2018 Conference Schedule

We'd like to extend a big thank you to all of our amazing customers and partners who submitted a proposal to speak at this year's event. We've prepared a balance of topics for both Cascade CMS beginners and highly-technical users, as well as discussions about digital strategy and content marketing.

Please note that this a tentative schedule subject to change.

Tuesday, October 2

Time Title Speaker Location
8:30 AM Velocity & Workflows Workshops    
8:30 AM Advanced Velocity & Web Services Workshops    
4:30 PM Welcome Event   Hudson Grille Midtown

Wednesday, October 3

Time Title Speaker Location
9:00 AM Welcome & Keynote    
10:00 AM Break  
10:15 AM Intranets with Cascade CMS
Learn how Pima Community College has leveraged Cascade to publish a variety of authenticated applications and the P.C.C. Intranet. Includes how to configure your Intranet inside Cascade, control access by user attributes and/or page content, and destination webserver configuration. Examples will be Tomcat/Java based, but general principles will be applicable to other platforms.
Leah Einecker  
10:15 AM 7 Lessons Learned for Governance Success
How we learned to stop worrying and embrace the decentralized editor model. Essential lessons from: Support from the top down (Official Governance Policy) Mandatory training Auditing Outreach and editor engagement Quality assurance Accessibility adherence Best practices
Emily Lowther
Linn Huemiller
10:15 AM Cascade CMS 101: Part One
This presentation, which will be delivered in two parts, provides a non-technical introduction to the technical side of Cascade CMS; it is designed for Content Providers and Administrators. How are Asset Factories (page templates) constructed? What are the components that come together to create and display a webpage? With a light touch we will step past the jargon to develop an intuitive understanding of how Cascade CMS works under the hood.
Sam Skinner  
11:00 AM Break  
11:15 AM CARF - the Cascade CMS Adaptive-Row Framework
In late 2017, the University Web & Design team at William & Mary began brainstorming the next incarnation of the university's primary web presence. The resulting design called for complex pages composed of an arbitrary number of customizable components (rows), of various types offering various capabilities, presented in arbitrary order on each page - with additional component types to be added over time, beginning immediately after launch. Additional requirements included: managing our content in Cascade; publishing to front-end web servers running Apache and PHP; and, to ease the transition for our 1000+ web content editors in Cascade, supporting all existing content types within the redesigned framework. The solution necessitated building not only new pages and page components, but a framework capable of managing an arbitrary assortment of components within each page. We've dubbed our solution CARF - the Cascade Adaptive-Row Framework.
Andrew Bauserman  
11:15 AM 99 Websites and Outdated Ain't One!
How do you fix a website with 14 year old content? What about when it's loaded with PDFs and Word documents? When your clients can't even spell SEO and they want to use Word to write their HTML (or save as PDF), some might say give up. Thankfully we didn't. Learn how we spent the last year going from a reactionary, ticket-based model to a proactive, content-driven approach.
Johnathan Grant  
11:15 AM Cascade CMS 101: Part Two
This presentation, which will be delivered in two parts, provides a non-technical introduction to the technical side of Cascade CMS; it is designed for Content Providers and Administrators. How are Asset Factories (page templates) constructed? What are the components that come together to create and display a webpage? With a light touch we will step past the jargon to develop an intuitive understanding of how Cascade CMS works under the hood.
Sam Skinner  
12:00 PM Lunch  
1:30 PM Translating Cascade API Objects to Native Java Objects: A Velocity MVC-like Approach for Newsletters
Velocity is a "templating" engine. Translating Cascade API Objects to Native Java Objects provides a versatile mechanism for rendering pages, simplifying templates, and streamlining Velocity formats, which enables a more MVC-like approach to page output. This presentation will cover the following: An explanation and demonstration of Jay's approach to the translation process, including the use of a stack for recursive Velocity processing. A demonstration of how the resulting Java object simplifies templates and demonstrates the use of Velocity formats in "templating". A demonstration of this technique using a sample newsletter as an example. Presentation is primarily targeted towards attendees with Velocity knowledge.
Jay Mercer  
1:30 PM Website Health Management – Live Long & Prosper
Buckle up as BeaconU’s “Professor” Lynch takes you through 7 express courses (in 45 minutes) to earn your MS in Website Health Management.  Be prepared for a fun & lively approach to learning how to protect all the critical components of your website that you invested so heavily in!   ADA101 - Accessibility Health Management SEO101 - SEO Health Management GAT101 - GA Tracking Health Management TEC201 - Platform Compatibility Health Management TEC210 - Performance Health Management QNT301 - User Engagement Health Management QLT302 - User Experience Health Management   This Program of Services is designed for colleges and universities that want to continuously maintain the wellness of their website through proactive monitoring and remediation to sustain peak performance.    Upon successful completion of this program, you will graduate from BeaconU with the confidence and knowledge to manage a healthy website that Reaches and engages the right students consistently and effectively, Maintains ADA Compliance to deter legal issues, Increases admissions applications and enrollment opportunities, Continuously optimizes the visibility of academic programs and key differentiators, Remains tuned for SEO best practices and assured of analytics data quality, and Maintains confidence that the user experience accentuates your brand.
Keana Lynch  
2:15 PM Break  
2:30 PM Cleaning House and Redesigning - Template update for Cal Poly Pomona
