Sitemaker Retirement Planning

From: John Johnston, Product Manager

To: SM unit administrators, SM admin, SM steering committee

Date: Jan 31

BCC: project core team,

Subject line: Sitemaker Retirement Planning


With an eye toward building U-M’s future learning environment, ITS is reviewing its service portfolio to identify offerings that are nearing end-of-life and could be replaced with more advanced, robust, and cost-effective systems. With that vision in mind, Sitemaker is being evaluated for retirement.

Created in 1998, Sitemaker was an innovative platform developed on cutting-edge technology and it has served us well since that time. However, 15 years represents several generations of advancements in computing and there are now potential performance, security, and opportunity risks in maintaining this legacy system.

For this reason, ITS has established a Sitemaker Retirement Project to transition active Sitemaker accounts to alternative services. Here are some key activities:

  • The project team will seek guidance and input from a broad cross-section of the university community throughout the planning, evaluation, implementation, migration, and decommissioning phases of this project.
  • We are being guided in our efforts by a pilot user group evaluating other services and the Sitemaker Steering Committee. These groups have representation from the Medical School, Engineering, Public Health, Pharmacy, Public Policy, LSA, the Language Resource Center, ITS, and the University Library.
  • The project team is currently assessing alternative solutions for accommodating the currently active Sitemaker sites. We are nearing the completion of the pilot and will report out our findings and recommendations by early March.
  • Based on input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, the following retirement roadmap for Sitemaker has been recommended:
    • June 2014 - No new sites
    • May 2015 - No site edits/read only
    • July 2015 - No site access/archive only
    • Nov 2015 - Decommission Sitemaker
  • A website for the Sitemaker retirement project is currently under development. We will add content as the project plan develops including a project overview and FAQ, an updates feed, a feedback form, links to support materials, a calendar/timeline, and a list of key project personnel.
  • Our plan is to begin communicating directly with site owners and the general U-M community in March 2014. We will provide previews of these communications to you prior to their distribution.

This initiative, which has the support of university leadership and IT governance, plays a critical role in supporting the mission of the university by both promoting next generation technology and transforming IT delivery. We will rely on your feedback and support as well as we move forward. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or our project manager Cristine Little ( if you have questions or concerns, and please feel free to share this information with those in your team or unit who might be affected.

Thank you!