About the CMS

What is a Web Content Management System (Web CMS)?

Generally, a Web Content Management System (Web CMS) is an application that stores and organizes Web content, as well as information about how the content can be used and presented. A Web CMS allows users with little technical knowledge to create and manage Web content with relative ease. This reduces the costs of creating and maintaining websites and frees highly trained staff for other technical work more appropriate for them.

Why Cascade Server?

In 2007, following a comprehensive product evaluation, a group of representatives from across the university selected Cascade Server, a Web CMS produced by Hannon Hill, as the best product to meet the goals of the service. The product meets all the highest-priority requirements established at the outset of the selection process. Hannon Hill’s primary market segment is higher education. Current UC Cascade Server clients include UC Davis, UC Davis School of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, UC Irvine, UC Office of the President, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz.

Benefits of Using the Campus Web CMS

The Web CMS allows campus business and academic administrative units to achieve efficiency, quality control and cost-saving goals that are in line with the "shared service center" model now being implemented across campus. In addition to cost savings and efficiency improvements, the following benefits will be realized when the majority of campus business and academic administrative Web content is maintained using the Web CMS:

  • Common user experiences for the owners of site content and for the users of the sites
  • Shared technical expertise: Web CMS skills will be transferable across campus
  • Access to campus-wide – and even UC system-wide – best practices
  • Centralized Web CMS hardware/software support is more efficient and less costly than in a decentralized model
  • Better and more widespread adherence to UC Davis branding and identity standards and Web standards
  • Better compliance with UC and federal accessibility policies

Not all campus business and academic administrative websites are appropriate candidates for conversion to Cascade Server. The Web CMS provides the most significant advantages for sites with relatively little dynamic content, sites that are not hosted using a third-party application, and sites that are poorly maintained and/or out of compliance with campus accessibility or identity standards. 

Core features of a Web CMS

  • Empower non-technical users to more easily create and maintain Web content.
  • Users can be assigned roles that limit their access to only the content and features appropriate to their job duties.
  • Common content (e.g., logos, icons, boilerplate text) can be created and maintained as a single resource and reused across many pages.
  • Web page templates provide a uniform structure for user-generated content and ensure a consistent presentation across a site.

Additional features of the Campus Web CMS

  • Centrally supported and maintained software and hardware minimize the need for local resources.
  • Common training and support mechanisms for users assure consistency.
  • Web page templates meet campus standards and best practices.
  • If the Web CMS is unavailable, Web content is still editable on the client’s Web server.
  • The Web CMS can integrate with existing or new Web applications developed by the client.
  • Web application developers are free to use any server-side coding language they choose for application development.