Web Development Experience

BlueInk CMS

We created the BlueInk Content Management System in response to our clients' frustrations with open source content management systems. The concepts behind BlueInk center around ease of use, content reuse, and future growth of the web sites built with BlueInk.

BlueInk uses AJAX and other JavaScript technology to provide a desktop-like experience for the user. AJAX is used for the transportation of all content viewing and editing screens. JavaScript is also used for interface “widgets” such as sortable lists and the page/content trees. The desktop-like experience is seen best in the Media section of BlueInk where users can drag and drop images, files, and folders within the sites media folder hierarchy. Uploads are managed via an upload “cart” where multiple files can be added and then uploaded as a group into a specific folder. Images automatically have thumbnails created for them, so finding the correct image is much easier than remembering a file name.


Excalibur Youth Services, a South Carolina accredited group home, has developed a ground-breaking proprietary system for tracking each client's behavioral history and change. Unfortunately, that system involved folders upon folders of unwieldy, unsearchable paperwork.

BigBlueHat has completed and implemented the first two phases of an application that will replace the paper work flow. Once completed, the application and process will be franchised by Excalibur to other group homes.

Beyond tracking clients' general and behavioral information, the application tracks medications, appointments, treatment plans, and other process documents needed by Excalibur internally or for Medicaid or CARF compliance. Multi-user, role-based, secure access to the data is also an integral part of the application. Certain parts of the application restrict the editing of data for auditing purposes, and an auditing system was put in place to track all changes to data that can be edited.

BigBlueHat used PHP and MySQL for the application. The front-end interface uses AJAX via the Prototype and Script.aculo.us libraries. Graphs for behavioral info are generated via PHP. Other reports are being integrated using Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services. Each client has a files section where clinical staff and upper management are able to keep scans of older paper documents for each client. In addition to scanned files, forms for Medicaid and CARF compliance will be generated as PDF's from within the application and be available via each client's file repository. Each file repository is available within the application via an AJAX file manager.


From 2000 to 2003, Benjamin Young, President of BigBlueHat, worked on the bju.edu web site as part of the BJU Web Technologies team. During that time Web Technologies turned the static, Dreamweaver-based web site of 6,000+ pages, into an Apache Cocoon-based system of content specific XML documents and used XSLT stylesheets to process those files into XHTML documents in the bju.edu design. By the end of the project, the bju.edu site was using XML documents for all data including navigation and contained more than 10,000+ pages.

As head of the conversion from static HTML files to the XML-based Cocoon system, Benjamin designed the XML files for the various content types, built many of the XSLT stylesheets, and worked with IT to setup and configure the IBM servers for the new system.

The project was the largest one faced by the Web Technologies team. By using standard XML files, Benjamin could delegate much of the actual conversion work to the content managers. The team designed each section of the site, implemented examples, and then allowed the content managers to complete their own sections. This division of labor helped keep the project running smoothly and allowed the site to scale over time.

“When I worked with Ben, he always had a very good grasp of technology and of how he wanted to fit together the various pieces to accomplish his goals. He was very good to work with and open to new ideas or changes to his ideas.”
— Andrew Miller, Network Engineer, BJU

“I had the privilege of working with Ben Young while working at Bob Jones University. Ben has an incredible grasp of technology and design. He knows what works and what doesn't. His work is always top notch.”
— Allen Vailliencourt, Web Technologies Manager, BJU

home.bju.edu Intranet

While in the Web Technologies department at Bob Jones University, Brad Garrett, programmer at BigBlueHat, created the Dirness Content Management Systems to allow other members of the web technologies team to update the still-growing website. The system he created was so successful that it's headed for the offices of the technology-challenged department heads and college deans: soon they'll be managing their own content and department pages on the Intranet.

Rather than requiring a database back-end, Dirness instead manipulates flat HTML files. This design decision allowed the existing infrastructure of the BJU Intranet to remain intact with minimal changes, and allowed the greatest freedom for editing and designing each section of the site. Dirness provides both a basic templating system and the ability to upload and resize images. In addition to these core features, Dirness has a user management system that is connected to the campus LDAP server, an auditing system to record when and by whom a file is added, edited, or deleted. A special user-friendly interface for creating and updating RSS feeds allows for intra-campus content syndication.

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