On the verge of a new branding effort at Cal Poly Pomona the web team realized after several years of using the same templates it was time for a change. Various contributors had copied and tweaked our templates which led to us having dozens of various templates which became a logistical nightmare. It was no longer easy to change or update the look and feel of our sites. Inspired by the Cascade User Conference in 2017 we took the burn-it-to-the-ground approach. Through a combination of smart fields, group access, and the Bootstrap framework the team created a brand new single template. This allows our users to create dynamic, responsive, and accessible websites easily.
Jason Beers  
2:30 PM Help Wanted: Building a Student Workforce
Without student employees, the Web Team at the University of Montana would cease to function, so I'd like share some of the ways we are utilizing students to enhance or Cascade support and training along with our documentation secrets and best practices. During the summer of 2017 we migrated to Cascade 8. Our Cascade 8 migration documentation, communications, and trainings were all developed by our freshly-hired student employees, neither of whom had ever touched Cascade CMS before, but their efforts resulted in an anti-climactic launch and great reception of the new software. We leverage students as the front line of Cascade support, including administrative actions such as permissions management and site creation, and in return they receive exposure to education/technology industries and gain important critical thinking and problem solving skills. Following a buyout in December 2017, our entire operation is now run by one staff and two students supporting 657 sites and 1023 users across five campuses.
Kayla Pierson  
2:30 PM The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of EDU Website Redesign
Your website has seen the institution through all eras of the Internet—from the early days of internal data warehouse storage to today’s lead generating marketing demand machine. How can we design EDU websites that work smarter and more efficiently? And how do we get our countless stakeholders on the same page in the process?These are questions all HEMs are tasked with answering. Whether you recently launched a new web presence or you are embarking on the next iteration of your digital storefront, there are some disruptions that are just—by nature of the world we live and breathe and the sheer amount of content and information we manage—unavoidable. Join us for this enlightening session where we’ll share commentary from our experiences working with institutions who have been through (or are going through) a website redesign. We’ll be candid about our experience with:- The Beast that is ADA Compliance- Interference from Stakeholders- The Redesign Before the Brand- CMS Framework & Development Issues- The Never-Ending Website Redesign
Aaron Blau  
3:15 PM Break  
3:30 PM Core: A Modular Implementation
We would like to share our current implementation of Cascade (+ lessons learned, tips, etc ...), which is based off "routers" where we define a base template with unified branding for the institution and are able to scale it per project. The key concept for us is the use of "routers", which are formats that provide flexibility as well as modularization. Initially, every project pulls from our centralized resources (CDN within Cascade); based on requirements we proceed to adjust with either new components or modifications to existing ones. This approach allows us to provide a template that is both rigid and somewhat flexible to accommodate our institution's needs. In addition, we have been able to deploy more efficiently while maintaining unified branding, meeting accessibility requirements and projects deadlines.
Claudio Romano  
3:30 PM Feature Upgrades to Your Cascade CMS Templates
CMU has a large number of websites (250+) and clients (1600+) who use our templates. When we get a new feature request, we go through a process to evaluate how best to implement, and have our coding team produce the desired result. We install the changes in a testing environment. Our documentation team produces instructions on our website, and our help desk is alerted. It all comes together in 2 hours on release day. Lauri Francis will show CMU's project plans in Jira and Confluence, Git repository for code, documentation website, and day-of-release process.
Lauri Francis  
3:30 PM How to Use Cascade CMS to Prevent Accessibility Issues
Sometimes it seems as though End users are determined to ignore your Web Accessibility Policy. No matter how many training sessions you have, or how many emails you send, the same issues keep arising: missing alt tags, using text-heavy images, or non-descript link text, etc. Seën Ventures is here to help! Learn how to prevent the most common Web Accessibility issues using Cascade CMS.
Lisa McWilliams  
4:15 PM Break  
4:30 PM A Tree-Driven Approach
Instead of mixing data with presentation and suffering from rigidity of templates and regions, Java trees can be created and used to drive presentation. This allows the separation of data (or model of MVC) from presentation (or view). Trees are highly configurable and offer extreme flexibility. Tree nodes are used to store presentational logic, whereas tree structures represent page structures. Simple tree manipulations can create different page layouts, move page elements around, or remove some page elements altogether. Trees can also be assembled dynamically and be used for customization.
Wing Ming Chan  
4:30 PM Driving Web Applications with Cascade CMS at the Wheel
Learn how Cascade CMS can facilitate rapid development for simple web applications. Discover the power of JSON publishing and ways to leverage Cascade outside standard web page production. Two example applications will be demonstrated.
Todd McGill  
4:30 PM Workflow for Dummies
Your site is about to launch, now what? Ensure that it will remain successful with the proper maintenance and consideration. One way to provide a level of confidence post-launch is instituting a campus-wide workflow process. In this session we will answer the following common questions: What types of workflow should be used? How many review steps should there be? Can changes be published to places other than the production server to add an additional level of review? Can we even get the powers-that-be to buy in to a review process? At the University of San Diego we have successfully established workflow in each our schools and departments that caters to each of their unique needs.
Berta Roebuck  
6:00 PM Reception & Customer Recognition Celebration   Park Tavern

