Government Web Development & Managed Services

DIR Contract #:  DIR-TSO-2589

Texas Dept of Information Resources

How to Order & Contact Information

  1. For product and pricing information, contact Donald Twining at (512) 794-8440, or go to our pricing page.
  2. Generate a purchase order, made payable to MicroAssist, Inc. You must reference the DIR Contract Number (DIR-TSO-2589) for the services requested on your purchase order.
  3. Fax your purchase order and quote form to Donald Twining at (512) 794-8742.

Services Offered

Web Development & Managed Services

MicroAssist offers comprehensive and fully managed web solutions, such as:

  • Website Design & Development:  MIcroAssist offers website design and development services including branding strategy & implementation, custom elements, database back-ends, Java, .NET and other platforms, responsive development, online training development, social media integration, and usability audit and collaboration. 
  • Web Hosting Operations:  MicroAssist is pleased to offer fully managed web hosting solutions to our state and private sector clients.  Services include content management, website hosting, LMS hosting, CMS hosting, tier 1 and tier 2 application support, monitoring, Domain Name Service (DNS), eCommerce integration and a 99% uptime guarantee.
  • Web Content Management:  MicroAssist provides content and data assessments, transfers, development and deployment, CMS solutions, project management, statistics tracking and technical writing services.
  • Web Application Development:  MicroAssist’s Web Application Development Division provides custom design and integration services developed for accessible web-based applications, including mission-critical database driven sites and/or E-Learning solutions.  MicroAssist’s custom developers are top-notch in analyzing customer requirements, designing real solutions using its rapid prototyping approach to design, developing applications and implementing final products.  MicroAssist works together with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services personnel to make certain that web applications and E-Learning solutions are compliant.
  • Maintenance, Training & Support:  MicroAssist offers a wide array of web technology courses including accessibility training, Agile/SOA/JavaScript, HTML/XHTML, Java, SQL Server and other web-based technology courses.
  • Business Tools:  These services include creative brief's for website copy, e-commerce shopping cart tools, security analysis, strategic planning, web analytics, web productivity and collaboration tools, web search engine optimization, website marketing and website traffic analysis.
  • Accessibility as a Service:  With the passage of Section 508 and the subsequent adoption of Texas Administrative Codes 206 and 213, MicroAssist saw an opportunity to productize the accessibility process put in place to service existing state contracts.  In doing so, the suite of accessibility services now range from accessibility training to product development consulting to product evaluation.
  • TexasOnline Epay Implementation:  In 2002 MicroAssist began converting existing state web sites to use the ePay eCommerce gateway as provide for by TexasOnline.  Since then, the company has offered Epay consulting as part of web development and on a consulting basis.

Turnkey Solutions

MicroAssist offers fixed price turnkey solutions whereby the customer is presented with a fully functional, 508 and TAC 206 / 213 compliant, content managed site.

A turnkey solution is defined as delivery of a ready to use product which includes development of application code, component installation, database configuration and installation and any other processes necessary to the initial and ongoing product operation as defined within the scope of work.

Website Design & Development

MicroAssist’s staff includes experienced project managers, project analysts, web / application developers, network engineers, technical writers, graphic artists, QA and instructional design specialists.  Services can be contracted under a fixed price statement of work or hourly contract.  All work performed under statements of work are evaluated for 508 and TAC 206 and 213 compliance. 

Natively supported technologies include:

  • Java, PHP with MySQL
    • Custom Java, PHP development.
  • Moodle Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Drupal Content Management System (CMS)
  • Windows Based .NET with SQL Server 2005
    • Custom C#, VB .NET, ColdFusion with SQL Server
    • DotNetNuke Content Management System (CMS)

Note:  Additional Open Source and custom solutions are available for Content Management Systems (CMS), Learning Management Systems (LMS), Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) and Document Management Systems. 

Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for website design and development question.

Managed Website Hosting (Shared and Dedicated)

Since 1996, MicroAssist's Technical Services Division has offered shared managed hosting options.  This includes Windows-based and Linux-based solutions with both Open Source and Proprietary software packages.  Pricing is based on the customers needs. (Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for features, rates and service pricing).

MicroAssist also offers dedicated hosting for agencies having unique requirements.  The dedicated model provides for network isolation, FIPS encryption and dedicated traffic monitoring.  Agencies seeking dedicated FIPS compliant hosting are encouraged to provide their own equipment.

Learning Management System (LMS) / Learning Content Management System (LCMS) Hosting Package

Since 1988, MIcroAssist's Training Division has provided leading edge instructional design products to the State of Texas.  Beginning in 2002, there has been a significant surge in demand for web based E-Learning by various state agencies.  To facilitate this demand, MicroAssist created an infrastructure capable of training thousands of students simultaneously and offers a wide array of web based Learning Management Systems (LMS) / Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS).  By using well supported and 508 compliant solutions, MicroAssist can offer our customers robust systems with:

  • No Hidden Costs:  No Per User / Per CPU / Per Course Fee
  • Project Pricing:  Cost is based on the customer’s individual instructional design and service needs.
  • Hosting Option:  Options for dedicated and shared services are available. 
  • Easy Transition:  Our customers own the work product.  Our services are focused on assisting in instructional design, site configuration, custom coding and hosting.  The customer may transition the work product in total in-house or to another hosting facility  in accordance with the hosting agreement.

Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for more information on LMS / LCMS products and hosting services.

Accessibility

It is a company wide belief and an entrenched part of the MicroAssist culture that accessibility is more than a simple checkbox to meet a requirement.  We at MicroAssist are passionate about making all products usable by people with no vision, limited vision, hearing challenged, mobility challenged and provide strategies for cognitive awareness design.

