Dear colleagues and students
I am writing to inform you of progress made with regards to the Drupal 8 Development and Website Migration Project and to highlight project actions that may impact you.
Most of UCT’s websites are hosted in the official web content management system, Drupal 7, as per UCT web policy. The system is nearing its end of life; from November 2021, security upgrades will no longer be available for Drupal 7. This will render it vulnerable to attack and, by extension, expose all websites on UCT’s Drupal platform to a high level of risk. There are also ongoing performance and stability issues with Drupal 7. Therefore, every effort is being made to decommission Drupal 7 as soon as possible.
The Drupal 8 Project aims to:
As noted above, the project will roll out in two phases. Phase 1 covers the development and implementation of Drupal 8 and Phase 2 will migrate the sites currently in Drupal 7 into the new Drupal 8 system. Phase 1 is underway, while Phase 2 is scheduled to start next year.
Moratorium on new sites and site completion deadline
The project was granted a budget to migrate 350 websites. Currently, there are 340 live websites, with 50 in various stages of development. The financial impact of COVID-19 means that the project will likely not be able to secure additional funding. The Project Implementation Committee must therefore implement a moratorium on the creation of new websites as well as a deadline for the completion of development sites. The moratorium will come into effect on Friday, 6 November. Websites under development will have to be completed by Friday, 4 December 2020.
What are the alternative options for new sites?
Questions and comments
The success of the project rests on the support of the wider university community. If you have any questions or comments please send these to the Project Manager (Leon Alexander) or Project Technical Lead (Rethea Deetlefs).
Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer
Chair of the COVID-19 Co-ordinating Committee
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