Technical Overview and System Requirements
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Technical Overview and System Requirements Document Transcript

  • 1. Concert™ Instruction & Assessment v1.1 Technical Overview and System Requirements Featuring The Concert IA Enterprise Gateway Concert IA Deployment Models District and School Data Security Minimum System Requirements Requirements for Assessment Services Part Number 606000204 Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc.
  • 2. Technical Overview and System Requirements Contents 1. PURPOSE ............................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Background ................................................................................................................. 1 2. TECHNICAL OVERVIEW ...................................................................................................... 2 2.1 The Concert IA Enterprise Gateway ............................................................................ 2 2.1.1 Components of the eGateway ........................................................................ 3 2.2 Concert IA Deployment Models ................................................................................... 4 2.2.1 Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ ............................................................... 4 2.2.2 Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ ASP Deployed ...................................... 5 2.3 What is Installed on the District Server? ..................................................................... 6 2.4 District and School Data Security ................................................................................ 6 2.4.1 Software Security ........................................................................................... 6 2.4.2 System Security ............................................................................................. 7 2.4.3 Procedural Security ........................................................................................ 9 2.4.4 Data Center Security ...................................................................................... 9 3. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS ................................................................................................ 10 3.1 Minimum System Requirements ............................................................................... 10 3.1.1 General Communications Requirements ..................................................... 10 3.1.2 Typical User Computer Hardware/Software ................................................. 10 3.1.3 Equipment and Software Needed at the District/School .............................. 12 3.2 Requirements for Assessment Services ................................................................... 15 3.2.1 Computer Hardware for Assessment Services ............................................ 18 3.2.2 Printer Hardware for Preslugging ................................................................. 19 3.2.3 Scanning Hardware ...................................................................................... 19 3.2.4 Computer Software for Assessment Services .............................................. 20 3.2.5 Operating Systems for Assessment Services .............................................. 20 3.2.6 Internet Browsers for Assessment Services ................................................. 20 4. GLOSSARY ......................................................................................................................... 22 Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc.
  • 3. Technical Overview and System Requirements PURPOSE Background 1 PURPOSE This document provides a technical overview of Concert™ Instruction & Assessment to better enable the end-user’s understanding of the system. It addresses the interoperability of external applications and systems that are considered part of Pearson Digital Learning’s Concert Instruction & Assessment Version 1.1 deployments (e.g., SASIxp™). It also describes the minimum system requirements for a school district to install and use Concert Instruction & Assessment. It identifies how system requirements both affect and are enabled by the architecture. 1.1 Background Concert Instruction & Assessment (or "Concert IA") is a comprehensive family of Web-based applications integrating student performance management, instructional planning, assessment, and educational content, all based on the Pearson Core Standards, whose primary objective is to provide enhanced learning delivery to the student. It allows teachers, administrators, parents, and students to communicate, manage standards, plan and access curricula, standards, tests, and instructional materials, assess and manage student performance, and collaborate more effectively and efficiently than ever before . Instructional Content Assessment Instructional Planning Standards Management Student Performance Management Classroom Management Collaboration among students, parents, teachers, and administrators Concert Technology Platform Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 1
  • 4. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW The Concert IA Enterprise Gateway 2 TECHNICAL OVERVIEW Concert Instruction & Assessment (Concert IA) is an ASP-hosted (Application Service Provider) online community that integrates the activities and processes of students, teachers, administrators and parents to ensure student achievement while significantly reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for school districts. User Interface The Concert IA online portal is delivered via a pure HyperText Markup Language (HTML) interface that is designed for a broad range of users – from sophisticated IT staff to simple and self-evident forms for parents and students. The use of a standards-based HTML interface allows Concert IA to support a wide variety of available browsers and devices along with the flexibility to change without imposing incremental costs to customers. Scalability Concert IA employs a standards-based, multi-tier, enterprise architecture based on the J2EE (Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition) specification using BEA Weblogic Server and Oracle’s relational database management system (RDBMS). To ensure quality of service metrics, Concert IA utilizes high-end hardware, network and management infrastructure from leading vendors such as Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Security Concert IA uses a multi-layered security strategy that includes encrypted network traffic, certificate-based authentication (issued by Verisign), application-level, role- based authorization and entitlements, along with state-of-the-art physical, network and procedural security provided by out hosting service provider – Cable and Wireless. