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Redesigning a Big Umbrella of Websites: The Informit CSS Overhaul

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Informit and its many sister sites, all divisions of the Pearson Technology Group, recently united in one code base. How does a huge conglomerate of independent web sites become one system of technologies that works for everyone? Meryl K. Evans tells the tale.
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You may have noticed a few months ago that Informit underwent a redesign. Not only did Informit get a facelift, but so did sites of other Pearson Technology Group (PTG) divisions, along with a few custom sites. The PTG clients of the Common Architecture Portal (CAP) include the following book publishers:

Launching after that first bunch were the following:

Are you tired after reading this list?

All of this work—which included project management, requirements, human factors, development, and quality assurance (QA)—was handled by one big team. All of these sites work from a common code base, which is managed through Visual Source Safe. A change to one business unit's code applies to all CAP sites according to a pre-established release schedule. Ditto for new functionality.

The ASP/XSL is hosted in a single directory, available for all sites to use. This structure has made things much more tolerable both for our developers, who end up doing less coding for the same return on investment, and our business partners, who don't have to get in line for new functionality based on financial or other priorities.

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