TPR6: Using XML to Create an Online Course Catalog

Michael Gasparino, Web Content Manager, Stony Brook University

Lance Merker, President, CEO, OmniUpdate

The audio for this podcast can be downloaded at

[Intro Music]

Announcer: You’re listening to one in a series of podcasts from the 2009 HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lance Merker: Well, thank you for coming. Good afternoon. My name is Lance Merker. I’m with OmniUpdate and I’m joined by Michael Gasparino from SUNY Stony Brook. Now, OmniUpdate is a Web content management vendor and Michael Gasparino is not.

And I’m representing the technology part of this presentation and Michael is presenting the use case aspect of this. And the topic of the hour of course is using XML to create an online course catalog.

So, before we begin, maybe we can get a quick read of hands. How many people have already done this and you’re just here to see if we did it right?


Fair enough. All right. Fair enough. Thanks for the honesty there. Of course there’s many different ways this can be done and I think this is a pretty exciting one. And again, we’ve got a good use case against it already. And we’re going to show you how it can be done using XML, whether using on the update or not.

All right. Let’s go to the quick agenda here we’ve got. First of all an XML primer. So, how many of you here are XML XSL experts, users? OK. All right, good.

We’ll we’re going to start with just a quick primer. This is really five minute overview of what XML is and what it can do. We’ll talk then specifically about the SUNY Stony Brook case and the course catalog that they had originally in print. Talk about their need for change.

Michael is going to go through this part. Talk about how they work with the CMS to make it possible and then ultimately where they are today. And then we’ll talk more about lessons learned.

So with that, let’s start with an XML primer. So real simple, real high level stuff but think about it this way. In the beginning, there was SGML. We don’t have to go back 40 years here but let’s go back 25 years or so. In the beginning, there was a standard that was set. And to our advantage, one of the reasons we’re all here today is that one of the great things that happened from that was HTML.

So, HTML is effectively a subset of SGML and something that conforms to the SGML standard. And it’s a wonderful markup language for web pages, right? Why we all have jobs today. It’s a good thing.

Well, HTML as good as it maybe, as exciting as it was back in the 1990s, early 1990s, it wasn’t perfect for some of the things that we were working on. It wasn’t perfect for data. So, fortunately, there is another markup language that came along that’s also a valid asset SGML language and it’s called of course XML.

So, XML is really a extensible language hence the X in the word and it was truly great for data. So, while HTML is really a markup language for web pages, XML is a markup language for data, right? Simple high level overview but let’s put it all under perspective.

Now, what does this mean? Well, of course this means that XML isn’t by itself usable for web pages. It’s really not design for that at all. And yet we’re about to talk about that. So, this is where it gets interesting.

But what is XML? In a nutshell, XML is really a way to organize data and then let machines take over to read that organized data and do wonderful things with it. So, how do we do these wonderful things?

Well again, XML by itself is not enough. We need more. We really need something to style that and to present it in a particular format and that’s where XSL comes in. So, XML plus XML gives us really what we want because we’ve got something called XSLT which will transform XML into virtually anything, virtually any file format that we want, applying styles from XSL, applying CSS if we’re talking about web pages and doing some pretty wonderful things to boot.

Automating huge processes that we all take advantage of in some way, shape or form perhaps today particularly in the word of CMS where I live.

So, from this paring of XML and XSL, driven by an XSLT processor, we can output files such as HTML, CSP, TXT, PDF, whatever you can dream up and whatever you can do with the right XSL. Maybe a little XSL will follow if necessary for PDFs. You can output some pretty amazing files.

All right. So, now let’s talk about XSL template magic for a moment here because this is really where the rubber meets the road in the CMS world when we talk about XSLT.

So, XSL in a content management system as many of you perhaps already have tried is a pretty powerful tool for driving the templates that you want to use in your CMS.

So, if the pages represented here perhaps by XML content of some kind and we apply an XSL style sheet to that page and we consider perhaps other pages that are based on that exact same XSL style and we process that with XSLT, what do we get? Well, we get pages that look alike, other than the content.