Thursday, October 4

Time Title Speaker Location
9:00 AM Cascade CMS Roadmap    
10:30 AM Break  
10:45 AM Show Me the Money! Cascade CMS and Online Giving
A case study of how Reed College leveraged Cascade web services and database publishing to take and track monetary gifts.
Erik Gorka  
10:45 AM Your Site is Accessible, Now What?
Accessibility continues to be an enormous topic and effort for many areas but especially for Higher Education. Most of us are probably working to get our sites accessible and trying to figure out how to do it as well as how to maintain it. In this session I will cover the proactive things we are doing to maintain our accessibility as well as our next steps. This will include tools we are using, training we are providing our editors, the process we use and our next steps.
Thane Webb  
10:45 AM Eating the Elephant: Site Migration Strategies and Approaches
Part One: Content Analysis and PlanningPart Two: Programmatic Migration Techniques and OutcomesPart Three: The Quality Assurance Process - Introducing Content QA
Aimee Roberts
Jordan King
Robert Michaels
11:30 AM Break  
11:45 AM Automating Migrations to Cascade CMS
Transitioning to a new content management system can be a hassle, especially when it's time to migrate all that content. William & Mary web developer Sean Flynn talks about the process of programmatically moving content into Cascade - identifying the content you need to migrate, finding import documentation, writing CasperJS scripts to scrape old content, and importing it into Cascade via the API. The presentation will cover W&M Advancement's specific transition process and technologies, but is intended for a general audience.
Sean Flynn  
11:45 AM Community Newsletter: Using Cascade to Build, Publish, and Generate Content
University Communications at Willamette sends out a weekly email highlighting featured news articles, displaying upcoming events, and listing announcements submitted by faculty, staff, and students. A change in strategy prompted the addition of daily emails, as well as other updates. This session will explore how Cascade CMS was used (with Web Services, Velocity formats, etc.) for:  - Announcement submission - Issue creation - Publishing - Integrating announcements into the News Library - Creating related news feeds for department pages
Timothy Gilman  
11:45 AM Lessons Learned Implementing a Site Using Vue.js
In depth review of the lessons learned, what worked and what didn't, implementing a site built around Vue.js components using JSON objects to populate page content, build navigation, and filtered dynamic content.
William White  
12:30 PM Lunch  
2:00 PM Cascade CMS Deep Dive: A Review of Recent Product Releases    
2:45 PM Break  
3:00 PM Developing a News Site From the Ground Up
We developed a News website from scratch using Cascade CMS. We've integrated designs developed by Beacon Technologies into Cascade using various Velocity and Cascade API techniques. The site was designed with a small team in mind and much of the logic is incorporated into the formats and content types of the site. Developed to be driven by the articles themselves to organize the content throughout the site. This provides the main content contributors a simpler way of organizing their content on the site.
Matthew Wren  
3:00 PM Syncing Content From Cascade CMS to Chatbots
Chatbots are eventually becoming part of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages on our website. Integrating Cascade CMS and chatbot systems will solve two big challenges: Maintaining and syncing information in two systems. Training people to update content on the chatbot application. In Cascade CMS, we create structured Data Definition blocks to maintain questions and answers and then use APIs to sync this content to chatbots with click of a button. This presentation will give a quick overview of the Azure platform to create chatbots and a demonstration of our integration of Cascade CMS and chatbot systems.
Prashanth Gurrala  
3:00 PM Web Personalization Focus Group with Kat Liendgens    
3:45 PM Closing Remarks