National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network
Challenge: The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network is a collaboration of thirteen US universities in the burgeoning new field of nanotechnology and nanofabrication. It needs to enable rapid advancements in science, engineering and technology at the nano-scale by efficient access to nanotechnology infrastructure. Simply, this is about sharing very expensive laboratory resources. Practically, it encompasses the sharing of a whole technology among many different audiences and contributors. The objective was a website system designed for several different user types sharing one integrated dataset that is populated by contributors at all thirteen universities. The audiences and contributors range from school children to hi-tech manufacturers to theoretical researchers.
Solution: Spider Graphics used Witango middleware to create four portals supported by a set of browser-based editing and administrative tools. Much of the web content and all of the control structure reside in an MS SQL Server database hosted by Spider. The total content of the websites includes many additional data types such as videos, PDF libraries, and even games. All of the integration is scripted in Witango by Spider Graphics. For the laboratory users the site includes shared-document production systems, resource scheduling systems, equipment status data, calendars, listserves, and more.
Results: After a quick roll-out of the first portal, in just two months, the remainder of the resource is being added in a phased process. At this writing all four interfaces are active and much content is in place. The laboratory scheduling and control system is settled and in constant use. It is expected that hundreds of documents will be added each month and that still more communication channels will be added.
Please be aware that Spider ITX develops websites into which clients may place their own text. We will occasionally own a typo, but most text is placed by others.