Sessions at Open Apereo 2013 Conference (Jasig & Sakai) about Developing on Wednesday 5th June Main Sessions, Showcase Demos

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  • A node.js module for CAS validation

    by James Marca

    A node.js module for CAS validation #

    This talk will present our node.js module for leveraging a CAS single
    signon service. The module is open source and available on GitHub, and
    we would love to see wider adoption and use of the module. Node.js is a
    new-ish server platform that is gaining in popularity because it is
    based on JavaScript.

    We needed to write our own node.js module to integrate with the
    [Express] (http://expressjs.com/) web framework because at the time none
    of the other available modules enabled single sign off. We started with
    a simple service that verified whether a user was logged in to the CAS
    server, and gradually expanded its functionality.

    While the focus of the presentation will be on describing our CAS
    client, a broader goal is to introduce node.js to an audience who may be
    familiar with client-side JavaScript, but not with server-side.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Opal, The Westin San Diego

  • Beyond Putting Lipstick on the Pig

    by Francesca Socolick

    At its core, usability practices are implemented to gain a better understanding of a user's behaviors, rather than preferences, within an application. This presentation will focus on what user experience is, some easy low-cost methods to gather and analyze data, and how solid UX practices make for good design. Participants will see a glimpse of data gathered during research, wireframes, and the reasoning behind NYU's decisions behind skin and user interface updates/changes within Sakai CLE 2.8. After this session, attendees will have a better understanding of how engaging their users may lead to better and more meaningful design choices for their institutions.

    This presentation is for anyone who supports an open source platform within his or her institution and would like to have a better understanding of how an application is used in terms of providing 1) better documentation 2) better training 3) better redesigns.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • BOF: Upgrading Sakai CLE from 2.6+ to 2.9 without going insane

    by Charles Hasegawa, Aaron Zeckoski and Lydia Li

    Stanford just upgraded from Sakai CLE 2.6 to 2.9. We also migrated hundreds of local customizations including new features, locally built tools, UX improvements and tweaks, and SIS integrations. We'll discuss our experiences and pain points. Hopefully it will be an opportunity for all to learn how to do an upgrade while managing a massive number of local customizations.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Gaslamp, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage slide deck

  • uMobile Panel Discussion: Why do we even need this mobile stuff and where is it headed?

    by Eric Goldman and Matthew Polizzotti

    This will be a panel discussion about uMobile and what has happened since the last conference, where we are today, and where do we want to go in the future. If you have any interest in uMobile or mobilizing your portal, then this discussion is for you.
    We would like to engage in a meaningful discussion on how uMobile might be used throughout the Apero portfolio of applications as well and how can we support that effort moving forward.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Pearl, The Westin San Diego

  • BOF: Accessibility in Apereo. Where are we at and where do we want to be?

    by Gonzalo Silverio and Neal Caidin

    This is a Birds of a Feather (BOF). The purpose is to gather together across the Apereo panoply of activities all that are interested in accessibility for a frank exchange on the subject as it affects our "products". Hope to discuss what challenges we face now, where do we want to see our offerings in terms of a11y in the future and what strategies can we pursue together towards those goals.

    Some other more specific possibilities to discuss are:

    1. pooling of resources (a11y education, development, testing, user assistance) across Apereo
    2. pursuing a11y certification from some organization

    But this is a BOF - so all subjects are open to discussion.

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Gaslamp, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Programming for Performance

    by Cris Holdorph

    The web continues to grow. Users continue to adopt our web applications in remarkable numbers. Then our application stops working correctly. We have hit a performance problem. Suddenly, we have to derail current application development to address critical performance problems in our production system.

    Handling performance problems after the code has already gone to production is a problem. It impacts users and it impacts current application development. It would be better if we could learn to write code that does not have performance problems to begin with.

    This session will show some common coding performance problems. We will try to give developers a set of tips and possibly design patterns to consider using as they do their application development. This session will focus on the Java Programming language. Many of the examples shown in this session could be applied to other programming environments.