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) Concert IA’s eGateway allows external applications, such as Student Information Systems (SIS), to conveniently and reliably exchange information using a standards- based EAI architecture which is compliant with Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). Using a scalable messaging architecture, systems may publish and subscribe to granular changes in data using Extensible Markup Language (XML). 2.1 The Concert IA Enterprise Gateway The Enterprise Gateway (eGateway) technology allows separate applications running on different systems to exchange data. The data exchange can be used to maintain near real-time data synchronization of shared data, for enabling enterprise application communications, or for aggregating data from distributed servers to a data warehouse or other data repository. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 2
  • 5. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW The Concert IA Enterprise Gateway 2.1.1 Components of the eGateway 2.1.1.1 Agents Agents enable applications to communicate with the eGateway and allow eGateways to route messages to each other. The deployment of the eGateway uses two application agents, the WSF agent and the XP agent, and two router agents, one at the district and one at the ASP site. 2.1.1.2 XP Agents Pearson Digital Learning staff install an XP agent on the district eGateway server and/ or on the SASIxp server at the school sites or a separate server linked to the SASIxp server at each school. This agent has two main functions: It translates the SASIxp database information into encrypted XML messages and sends them to the district eGateway. It receives encrypted XML messages from the district eGateway and translates them into instructions that the SASIxp software can process. 2.1.1.3 Web Services Framework (WSF) Agent The WSF agent is similar to the XP agent. It receives encrypted XML messages from the ASP eGateway and translates them into information readable by the Concert IA database. 2.1.1.4 Router Agents A Pearson Digital Learning staff member installs one router agent with each eGateway. The router agent at the district eGateway receives the messages coming from the school XP agents and sends them to the ASP eGateway. The router agent at the ASP eGateway receives the messages coming from the districts and sends them to the WSF agent. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 3
  • 6. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW Concert IA Deployment Models 2.2 Concert IA Deployment Models 2.2.1 Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ In this model, the eGateway can be considered a conduit that moves data from the SASIxp student information systems to the Application Service Provider (ASP) based Concert Instruction & Assessment application. This process allows users the ability to access the rich set of data that SASIxp provides from a browser-based client. Data is transferred by two methods. The first data transfer method, called the initial data load, is a bulk transfer of data from the client’s SASIxp database. This involves a complex set of queries, transformations, and data scrubbing activities that are run against the SASIxp database to produce data messages in the form of XML to be delivered to the ASP server. Once the initial data load has completed, the eGateway is switched into event monitoring mode. In this mode, the event tables in SASIxp are audited for changes that will then be updated via the eGateway into the Concert IA database. District Enterprise Gateway Enterprise eGateway eGateway eGateway Gateway II eGateway Agent Agent eGateway Agent Agent eGateway Agent Agent nn tt SASIxp SASIxp SASIxp ee rr nn ee ASP tt Facility Schools (Students, Teachers & Administrators) Administrators Parents & & Teachers Students Homes Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 4
  • 7. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW Concert IA Deployment Models 2.2.2 Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ ASP Deployed SASIxp ASP Deployed is designed to be a highly concentrated, fully managed SASIxp environment that is deployed to customers via the ASP model. Specifically, users of this solution access SASIxp functions via the Internet (or private dedicated circuits) using Citrix thin-client software. This solution allows districts to avoid purchasing servers and other infrastructure required to implement SASIxp locally, as well as off-loading many of the administrative tasks required forSASIxp. All SASIxp features and functions, including District Integration, are available via the SASIxp ASP Deployed solution. Concert Instruction & Assessment shares data with SASIxp ASP Deployed databases in much the same way that it shares with district-deployed SASIxp: that is, via the eGateway. The difference for SASIxp ASP Deployed customers is that the required eGateway servers are located at the SASIxp ASP Deployed data center and managed by the data center staff. Thus, the technical and administrative tasks associated with the integration of Concert IA with SASIxp are handled by Pearson Digital Learning staff, without needing district or school personnel to perform integration tasks. Schools (Students, Teachers & Administrators) Enterprise Gateway Citrix Clients II Enterprise n Enterprise n Gateway Gateway tt SASIxp SASIxp ASP ee rr eGateway Facility eGateway Agent eGateway Agent nn Agent ee tt  SASIxp ASP Deployed Datacenter Teachers & Parents & Administrators Students Homes Deployment Model Using SASIxp™ ASP Deployed Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 5
