Forum .LRN Q&A: Response to Info on other academic portals

Posted by Caroline Meeks on
uPortal has a station inside the Sun Booth.  I spoke with a representative there who said that some other open source course management projects were also working on connecting up with uPortal.  He also stated they are working on a web services based channel implementation to support non-java channels.  That is good news for the future but probably in the short run it will be faster for us to use ns_java then wait for them to finish their Web Services interface.

I also stopped by the Campus Pipeline booth.  They are using uPortal as their top level portal to integrate their various products.  When you look at the first page of the demo at their booth you see uPortal. If you drill into a class you see another page that looks like a portal page but is actually powered by a content management system not uPortal.  Their top level page did not have as broad or deep aggregation of group data as SloanSpace’s mySpace.

Integration with uPortal seems to fall along a continuum described as:

1.    A link to the other site requiring an additional login. - Princeton’s site seems to have many of these to legacy systems including Blackboard and Oracle’s WebDB

2.    A link with single login - Blackboard is now supporting this level

3.    A link to each class, similar to the myGroups portlet - Cal Poly used Blackboards APIs to create this and everyone seemed impressed.

4.    MyGroups plus group announcements brought to the top level - WebCT is supporting this level.

5.    Use of uPortal as the entry user interface for the system - Campus Pipeline. My guess is this was much cheaper then building their own portal system.

UPortal is involved with standards creation for Portals.  I am supposed to be getting more links on that in email and will post.  As a long range vision: If the rewrite of new-portals is a move towards industry standards then developers for different implementations of dotLRN could fairly easily vary the level of integration with uPortal, or even a commercial portal system that supported standards, to meet the needs of their specific organization.