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • RESTful CAS: Leveraging CAS to Protect RESTful Resources and Support Non-browser Clients

    by David Ohsie, Vijayanand Bharadwaj and John Field

    CAS has a wonderfully simply protocol for delegated authentication and single-signon for browser based access to web applications. However, the same protocol may stymie the non-browser and programmatic clients commonly found in RESTful architectures. The CAS login form is fine for humans behind a browser, but programmatic clients and human users using non-browser interfaces such as a CLI (Command Line Interface) and, to some degree, AJAX clients will face difficulties. Such clients may avail themselves of the CAS RESTful login interface, but only if they know in advance to exactly when pre-authenticate; otherwise they will be unexpectedly and unwittingly be forwarded to the CAS login screen and fail.

    Our approach transforms some CAS protocol 200 and 302 responses to 401 responses and makes navigating CAS protected REST interfaces a cinch. We prove this with a demonstration: accessing a CAS-protected REST endpoint with a single cURL command.

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Opal, The Westin San Diego

  • BOF: The Technical Side of Sakai at a Mid-Sized University

    by Paul Dagnall and David Bauer

    The purpose of this session is to create a forum for discussing the technical side of installing and maintaining Sakai at a mid-sized university. The University of Dayton (7,500 undergraduates) will give a brief overview of their journey implementing Sakai with a staff of 2 developers and 3 E-Learning Specialists, and will discuss some of the challenges they have faced since Sakai's adoption. The floor will then open for an exchange of ideas about technical practices and strategies related to Sakai.

    The discussion will be broken into two main areas, Infrastructure and Development Practices. Topics will include (but are not limited to):


    • Diagnosing and reporting on performance issues related to inadequate hardware
    • Expanding from a single application server to a VMware cluster
    • Moving binary content out of a database and onto a file server
    • Offsite DR

    Development Practices

    • Upgrading with several local customs
    • Applying individual community patches vs. upgrading

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Gaslamp, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage slide deck

  • Practical Monitoring, Tuning and Troubleshooting of Sakai CLE

    by Michael DeSimone and Brooke Biltimier

    Supporting a Sakai CLE instance in production is a mixture between theoretical and empirical data gathering. Often it is only under production loads that certain application behaviors exhibit themselves.

    When complaints start coming in about slow performance, error reports, and other undesirable outcomes, what should you do first? We will look at several areas that have been very useful in identifying and resolving these issues.

    rSmart supports several dozen clients in their hosting environment in Phoenix, AZ running at various loads, configurations and integrations. This varied environment has provided fertile ground in which to hone the craft of application monitoring, problem analysis and remediation.

    We will review some of the techniques used in our day to day operations to support the expanding resource needs of Sakai as more and more students and faculty log on. How to triage, what metrics to analyze and what tools are available for this will be presented.

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Apereo OAE - Architectural Overview

    by Nicolaas Matthijs, Stuart Freeman, Simon Gaeremynck, Bert Pareyn and Branden Visser

    How does Apereo OAE work? Its architecture has been changed dramatically in the last year in an attempt to resolve a number of outstanding performance and production problems. The project now targets a much higher scale and a multi-tenant cloud-compatible deployment model, where a single installation can host multiple institutions at the same time.

    This presentation will provide an overview of the different components and technologies that are being used, as well as details around deploying and configuring OAE and its associated running costs.

    We will also provide a summary of the approach used for continuous nightly performance testing and how we are validating the desired (horizontal) scalability. Details around back-end and UI unit testing, code coverage and security testing will be shared and contribution models for service development and UI development will be discussed as well.

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Crystal II, The Westin San Diego

  • Going Mobile in uPortal

    by Dave Derderian

    As of uPortal 4.0, mobile has been a big focus and now gives end users a nice mobile view when accessing uPortal on their mobile phones and tablets.