  • 8. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW What is Installed on the District Server? 2.3 What is Installed on the District Server? Only messaging software–the eGateway–is actually installed at the district and schools. The district eGateway server includes an eGateway agent and a router agent. A Pearson Digital Learning staff member installs the XP agent on the school SASIxp server or on a separate server at each participating school for each SASIxp instance. 2.4 District and School Data Security The security of data is a high priority and Pearson Digital Learning has developed a security strategy to make sure data is safe. This section describes how Pearson Digital Learning maintains the security of the district and school data through software security, systems security, procedural security, and physical security. 2.4.1 Software Security Software security is built into the application software architecture and functionality. 2.4.1.1 Personal Access Codes (PAC) The personal access code (PAC) is an authentication feature for a user’s initial registration. New users logging into Concert IA for the first time are supplied with a PAC through a procedure determined by the district. The PAC is a single-use character string that identifies the individual as a new Concert IA user and enables the user to establish a user name and password. 2.4.1.2 User Name and Password Individuals use their PAC to register as valid Concert IA users and create their own user name and password. These globally unique user name and password combinations authenticate each user at login. Once registered, users must enter their unique user name and password combinations each time they log in. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 6
  • 9. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW District and School Data Security 2.4.1.3 User Authorizations and Entitlements Once logged in, individual users and groups of users are authorized access only to certain application services. System administrators set authorizations, called entitlements, to limit users to data and operations at levels appropriate to their roles. The Concert IA application provides tools for administrators to manage these services and entitlements in the System Control module. 2.4.1.4 Database Security Concert IA architecture employs strict physical and logical security to prevent access to the database management system from outside the Concert IA application. Only a minimal number of credentialed administrative staff have the ability to view and manipulate sensitive student data. Not only is the database management system secured physically, additional encryption is done on sensitive fields stored in the database. 2.4.2 System Security Pearson Digital Learning is committed to providing a secure system. In addition to the application security features, Pearson Digital Learning designed system security features. System security features are independent of the application software architecture and are implemented at the server and network infrastructure level. System security protects data as it moves from the school and district to Concert Instruction & Assessment. The following system security features are implemented across Concert IA, the ASP hosting infrastructure, and the Pearson Digital Learning network environment. 2.4.2.1 Encryption In the ASP model, data moves between the user environment and the servers at the ASP hosting facility over the Internet. Pearson Digital Learning uses encryption to protect the following types of data: Data transmitted between the user’s browser and the Concert IA servers Data sent from the SASIxp databases to the Concert IA servers Concert IA uses industry standard, 128-bit encryption using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to encrypt all data between the district, school, and user environments and the ASP site. For browser-to-server communications, the server issues a public key to the browser so that data at the browser can be encrypted and decrypted. The server uses the private key to manage encryption. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 7
  • 10. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW District and School Data Security For transmitting student data between the SASIxp servers and the ASP site, the eGateway software uses an implementation of the Java Message Service (JMS) that also incorporates SSL-based encryption. 2.4.2.2 Digital Certificates A digital certificate is a character string that identifies a server and establishes its legitimacy. Digital certificates must be signed by an authorized Certificate Authority (CA). Pearson Digital Learning is the authorized certificate authority that signs the digital certificates installed on the district and school servers. This enables the eGateway server at the ASP to exchange certificates with the eGateway server at the district. It also allows the eGateway server at the district to exchange certificates with the agents at the schools to ensure message transfers are encrypted and inaccessible to unwanted intrusion. All popular web browsers, including those supported by Concert IA, are designed to accept and act on certificates signed by well-known CAs. Pearson Digital Learning has licensed the services of a commercial CA to obtain the certificates that the Concert IA web servers issue to user browsers. 2.4.2.3 Infrastructure Security The Concert Instruction & Assessment ASP configuration uses the following advanced technologies and techniques at the infrastructure level to secure the data and the system: Router-based Access Control Lists (ACLs) - allow only specific computers access to other computers Hardware firewalls with failover capability - limit the type and destination of network traffic to come into the Concert IA network Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) switches with ACLs - similar to router-based ACLs, these limit which computers can know about which other computers on the network Intrusion and denial-of-service detection services - allow the blockage of specific external computer access and disable accounts where someone is trying to guess the user passwords Server-hardening techniques - allow only the software necessary for the specific applications to be installed and executed on the application computer system. Any other utilities or applications are removed to prevent unauthorized access to the system from outside the application to which the system is dedicated. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 8
