Q: Will you entertain a bid from a company outside the USA for your project? Can we perform the tasks (related to the RFP) outside the USA?
A: The absence of a business and operating location within the United States would be a strongly negative consideration in our review of proposals. Other considerations being equal, a vendor outside the USA has a reduced likelihood of being selected for this project.
Q: Can I schedule a 20-minute phone call to discuss the project with you?
A: We cannot engage in private discussions with any vendor before we have opened and reviewed the submitted proposals.
Q: Is there any plan to schedule a live conference call with interested potential vendors? I didn’t see mention in the RFP.
A: We did not originally schedule a conference call, but we have decided to hold a webconference via GoToMeeting to address any questions that may remain after the final written Questions and Answers are published:
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
11:00am - Noon CST
Particpate from your computer, tablet or smartphone at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/370292197
Telphone audio: +1 571.317.3122
Access Code: 370-292-197
Q: Can we submit proposals via email?
A: Proposals need to be emailed to brian [dot] smith [at] railslibraries [dot] info, with the subject line: RFP - Website. Proposals must be attached as PDF or Microsoft Word documents; the project cost information needs to be attached to the same email message as a separate file.
Q: Would we need to go to the RAILS office for meetings?
A: If we contract with a local developer, occasional meetings at our office in Burr Ridge might be expected. If we contract with a non-local developer, we anticipate that all necessary meetings could be conducted via webconferencing or conference calls.
Q: You "have established a five-figure budget" for this project. Our internal quick estimating tells us this project will be at least $XX,XXX. Is this potential budget acceptable?
Q: Can you provide more specifics (a range) around the budget?
A: We cannot provide a more specific budget range nor answer questions about whether a bid amount would or would not be acceptable.
Q: You state that "migration of content" from the existing Drupal 6 site is part of the scope of work. Do you envision this process to be collaborative (with decisions being made as to which content to keep/edit/remove) by your team, or do you envision the selected vendor migrating all content monolithically?
A: We expect to work collaboratively with the selected vendor in the planning and execution of content migration. We anticipate that we'll make many decisions about which content to exclude from the migration before a vendor is selected.
Q: I expect us to work collaboratively with your internal team on this project with regards to architecture and planning. Will your internal team author any code or perform any configuration on the project?
A: We anticipate that situations will arise where RAILS and our selected vendor agree that it would be desirable or necessary for our internal team to work on writing code or other aspects of site configuration.
Q: How much of the project work will be allocated to RAILS IT staff?
A: This would need to be determined through negotiations and agreement between RAILS and the vendor.
Q: You note the current website is in Drupal 6, and elsewhere you note that you self-host the website. Can you tell me what version of Drupal, PHP, and MySQL you are using? Have you generally kept current with security patches and updates?
A: Our expectation is that this project will involve a fresh installation of Drupal 7 and the migration of content, rather than a software upgrade process from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. We will add any new virtualized LAMP servers required in our hosting environment, at our expense. Vendors should include version requirements for PHP, MySQL, etc., as part of the technical specifications included in your proposal's project narrative.
Q: You invite vendors to provide for "implementation of multi-site single sign-on". Which systems do you envision using SSO? For example, for [redacted] Library, the SSO works for the (Drupal) website and its integrated event registration and management function for patrons, the online catalog, Overdrive, and other databases like EBSCO.
A: The single sign-on would be implemented only for several Drupal 7 websites that we host and maintain, including the new RAILS website to be developed under this project.
Q: Which URLs/domains would be involved in the multi-site search? is this a high priority?
A: Multi-site search is a priority for this project. The multi-site search would include the Drupal 7 sites that we host: the new RAILS website (domain yet to be determined), https://www.swanlibraries.net, https://www.prairiecat.info, https://rsa.railslibraries.info/, https://www.magiclibraries.info, https://ereadillinois.com, and https://www.illinoistalkingbooks.org. If possible, we would also want to include http://alsi.sdp.sirsi.net/client/en_US/RSAwebsite/, which is not Drupal and not hosted on our servers.
Q: What sites/domains would be involved in the Single Sign-On (SSO) approach?
A: The same Drupal 7 sites as for the multi-site search.
Q: You note you use Mailman for mailing lists, and this appears to be integrated with the website for archiving reasons. Are you amenable to using a different email provider (e.g., SendGrid)?
A: We are using contributed Drupal modules for Mailman integration, plus a custom form for posting via the website. The Mailman lists that are integrated with our website are discussion-style lists, where list members communicate back-and-forth with each other. The integration of the Mailman lists with the website includes not only the importation of list messages into the site as website nodes, but also the management of list subscriptions, and role-based access to list membership and to the archives. Any alternative to Mailman would need to preserve these relationships between the email lists and the website.
Q: What 3rd-party integrations are there for the site? Mailman, calendar RSS feeds -- anything else?
A: As mentioned, we have a Mailman integration implemented through contributed Drupal modules and some calendar events are imported using the contributed Feeds module. Other than that, custom modules are used to retrieve and display data from a .net site's MSSQL database. Logins for RAILS employees are authenticated via LDAP; logins for users affiliated with our member libraries are authenticated against their accounts on the .net site via a custom module. (We are not expecting the .net site to be included in any single sign-on solution.)
Q: Is ongoing maintenance to be included within this project scope?
A: No, but if you want to propose ongoing maintenance as an optional add-on, please break out that cost separately and clearly.
Q: You note you have 30 content types. This seems like a lot. Is RAILs amenable to reducing the number of content types?
A: Yes. We have identified several content types to eliminate prior to content migration, and plan to remove several of those content types from the current website even before a vendor is selected. We anticipate that the contracted vendor may suggest additional specific reductions for the content types to be created for the Drupal 7 site.
Q: It is my understanding that most functionality is to be retained during the migration to Drupal 7. Item 5, 6, 7, and 8 on page 6 of the RFP suggest that a list of website features that are to be moved may already exist in documentation. The RFP identifies some key features, however is an exhaustive list available that identifies all features, and those that are to be augmented? It reads as though some of this preliminary thinking has been completed but I am not confident I have the full scope.
A: While we have done some preliminary thinking about features to be moved or augmented, we do not have an exhaustive list documented. The "Synopsis of Tasks and Issues" (pp. 6-7) in the RFP is intended to provide an overview of the project scope and to alert prospective vendors to specific issues and features that we believe are out of the ordinary.
Q: What new functions/services will be incorporated into the new site?
A: We plan to use Drupal's taxonomy feature, and relationships between entities, to provide some form of filtered scoping of content to users (e.g., displays of content with the "Academic Libraries" term shown to users affiliated with academic libraries), and to provide in-context links to related content. Because our website is a venue for our member libraries to share information, we will likely create additional opportunities for sharing (e.g., a repository where libraries may upload their policy documents; a form and views for reporting and displaying reciprocal-lending statistics). The need for additional functions and services may arise during the project.
Q: What is the source (e.g., online survey) of the website user data in the "Website Audience" section on p. 4, and when was this data collected? We note the primary audience data is current as of 7/1/15, is this true for the other groups?
A: The breakdown of users into target groups (primary, secondary, etc.) is a statement of our website's purpose, and not a reflection of usage by visitors belonging to each group. The figures for the total daily traffic are based on data from the year ending June 30, 2015.
Q: Can we have access to your Google Analytics (read-only) to take a look around?
A: We will not be providing such access before vendor selection.