The template magic of XSL is very apparent, very tangible in the content management world. So, this is really cool. We can take advantage of this. In fact, obviously the real promise of this is we change that XSL file, we republish the website and we get the same content automatically, automagically transcribed into a different look and feel on the website.

So, that’s one of the advantages obviously of XML and XSL but that’s not why we’re where today, is it? Why we’re where today is because we can do so much more. Now, let’s think about this. We’re about to jump into the use case study here but if you think about the data, that’s stored in the database, it can easily, I say with a smile, be output as XML in one way, shape or form. Either by the database engine itself.

Perhaps there’s a mechanism to output the XML directly or simply by transcribing that, generating that XML from another process perhaps using XSLT. But in the end, you can automate this process and make this very bulletproof such that you get XML that you predict and expect on a periodic basis perhaps, right?

Now, what you can do with that of course is that you can apply XSL to it. You can apply an XSLT transformation process to that and low and behold, you can add additional XSL to that and output that to all format simultaneously. So a web page, CSP file perhaps, PDF etc etc etc.

So, the data that’s stored in that database silo, if it’s formatted well, if it’s organized properly, it’s in XML and it’s transformable into various different sources automatically.

So now we’re going to get to the real reason that we’re here today and that’s, how do we do this and how do we automate the process of a course catalog? We kind of went through the basics of it. These are the building blocks that we need. This is really all we need to know. It’s gets as simple as this.

So, now I’m going to turn it over to Michael Gasparino who’s going to talk for a moment about how they use these building blocks to do some pretty magical things.

Michael Gasparino: I know this is the propel head track. I’m not a propeller head so bear with me. I’m a content manager at SUNY Stony Brook. I work in the Office of Communications. We have a small staff of about five and we don’t have any developers. So, when this project came up, we turn to OmniUpdate for help and they’ve done a great job with us.

The Underwriter Bulletin was, the printed bulletin was printed every two years. And of course it was out of date, about 500 pages long and of course it was out of date the moment it was sent to the printer. And not having worked in the print bulletin prior to this, we were amazed at how many changes came in after the bulletin went to the printer. I mean it went on a couple of days. It just seem like certain departments didn’t understand the dead in deadline. So, OK then we were told that that wasn’t uncommon which surprised us.

We also have Communication pays for the production and has paid for the production of the bulletin. And since 2003, four of this two year editions were printed and cost almost $200,000 for our office. So, that’s a lot of money.

The previous online version of the bulletin was just the PDF pages of the printed bulletin, group into eight or nine sections. And the bulletin was built in Clark and the online updates is a two year bulletin but every semester would be updated. And the update consists of just the PDFs with blue text and red and deletions struck through and they were just posted up.

So, like I said to Hal, it was strikethrough and the PDFs weren’t created with accessible tags. And then the bulletin was basically created from scratch every two years so that’s what we were doing.

And centers for change. Just back in the summer of 2008, within the span of a couple of days literally, we were approached independently by three different people. First was our own director of production, second was Disability Support Services and the third was the editor of the undergraduate bulletin. They all have the same question. They wanted to know, could we do something, could we do this better?

One of the reasons was saving money. New York like many states instituted tremendous budget cuts and pay per cost money and a lot of things are being pushed to the Web. Like I said Disability Support Services, read the issue of inaccessibility and going green, the sustainability movement.

Actually at Stony Brook we have a separate campus at Southampton dedicated to sustainability with major in things like environmental studies and ecosystems and human impact. So, it’s big and then the last few months beyond the bulletin, we’ve taken our faculty staff newsletter. That’s no longer a printed, that’s online. And the big phone book that we use to print out every year with everybody’s phone number in it, we don’t do that anymore either. We have a much smaller directory and told people that if they want somebody’s phone number, they can go to the website.

Maintenance also. Again this bulletin was just built in Clark. It was a big drain on resources. And like I said, the usability, it was really not very usable at all.