  • 11. Technical Overview and System Requirements TECHNICAL OVERVIEW District and School Data Security 2.4.3 Procedural Security Procedural security is enforced at the ASP through strict control of physical and digital access to their facilities. Customer data cannot be viewed or manipulated by ASP personnel. In addition, the ASP site utilizes the following security measures: Internal and External Security Audits System and Network hardening Security advisory monitoring and patching System and Network Intrusion Detection RSA SecurID access (from RSA Security) Encrypted Communication 2.4.4 Data Center Security The ASP site prevents unauthorized access to their hosting facilities. Access to the data centers is controlled with advanced security and identification technology. The ASP also restricts electronic access to the servers managed in their environment. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 9
  • 12. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum System Requirements 3 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS 3.1 Minimum System Requirements The use of Concert Instruction & Assessment requires certain infrastructure. Stated below are the minimum requirements for Concert IA. Pearson Digital Learning engineers are available to discuss deployment in your existing environment. 3.1.1 General Communications Requirements 3.1.1.1 At the District/School The district and each school will require: Connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) T1 lines or better, including broadband, to ISP and between district and schools Peak bandwidth utilization of not more than 50 to 75% 3.1.1.2 At the Home The home user (administrators, teachers, students, and parents) may choose one of these connections to an ISP: Dial-up modem (56 Kbps minimum) Cable Broadband Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or other high-speed Internet connection 3.1.2 Typical User Computer Hardware/Software Concert Instruction & Assessment supports both PCs and Apple® Macintosh® personal computers. Since the application is delivered via the web, the systems utilized must be capable of running one of the recommended operating systems with a compatible internet browser supported by Concert IA. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 10
  • 13. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum System Requirements 3.1.2.1 Hardware Computer systems accessing Concert IA should meet the following minimum requirements. Hardware that exceeds these requirements can improve system speed and performance. Hardware requirements are slightly higher for computers using Assessment Services features. See Requirements for Assessment Services on page 15. Monitor with minimum VGA 800x600 graphics capability Standard keyboard Mouse Computer system PC with: Pentium-class processor (120 MHz or better) Minimum system memory of 32 MB Minimum free hard drive space of 20 MB or Apple Mac® computer with: Minimum 300 MHz processor Minimum system memory of 32 MB Minimum free hard drive space of 20 MB 3.1.2.2 Operating Systems For PCs, one of the following operating systems must be installed: Microsoft® Windows® 98 Second Edition (SE) (minimum) Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional (recommended) Microsoft Windows XP Home or Professional Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 The User Switch function of Microsoft Windows XP is not supported by Concert IA software. For Apple Mac computers, one of the following operating systems must be installed: Apple Mac OS® 9 (minimum and recommended) Apple Mac OS X Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 11
  • 14. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum System Requirements 3.1.2.3 Internet Browsers The following browsers are compatible with Concert IA: Netscape® 6.1 (minimum) or Netscape 6.2 (recommended) for Apple Mac operating systems and Microsoft Windows 2000, NT or XP, or, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.1 (minimum and recommended) for the Apple Mac operating systems, or, Microsoft IE 5.5 Service Pack 2 (minimum and recommended) for Windows 98 only, or for any other Microsoft Windows operating system compatible with Concert IA, Microsoft IE 5.5 Service Pack 2 (minimum) or Microsoft IE 6.0 (recommended) All browsers / operating systems must support 128 bit encryption. 3.1.3 Equipment and Software Needed at the District/ School A server is required at the district and each school site to communicate with Concert Instruction & Assessment. This server, or eGateway, enables two-way communica- tions between SASIxp and Concert IA. The district eGateway includes an eGateway server that processes messages and a router agent that directs the flow of messages. The XP agent that routes communica- tion to the eGateway, can be installed on the district eGateway server or on the SASIxp server at the school sites. Servers used at the district for the eGateway should meet the following minimum requirements. If XP agents will also be installed on the same district server, the minimum requirements will be higher. See Installation of the XP Agent at the District Site on page 13. Monitor with minimum (VGA 800x600 graphics capability Standard keyboard Mouse Server with: 1.2 GHz single processor 1 GB RAM 36 GB available disk storage Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 Server operating system 10 / 100 Network Interface Card (NIC) 16x CD drive Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 12
  • 15. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum System Requirements 3.1.3.1 The XP Agent Some decisions need to be made regarding the installation of the XP agents. The first decision is whether to install the XP agent on a SASIxp server or other available server. This decision has primarily to do with the operating system being used and the available resources of the server in question. The following questions should guide the user to the most appropriate conclusion. A Pearson Digital Learning engineer can offer solutions and assist in making these decisions. Does the SASIxp Server in question have a WinNT or Win2K Operating System? If not, a Windows server must be provided as described below in "Installation of the XP Agent at school Sites" section. If so, are there enough resources on the SASIxp server to run the XP agent (need 700 MHz+ CPU, 512 MB free RAM, 5 GB free hard drive space per hosted XP agent)? If so, use the SASIxp Server for the XP agent host. If not, can the resources on the SASIxp server be upgraded to meet the minimum requirements? If so, upgrade the resources to meet the minimum requirements and use the SASIxp Server for the XP agent host. If not, use another Windows Server for the XP agent host (that meets the requirements described below in "Installation of the XP Agent at school Sites" section). 