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Implementing Confluence at Harvard
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Implementing Confluence at Harvard


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Implementing Confluence as an enterprise service in a highly decentralized university setting presents a number of technical and organizational challenges. We'll touch on the customizations we've made …

Implementing Confluence as an enterprise service in a highly decentralized university setting presents a number of technical and organizational challenges. We'll touch on the customizations we've made to integrate Confluence with both the Harvard infrastructure in general and with our course management system, iSites, in particular. We'll discuss our technical requirements going in and our experience meeting those requirements by implementing SSO, group management, auto provisioning and categorization, and FERPA compliance by means of custom plugins and other techniques that we believe will continue to be sustainable as we move forward. We'll also discuss organizational requirements around support and provisioning and our experience with the support model we're using. Finally, we'll discuss the ways in which Confluence is being used across the university, for both academic and administrative purposes.

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  • 1. Implementing
 Confluence at Harvard"Enabling enterprise collaboration for "..about 8,000 courses, 15 schools, 98 libraries, 21,000 students, 12,000 faculty, 98 libraries, who knows how many labs, 11 museums, apolice department, 600 buildings, and an arboretum"Carter Snowden!iCommons Group"Harvard University Information and Technology""
  • 2. Agenda" •  Current state" •  Context" •  Requirements" •  Integration" •  Questions"
  • 3. Context "
  • 4. Context "
  • 5. iCommons"•  iSites – " •  Home-grown LMS " •  Tool-based approach +" •  Existing all-in-one wiki/blog/ discussion tool - "" •  Distributed support model – school-level liaisons +"
  • 6. Requirements and Goals"
  • 7. Requirements - basic" •  Security" •  User privacy" •  Easy access for external collaborators" •  Simple, real-time permissioning" •  Support and provisioning" "
  • 8. Requirements - extra"•  iSites integration"•  Terms-of use acceptance agreement"•  One-step addition and permissioning of users and groups for Confluence space admins"
  • 9. Why Confluence?"•  Evolving iSites tool concept" •  build/maintain/enhance à integration of proven open source and commercial products" •  Tight integration à loose(r) integration"•  Confluence.." •  Is proven to integrate well with different SSO solutions" •  Has a rich permissioning scheme" •  Plugin architecture, templating, source availability provide flexibility"
  • 10. Implementation Options"
  • 11. Users and Groups"GOAL – "Don’t reinvent the wheel -- let Confluence be Confluence"
  • 12. LDAP" ""Aargh.. (for us, anyway)"
  • 13. Virtual Directory" Aargh, again.." Virtual Directory LDAP iSites Group DB
  • 14. Solution: Simplify"•  Map users in our own table"•  At the iSites end, create a REST group service"•  At the Confluence end, create the necessary utilities to consume the service"•  Use native Confluence user and group stores" ""
  • 15. Solution" Confluence "" SSO Via Space Permissions page Unique id (private) Utility plugin Authenticator plugin Can view/administer Check Privacy settings; Member-of Get safe id Get updated name and email if changed Group service iSites Group Service LDAP Mapping table
  • 16. Provisioning from iSites" "
  • 17. Recent Updates in iSites" "
  • 18. Terms of Use" "
  • 19. Conclusion"Simple is best"Let Confluence be Confluence"
  • 20. Integration strategy? Do what you must, but, to theextent possible, just step aside and let #Confluence doits thing. #summit12
  • 21. Thank you!