    This session will cover:

    • uPortal Mobile Overview / Functionality
    • Basic customization to the main uPortal view to look like your school / institution
    • Add / Remove devices that use mobile views
    • Incorporating mobile views into older portlets.
    • Mobile App vs Mobile Web

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Pearl, The Westin San Diego

  • Swap the Engine without Stopping the Car: A Sakai CLE Infrastructure Replacement Project

    by Jeff Cousineau and Beth Kirschner

    During the academic year spanning 2011 and 2012, the Sakai-based "CTools" service at the University of Michigan underwent an infrastructure overhaul - a complete rebuild of the service platform from the ground up. Recognizing the importance and priority of the Teaching & Learning suite of services in support of the academic and research missions of the university, a monumental effort was required to bring the CTools infrastructure in line with strategic technical and organizational directions for IT at the University of Michigan. An 18-month timeline was required from initial project proposal to completion of post-deployment stabilization tasks.

    This presentation will cover a high-level overview of a number of topics including:

    • Service background & history
    • Rationale for changes
    • Architecture decisions
    • Implementation overview
    • Communications planning & scheduling
    • Development impact
    • Capacity & performance testing
    • DRBC
    • Deployment
    • Successes and challenges
    • Stabilization
    • Where we are now
    • Lessons learned
    • Monitoring & Diagnostic Tools

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond II, The Westin San Diego

  • Using Sakai with Multiple Locales

    by Cris Holdorph and Phillip Ball

    Sakai is now in use all over the world. Many institutions use Sakai in a language other then English. Sakai is very configurable and able to support localization in a variety of different locales. There are still challenges, however, if you try to support multiple locales in the same Sakai server at the same time.

    This session will quickly introduce the topic of localization in Sakai to those who might not be familiar with how it is done. The session will then turn its focus on the problems that come up when you try to support multiple locales in the same Sakai system at the same time.

    Some of the topics that will be covered:

    • Date / Time problems
    • Grading Scales
    • Non-property file localization (.xml, .html)
    • Roles
    • Site Types

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • ElasticSearch: You know, for Search

    by John Bush

    Elasticsearch is an Open Source (Apache 2), Distributed, RESTful, Search Engine built on top of Apache Lucene. Its was designed from the ground up to be cloud friendly. This session will explore the migration of Sakai's search system to an embedded ElasticSearch solution. The fundamentals of deploying and using ElasticSearch will be discussed in a way that is useful for any project that might need its capabilities.

    Elasticsearch is designed to scale out horizontally. As such its being used in production on top of huge datasets. Our experiences tuning the system for typical data sets experienced with Sakai will be presented.

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • InCommon Identity Assurance Profiles

    by Benjamin Oshrin

    The InCommon Identity Assurance Profiles (IAPs) are designed to provide a mechanism by which service providers can have more confidence in the integrity of the authentication services they rely on, especially in a federated environment. The InCommon Bronze and Silver Profiles have been approved for Federal LOA1 and LOA2 assurance.

    This session will provide an overview of the IAPs, an update on recent developments, a discussion of what impacts compliance may have on your IT infrastructure, and a preview of what service providers may introduce assurance requirements in the future.

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Topaz, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Lightning Presentations: Developing

    Join us for fast, fun presentations about developing for Apereo and open-source projects. Each presentation is 5-7 minutes. Learn from your peers about new tools, new developments, and other strategies and techniques.

    WANT TO PRESENT? Sign up at the conference registration desk or at http://bitly.com/apereo-talks -- spaces are limited so sign up quickly!

    At 4:45pm to 5:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • Showcase Night Reception

    by Fred Dixon, Jesus Federico, Owen Hall Jr, Janice Smith, Shoji Kajita, Jacques Raynauld, Teggin Summers, Lynn Ward, Marc Zaldivar, Yuji Tokiwa, Yuki Yamada, Robert Long, Mike Grady, Josh Baron, Sandeep Jayaprakash, Cris Holdorph, Jim Helwig, Daniel McCallum, Russ Little, Patty Wolfe, Yitna Firdyiwek, Tim Sigmon, Drew Wills, Beth Kirschner, John Johnston, Gonzalo Silverio, Patrick Haggood, Chris Kretler, Misagh Moayyed, Adam Hauerwas and David Hirsch

    BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for on-line learning. The goal of the project is to enable remote students to have a high-quality learning experience.
    We'll be demonstrating updates to the latest version of BigBlueButton (especially the advancements in record and playback) and its integration with Sakai CLE through the Sakai Meeting Tool.