3.1.3.1.1 Installation of the XP Agent at the District Site These additional requirements must be met to install the XP agent on the district eGateway server: 512 MB of RAM for every school with approximately 5000 students 10 GB of disk storage with at least 5 GB free per agent for every school with approximately 5000 students Network drive access to the SASIxp data files 3.1.3.1.2 Installation of the XP Agent at School Sites If the XP agent is installed on the school SASIxp server, these minimum requirements must be met for each machine to run the XP agent: 700 MHz Pentium-class CPU 512 MB of RAM for every school with approximately 5000 students 10 GB of disk storage with at least 5 GB free per XP agent for every school with approximately 5000 students Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 13
  • 16. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum System Requirements Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a or Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 Server (or Professional) operating system 3.1.3.2 Concert IA Customers Using SASIxp™ Districts and schools running SASIxp educational software must be using SASIxp version 5.0.2 with the SR CIA patch and SR 10 patch, or SASIxp version 5.5. Use of the SASIxp District Integration product within the district is not required. A Pearson Digital Learning staff member will apply the appropriate patch(s) to the SASIxp software to maintain system integrity. 3.1.3.3 Firewall Ports The district supplies information on the brand name and model of the firewall to Pearson Digital Learning as well as providing contact information for those responsible for the firewall management. The following ports must be open in the district firewall: 80 - to support web browser access to HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 443 - to support web browser access to HyperText Transmission Protocol, Secure (HTTPS) 8082 – to allow access to the ASP for the the data load process 8083 - outbound to support Java Management Extensions (JMX) access for the messaging software 2506 - outbound to support Java Message Service (JMS) data transfer for the messaging software Pearson Digital Learning recommends that port 8082 be removed after data load is complete. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 14
  • 17. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services 3.2 Requirements for Assessment Services Scanning, Preslug, TestNav and Test Authoring are all components of Assessment services within Concert Instruction & Assessment’s Curriculum module. Scanning allows automated data collection by utilizing compatible scanners to read batches of answer documents and convert scanned output records into scoring formats determined by the teacher. Preslugging is the preprinting of critical information on test answer sheets to be read by scanners or manually by teachers or administrators to sort and manage the answer sheets. TestNav is the test delivery engine used by Concert IA for online tests. Using Test Authoring, teachers are able to create and publish paper and/or online tests. Below are the features available through Concert IA’s Assessment Services. Assessment Services Author Test Build Tests Review & Take Online Preslugging Scanning Items Assign Tests Tests (TestNav) The following diagrams outline the hardware and software requirements as well as the acceptable operating system and browser combinations for each of the features. The succeeding sections in this chapter provide additional supporting details regarding requirements for Scanning and Preslugging. Assessment Services Build Tests Review & Assign Take Online Preslugging Scanning Tests Tests (TestNav) Author Test Items Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 166 MHz processor Windows 98 SE IE 5.5 SP2 or Mac w/500 MHz Power PC processor IE 5.5 SP2 32 MB RAM Windows 2000 Professional SP3 IE 6.0 100 MB free hard drive space Windows XP Home / Professional SP1 Netscape 6.1 Windows NT SP6a Netscape 6.2 Software Requirements: MS Word (version 97 or higher) IE 5.1 Apple Mac OS 9 Netscape 6.1 Apple Mac OS X Netscape 6.2 Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 15
  • 18. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services Assessment Services Author Test Review & Assign Take Online Preslugging Scanning Items Tests Tests (TestNav) Build Tests Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 166 MHz processor Windows 98 SE IE 5.5 SP2 or Mac w/500 MHz Power PC processor IE 5.5 SP2 32 MB RAM Windows 2000 Professional SP3 IE 6.0 20 MB free hard drive space Windows XP Home / Professional SP1 Netscape 6.1 Windows NT SP6a Netscape 6.2 Software Requirements: MS Word (version 97 or higher) IE 5.1 Apple Mac OS 9 Netscape 6.1 Apple Mac OS X Netscape 6.2 Assessment Services Author Test Build Tests Take Online Preslugging Scanning Items Tests (TestNav) Review & Assign Tests Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 120 MHz processor Windows 98 SE IE 5.5 SP2 or Mac w/300 MHz Power PC processor 32 MB RAM IE 5.5 SP2 Windows 2000 Professional 20 MB free hard drive space IE 6.0 Windows XP Home / Professional Netscape 6.1 Windows NT Software Requirements: Netscape 6.2 N/A IE 5.1 Apple Mac OS 9 Netscape 6.1 Apple Mac OS X Netscape 6.2 Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 16
  • 19. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services Assessment Services Author Test Build Tests Review & Assign Preslugging Scanning Items Tests Take Online Tests (TestNav) Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 166 MHz processor Windows 98 SE IE 5.5 SP2 or Mac w/500 MHz Power PC processor 64 MB RAM IE 5.5 SP2 Windows 2000 Professional SP3 20 MB free hard drive space IE 6.0 Windows XP Home / Professional SP1 Netscape 6.1 Windows NT SP6a Software Requirements: Netscape 6.2 TestNav IE 5.1 (downloadable from Concert IA) Apple Mac OS 9 Netscape 6.1 Netscape 6.2 Assessment Services Author Test Build Tests Review & Assign Take Online Scanning Items Tests Tests (TestNav) Preslugging Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 166 MHz processor 64 MB RAM Windows 98 SE IE 5.5 SP2 20 MB free hard drive space IE 5.5 SP2 Windows 2000 Professional SP3 Software Requirements: IE 6.0 Windows XP Home / Professional SP1 Netscape 6.1 Scanning & Pre-Slugging Tool Windows NT SP6a Netscape 6.2 (downloadable from Concert IA) Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 17