Having served the State of Texas since 1988, we understand the need for all services and products to adhere to the standards set forth through federal law, state law, DIR Texas Administrative Code and agency administrative rule.  To this, MicroAssist only supports products which can strictly adhere to 508 and DIR accessibility administrative codes.

MicroAssist staff members which include analysts, developers, technical writers, instructional designers and QA are fully versed in the accessibility guidelines as it relates to their task.  By educating team members, accessibility becomes a part of the up front process. 

Many of our customers have not had a chance to fully embrace what accessibility means in terms of their project.  As such, part of each project’s mission is to help our customers understand the accessibility issues relate to their unique circumstance.  MicroAssist also offers Accessibility training packages for web development and end-user tools.

Manual and Automated Accessibility Testing:

MicroAssist performs both manual and automated accessibility testing. 

The use of automated testing tools assist in checking what we refer to as the content of the site.  These tools help the team to find technical issues that might make the actual substance of the application inaccessible.  As a simple example, these tools are exceptional at finding missing alternate text on graphics.

While automated tools are a necessary part of compliance checking, they are not able to address user interface design.   MicroAssist refers to this as checking the site context.  For example, web sites lacking proper heading tags do not easily convey the grouping of information or provide navigation to those information sets.  As such, MicroAssist primarily uses the Jaws screen reader to manually check the context and flow of the application.  Additional toolsets are used to check for low vision and hearing impairment design issues. 

Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for Accessibility features, rates and service pricing.

Maintenance, Training & Support

All package levels include a course on content management and reporting.  Additional custom training options are available.

The customer and MicroAssist will agree on a long term maintenance plan.  In general, MicroAssist will retain responsibilities for server and database maintenance including the application of service packs, database optimizations and backups.  The customer generally retains authority over content.  Support is generally bundled into service class.

Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for specific maintenance, training and support questions.

Web Content Management (CMS)

Our goal is to enable the customer to achieve a level of service that ensures the program success.  Part of this goal is to provide the customer with the necessary content management applications that best meet their needs.

  • Content Enabled:  A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don't have to.  All CMS solutions have role based security that allows the customer to directly add, remove or alter content in a rich text (WYSIWYG) environment.  This includes the ability to add pages to taxonomies as well as upload and distribute electronic materials.
  • Content Assist:  MicroAssist also offers Content Assist should the agency prefer to delegate the data entry task.  This can include making documents, presentations and other electronic media 508 and TAC 206/213 accessible.

MicroAssist offers Content Management Systems for a variety of platforms (Windows with Microsoft SQL or Oracle, the LAMP stack).   Common features of these platforms include:

  • Variety of Content Objects:  Text, photos, music, video, documents
  • Role Based Security:  Permissions do not have to be setup for each user.  Permissions are assigned to roles and then like users are grouped into a role.
  • User Authentication:  Users can register and authenticate locally or using an external authentication source.
  • Ability to arrange content based on complex taxonomy
  • Personalization Systems:  Both the content and the presentation can be individualized based on user-defined preferences
  • Templating:  Content is separated from presentation, allowing you to control the look and feel of the website.
  • Version control:  Content changes are tracked.  Version control features allows you the option to roll back to previous versions
  • Multi-Language:   Our Content Management systems provide a full framework to create a multi-lingual website.
  • Analysis, Tracking and Statistics:  Our CMS can provide detailed information about use.

Call MicroAssist at (512) 794-8440 or email info@microassist.com for CMS questions.

Domain Name System (DNS) Management*

At MicroAssist we believe in our customer owning the work product.  This includes the domain name as well as any primary or secondary branding.  As such, MicroAssist will assist in setting up and managing the name registration and domain name hosting.  Options include:

  • Commercial Hosting with VeriSign – Name Registration, SSL Key Registration, Code Signing
  • GoDaddy - Name Registration, SSL Key Registration, Domain Name Registration

* MicroAssist Domain Name Registration (DNS) – The MicroAssist hosted DNS service is available for projects requiring advanced DNS support such as Reverse IP Lookup and other features not widely supported.

Business Tools

Pre-project Analysis

There are many decisions to be made before a project can begin.  What technology best fits our environment?  Should the customer consider hosting?  How will the development process work?  How will these new systems integrate with the existing infrastructure?  To assist our customers in this critical pre-project phase, MicroAssist has created a Pre-project Analysis service whereby we engage the customer at inception and help research their specific needs. 

Security Policy Development and Analysis

A security policy is the essential basis on which an effective and comprehensive security program can be developed. This critical component of the overall security architecture, however, is often overlooked. A security policy is the primary way in which management’s expectations for security are translated into specific, measurable, and testable goals and objectives.

The development of security policy is based upon the following security goals:

  • Ensure the availability of data and processing resources.
  • Provide assurance for the confidentiality and integrity of customer data and allow for the compartmentalization of risk for customers and your organization.
  • Ensure the integrity of data processing operations and protect them from unauthorized use.
  • Ensure the confidentiality of the customer’s and your processed data and prevent unauthorized disclosure or use.
  • Ensure the integrity of the customer’s and your processed data and prevent the unauthorized and undetected modification, substitution, insertion, and deletion of that data.

MicroAssist, Inc. offers a complete package of solutions for ensuring the security of web hosting and applications. We've helped a variety of customers, from those with small eCommerce sites to organizations with the highest volume sites in the country, secure their web hosting applications. We bring a wealth of hands-on experience with real web applications and will share our knowledge of best practices and design patterns with your team, no matter where you are in your development lifecycle.

Website Marketing 

MicroAssist has provided marketing services for a variety of websites including:

  • Statewide and Nationwide Press Releases that resulted in extensive media coverage and traffic to websites.  Coverage included stories in every major TV market in the State of Texas, stories in Wired, PC Magazine, Government Technology.