Just following a trend. Since 2005, you could see we printed almost 50,000 copies of the undergraduate bulletin. And just to give you an idea, Stony Brook has about 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students. So that number went down. The last few printings each year to the point where 2009 11 which was the first fall 2009 is when that came out, we printed only 16,000 copies. But you could see number of leftover from 2007, 2009, we printed over 30,000. We still have over 16,000 leftover piled up in boxes in some storehouse somewhere.

And we printed 16,000 and that really, we really wanted to print much less than that but some people are resistant to change. So we printed, basically decide to print that about as much as they distributed the last time, just to kind of cover themselves but we thought that we could have printed much much less.

So, the solution. Export source data from PeopleSoft. We use PeopleSoft in different universities, as we’ve said different systems and export it as XML. OmniUpdate created the XSL for about the front matter which is the policies and regulations and general university information as well the course information pages.

Bulletin pages can also be printed as PDF and we’ll show you that later. You can print that, the PDF with individual programs, just the courses, the entire bulletin if you wanted to and it’s easy to archive each bulletin edition. And there’s also a very good search, core search and keyword search built into the bulletin.

OK. So, this is the bulletin. You could see here printable version. Like I said, if you want to print the whole thing out as a PDF, you can. If you want to print just the course description, you can. You see we got it divided up into different sections. The overview like I said is just basically general university information.

Now, you can go straight to what you want to go to and all these content is managed in the CMS and the same thing policies and regulations, you want to go look up a policy. Now instead of going to a 28 page or 30 page PDF to find information on advance placement credit, it’s very easy to find so it’s much more usable.

Programs and courses. You can browse through them in this manner. So, if you wanted to go find English, there’s the general information. You’ve got to agree with court requirement information there. You could see on the left here, every program has the, divide up into different section so course sequence, the courses and the course descriptions are here.

And if you want the degrees and requirements, you’ll see also that you can also, if you click on one of the courses, it’ll take you from that page directly to the description for that particular course. And then like I said before, if you wanted PDFs of the course, you can go, you can get that as well.

So, if you wanted just the PDF or the program for art history, you can get it there. You just want to print out the course for art history, you could do that as well. So again, just different, being able to output different things.

And of course search, a little bit slow. You can go in here. You can do some course search, search it in the bio. And then we also have... say if you want to do search on the 200, you can do that and then there’s keyword search also. So if you want to filter by title. So, international and then that will come up as well. And this will search the entire bulletin not just the, chose by title so anything with international title will be there as well. And that’s a nice, obviously a nice feature to have in there. So, that’s it.

So much from our perspective, much better than and I don’t know how many of you guys, if your course catalog or undergraduate bulletin were just PDFs thrown up on the website. We found that this is much more useful and when we rolled it out before we launched, we had one of our student group take a look at it and they were very happy, very happy with this. Much more, much more useful to them but also for the folks who have to update and publish, to edit the bulletin, much more easy to maintain moving forward.


The courses, there are XML files for each of the individual courses. So there are, there’s program XML files for each of the different programs and then the front matter like I said is all just maintained in the CMS itself. So, there are.

Audience: You had to stay in PeopleSoft for this?

Audience: I’m sorry? Yeah. It’s all in PeopleSoft. That’s what's on the computer.

Audience: How did you take that since you need...

Michael Gasparino: You can do it on, if you need to, basically it’s updated every semester. So, every semester, generally we’ll take that information out to PeopleSoft and then upload the XML file. But if something’s changed, you can go ahead and just for that particular program then just take that program XML and just replace the XML. So, you can do it as needed I guess.

Audience: But did you archive it?

Michael Gasparino: Yeah. They’ll get archive. What happens is you’ll publish the bulletin. It’ll be basically in the folder so fall 2009, spring 2010 and then moving forward.

Audience: You are going to put it into the CMS?

Michael Gasparino: Yeah.

Audience: Will it be PDFs, XSL, FO?

