Stanford University

Continuing Studies Program

The Continuing Studies Program at Stanford University uses a custom developed client/server 4D database application that communicates to their website using secure web service calls. This prevents exposure of the client/server system, but provides fast access to the data for the website. We built the original CSP website in 2008 and built a redesigned site with a custom CMS framework in 2014. We use HTML5, CSS3, PHP, SQL, and jQuery to create a fully responsive site to support the increase in mobile users.

This site has a student and instructor Portal to support the two groups of users and provide all the services they need. Students can register for classes, drop classes, see their transcripts of course history, and submit survey results. Instructors can download course rosters, publish homework assignments and grades among other things. The site also integrates with Canvas and other University systems.

The Challenge
Security at Stanford is the biggest challenge. We have designed a custom application for the staff to manage courses, instructors, students, events, and registrations via a 4D Client connection to the server. We retrieve information via the website using Web Services to securely communicate data. The site needs to process thousands of registrations in the first few hours of a registration launch day so the site must be fast and secure.

The Solution
4D Server v14 is the database engine for the course data, the website CMS is powered by SQLite and PHP to handle images and page content, navigation, and site information. Web services provide course, student, and instructor data to the website dynamically. We worked with the creative team at 1185 Design and AG Design Group for this site.

The Results
A fully dynamic solution. The staff can update the website, and manage all their important data securely and easily with this solution. 4D continues to provide a reliable and secure product line for custom application needs.


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