, and content is managed with a built-to-order user interface.

Duke Today is built upon a custom PHP/MySQL database application built by White Whale. The site is powered by a back-end administrative manager that allows Duke News staff to manage the site content, and import news and events from RSS feeds around campus. Data from Duke’s existing Lotus-based calendar application is dynamically included, as is weather information. The site contains a set of “My Links” and “My News Feeds” that are user-customizable, allowing site users to set their own Duke links and RSS feeds of campus news and events.

Duke Today exports RSS, both for top stories and News You Can Use (news specifically directed at Duke staff). The site also incorporates a crisis communication system; with one click, the news adminstrator can create an “alert” that will appear in a prominent red bar in the middle of the page. Duke has used this system for severe weather alerts as well as particularly time-sensitive information releases.

The Duke Law site includes tools for news management, user-created photo galleries, course descriptions and more.

The newly launched site includes dynamic and user-friendly management tools for news and events (including syndication with RSS), a database of course descriptions and faculty profiles, and a unique photo gallery application that lets administrative users throughout the school quickly and easily post photos from past events.

Learn more about it by clicking here.

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Our business model for custom higher ed application development is really simple.

We create high-quality, standards-based, easy-to-use tools for managing and presenting all kinds of data. Our portfolio includes a wide range of solutions— which you can check out on our other clients' Web sites, and some of which you can test-drive for yourself. These serve as a kind of toolbox for us. But the sites and applications we build are exactly customized to your particular needs and specifications, in a personalized, intense, and collaborative working environment.

In the end, you wind up with exactly the tool you need, built on an open framework, thoroughly documented and easy to read. And you own it.

You are free to extend it, make changes, mash it up, bend it, staple it, etc. And you are also free to not do any of that, because the tool you've got will work and look just the way you want it to, and be ready to work for a long time.

Sometimes we build Web applications as part of a general site redesign, and sometimes we take on one-off, targeted, smaller scale projects that address particular needs. Timelines for custom dev projects range from a week to a couple of months (longer when part of an enterprise redesign, of course). Budgets start at a few thousand dollars and go up from there.

If you're exploring solutions for data or content management, we urge you to send us an email and let us know what you've got in mind. It's more than likely we've got something in our portfolio that's close to what you're looking for, and we'd love to talk to you about how a custom solution might suit your needs.

White Whale Web Services

White Whale Web Services, Inc.   •   1904 Franklin Street, Suite 500  •  Oakland, CA 94612  •  510-808-4028  •  web@whitewhale.net