Thursday, 8 May 2008

Together we will find a way

Well it has been an interesting week with a meeting with Corporate Information and the team working on the university MyPortal project. As Sam and I were talking to the team it was obvious that there was some overlap in the work being done and that, theoretically at least, portlets could sit within both the MyPortal and Support Point. However there were some very obvious, and already acknowledged issues.
MyPortal can not deal with non university linked stakeholders (i.e. college support staff, employers, mentors etc) this is partly due to the fact that it is heavily designed to support Staffordshire University learners and tutors and partly due to the licensing agreement for the backend system. Another main influencing factor is the lack of technology to support Personalised Fedorated Access - along with the need for each institution involved to understand their existing Identity Management. The Support Point has been able to work around this, as it is opensource and we have given users the ability to self register if they sit outside Staffordshire University. There are also combined resource limitations between the two teams.
It was interesting to see the University view and how feedback was handled between the university and the MyPortal team, and to see what portlets they have developed / are developing. We have offered to pass on any portlets they might find useful - including the ones designed around the repository. They have already been able to link users to groups by faculty/award/ module for targeted announcements (something we are looking at) but the biggest step forward is the agreement on both sides to see if we can link together so if a user has signed on to one system and they go to the other, they do not have to sign on again. It seems small steps forward is the answer.

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