  • 20. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services Assessment Services Author Test Build Tests Review & Assign Take Online Preslugging Items Tests Tests (TestNav) Scanning Hardware Requirements: Operating System / Internet Browser Combinations: PC w/Pentium-class 166 MHz processor Windows 98 SE* IE 5.5 SP2 64 MB RAM 20 MB free hard drive space Windows 2000 Professional SP3 IE 5.5 SP2 Windows XP Home / Professional SP1 Software Requirements: IE 6.0 Windows NT SP6a Scanning & Pre-Slugging Tool (downloadable from Concert IA) MDAC 2.6 SP1 (for Windows 98 SE only) * See Exceptions in the Scanning Hardware section 3.2.1 Computer Hardware for Assessment Services The hardware requirements to run Assessment services are slightly higher than the minimum requirements to run the other services in Concert Instruction & Assessment. The minimum requirements are listed below, however equipment that exceeds these requirements can improve system speed and performance. Following are the minimum hardware requirements for PCs that will run Assessment services: Pentium-class 166 MHz processor System memory of 64 MB for Scanning, Preslug and TestNav; system memory of 32 MB for Test Authoring Free hard drive space of 20 MB for Scanning, Preslug and TestNav; free hard drive space of 100 MB for Test Authoring The following hardware requirements are for Macintosh computers in order to support TestNav and/or Test Authoring: Scanning and Preslug features are not supported by Apple Mac computers. 500 MHz PowerPC processor System memory of 64 MB for TestNav; system memory of 32 MB for Test Authoring Free hard drive space of 20 MB for TestNav; free hard drive space of 100 MB for Test Authoring Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 18
  • 21. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services 3.2.2 Printer Hardware for Preslugging A PostScript or PostScript-compatible cut sheet laser printer is required to pre-print/ pre-slug Concert IA Assessment forms. As an option, PCL laser printers may also be used. Pearson Digital Learning does not recommend a specific brand or model of laser printer. Customers are urged to consult with their printer vendor regarding selection of a printer model suitable for the type and volume of printing they expect to require with their use of the Concert Instruction & Assessment product. 3.2.3 Scanning Hardware You must close all other scanning programs on the personal computer before you can run Concert Instruction & Assessment’s Scanning program. Any OpScan® brand scanner with the following options can support the scanning functions: read heads - single or dual, pencil or ink optional transport printer optional select stacker optional bar code reader EXCEPTIONS: Concert IA Assessment Scanning program does not support OpScan 2, 3, 4, or 4U with the SelfScore Option. OpScan 5 and 7 scanners must be running with Firmware version 1.0 or greater. See the list below for details: Scanner Firmware Date Beginning Serial Number OpScan 5 4/10/91 0504918 OpScan 7 4/18/91 0700244 OpScan 10 and OpScan 21 scanners operate only in the Windows NT, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP Professional operating systems. Do NOT attempt to use them in the Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium operating systems. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 19
  • 22. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services 3.2.4 Computer Software for Assessment Services Microsoft Word™ (version 97 or higher) must be installed on each computer that will be utilizing the Test Authoring functionality. TestNav software must be downloaded from the Concert IA website and installed on each computer that will be used for taking online tests. The Scanning and Pre-slugging Tool must be downloaded through Concert IA and installed on all computers that will be performing scanning and preslugging operations. Scanning data services require that Microsoft Data Access Components, MDAC 2.6, Service Pack 1, or higher, be installed on systems using Windows 98. 3.2.5 Operating Systems for Assessment Services The following Windows operating systems are compatible with all Assessment Services features: Windows 98 SE (not for OpScan 10 or 21) (minimum) Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 3 or higher) (recommended) Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 6a or higher) Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 1 or higher) The User Switch function of Windows XP is not supported by Concert Instruction & Assessment software. Apple Mac does not support the Scanning and Preslugging features. For Apple Mac computers to utilize TestNav and/or Test Authoring, the following operating system must be installed: Mac OS 9 (minimum and recommended) NOTE: TestNav does not run on Mac OS X. If Mac OS X is installed on the computer, Mac OS 9 must also be installed and OS X must be run in "Classic" mode to enable the operating system to automatically switch TestNav to be run on OS 9. 3.2.6 Internet Browsers for Assessment Services All browsers / operating systems must support 128 bit encryption. The following browsers are compatible with the Assessment features in Concert IA: Netscape 6.1 (minimum) or Netscape 6.2 (recommended) for the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac operating systems, or, Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 20
  • 23. Technical Overview and System Requirements SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Requirements for Assessment Services Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.1 (minimum and recommended) for the Apple Mac operating systems, or, Microsoft IE 5.5 Service Pack 2 (minimum and recommended) for Windows 98 only, or for any other Microsoft Windows operating system compatible with Concert IA, Microsoft IE 5.5 Service Pack 2 (minimum) or Microsoft IE 6.0 (recommended) Scanning capability is not supported by Netscape browsers. A Microsoft Internet Explorer browser must be used to enable scanning. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 21
