Case Study


Ivy League Portal Product

Yale University

One of the world’s most prestigious universities partnered with SDG to evaluate, select, and implement a portal framework to serve its campus community — in just six weeks.


Diverse customer personas
High-end experience needs
Compressed timelines

SDG Solutions

Platform architecture
Digital strategy
Portal implementation
Responsive UI development

World-class university partners with SDG on a digital portal product

Selecting a platform on which to develop your campus infrastructure is no easy task. Yale University, one of the world’s most selective and prestigious universities, wanted to create a centralized, digital “hub” as the starting point for the online services they offered to support their students, faculty, and staff.

Through an internal evaluation process, Yale’s IT team compared options and selected finalists. But to make their final selection and begin the implementation, they wanted the first-hand knowledge that comes with implementation experience and understanding of portal architectures for the unique needs of higher education. So Yale turned to SDG.

Comprehensive requirements

  • Theming and customizable HTML & CSS
  • Responsive design and mobile accessibility
  • Targeted content by role
  • Plugin architecture for custom development
  • Communities and social capabilities for blogs, micro-blogging and forums
  • Internal and external system integration
  • Federated authentication
  • Cloud-based hosting

SDG roles

  • Agile project delivery
  • Application architecture and development
  • Fully responsive user experience development
  • Documentation and training

Technologies used

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Spring & Spring MVC Portlet
  • Ant
  • Maven
  • Alloy UI
  • Bootstrap
  • HTML5
  • Sass
  • SalesForce
  • Tomcat
  • MySQL

The solution

Yale had developed evaluation criteria to compare portal options. These criteria included a defined set of user stories, an assessment of the system’s user experience and user interface capabilities, as well as integrations with both Salesforce and ServiceNow. The comparison was time-boxed as a six-week effort.

SDG was chosen to partner with Yale through the evaluation and represent the portal product team throughout this evaluation. Over the course of the project, SDG guided the portal implementation from requirements through implementation and documentation. Additionally, Yale relied on SDG’s deep portal and higher education experience to provide a strategic perspective on building an implementation team and understanding the total cost of ownership.

All images provided by Yale University. Photo credits: “Campus Walk” by Dan Renzetti; “Bass Tower” by Jack Devlin; “Directed Studies Orientation 2015” by Michael Marsland.