Explanations for some of the terminologies used on this site.

What is govCMS?

govCMS is a product provided by the Department of Finance, that gives agencies the tools to build, migrate and manage websites. govCMS includes the Drupal-based content management system and accompanying website hosting service. A content management system (CMS) is software that’s used to create and manage digital information.

govCMS is available to all levels of government and solves many of the problems that agencies face managing their web presence, including:

  • limited resources to ensure the security of their websites
  • limited staff with the necessary skills to manage websites
  • how to ensure compliance with Australian Government standards around design, accessibility, privacy, security and information/records management.

Some benefits govCMS gives your agency include:

  • best practice service design based on the Australian Government’s Digital Service Standard.
  • security patching, support and 24/7 monitoring.
  • it is secure and regularly tested, updated and maintained to reduce risks to your website.
  • it is easy to use and you don’t need to know HTML coding to be an administrator of your website.
  • it is built on Drupal Open Source Software that allows agencies to reuse and adapt solutions from around the world.
  • responsive web design. Your website will work effectively no matter what size device is being used.

There are two options available through govCMS, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

What is SaaS?

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. SaaS is a managed offering, removing the burden of managing your own software, licencing and infrastructure. For most agencies, SaaS is the answer; freeing you up to just concentrate on core business requirements. SaaS is hosted in Australian public cloud infrastructure.

What is PaaS?

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. PaaS is a self-managed offering in a dedicated cloud environment. PaaS gives agencies the freedom of high level customisation, but requires a lot more internal technical expertise. PaaS customers are fully responsible for the management of the application layer of their sites.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is an open source content management system that can be used by anyone to create and manage websites. Open source means the original code is open to anyone to use and modify. Drupal releases a Core Module that has basic functions that are common in content management systems.

What is a Drupal module?

A Drupal module is a collection of files and functionality.

There are three types of Drupal modules:

  1. Core Module – also called Drupal Core – are the modules you get when you install Drupal. They contain the basic features common to content management systems.
  2. Contributed module – created and maintained by the Drupal community to enhance Core Module functionality and features.
  3. Custom – created by individual developers, often specific to an individual site.

What is a GitHub repository?

In the context of govCMS, the govCMS GitHub repository is the storage space in GitHub where the govCMS project files are kept.

What is a distribution?

Setting up a Drupal site typically involves downloading and configuring Drupal core, plus downloading and configuring particular modules to match specific requirements. A distribution is a pre-configured combination of Drupal core, extra modules and themes. The govCMS distribution combines Drupal core with modules and themes specific to the needs of Australian government websites.

What is a theme?

A theme is what dictates the look and feel of your site. Themes include font sizes, font types and colour schemes. govCMS themes are designed to be responsive, and accessibility and privacy compliant. Agencies have the flexibility to implement their own standards compliant themes.

What is agile methodology?

Project development broken down into incremental, iterative steps.

More about Agile.

What is a sprint?

A period of time, commonly two weeks, allocated for a particular phase of a project.

What is backlog grooming?

A discussion session between the product owner, the scrum master and the developers about which items in the backlog are to be included in an upcoming sprint. During the discussion, an estimated effort time is allocated to each item and items are prioritised according to business needs.

What are design assets?

In website design and development, design assets are typically, but not limited to, text content, logos, branding and graphics. A content style guide, if you have one, is also a design asset.

What is information architecture?

In the context of websites, information architecture (IA) is the organisation of the information on display to best help people navigate around the site and find what they’re looking for, quickly and easily.

To create an effective IA you need to:

  • know who is using the site and what they need to do there
  • have the right content to support that need
  • understand the business reasons for the site.

What is a site map?

A list of the pages on a website, often displayed in hierarchical order.

What are content types?

A collection of data fields grouped together in a logical set to make it easier to create and display content. Organising data into content types provides a foundation for future functionality, like faceted search and specialised view displays.

Content types provide a way to manage and organise content consistently.

What is an IRAP assessment?

IRAP stands for Information Security Registered Assessors Program. An IRAP assessor assesses the implementation, appropriateness and effectiveness of your system’s security controls.

The assessment is achieved through two audit stages:

  • Stage 1 audit identifies security deficiencies which the system owner rectifies or mitigates
  • Stage 2 audit assesses the residual compliance

More information about IRAP assessments.