  • 24. Technical Overview and System Requirements Glossary GLOSSARY Access Control List (ACL) - a table that tells a computer operating system which access rights each user has to a particular system object, such as a file directory or individual file. Agent - an agent is a program that performs some information gathering or processing task in the background. Typically, an agent is given a very small and well- defined task. Application Service Provider (ASP) - a third-party entity that manages and distributes software-based services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center. An ASP is an alternative to the more traditional hosting model in which an application is hosted on the customer’s local infrastructure. ASP Based - an application built using the ASP model (see Application Service Provider). Bandwidth - see Peak Bandwidth Utilization Broadband / Cable Broadband - a type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once. Cable TV, for example, uses broadband transmission. Certificate Authority (CA) - an authority in a network that issues and manages security credentials and public keys for message encryption. Data Load - the process of transferring and translating data from one system or application to another. In the case of Concert Instruction & Assessment, this is referring to the initial loading of data from the student information system (SASIxp) into Concert IA in order to automatically populate the database. Data Synchronization - updating data in one system to match changes in another system. In this way, when data is changed in the student information system (SASIxp), it will automatically be reflected and changed in Concert Instruction & Assessment. Dial-Up Modem - a modem is a device or program that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone lines. Digital Certificate - a character string that identifies a server and establishes its legitimacy. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) - refers collectively to all types of digital subscriber lines. DSL technologies use sophisticated modulation schemes to pack data onto copper wires (usually telephone wires). They are sometimes referred to as last-mile technologies because they are used only for connections from a telephone switching station to a home or office, not between switching stations. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 22
  • 25. Technical Overview and System Requirements Glossary Encryption - the translation of data into a secret code, which is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Extensible Markup Language (XML) - a language developed especially for use with Web documents that allows software designers to create their own customized data tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) - the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes throughout the networked applications or data sources in an organization. Early systems, software programs and databases were designed to run independently for a specific purpose, with no interaction between the systems. Companies are investing in EAI today as they recognize the need for their information and applications to have the ability to be transferred across and shared between systems. Firewall - a computer, or programmable device, with associated software used to restrict traffic passing through it according to defined rules. Controls would typically be applied based on the origin or destination address and the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) port number. Firmware - software (programs or data) that has been written onto read-only memory (ROM). Firmware is a combination of software and hardware. High-Speed Internet Connection - refers collectively to all types of Internet connections that provide faster speeds than a modem. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) - the language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - defines how messages are formatted and transmitted on the World Wide Web, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page. HyperText Transmission Protocol, Secure (HTTPS) - another protocol for transmitting data securely over the World Wide Web. Whereas SSL creates a secure connection between a client and a server over which any amount of data can be sent securely, HTTPS is designed to transmit individual messages securely. Infrastructure - the basic framework or features of a system or organization. Internet Browser - also called web browser or browser, a software application that enables a user to request, locate, and view web pages. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both are graphical browsers, capable of displaying graphics and text. Internet Service Provider (ISP) - a company that provides a direct connection from a local network to the Internet. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 23
  • 26. Technical Overview and System Requirements Glossary Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) - a platform-independent, Java-centric environment from Sun for developing, building and deploying multi-tiered, Web-based enterprise applications online. Java Management Extensions (JMX) - a systems management protocol for Java based messaging applications. Java Messaging Service (JMS) - a Java based system designed to pass data messages back-and-forth between applications. Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) - software technology for retrieving and manipulating data. Other technologies include ADO.NET and the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE). Network Interface Card (NIC) - an expansion board inserted into a computer so the computer can be connected to a network. Most NICs are designed for a particular type of network, protocol, and media, although some can serve multiple networks. Operating System - a software platform first needed on a computer for other programs, called application programs, to run. The operating system used determines, to a great extent, the applications that can be used on the computer. