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Buy, Build, or Open Source The Portal at UW-Madison. Jack Duwe Deputy CIO [email protected] September 24, 2003. MUM: My UW-Madison. Current status Technical environment How we got here Why we chose to purchase Pluses and minuses Plans for the future. MUM Current Status. Populations

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Buy, Build, or Open SourceThe Portal at UW-Madison

Jack Duwe

Deputy CIO

[email protected]

September 24, 2003


MUM: My UW-Madison

  • Current status

  • Technical environment

  • How we got here

  • Why we chose to purchase

  • Pluses and minuses

  • Plans for the future


MUM Current Status

  • Populations

    • 40,000 students

    • 20,000 staff

  • Roles:

    • Student

    • Faculty/Staff

    • Advisor

    • Instructor

    • A person can have more than one role


MUM Current Status (cont’d)

  • Applications

    • Peoplesoft Student Administration

    • WebCT and Desire2Learn

    • SunONE Mail

    • Oracle Calendar

    • Library applications (Endeavor/Voyager, et al)

    • Print distribution (Cypress)

    • Lots of small ones (e.g. Lost and Found)


MUM Current Status (cont’d)

  • Usage

    • 60,000 active users

    • 50,000 logins per day

    • 700+ peak concurrent users

    • 2.5 M web hits per day

    • 100% increase from last year


Technical Environment

  • Epicentric (now Vignette) framework

  • Java development environment

  • LDAP authentication

  • LDAP role-based authorization

    • To get to tabs and applications

  • Connections to back-end services

    • Via proxy, API, or “screen-scraping”


Technical Environment (cont’d)


How we Got Here

  • 1999: Project initiated

    • Formed user advisory council

    • Joined JA-SIG uPortal discussion

    • Evaluated marketplace

  • 2000: Implemented MUM (pilot)

    • Bought Epicentric infrastructure

    • Demos all over campus

    • Advisory council debates and decisions!

    • Developed needed features

    • Implemented MUM for a pilot student group


How we Got Here (cont’d)

  • 2001: Full production

    • 40,000 students

    • Many standard functions

  • 2002: Expanded production

    • 20,000 Faculty and staff

    • Advisor role

    • Web registration

      • Replaced touchtone registration

  • 2003: Instructor role


Why we chose to purchase

  • We could demonstrate immediately

    • No one knew what a portal could do!

    • A portal is not primarily a computer issue

      • It’s a people issue!

  • We could implement quickly

  • The software existed!


Pluses

  • We got up quickly

  • We have a system that runs

  • There are support engineers we can call

  • Epicentric’s only business was the portal

  • We can modify the source

  • New features and versions


Minuses

  • There is no such thing as BUYING a portal!

    • You buy AND develop!

  • Lack of higher ed perspective

  • Epicentric bought out by Vignette

    • Product still the same (that’s good)

    • Upgrade prices are up

    • An uncertain future


Plans for the Future

  • New roles

    • Departments

  • new populations

    • Applicants for admission

  • new modules

    • E-grading


Plans for the Future (cont’d)

  • Evaluating framework options:

    • Upgrade to current Epicentric version

    • PeopleSoft portal

    • uPortal

    • Decision likely this winter.


Buy, Build, or Open SourceThe Portal at UW-Madison

Jack Duwe

Deputy CIO

[email protected]

September 24, 2003


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