Cornell U Lab of Ornithology Streamlines Portal Programming
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY has moved from manual Java coding processes to Spring, a development platform built by SpringSource, to develop applications on one of its flagship Web sites, eBird. The Web site engages birders through regional Web site portals to collect scientifically meaningful observations of birds across North and South America.
Before using the Spring programming platform, which is based on open source products, the lab's five-person development team manually coded each portal for eBird without an application framework. The results, according to a statement from the vendor, were lengthy development cycles, longer bug fix times, and impaired overall functionality. After implementing Spring, the Web site's portal development time was reduced from four weeks to one day.
"We had to build and run separate Java applications for each portal--that was not sustainable," said Paul Allen, assistant director of information science at the lab. "When there was a critical change, we had to rebuild and redeploy all those applications. It became a nightmare. We ran into this problem several times. With Spring, we are able to focus more on the advancement of the site as opposed to the technical aspects of deploying the portals."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.