New NASA Science Mission Directorate website powered by Plone

NASA's Science Mission Directorate released their new site yesterday, built completely on Plone.
New NASA Science Mission Directorate website powered by Plone

NASA Science

NASA's Science Mission Directorate released their new site yesterday, built completely on Plone. The development team chose Plone due to it's extendibility, extensive search feature, stability and community support. The site uses a mixture of custom products that were written in-house as well as products from the Plone community.

Technical notes:

  • Plone-2.5.5.
    • Uses Varnish and Apache.
    • Integrated with OpenLDAP.
    • Connects to Trac for handling feedback.
    • Add-on products:
      • collective.captcha to prevent feedback spam
      • ATBackRef
      • Relations
      • PloneGlossary
      • A modified feedfeeder


There is a wealth of inter-connectivity across NASA content. Plone's ability to cross reference between content types allowed for the assimilation of NASA's missions and data from big science questions, to areas of focus, to the organizational structure of NASA.

The Plone CMS was incredibly user friendly and could be learned easily by various team members, with productivity never skipping a beat. The
ability to capture feedback directly from the customer and feed it to a Trac ticketing system results in streamlined efficiency. And getting content edits into the hands of content owners is invaluable to an agency that has content generated by multiple centers and partners.

A true test of the system came when responding to a data call from Congress. The Science Mission Directorate needed to produce a document of all current and upcoming Science Missions. Plone could compile over 100 Science missions that met the required parameters and create a report for the client in a matter of hours.