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the hard drive, controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers, and ensuring that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other. The operating system is also partially responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system. Peak Bandwidth Utilization - bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted across a given media in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second (Bps). Peak bandwidth utilization is a measure of the highest, or peak, volume of data transmitted across a network connection in a given period of time. Personal Access Code (PAC) - a unique character string generated when entitling a new user in Concert Instruction & Assessment to authenticate that user’s initial registration. Once authenticated with the PAC, the user can establish a user name and password and access Concert IA. Portal - a starting site for World Wide Web users to get connected to the Web or a site that users tend to visit as an anchor site. There are general portals (i.e., Yahoo, Excite, America Online's AOL.com) and specialized or niche portals (i.e., Garden.com for gardeners and Fool.com for investors). Preslugging - the preprinting of critical information on test answer sheets to be read by scanners or manually by school staff for the purpose of sorting and managing the answer sheets. Printer Control Language (PCL) - the page description language (PDL) developed by Hewlett Packard and used in many of their laser and ink-jet printers. PCL 5 and later versions support a scalable font technology called Intellifont. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 24
  • 27. Technical Overview and System Requirements Glossary Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) - a program for creating, updating, and administering a relational database. An RDBMS takes Structured Query Language (SQL) statements entered by a user or contained in an application program and creates, updates, or provides access to the database. Scanning - provides automated data collection by utilizing scanners to read answer documents and convert scanned output records to score formats determined by the teacher. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) - a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a public key to encrypt data that is transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL and many web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with "https:" instead of "http:". (See 128 Bit Encryption for more information.) Schools Interoperability Framework - an industry initiative to develop an open specification for ensuring that K-12 instructional and administrative software applications work together more effectively. SIF is not a product, but rather an industry-supported technical blueprint for K-12 software that will enable diverse applications to interact and share data seamlessly; now and in the future. T1 Lines - A dedicated phone connection to the Internet supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T-1 line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic. Most telephone companies allow you to buy just some of these individual channels, known as fractional T-1 access. Test Authoring - enables teachers to create and publish paper and/or online tests. TestNav - the test delivery software used by Concert Instruction & Assessment for online tests. Universal Serial Bus (USB) - an external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps (v1.1) or 480 Mbps (v2.0). A single USB port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, such as mice, modems, and keyboards. USB also supports Plug-and-Play installation and hot plugging. User Switch (Fast User Switching, a function of Windows XP) - makes it possible for multiple users sharing a computer to quickly switch between users without actually logging off from the computer. Multiple users can share a computer and use it simultaneously, switching back and forth without closing the programs they are running. Web Services Framework (WSF) Agent - responsible for processing the data received from all eGateway installations and loading it into Concert Instruction & Assessment. It is also responsible for sending attendance information back to the schools connected to Concert IA. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 25
  • 28. Technical Overview and System Requirements Glossary VGA (800 x 600) - abbreviation of video graphics array, a graphics display system for PCs developed by IBM. VGA has become one of the de facto standards for PCs. All PCs made today support VGA, and possibly some other more advanced standard. 800 x 600 refers to the number of pixels, or single points, in a graphic image that can be displayed by the PC (width x height). Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) - a local area network with a definition that maps workstations on some basis other than geographic location (for example, by department or type of user). The virtual LAN controller can change or add workstations and manage load-balancing and bandwidth allocation more easily than with a physical picture of the LAN. 16x CD Drive - a type of optical disk capable of storing large amounts of data -- up to 1GB, although the most common size is 650MB (megabytes). A single CD-ROM has the storage capacity of 700 floppy disks, enough memory to store about 300,000 text pages. 16x refers to the relative speed of the drive, meaning that it is 16 times faster than the original CD-ROM speeds. 128 Bit Encryption - encryption is the translation of data into a secret code and is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. 128 bit encryption refers to a specific type of encryption called public-key encryption (PKE). PKE is a cryptographic system that uses two keys -- a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. An important element to the public key system is that the public and private keys are related in such a way that only the public key can be used to encrypt messages and only the corresponding private key can be used to decrypt them. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to deduce the private key if you know the public key. 128 bit refers specifically to the key used, and means that the key consists of 128 characters, making it virtually impossible to decode. OpScan is a registered trademark and Concert and SASIxp are trademarks of NCS Pearson, Inc. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Apple, Mac, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Netscape is a registered trademark of NetScape Communications Corporation. Copyright © 2003 NCS Pearson, Inc. 26