IT Upgrade: Information and Updates

Divisions of Family Practice website resources (Drupal platform)

Why are we doing an IT upgrade?

After more than six years, the application development software upon which our IT infrastructure is based will no longer be supported as the third-party company winds down its business. We are using this as an opportunity to upgrade our IT: to ensure the technology tools provided through the provincial office fit with local divisions’ needs.

To start this process, we recognized that the IT needs of both local divisions and the Community Partnerships and Integration team at Doctors of BC have evolved since the development of our current system, the provincial office reached out to divisions for feedback that would be used to inform the process of updating DivIT, our existing software, and other technology tools we use that might need updating. 

We asked divisions to tell us what is and isn’t working well, what they would like to see changed, and to identify any emerging IT needs they feel need to be addressed. The feedback we received has helped us to identify solutions that will address our current and future IT needs, and opportunities for systems alignment across the collaborative programs, including divisions of family practice.

One of these solutions involves moving the Divisions website to a new user-friendly content management system that meets divisions’ communication and technology needs, while aligning the site with other websites across the collaborative realm.


What you need to know about the new CMS: Drupal

The current site’s content management system (CMS) was custom-built to create and accommodate a number of business systems tools and division-specific functionality. This meant it was somewhat more complex to use than other, open-source CMS options.

In choosing a new CMS for the Divisions site, we took into account

  • Functionality
  • Ease of use
  • The capacity to accommodate our current technology needs
  • The capacity to incorporate new tools in the future
  • Divisions’ requests for a responsive site

The new CMS used to build and maintain the site—Drupal—is an open-source CMS in which content is created as pages and “nodes” that auto-populate different areas of the site through the use of keyword and content tagging. This process facilitates easy page creation, categorization of information, and sharing of information across different areas of the site. This is a big change from the current CMS, but Drupal is user friendly, and there will be significant centralized support during the transition, and training process.


What you need to know about the content transfer process, training, and support

The move to Drupal will not involve a content review—content from divisions’ current sites will simply be built into the new CMS. The provincial office web redevelopment team will be doing all the work in the content transfer and site-building process, and divisions will only need to participate in a brief training session in the new CMS.

Making edits to existing pages in Drupal is a straightforward one-step process—staff will be able to do this immediately after a brief walk-through. Communications staff will be on hand to provide support with all other aspects of the page creation and site-building process until division staff is able to undergo more in-depth training.

Drupal is the CMS used for all other Doctors of BC websites. All communications team members are able to provide support in Drupal, and fast, efficient support will always be available with any issue that might arise. Additionally, Drupal is a user-friendly open-source CMS—there are many resources available online to help users fix common issues.


Eliminating the page review/approvals process

Because creating and updating pages in Drupal is a more straightforward process than in the current CMS, we are eliminating the need for pages to be proofread before they’re made live. Pages will be live immediately following changes or edits, and communications staff will receive a notification only. Staff will then review pages for content and structure, and offer divisions support with any edits or changes needed.


Access to UpToDate and user account information

On July 21 and 22, members will not be able to access UpToDate through the Divisions website. However, they will be able to access it through the UpToDate mobile app (UpToDate Anywhere) and the UpToDate website.

Click here for information on how to download the app.

All DivIT user account information except interactions will be transferred to the new site for you and will be available for you to edit as in the old site. This includes contact details, role, notes, usernames and passwords.