The Common Web Platform (CWP) is a platform as a service offering for government websites. Agencies maintain control of their websites, including the look and feel, and can extend the functionality as they need.
CWP offers more services than a web hosting solution, but is not a software as a service product. Xero and Gmail are examples of software as a service. You set up an account and start using the functions they provide. With CWP, the platform provides parts of the solution, and the agency controls the rest. The following diagram shows some examples of what the agency controls, and what the three organisations in CWP provide.
Examples of what the agency controls are:
The platform is provided by Internal Affairs (DIA), SilverStripe and Revera.
DIA is the lead agency and manages the contract with SilverStripe. DIA monitors the uptake of CWP, and the delivery against the agreement. DIA promotes usage and manages the product development plan.
SilverStripe Ltd is the CWP service provider. They manage and maintain CWP, providing support and assistance to agency staff. They also provide services for developers and site administrators, such as reporting, a 24/7 Service Desk and an online code repository. SilverStripe delivers a key software solution used by CWP, called SilverStripe CMS, with an enhanced version containing features and templates, specifically set up to meet the needs of government websites. SilverStripe works with DIA to continually improve CWP.
Revera provides the relevant infrastructure, network and firewall. They are contracted by DIA under the Government’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (external link) agreement. Agencies deal directly with SilverStripe, and do not sign a contract with Revera.
A working group of members from ten agencies was set up to agree a set of common website requirements. A request for proposal was issued to the web community for solutions. A team of web experts from five agencies evaluated the proposals to select the solution. SilverStripe was selected as the service provider, with Revera as a service partner.
The types of websites that suit the base CWP offering are government information websites, including intranets. CWP is also well-suited to urgent websites, as the install presents standard publishing templates, which, with only minor cosmetic changes, can be used to quickly launch a website.
The Common Web Platform (CWP) meets a set of requirements, common to New Zealand Government web projects.
These functional and non functional requirements were selected by a cross agency working group, by looking at previous requests for proposals.
The CWP requirements v1.2 [PDF, 498 KB] details the functional and non-functional requirements. It also explains how they have been met. In some cases they are only partially met or deprioritised, with more work to be done in the future.
The base CWP install offers limited transactional functionality through web forms. Agencies can develop transactional functionality or use CWP as the public-facing website, linked to transactional systems. Agencies would take responsibility for this work, including reviewing the development work for standards compliance and security. Increased transactional functionality is expected to become available, through product development and code sharing.
The sign up process is:
Almost any entity in the public service, state sector, or state service is eligible to use CWP. Refer to http://www.ssc.govt.nz/state_sector_organisations (external link) for the list of agencies.