Modernization of Environment Canada’s Multi-Intranet Initiative

The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) intranet hosts almost 7,000 pages that serve over 3,000 authenticated daily users, providing key and timely information for all employees nationwide, including during the Workplace Charitable Campaign, disseminated via the ECCC Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) microsite.

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) intranet falls under the responsibility of the Minister of the Environment and as a result is hosted on ECCC’s new intranet web platform, providing a similar function for IAAC employees.

The Intranets are the primary internal communications tools with content created by numerous web editors, publishers and administrators from both ECCC and IAAC's Communications teams managing publishing centrally.

Federal Government

Climate Change

Government Website

Intranet Services

ESG-Friendly & Open-First solution


Drupal Development

Web Design & Theming

Office 365 Intergration & SSO

API Integrations

Content Migration

Containerized Managed Services 24/7

Project Management

Reporting and Testing

WCAG Accessibility

OpenPlus 24/7 managed containerized service

Managed Intranet Modernization.

The new ECCC and IAAC Intranets introduce a modern Government of Canada compliant solution, with secure Office365 single sign-on integration, open APIs, and built on DrupalWxT which we manage at the container level in ECCC's Azure Cloud GC Infrastructure.

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Project Scope

ECCC’s current intranet web content management system was designed 15 years ago to meet the needs of the Department and has recently reached the limits of its technological effectiveness. The technology used to develop and maintain the current intranet is no longer supported and is not compatible with the server operating system.

The goal of the project was to migrate all three intranets to Drupal WxT, on a common build that can centrally be used for all three, leveraging features of DrupalWxT, and additional contributed features, such as Office365 integration, to provide a seamless and supportable platform for all future projects. Additionally, a standardized Azure deployment using Terraform was a requirement as all DrupalWxT deployments are to be standardized.

Our Analysis

OpenPlus began the analysis by reviewing the provided requirements and aligning them with DrupalWxT, followed by OpenPlus accelerators, and finally by looking at contributed modules to provide the functionality to meet the documented requirements. This activity was also used to clarify requirements and set expectations from a usability perspective, as often when migrating from a legacy system, the methods used to complete tasks is generally much more modern. Lastly, an analysis of the existing content is undertaken to understand target content types, taxonomy vocabularies, and access control, all a part of the content architecture development.

Delivering a Government of Canada compliant Intranet, with an Application-centric GC co-development Content Architecture.

Our OpenPlus team first started with the official DrupalWxT Open Source Government of Canada distribution which we co-maintain, ensuring long-term sustainability and continuous alignment with WET-BOEW modernizations and GCweb updates as a Continuous Integration.

Using this common build as a base further allowed us to leverage additional GCweb/WxT specific components our team had already co-developed with other Government of Canada projects, namely; Canada Revenue Agency, Transport Canada and Health Canada, which included the GC-Intranet subtheme, the GC Subway Navigation, and other component and module work, all of which were contributed back publicly into the DrupalWxT distribution as structured open source community best practices.

Our team was then able to further leverage our OpenPlus platform accelerators in order to introduce project-specific intranet capabilities, allowing the ECCC intranet to run application-like solutions by using experienced content architecture know-how.

Feature packed Intranet Solution

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Form Builder

GC Subway Navigation

Easy Translation

GC Office365

Field Elements

Polls Manager

Download Reports

Translation UI & Audits

Content Architecture, Structured Data & Governance equate to ease of use

The ECCC Intranet includes a GC-enhanced Page content type for the majority of basic content, which includes many GC-specific in-page components as well as a GC WxT template-importer. The intranet also includes application-like solutions for News, Publications, Training opportunities and a Job Board manager, a role-based solution providing the ability to manage Job postings and micro-assignments...

Job Board Management

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Form Builder

Scheduled Publishing

Easy Translation

Taxonomy Fieldsets

Field Elements

Refined Search

Download Reports

Easy Translation

Enhanced Search

The Intranet provides its users with a powerful and adaptive search experience which exposes the core of the solution content architecture as dynamic facets. This provides the ability to drill-down using different data dimensions with a familiar search experience. Some facets are fully hierarchical, but also conditional, providing additional methods for users to narrow and refine search results.

Tying the content architecture and exposing termsets allows the client to self-maintain and improve the search refinement options as they are primarily taxonomy driven. Offering context relevant additional facets when users select specific types allows for intuitive options to the user, including several Job Types specific facets, as well as News and Training specific facets.

The site also provides a landing page for key content types where users can seamlessly jump directly into applied facets, for a seamless UX with consistent results.

The search solution’s powerful SearchAPI is fully ready for additional search features such as; user saved search with change notifications for users to monitor specific topics, and the ability for full-text file assets to include content from within documents, and is even ready for external search cores from other systems and databases for a unified federated search solution, all through the primary nationwide Intranet.

Integrated Help Guide

A comprehensive online User Help Guide was built using the very same platform and tools as the solution itself and as such following the Government of Canada Style guides and components from GCweb and WxT with multilingual, accessible content for the documentation. This provides authenticated users who contribute and manage content with instant online help for role-specific in-line documentation in a familiar user experience. It also allows for easy continuous improvement of the guide itself as it is fully integrated into the solution like a wiki. It’s what we call “super documentation”.

Logged-in Content Manager Help Guide

Role-based documentation using the GC components.

Clean user-oriented Dashboards

The modernized solution centers around several customized dashboards that display varying functions and data depending on the role users are assigned. This provides the specific information each of those roles requires at any given point in time. It also allows for users to take on other roles when acting or temporarily replacing staff. The new dashboard is a user-centric design provides a UI/UX within the themed GC front-end instead of the Drupal Admin interface, facilitating adoption depending on roles.

Intranet authenticated users can directly jump to widget specifics actions directly from the main home homepage. Given they have already done SSO authenticated with Office 365, they can set saved links which is available to them directly from homepage sidebar, they can also set their weather localization and edit their profile.

OpenPlus Solution

Capabilities and Integrations for this project.


Drupal consulting, content architecture, theming and development


Search UX improvements for a Content Architecture aware search experience with better results

Office 365 Integration

Single Sign-On with the GC Office365 and integration-ready for MS-Teams and full o365 suite

3rd party Integrations

Drupal integration with other infrastructure tools and common web components for header and footers

Managed Container Service

We manage the container in their Azure cloud, managing all updates, security and performance SLA with 24/7 support


Multilingual solution supporting English and French at the TBS guideline level

Search Facets

Improved search experience and search results with relevant search facets and filters based on proper content architecture


Mobile friendly and responsive website with custom behaviors for mobile devices to even further simplify the user experience

Data APIs

Open Drupal API drive both inbound and outbound structured dataset web services for partners

Solution Training

Live training for content contributors to manage content with recorded screencast for ease of reference

Quality Assurance Report

Compliance and QA reporting on cross-browser testing, mobile testing and accessibility (WCAG 2.1 AA)


Agile Project management, part of weekly status updates

Technologies & Accessibility

Under the hood powered by OpenSource

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