The relaunched Energy.gov sets a new paradigm for consumer-facing government agency websites with an editorial-style design, rich data visualizations, and intuitive surfacing of its most in-demand content. It further raises the bar on multi-office editorial site management with robust custom workflows, a powerful multisite architecture, and automated site deployment tools.
The multisite system was initially launched as a pilot, supporting Energy.gov and 12 of its office subsites; the rollout continues today, with more sites migrating to the platform. The project was executed by a multi-agency team that included Treehouse Agency (architecture and development), HUGE, Inc. (design and information architecture), Acquia (various management and support services), BlackMesh (hosting), Development Seed (MapBox consulting), and Energy Enterprise Solutions, LLC (prime contractor).
The project resulted in several new contributed modules:
- BEAN gives editors an easy way to plug blocks into any page on a website without the typical administrative wrangling. On the technical side, the module creates blocks as entities. Fields are used to define block types (similar to node types). Just like nodes, instances of blocks can be created and placed into pages.
- State Machine provides content editors with additional options for non-disruptive content revisions via the State Flow base implementation. It further provides an API for exportable, code-based workflow definitions.
- OG Tasks is an add-on for the Organics Group Module. OG Tasks automates many of the tasks associated with creating new groups--such as when launching a microsite.
- The Data Visualization API defines a standardized data structure for visualizations, creating an abstraction layer that allows data to be rendered in any library for which an adapter has been written. This API is further combined with the Drupal 7 Entity API to create a very flexible system that converts these visualizations to Drupal entities.