    Creating a Self-Paced Statistics Course using Sakai CLE and eBooks
    Management education has come a long way since Sir Isaac Pitman initiated the first correspondence course in the early 1840's. Today, management education is under growing pressure to rethink its methods for sharing knowledge, encouraging engagement with content, and creating learning opportunities. In this demo, I'll share our progress creating new online course modules to teach the fundamentals of statistics for graduate business students in a completely self-paced online environment. Come to learn how we've combined learning modules, eBooks, Tests & Quizzes, and conditional release mechanisms to guide students on their learning path. I also invite developers within the Sakai CLE community to see how professors are using these tools and the challenges we still face creating fluid learning paths for our students in a fully self-paced model - where we as instructor provide the knowledge and learning activities, and students can engage at the time, place, and on whatever device is most convenient for them.

    Demonstration of ePortfolios Using Sakai
    Members of the Open Source Portfolio (OSP) Community will demonstrate the Open Source Portfolio tools in Sakai and be available to answer functional and technical questions about using portfolios in Sakai. OSP Community members from a variety of institutions and open source portfolio vendors will participate in this technical demonstration. In addition, participants from the Portfolios for the Future of Sakai project will be available to demonstrate new portfolio functionality that has been LTI-enabled for integration into the Sakai CLE and eventually Sakai OAE. This demo is suitable for all levels of interest and expertise in portfolios. Individual members of the community will work one-on-one with anyone who stops by the tech demo to answer questions or suggest solutions related to the use of portfolios.

    Japan Sakai ( Ja Sakai ): An education practice by handwritten answer sheets with a Saka CLE
    A paper-based instructional method was reconsidered to integrate with a Sakai CLE. Entering the 2000s, Information Technology (IT) was introduced to many universities to support an effective instruction. One of IT solutions to support a class was realized as classroom management systems, not by CMSs like Sakai CLE. It seems to be the reason that HTML editors on Web based CMSs might not allow both instructors and students easily to draw freehand stuffs like equations, charts and illustrations. But classroom management systems require special devices like Tablet PCs and force instructors to perform complex system operations. To support handwriting in a class, this system was developed with a key concept as "No special devices in a class". That is using papers in a class and digitizing the papers after a class to be stored in a Sakai CLE.

    Kaltura Sakai Integration Demo
    Managing media (video, audio, images, etc.) for a campus is a complex task. Kaltura provides a solution for encoding and storage of media content which integrates with many popular platforms like Sakai. Come see a demo of the Sakai Kaltura integration for CLE.

    New functionality and features in the Shibboleth Identity Provider
    Unicon will have added some new functionality to the Shibboleth Identity Provider (IdP) 2.4 version, due to be out this spring. New options for the NotBefore condition, an example responsive login page, and easy way to hook into Google Analytics to track the use of your SSO/Identity Provider service. Plus the Shib dev team is adding some logout functionality, and perhaps a few other things. May also include a demo of using web flow to add to the Shibboleth login flow, and/or using/integrating a Social-to-SAML gateway into the IdP.

    Open Learning Analytics for Sakai
    The Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI) has developed an open-source academic early alert system using Sakai and Pentaho, an open-source Business Intelligence tool, designed to identify students who are at risk to not complete their courses? successfully and then deploy an intervention intended to help the student succeed. This Showcase will demonstrate the different components of the OAAI system, including the predictive model that has been built and is available under an open license.

    Pearson International MyLabs
    Pearson International has built a new online learning platform for their non-English markets using Sakai. This technical demonstration will focus on showing a highly customized version of Sakai 2.9.x intended for use by multiple international regions. Some of the interesting features include a custom gradebook, brand new locale friendly date / time pickers, extensive use of lesson builder and basic LTI tools.

