What’s a Community Core Bundle?

The Community Core Bundle (CCB) is the starting point for creating specialized content by GeoPlatform partners, such as A-16 NGDA Theme managers and other FGDC-affiliated agencies and communities-of-interest.  Using the CCB,  a Community Content Team (web site designers and subject-matter experts) creates the Community Site payload for hosting within theGeoPlatform.gov environment.

The CCB packages the essential tools, templates, widgets, examples, and guides needed to create and manage a Community Site. At the core of the CCB is a content management system (CMS) enabling authorized community contributors to directly and easily curate the online content for their community.

Each Community Site will receive a sub-domain URL for GeoPlatform allowing the integration with the GeoPlatform IDP/IDM services along with a clean legible and easily shared and disseminated URL within the GeoPlatform.gov domain (e.g.community.geoplatform.gov).

What does the CCB consist of?

We provide an up-to-date version of WordPress Core (https://wordpress.org) files that includes the GeoPlatform WordPress Theme extension with Bootstrap template, GeoPlatform Stylesheet, and pre-configured Wordpess plugins for easy integration with the GeoPlatform.

Refer to the GeoPlatform Style Guide (https://www.geoplatform.gov/style) for more information including links to the GeoPlatform CSS Stylesheet  (https://www.geoplatform.gov/css/platform.css)

Note: The GeoPlatform Stylesheet requires Bootstrap 3.3.x (or higher) and uses some extensions and rules that are beyond CSS Level 3, so running it through a validator may report errors and warnings that will not prevent usage.

The CCB is packaged with these components:
  • Latest WordPress 4.5.3 or higher
  • MySQL 5.6.24 or higher
  • MySQL Database initialization script
  • PHP: 5.4.16 or higher
  • Bootstrap 3.3.x or higher (http://getbootstrap.com)
  • GeoPlatform SimplSAML authentication module
  • GeoPlatform Style Sheets (https://www.geoplatform.gov/css/platform.css)
  • GeoPlatform Theme and Sample Content
    • Map Galleries
    • Dataset Search widget
    • Wiki Pages
    • Sample page content

All CCB instances will be deployed to the GeoPlatform production environment on a LAMP stack consisting of:

  • Redhat Linux 7.1 (x86_64) or higher
  • Apache 2.4.6 or higher

Note: The baseline CCB is constantly updated to stay current with the latest stable releases of these components since many consist of security patches required to pass security scans before the web site can be promoted into the production environment.

How do I manage user access to my Community Site?

Authentication of credentialed users for a Community Site must be delegated to the GeoPlatform identity provider and management (IDP/IDM) services. Community Sites will be responsible for managing the roles and rights for each user identity provided by the IDP server via the standard WordPress user rights and roles management interface.

What GeoPlatform services can I use within my Community Site?

The following GeoPlatform capabilities are available to Content Teams for building rich and dynamic content for Community Sites:

  • unified user authentication via the pre-configured SimpleSAML module for GeoPlatform IDP service,
  • embed published Maps and Map Galleries created using the GeoPlatform Map Manager application (https://maps.geoplatform.gov)
  • embed customized searches for Datasets published to Data.gov using the GeoPlatform Dataset Search application

Additional GeoPlatform widgets, applications and services for use within Community Sites will be made available with each new release of the GeoPlatform.

What if I need to make changes to my Community Site after it is already in production?

Authorized users can update and manage their online content directly using the native WordPress authoring tools.

Any significant changes to your site can be made by pulling the latest CCB version from Github to your local machine then adding your new or updated content to it. When done with your changes, pass the updated payload to the GeoPlatform Technical team, who will then promote the updated payload to production (replacing the production version of the web site with the updated version).

Am I responsible for scanning my Community Site for vulnerabilities or will the GeoPlatform Team be doing that?

The Community Core Bundle will be scanned by the GeoPlatform Technology Team prior to any baseline release or update. You are at liberty to perform self-scanning of your own software while developing your site. After full development and transmission to the GeoPlatform Technical Team, a scan will be performed before host deployment to the test and production environments.

During normal operations and update cycles the GeoPlatform Team may request updates, additions, or removal of code, services, and plugins affecting the overall security posture of the Platform.

What is the policy for using other WordPress plugins, 3rd-party or custom plugins, applications, or content not included in the baseline CCB?  Can for-purchase or licensed plugins be used?

Content Teams must follow this policy guidance for hosting CMS plugins or other 3rd-party or licensed software and content:
  • no security vulnerabilities, now and in the future. (i.e., the entire site must pass all security scans and vulnerabilities must be quickly remedied or the site will be taken offline)
  • no significant architectural/technical constraints or impacts to Geoplatform.gov servers or infrastructure (e.g., inordinate demand for CPU, RAM, storage, or network bandwidth)
  • no significant O&M effort is required by the GeoPlatform Technology Team to keep the site available, stable, and secure,
  • no software or content license encumbrances.

How do I get started building my Community Site?

The CCB baseline will be available via a public GeoPlatform GitHub repository and will be regularly updated with security patches and WordPress engine updates. The GeoPlatform Technology Team will be responsible for the updates and maintenance of this core source repository along with the alerting of release changes.  Content Teams will be responsible for subscribing to the appropriate feeds / channels to detect a baseline change.

Please contact the GeoPlatform.gov Service Desk at servicedesk@geoplatform.gov if you have questions and to get started!

Updated on May 3, 2017