This website first launched in March 2012 after about 5 man-months of initial development by EpiVision founder, Joe Soriano.
Open-source software applications were discovered covering all functions, and more, at no out-of-pocket cost. However, the project involved consideration of more than one Content Management System (CMS), at least three e-Commerce solutions, and a number of other possible contributing technologies. It was a first foray into web applications and underlying modern scripting and operating technologies (LINUX, Apache, MySQL, HTML, CSS, PHP, CRON, multimedia formats, etc.). But just another computer variant in nearly 35 years of experience.
EpiVision wishes to recognize, and thank, the following communities for their contributions. Without their background technology, this website would not have been possible:
TYPO3 satisfied EpiVision's criteria seeking a rich range of functionality, a track record, and an active community in an enterprise-class Content Management System (CMS).
What is CMS? Basically, it's a system that separates content from structure and design. In other words, once a "look" (template) and a "structure" (functionality) have been arranged, it's easy to change "content" literally by completing forms. That way, experts in the organization / business can easily maintain the website without technical intervention. A successful website needs an enterprise-class CMS to make its internet presence as dynamic as the enterprise.
What makes TYPO3 "enterprise class"? It's designed for decentralized update so the right people contribute without losing consistency. It's smart enough to manage access accordingly, and new content can even be scheduled when to appear or retract. Content is stored in a database, so the data can be accessed easily too.
What is TYPO3's track record? For over a decade, TYPO3 has an active developer community, so that expertise can be obtained, and more significantly, so a constant ferment of new features become available. Besides TYPO3 being "free" open-source software, the developer community has created over 3,000 free "extensions", i.e. major functions as well as minor enhancements. And TYPO3 has been widely adopted. There are now over 300,000 websites around the world built on TYPO3 technology among well-known organizations such as Philips, EDS, Volkswagen, General Electric, Stanford University, MGM Home Entertainment, 3M, New York Times, Lufthansa, Ford, T-Online, Samsung and many more. In a go-go internet known for market instability, TYPO3 is more than a product or company --- TYPO3 is an ecology that's not going away.
Kasper Skarhoj, creator of TYPO3, deserves extra recognition along with the TYPO3 community. What a wonderful gift that these people enable many others all over the world to express themselves and prosper! They do it by donating their efforts for free. Kasper has created quite a legacy, and he's still involved emeritus though he's now an eLearning consultant at Technical University of Denmark.
Why was TYPO3 given away? Here is Kasper's answer:
"So why did I give TYPO3 away for free? What could make anyone spend 10 years of his life with a reduced income in order to work voluntarily on a piece of software that saves companies millions of EUROs. Well, I guess you have to ask differently. What could make anyone spend 10 years of this life to pursue excellence and perfection, using all his creative power to create a tool that daily helps thousands of people, inspiring people with his attitude and generally having caused a friendly and personal community to arise. The answer is obvious."
Thank you, Kasper, and all TYPO3 contributors!
First of all, just for clarity, EpiVision is not a church. EpiVision is a secular (outside of any church) effort. That doesn't mean we reject religion. Far from it. But we do want to be clear that EpiVision's purposes neither depend upon, nor endorse, a particular religious viewpoint.
Systems as sophisticated as TYPO3 can be daunting when trying to find things. One wonders; "What are the choices to implement XYZ?"; "How do alternatives A, B, and C compare?"; "What optional features are available?"; "What's modern and what's legacy?"; "Is there an example to follow that will speed up my work?". Many questions and more.
It turns out that an initiative named "Web Empowered Church" (WEC) has been assisting businesses, as well as the churches intended as its core mission, with integrated TYPO3 solutions. WEC offer a great starting configuration called "WEC Starter Package" which offers a variety of formats (templates) around a comprehensive assemblage of TYPO3 functionality and extensions.
The work of building EpiVision's first website started with the WEC Starter Package. We were lucky to receive a very up-to-date generation. Our issue of the WEC Starter Package included TYPO3 version 4.5.3. That TYPO3 version had just been formally launched May 24, 2011 ... fortuitously just as earnest development of EpiVision.com began that June.
A lot of changes were implemented beyond the scope of the WEC Starter Package. The template skin WEC calls "CityScape" was heavily modified to EpiVision's skin. Major features were added including Digital Asset Managment (DAM) and e-Commerce.
You might harbor a passing curiousity wondering what skyline shows in EpiVision's background. Actually, it's a combination of skyline abstractions from pictures of Hong Kong, New York City, Chicago and Cincinnati.
e-Commerce functionality is powered by a TYPO3 extension called Multishop. Bas van Beek at BVBMedia in the Netherlands created a fine software package that's easy to implement. Thank you Mr. Beek and team!
EpiVision registered its domain name with Network Solutions (NS) in late 2002. At that time, 90% of NS business was in domain registration. NS was an internet pioneer due to ICANN / U. S. Dept. of Commerce agreements as core registrar for the distinctive first Top-Level Domains (TLD): .com, .net, and .org. The core ("wholesale") registration business was later retained by Verisign (acquired NS in 2000). Since 2003, NS supports retail registrations and services. Today, the majority of NS business comes from "web site design and hosting, e-commerce solutions, online security products, and search engine marketing and optimization". NS website indicates NS manages more than 7 million domains, 1.5 million email boxes, and 350,000 web sites.
NS offered a simple "Website Builder Tool". Functionality ambitions quickly pointed to other "Hosting Tools". The "Hosting Tools" of NS comprise many open-source applications. Many applications appeared to service special features (blog, forum, calendar, etc.). Seeking a well-integrated solution, attention turned to content management systems including TYPO3, Drupal, Joombla, and Magento which more broadly offer all the functionality envisioned including a bit of e-Commerce. NS web hosting provided all of them.