    Portal Integration with Enterprise Applications at UW-Madison
    The My UW-Madison campus portal provides applicants, students and staff with a an easy personalized gateway to many enterprise applications. Students can view their class schedule, grades and links to course resources including LMS pages, text book lists, library e-reserves, instructor office hours, etc. Faculty can access their course list and rosters and manage their course resources. Advisors can see the list of their assigned advisees, access student records and view advising reports. Staff can view their list of enrolled benefits, access their earnings and tax statements and update their personal information. These portlets are implemented in uPortal and integrate with multiple PeopleSoft installations and other enterprise applications.

    Student Success Plan (SSP) Functional Demo
    Click through the Student Success Plan (SSP) application. Institutions seek ways to help their students meet their goals and graduate on time. Students may face obstacles in their academic and personal lives which prevent them from meeting their goals. The Student Success Plan (SSP) helps students remove these obstacles, positively impacting student success. Through SSP, coaches, counselors, and advisors identify student challenges and match students with the resources they need to excel.

    Electronic Course Layout and Presentation System (eCLPS)
    Building upon UVa?s interactive syllabus functionality, we have developed pre-configured site templates to streamline instructor options for structuring and delivering course content. Site templates utilize the Lessons tool as the primary locus for delivery of site content and activities to students. Tools in which actual activities are created are hidden from students in order to direct their access to content and activities from a central source in the site. We refer to this model of site organization as the Electronic Course Layout and Presentation System (eCLPS). This demo will showcase the site templates and CKeditor enhancements that support this model of course content presentation and delivery.

    uPortal & Apereo Portlets Demo
    Come see a recent uPortal adoption or upgrade and learn about how to use Apereo portlets effectively to provide a compelling campus portal experience on a tight deadline.

    User Experience Improvements at the University of Michigan
    The University of Michigan has developed or deployed several user interface changes that provide the Sakai user with a more informed or more intuitive experience:
    1. Replaced the default Sakai gateway site with an HTML page leveraging rotating announcements, surveys, system announcements and links to additional help.
    2. Improved the Site Template creation process to reduce the number if decisions & clicks in site creation from 10-40 clicks to only 5-8 clicks, as well as help academic departments to standardize the tools and content within course, project and other site types.
    3. Improve the layout of the site tools page in the site creation workflow to provide categories and a complete revamped user interface that's more intuitive and easy to navigate.
    All changes have been checked into the Sakai codebase and will be available in a future release of Sakai.

    Using CAS and Grouper Web Services in a .NET Application
    Demonstration of a CASified .NET application making use of Grouper web services to determine access privileges rightly against the .NET authorization framework. Incidentally, a demonstration of CAS server, with some delving into the services registry, changing the relevant registration, and realizing different attributes/behaviors resultingly.

    Using Evaluations for Elections
    The Evaluations Tool is a Swiss Army knife of functions, and can be intimidating at first. But it is also very powerful in its approach to collecting data. With rSmart's help, we used the Evaluations Tool at Providence College for an innovative purpose: Student Congress Elections. Students were enrolled by class year into sites, and then the Evaluations Dashboard provided "one person, one vote" in elections. This allowed for the election to span two days, giving students the convenience to vote on-line and an easy way to report results.

    Yale Contributions & Customizations (Sign-up, Messages, Placement Exams, Current Courses)
    Yale programmers will demo four tools that we have built or customized for use on our campus and beyond. The Sign-up tool has been offered as a contrib tool since 2008, and is widely used to manage signing up for office hours, study sessions, or other events. Oxford and Michigan have recently added functionality for attendance tracking and iCal export. Yale's version of the Messages tool adds a re-designed addressing interface, autosave to drafts folder, and the email list functionality currently available in Email Archive. We've completed initial work on a Placement Exam extension of Tests & Quizzes, allowing departments to create algorithms that place students in appropriate courses based on test performance. Finally, we will demo our customized version of Columbia's "My Courses" tool, which has substantially decreased the user support load at the start of each term.

    At 6:00pm to 7:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Emerald Ballroom, The Westin San Diego