Lance Merker: FO. Yeah.

Audience: I’m wondering. We’ve taken the first step. We got our course in our CMS. Start to finish the normal catalog. The challenge that I’m facing, we’re certainly a school that we can’t get away from print yet. Just through lack of policy movement there for whatever excuse they want to run by me. But what I’m wondering is I never, never want to give somebody a tool that is also more work for them. And the challenge I’m facing is, a catalog is more than just some courses, that has all important information. All the extra stuff you were showing us up there. And so, I’m wondering how do you go about maintaining all the other content in a way doesn’t never result in more work for people maintain or do you have it and people can maintain all that?

Michael Gasparino: All of that front matter type of, the policies and regulations and university information, that’s actually again just all in the content management system. And there’s just two folks, the editor of the bulletin actually works in the College of Arts and Sciences, Ann Taymon, and one other person who were tasked with producing the print bulletin every two years and then maintaining it semester to semester. They were the ones who would update those Quark documents and upload those PDFs.

Now, once all that information is entered into the CMS. Updating that is much easier now because it’s all there. If they need to update a particular policy, they can just go and update the policy and it’s much easier and faster for them because the initial work was a lot. Getting all that information into the CMS.

I mean a lot of it was just copy paste but once it’s in there, unless and one thing that mention later, just the idea of going to a new system like this was an opportunity, we thought -when I say we, the folks on the Web team- that it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the content and decide what do you want in your bulletin and what don’t you want on your bulletin.

We’ve been printing this out. It was a printed document. It’s much different than on the Web. You wanted to kind of jam all of this information into this bulletin because you handed it out at the beginning of the semester, at the beginning of the school year. They wanted everything in there. Everything about every aspect of the university.

Well, now it’s on the Web. We have the university website. We have all of these stuff available in other places. Do you need all that information? Do you want to present it in a different way? The editor decided at least initially, basically leave it the way it was.

Like you’re saying though, there are politics involved. Folks don’t want to remove things from the bulletin. They wanted to keep it the way it was. But actually as it turned out, as we went to this whole process by the end, some of this same folks were sitting there saying, “Gosh, do we really need that?” and “Should we have that there or maybe we should do it differently.”

But even so, it’s easy to update the bulletin, remove things, they add things. I don’t think it’s more work. I think it’s actually quite, it’s much less work. And the other advantage now is if we wanted to distribute the workload to departments and have them update their own particular section of the bulletin. So, just like with the CMS, the biology department can not only update their website, they could update their piece of the bulletin.

So, now instead of this two folks updating the bulletin. They kind of parceled it out so that the department is responsible for their piece of the bulletin. And now the approvers at that point, they’re not getting an email from somebody in Biology, saying Oh we have changed this course description or whatever or change the degree requirement. The departments could update that stuff themselves in there. Again they’re more in an approval role as opposed to actually going up and updating these pages.

Lance Merker: So, one of the powerful things about converging the PeopleSoft data that gets regenerated once every semester or as often as necessary based upon changes and the content management front end content that was perhaps managed by an individual before in the past who are very small group of people using Quark which is now distributed and the power of XSL, the convergence of all of that means that it’s automating the process of updating the course information appropriately and giving the human touch to the front end material as necessary. All coming together outputting on a periodic basis which they can actually set on a schedule and so forth if they need to as well such that they know that the information has been set and scheduled to go live at a certain date, regenerating properly live at that moment from PeopleSoft as necessary, combined with other information and flowing appropriately.

It’s simple stuff but it’s pretty darn powerful when you just put these three things together. The database, assuming that it can output XML or that you an extract the XML out of it will form to XML. The power of the CMS, whichever one you’re using and the power of XSL to come tie it all together which you can do some amazing things with.

Is there other question? Yeah.

Audience: I have a little bit of question to go back a bit. So you haven’t moved up decentralization to the individual unit stuff in there.

