Beinecke Workflow Standardization

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library uses several legacy IIS/ASP applications hosted through various Windows servers including but not limited to highway49, brbl-insight, brbl-net, brbl-skunkworks, brbl-reports, brbl-sql2005, and gemini3. Some of these are virtual servers and others are physical servers. These applications assist staff in serving the Beinecke Library mission, which include internal sites, email notifications, a file transfer utility, management tools, access to various collection databases, forms, prioritization sites, searchable sites, informational sites, label generation tools, report generation tools, and several other web hosted solutions seeking to serve the research needs of patrons or the administrative needs of staff.

These applications have mostly been developed within the last decade and are mostly hosted via IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003.  Different techniques were historically implemented to quickly create low-cost solutions that compromised the recurring long-term cost of support. Various parts of the code fail to meet modern industry quality standards and best coding practices, further escalating the long-term cost of support.

Work is underway to consolidate and upgrade the front-end portion of these applications onto a single virtual server hosted by Yale ITS, which will enhance future development speed and reduce recurring support costs. Each application is undergoing an audit and security review. Where feasible, the code is being updated to use more efficient, secure, and cost-saving techniques that follow industry standards with the latest available versions of corresponding code bases. Opportunities for replacement, retirement, or consolidation of these applications are being noted during the migration process. Several applications that are no longer being used will be archived on the new server. If possible, legacy code that will likely be replaced will simply be migrated without major modification if it continues to prove functional. A development environment that matches the configuration of production (with the exception of development tools) has been created, which will be linked to production for simplification of managing releases and synchronization. IT workflows are being introduced and established to set a precedent for code management and code quality for future development.

Library IT staff working on the project

Ray Frohlich

Partners / collaborating departments

Beinecke Rare Book and Library staff

Timeline

The first migrated application was released to production in October 2013. Other applications are incrementally being released. All physical legacy servers must be fully retired prior to May 2015 with no exceptions.