VLab User Guide

VLab Community vs Google Site


This page describes the differences between VLab communities and Google sites.


  1. VLab is an over-arching framework that supports R2O-O2R.  It is the designated NWS collaboration initiative called out in the WRN roadmap.  VLab communities are easy to find and completely searchable.  Google Sites and Google Drives have no external organizational  framework.  They very quickly become a file pile.
  2. VLab Communities come with robust wiki's, blogs, and document libraries, all with version control and subscription updates.  Google sites do not.
  3. VLab communities come with easily implementable workflow.  So if you want enable some sort of business process within your community (e.g., reviewing documents, etc) you can easily do this out of the box.  Google sites have no workflow.
  4. VLab communities come with a robust Forums framework to allow for categorized discussions on a variety of topics.  They allow users to easily set up listserve/bulletin board functionality to discuss a variety of topics
  5. VLab has the VLab Support Staff that provides responses to all requests within 60 min during business hours.  Google sites does not have this support.
  6. VLab Communities can integrate google site and google drive documents, however Google Sites cannot integrate VLab communities and all their contents.
  7. VLab communities can handle non-NOAA users/collaborators.  Google sites can not.
  8. VLab has a monthly Focal Point meeting which provides training, sharing of best practices and extended Q&A.  Google sites does not provide this.
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Most Recent
Timelines September 6, 2019
Portlet Guidance August 27, 2019
Using Forums July 2, 2019
Request Forms March 28, 2019
VLab Training March 28, 2019