Lance Merker: Not yet. Not yet but that’s the plan, is to distribute that workload to. Right now again it’s just two folks in Arts and Sciences who are responsible for the bulletin. And right now, they’re the two that are doing the updates. But the idea is.


Audience: But how was that transition from the networking in Quark to them working in the content management system. Was that a hard transition? Did they...?

Lance Merker: It wasn’t hard because they hated working in Quark. So, they look forward to doing something and again, the printed bulletin, none of the information was a database, and they were basically starting it from scratch each year and it was not just two of them.

For the printed bulletin that we hadn’t added on the communication stuff that work with them who did all the editing and then it went through copyediting. So, there were other folks involved.

So, you’re talking about the number of people involved in the printed, it was quite a bit. Now again now it’s, these two are able to update in the CMS. But again they look forward to where they can actually distribute that work. And yeah, I don’t know what they’ll do. I mean they have a lot of free time I suppose so they’ll come up with something else entirely.

Audience: What are the processes of creating a catalogue? Is it YouEdit? What kind of workflow did you come up with?

Lance Merker: For the bulletin right, in terms of review, the editor and his assistant will be getting changes. They’ll be making the changes in the CMS and then they are, the way it’s working now is they’re, the way we have it set up is we have a set of working copy version of the bulletin and then the live version.

So, what’s happening is that the changes coming through and that’s happening actually now for the spring between like October 15th is the deadline if I remember right. But that follows deadline but that’s the deadline.

And then they’re sending the link out basically to review to the department assistant, “Please review your department information.” The department are the ones who sent the information so theoretically it should be OK but they’re asking just for, leaving a week to review, a week or 10 days for review and then the changes and then the live date for the spring bulletin will be November 1st. So, there is that bit into it but moving forward, what they’ll probably do is build an actual workflow like whereas departments could make the changes and department heads review and be approved.

Is that workflow hasn’t been built yet? Again we just launched this in August. So, we’re kind of at the beginning stages in terms of the workflow. And like I said, right now it’s just getting started but we’ll probably build a workflow where they’ll have approvers of the department head level, approve before they, when the bulletin goes live.

Audience: Are you repurposing this content anywhere else?

Lance Merker: Not yet but we plan on doing that.

Audience: But tell me if you are updating as far as the real site. Stuff you found useful in the catalog, as far the actual port queues in PeopleSoft, do you take that registrar?

Lance Merker: In PeopleSoft, I think it’s maintained in the registrar’s office.

Audience: And that’s where all the actual courses are at.

Lance Merker: Yeah. That’s where, if there’s a new course or description change or credit change, that’s happening there.

Audience: How would the access talent field...?

Lance Merker: Well the access, as Michael pointed out, we actually help quite a bit in our professional services group write the XSL for them. However, it’s not a requirement that we as a vendor of the software do that. We simply happen to have a staff that can help. So, if you’ve got people that can write XSL, wonderful. You can do everything that you need to do.

OK. So, let’s move right along here so that we can maybe get out of here a little early even. Just to recap then how things work here.

The XML is being pulled out of PeopleSoft such that PeopleSoft, it’s interesting to hear Michael say, “I don’t know, the registrar is maintaining that information.”

I mean, the nice thing is you’re getting something that’s structured, that’s usable, that’s correct by design and you’re simply reutilizing that in a new way and transforming that into a really powerful way. So, that’s coming out of PeopleSoft.

In the OmniUpdate, OU Campus system, the files, the XML files are called PCFS and these files then merge with other static content and other content that might be maintained at the department level, this high level information about the department itself and so forth. Such that the XML can be merged with the static content, the PDFs through the XSLT process that happens based upon the design in the XSL. XSLT then transforming the XML. The XSL containing instructions for the processor and the XSLT processor engine itself is built into the CMS.

If you’re really curious and I know you are because you’re in this particular room, we’re currently using Zend and that has its limitation based upon that project kind of petering out but we’re switching to Saxon. Actually hopefully later this month. So, full XSLT 2.0, lots and lots of power.

