Sakai 3 at CSU – a catalyst for rethinking Information Systems

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Sakai 3 at CSU – a catalyst for rethinking Information Systems

Paul Bristow,
Charles Sturt University

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Sakai 3 at CSU – a catalyst for rethinking Information Systems

  1. 1. Sakai 3 at CSU - a catalyst for rethinking Information Systems <ul><li>Paul Bristow : Enterprise Architect - Applications Charles Sturt University - Australia </li></ul>
  2. 2. Presentation Structure <ul><ul><li>Application needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back end, Front End </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 at CSU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 and SOA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 and Online Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational Implications for IT </li></ul></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  3. 3. Applications Need To Be <ul><li>Reliable </li></ul><ul><li>Backed Up </li></ul><ul><li>Meet Business needs </li></ul><ul><li>Usable </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptable </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Fast </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to maintain </li></ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  4. 4. Applications Need <ul><li>Some of these requirements conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional IT tends to emphasise the reliable, stable side </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve been burnt too many times losing things </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t want to break billing, student admin, payroll! </li></ul><ul><li>But modern organisations need to leverage their information </li></ul><ul><li>Which means leveraging applications </li></ul><ul><li>We need more agility </li></ul><ul><li>But still need stability where it counts </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  5. 5. Applications and Process <ul><li>Applications support Business Processes </li></ul><ul><li>But inflexible applications mean we often change business process to work around how the application designer expected the process to work </li></ul><ul><li>This limits innovation </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible applications allow us to let the business optimise the process and change the application to support the new process </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational change makes this critical </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  6. 6. Back end, Front end <ul><li>At last year’s conference Nico and Ian talked about Server Side vs Client Side development </li></ul><ul><li>Server side development is slow and owned by tech people </li></ul><ul><li>Client side is more rapid and open to broader involvement </li></ul><ul><li>This is the model for Sakai 3, a back end kernel providing content and services with user interface implementation on the client through javascript (libraries) </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  7. 7. Back end, Front end <ul><li>Massimo Pezzini - Gartner Applications: Trends & Technologies Summit </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes” Front End Back End Modern user experience Reliability Ease of development Availability Fast Results Scalability Low Cost Integrity Multiple devices Security … … OPPORTUNISTIC SYSTEMATIC
  8. 8. Back end, Front end <ul><li>This struck a chord </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve always had difficulties being opportunistic </li></ul><ul><li>IT build apps that have the back end characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>We have difficulty with apps where people would prefer to have their application 90% on the back end characteristics than not at all </li></ul><ul><li>Also resources dedicated to those back end attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Users want modern applications, device independent, etc </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  9. 9. Back end, Front end <ul><li>Both sets of attributes are required </li></ul><ul><li>We need a stable back end to support innovation at the front end </li></ul><ul><li>Parallels with enterprise architecture - an organisation needs to build a stable ‘platform for execution’ to allow freedom to innovate with manageable risk </li></ul><ul><li>But we need to consciously separate the two, in both application architecture and mindset </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  10. 10. Sakai and Client Side <ul><li>So we’ve built a new tool/app with client side techniques in our sakai 2.4 system </li></ul><ul><li>Next presentation will talk about this </li></ul><ul><li>New skills, but new enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>These skills will be relevant to sakai 3 </li></ul><ul><li>So building skills, mindset for transition </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  11. 11. Sakai 3 and Client Side <ul><li>Sakai 2 tools typically had services and tool code in the same stovepipe </li></ul><ul><li>Separation within the tool projects but typically tools were standalone apart from core sakai services </li></ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 has resources in a common address space which may be shared across user interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>The RESTful access to JCR content gives us a kind of universal access layer </li></ul><ul><li>We can create servlets to proxy restful addresses into soap calls to SOA endpoints in other systems </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  12. 12. Sakai at CSU - Uses <ul><li>Virtual Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>teaching tools and entry point per subject offering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>guaranteed provisioning of tools to sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provisioning of users and groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>entry point for teaching resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>portfolios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research, Administrivia, Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>collaboration tools, shared resources </li></ul></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  13. 13. Sakai 3 at CSU - Functions <ul><li>Content Repository </li></ul><ul><li>Authorisation </li></ul><ul><li>Content Search </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Addressing (that universal access space) </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Widget Server/Host </li></ul><ul><li>Widget container </li></ul><ul><li>Organiser of content </li></ul><ul><li>Organiser/manager of people and groups? </li></ul><ul><li>Portal/Entry Point </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  14. 14. Sakai 3 at CSU - Use <ul><li>Likely to want same provisioning of sites, groups users for subject offerings </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible cohorts, dynamic groups native </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to need the same set of tools </li></ul><ul><li>In transition we may need to host some tools in a Sakai 2 instance and integrate the two instances </li></ul><ul><li>Lose none of the backend desired ‘ities’ </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible, pluggable options for back end services and integration </li></ul><ul><li>Better content management, sharing, authorisation </li></ul><ul><li>Better personalisation </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  15. 15. Sakai 3 at CSU - Use <ul><li>Confident Sakai 3 has an architecture that will meet these needs </li></ul><ul><li>Participating in Sakai 3 so our needs and experiences contribute to the range of experience influencing direction </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  16. 16. Sakai 3 and SOA <ul><li>Our application vendors are increasingly providing SOAP endpoints to their APIs </li></ul><ul><li>They are exposing data and units of functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Our integration server has SOAP endpoints to all its ‘flow services’ </li></ul><ul><li>We have an enterprise data model which will be increasingly able to provide real enterprise shared data through SOA services </li></ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 natively uses REST. We can create servlets which can map RESTful addresses into SOAP calls and return results </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  17. 17. Sakai 3 and SOA <ul><li>We can create representations of SOAP services in the JCR which could make them discoverable through standard Sakai 3 services </li></ul><ul><li>At the UI level our proxied SOAP services have the same addressability and calling conventions as native Sakai 3 content </li></ul><ul><li>Sakai 3 content is (subject to authorisation) able to be accessed through RESTful services by other systems </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  18. 18. Sakai 3 and Online Architecture <ul><li>Online Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation of online resources </li></ul><ul><li>By audience - eg students, prospects, staff, public </li></ul><ul><li>By content - eg disciplines, organisational structure </li></ul><ul><li>By workflow - eg enrol, make a payment </li></ul><ul><li>Personalised portal </li></ul><ul><li>Generic entry point - the front door </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  19. 19. Sakai 3 and Online Architecture <ul><li>Sakai 3 has the potential to do all these </li></ul><ul><li>But we’ll probably mix and match </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors may have portals that have off the shelf functionality that is compelling to specific audiences or content areas </li></ul><ul><li>But we’ll expect vendors to have similar front end back end separations of concern </li></ul><ul><li>And we’ll expect seamless integration across all portals </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  20. 20. Organisational IT Implications <ul><li>Need to develop client side skills </li></ul><ul><li>Need Identity Management to support authentication requirements between the back end and the front end </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ie single sign on needs to be able to pass through to content providers (eg Sakai 3 JCR) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expect more volatility in new client side applications </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially users mashing up our services with their own widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Security/Authorisation needs to be enforced at the back end resource entry point (the restful URL into the kernel), it can’t be left to the UI level </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”
  21. 21. Thank you <ul><li>Questions </li></ul>September 2009 AuSakai 09 - Bathurst, NSW, Australia “ Sakai as a Scholarly Environment: Pedagogy, Systems, Processes and Outcomes”

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