Social asset database for Cornell University
#coldfusion #higher-ed #jquery #oracle

I can't say enough good things about the site. You did a spectacular job. Thank you! It's been a very good experience working with you.

Barbara Drogo, Cornell University Communications

The Digital Well concept was created by Cornell's Division of University Communications to help their staff search through the school's vast media library. They required a responsive, flexible, web application that pooled together existing media resources while allowing users to upload new data.

Singlebrook worked closely with Cornell to turn the Digital Well concept into a fully-formed web application. Using the latest in web development technology, Singlebrook was able to deliver the Digital Well project on schedule and feature-rich. We stayed agile by utilizing the Pivotal Tracker project management software to stay in close contact with our peers at Cornell. Nothing was set in stone and Singlebrook was able to incorporate changes to the project as needed, within budget, and on time.

A One Page Website

Digital Well was conceived to exist as a single page: no internal navigation, secondary pages, or hidden content. This presented a unique set of challenges, as every aspect of the user interface had to instantly represent changes in data. Singlebrook made extensive use of AJAX via the advanced JQuery javascript library to create a rich, responsive, interface that allows users to perform any action in near-real time. Users applying a search filter will see updated results immediately. Items can be grouped together via drag and drop functionality. Media previews play inside the browser. No page reloads, no hidden functionality.


The Oracle database layer was used to implement Digital Well's powerful relevancy engine, which uses binary-weighted ordering to calculate the relevancy of a resource to a particular user. That means users see resources that are more relevant to their needs, and each user’s experience is unique.

Third-Party Application Integration

In addition to user-created content, Digital Well needed to access multiple other media repositories already implemented at Cornell University. Singlebrook designed a flexible, future-oriented system that easily plugs into third-party applications to search and import data behind-the-scenes, providing a seamless user experience and a consolidated point-of-entry for all media resources on campus.


Singlebrook implemented Digital Well using Cornell’s existing technology stack: Coldfusion for the server-side language, and the enterprise-level Oracle database. The project used modern programming patterns such as MVC to structure the application’s codebase.