Anybody here good with XSLT 2.0? OK. Anybody using Saxon? OK. Zend? OK.

Audience: [30:32 Unintelligible].

Lance Merker: OK. Right. Well, amazing things going on in the XSL world these days. Truly XSLT 2.0 has just got some incredible power. Actually our CTO Yve Lambers is here. He’s an expert on that. So, if you want to pick somebody’s brain about XSLT 2.0 and some of the things that you might be flabbergasted that you can do these days, talk to us.

And then finally of course, content being separate from the design, you’ve got all the power and the advantages and the ability to output to multiple formats as we talked about doing things that Stony Brook just couldn’t do before without reverting back to the cork data and generating PDFs independently which might be out of sync with the actual content that’s in PeopleSoft.

Audience: Just as a wild guess, have you turned it into a mobile version as well?

Michael Gasparino: Yes. That’s definitely something we’re interested in doing. I mean, just in general mobile. That’s one of the nice thing about XML is being able to output it as mobile. We haven’t done much with mobile but this is definitely something we’ve talked about.

Lance Merker: The great thing about XML is that it’s so malleable. You can output it to a light version for windows mobile. You could output it into a format that was sucked in by an iPhone app too. There’s amazing things you can do.

I don’t know if you’ve looked at Duke University’s iPhone app and what they’ve been able to do with it. But now they’re feeding XML into that and just doing magical things so it’s great.

So, then the technology overview, again, really simply the course information system, no matter what that might be, you’re going to be able to get XML out of that or you’re going to be able to transform the content from a data structure into a well formed XML data structure. So, you get the XML data. That goes through, in this case, your campus product which is the CMS but you might be using something else.

The additional information as we alluded to a moment ago, thank you Michael Finen for pointing out the fact that that’s actually one of the biggest challenges in this process. You can automate everything except for that and you’ve still got to put some human input into this to fill in the descriptions and so forth that might be the high level overview.

Processing that with the XSLT process and then outputting that public face in website in addition to other type of components or other type of files that might be a part of that.

So, let me turn it over to Michael to kind of wrap up with what’s kind of going on with phase two here.

Michael Gasparino: Phase two, we just want to be able to pull course schedule information. It’s also in PeopleSoft and display that information a long time, the course information and the course description and that’s something we hope to do also with, rebuild of the registrar site again since the registrar, they’re the ones who are maintaining this information in PeopleSoft.

And that’s actually something that University of Buffalo does very nicely. And just on the side, two of the folks that we kind of talked to about online course catalogs were Mark Wingfield at Buffalo and Rachel Robin at SUNY New Paltz, two fellow SUNY School. We talked to them, talk about their process and look at their site and got a lot of good ideas from them.

And then additional printing options. We have several ready but the idea of being able to print maybe sections of the front matter of the overview or the policies, we’re looking to do that as well.

In terms of lessons learned, get by in early and meet with all the stakeholders right from the get go. There was some resistance to change obviously. We talked to faculty and advisors who could not do without that 500 page book and we didn’t feel the same way.

But it’s very important to me with all the stakeholders to start whether it's the faculty, people from the Provost office advisors, get be in the room and review their expectations, their requirement. There maybe legal requirements in terms of archiving the bulletin and in our case, the bulletin needs to be archived in the first day of the semester.

So, somebody who is matriculating in fall 09, the requirements that they need to follow is for fall 09 so you need to be able to archive. So, all that stuff get out of the way early and we learn that from experience.

Also prepare your data, understand where it’s coming from and how to get it with PeopleSoft has been very easy. Don’t be afraid to change the process of the content. I’ve talked about that before. It’s a good opportunity to not only look at the content, decide what do you need in the bulletin or the catalog and what don’t you need but also the process.

It’s a different technology. It’s a new process. There might be ways to improve how you’re doing things. Take advantage of user testing. Again we had students look at this early on and they give us good idea. Also advisors and faculty member, we preview it to them and they give us some ideas in terms of navigation.

