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Support #19140

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Large project request for hosting on the Commons

Added by Laurie Hurson 4 months ago. Updated 4 months ago.

Status:
New
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category name:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
2023-10-30
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:
Deployment actions:

Description

Hi All,

We just received a message through Zendesk from a professor from Hunter's National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. Their groups is working on a large project to share resources and is considering the commons as a place to host the project. They outlined a few of the functionalities they are looking for and it seems very robust and maybe outside the realm of possibilities for hosting on the Commons. I wanted to get your feedback on this initial message so I have a sense of how to help scope the project when we meet with them. I've asked Scott to join me in the meeting with them since, among other tools, they will likely want to integrate tableau and other external tools into the site if they decide to host on the Commons.

The Faculty member writes:

I run a research center at Hunter College and we are considering using CUNY Commons as the platform for an interactive site for access to our data by other scholars.

Before moving in that direction, we were wondering whether the CUNY Commons Work Press set up will permit integration with Tableau, and allow plugins and customization.

These are three functionalities we are trying to accomplish:

  • A repository for an interactive database which allows users to search and display values of the variables in our data set by school. It may also >display all of the data simultaneously in a spreadsheet if the user prefers. It would include links to download the data in different formats so that >researchers can analyze the data using their favorite program (Excel, SPSS, Stata, R).

I think we have a searchable database in the slavery index but not sure if this is hosted on the commons and if that was a special project we helped support.

https://nesri.commons.gc.cuny.edu/dashboard/

  • A data entry portal for users to update the data by adding or correcting any data points using a Google form or equivalent. The form would need to be >integrated with the database so that if approved by our internal quality control, the data would be updated automatically using the data from the form. >In addition, we would need the capability of pushing the form out to specified email addresses at predetermined dates/times for updated data to be >completed by institutional and union contacts.

There may be a way to script google form to google sheet but obviously this would happen outside of the commons. But the google form could be hosted on their commons website. Do we know of any other examples of folks using google scripts in conjunction with the commons? Can we facilitate this?

  • A repository for current contract files (~880 pdf files; ~2.5 GB and growing) that would be searchable and could be updated via upload by users via >request #2 above. We would hope for a search tool to make all of the separate contract files searchable by the user (i.e. the user could simultaneously >search all of the contract files for keywords and results would display to the user the names of the files containing those words, or maybe even >passages of text with the keywords highlighted—like in Google Books).

The Commons can host PDF files, but I do not think we can make the media library searchable. But we could allow the creators of this site to upload pdf and create a taxonomy for searching for keywords and tags assigned to posts.

Moreover, is the 2.5 GB of storage going to cause space issues on this site? If I recall correctly there are no storage limits per site, but wanted to check in about whether the 2.5 GB ("and growing") is pushing the limits on what we can support.

Actions #1

Updated by Matt Gold 4 months ago

Man. I've been in touch with this group to try to help them figure out a solution for this project. I'm curious to hear what Boone thinks, but I'd tend to guess that the Commons is not quite built for the project with all of these parameters

Actions #2

Updated by Raymond Hoh 4 months ago

I think we have a searchable database in the slavery index but not sure if this is hosted on the commons and if that was a special project we helped support.

https://nesri.commons.gc.cuny.edu/dashboard/

The Nesri site is using Caspio to store and display their database. See #16509. Perhaps the Hunter College project can ask the Nesri site how they set up Caspio if that fits the project's requirements.

A data entry portal for users to update the data by adding or correcting any data points using a Google form or equivalent.

Not sure if Caspio can offer this functionality. However, Awesome Table does and is a service that you can embed on the Commons. See https://support.awesome-table.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001156125-Allow-users-to-update-your-app-s-data-with-Google-Forms and #18486. This would require using Google Sheets and Google Forms with Awesome Table.

A repository for current contract files (~880 pdf files; ~2.5 GB and growing) that would be searchable and could be updated via upload by users via >request #2 above

Searchable PDFs is the big ask here. WordPress doesn't support this by default. There appears to be a few premium plugins such as Full Text Search and SearchWP that claim they can do this, however I'm not familiar with them. Perhaps Boone and Jeremy can chime in as well.

Actions #3

Updated by Boone Gorges 4 months ago

I agree with Ray's response.

- The Commons is not a good platform for hosting a large database. But if you can find a third-party service to host the data, such as Caspio or Google, it's relatively straightforward to embed a view of that data on the Commons.

- Because the Commons can't host the database itself, it can't really host an application for visualizing or downloading the data. These tools would have to be part of the data hosting service, accessible on the Commons via embedding.

- Regarding PDFs. This library of PDFs is very large, and the size alone probably means that the Commons is not a good solution for this part of the project. Searchable PDFs are definitely not possible at this time on the Commons. Here too I would recommend that you need a third-party service for hosting and indexing PDFs. I'm having a hard time identifying one that checks all your boxes without any modifications. A tool like ElasticSearch is meant to do something like this, but requires hosting expertise. There are services like ElasticCloud https://www.elastic.co/cloud/ that ease this process, but this alone would not get you up and running, especially the part about accepting user uploads. I'm afraid that a PDF tool with these requirements is going to require some custom development. That being said, the Commons can certainly embed any such tools, should you find it useful to use the Commons as the hub for tying together the various parts of the project.

I'm sorry that we can't provide all the tools necessary for the complex project.

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