And then plan for the future. In our case, we’re going to be doing the graduate bulletin next, we have the Health Science Center. We also have printable bulletin for and. Again from our perspective, that the Office of Communication, we’ve been spending all this money printing out this bulletin were now moving ahead and having them online this way. And we feel it’s a huge improvement. And again, from a cost saving, it’s significant.

So, we’ve been discussing a little bit as we gone along so maybe we’ll just leave the rest of the session for more question.

Audience: Do you have a sense how many people get the PDF?

Michael Gasparino: No. The exact numbers, no. Honestly, I think most of the folks using the print PDF are advisors. I don’t think students are doing that at all. Students might be printing the program PDF. If they’re in environmental studies and they just want to print it out to have.

I think the program PDFs are the most useful. Just to have a copy of the courses for a particular program. The front matter, no I shouldn’t say. The front matter might be useful also.

We do have those options on the home page to print the entire bulletin. I can’t imagine who’s doing that but that was a requirement of the project and so we did that. And you can also print all of the courses out which again I don’t think is a useful as the particular course for that particular program as opposed to every course. But again from just anecdotally, the folks who are most interested in that I think are the advisors and faculty members. So, anyone else?

Audience: Have you done mid semester updates yet? You said you have the ability but have you actual done it?

Michael Gasparino: No, we haven’t had any. The mid semester updates are probably be in the form like a policy change that takes place, effect immediately. We haven’t had any of those yet.

Audience: OK. In terms of the number of course or course number changes?

Michael Gasparino: No. That’s done on a semester basis. We haven’t had, I mean that might happen which just hasn’t happened yet. Again we just launched on August.

Audience: The biggest problem we have, we’re trying to look into what we’re going to be literally be... We stopped tracking a scheduled classes. But yet I still haven’t print PDF copy for people to look at, they want to know, at my desk. I have to use a piece of paper here. I'm worried about the same people who course the catalog. I guess if we start meeting and somehow they have print copy of the first day and we make up all the changes and some updates, and they are like, "Well, why is the online one different?" Then I guess you have to state a print date, like the first day of the semester. Have you accounted for that?

Michael Gasparino: Not yet. But just, to get back with the PDF, again we’ve mentioned before that Disability Support Services, they were one of the driving elements in this. And we had other reasons to do it as well.

But again talk about phase two of the course schedule on Stony Brook website now if you want to get the course schedule online, you’re printing out a huge PDF schedule and I’m sure that a lot of people are in the same boat. So, to be able to pull the schedule information and I think that’s going to be a huge addition.

We pack a lot into this phase one in terms of search and all that stuff but to pull the schedule and that’s the next, I think that’s going to be the next logical step.

Lance Merker: Can we take a look at the PDF really quick the really small one? Yeah let’s show it.

Michael Gasparino: Yeah while I was, I kind of mouse over it before I didn’t go ahead and show the whole thing. But this the whole PDF or, big, big one. It’s like 400 pages.


It’s one of the nice things we’re able to format it three columns, headers, all that. I mean, so it outputs nice PDF. I mean this is big. We’re getting there almost. Almost nine.

Lance Merker: This is not the one most people would print obviously.

Michael Gasparino: No.

Lance Merker: Anyway, just nicely formatted, multi column. You can just do amazing things in XSL. Let’s get to the, where’s the multicolumn stuff?

Michael Gasparino: I think one other programs stuff might be.


Michael Gasparino: Yeah I think so.

Lance Merker: Yes exactly. Yeah. But let me go back to the, one of the smaller ones. It’s just nice the three column format and everything. It’s just, which one would it? This one?

Michael Gasparino: Description, I think is three column.

Lance Merker: Nice and fast.

Michael Gasparino: Yeah. Just nice looking stuff that you can do with XSL. It’s amazing.

Lance Merker: All right. Any other questions? We’re five minutes early. Let’s go something to eat or drink.



Thank you. Thanks. Thank you.