East Carolina University Onestop - Educause

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10 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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East Carolina
University Onestop

Leveraging Enterprise Portal Technology

Steven Forehand, Manager, NTDG


Who is East Carolina University?

Founded in 1907

Located in Greenville, North Carolina (about 80
miles south
east of Raleigh)

Approximately 22,000 enrolled students

Approximately 3,500 staff members.

Offers approximately 100 Bachelor degree
programs, 18 Masters degree programs, and 13
doctoral programs


for more.

Who am I?

Steven Forehand

Current Manager of the New Technologies
Development Group… more later…

Graduated from East Carolina University with a
B.S. in Computer Science

9+ years of software development experience

Been employed by ECU since 1997.

Who is the NTDG?

New Technologies Development Group

Resides with Software Development Services

Part of ECU’s Information Technology and
Computing Services (ITCS)

Consists of 3 distinct divisions with 14 total
employees… more later…

Primarily responsible for the investigation,
development and implementation of “newer”

NTDG Divisions

Investigation and Integration

3 dedicated staff,
development of Onestop portal

Application Development

6 dedicated staff,
development of applications

Web Initiatives and QA

4 dedicated staff,
main ECU website, usability and interface,
ADA, Quality Assurance

Each division has a project coordinator

NTDG in a “nutshell”

services applications


Portal infrastructure development

centered and administrative web applications

Design, development and implementation of
internet/intranet applications

Investigation of new technologies

The NTDG is mainly responsible for….

What is a “Onestop”?

Traditional Portal functionality

Addition of managed, secure software
development environment

Offers services for entire campus community
(i.e. students, staff, advisers, instructors, etc)

Designed and developed using Macromedia

For lack of better term… “Campus Portal”

Why Macromedia Coldfusion?

Minimal costs

CFML syntax is tag

No manual compile process for testing

Source can be encrypted

Short learning curve

Allows code reuse and extensibility

Custom tags (CFML and java based)

User defined functions (UDF)

External object calls



Why Macromedia Coldfusion?

Easy to manage application and session data within

IDE ColdFusion Studio and now Dreamweaver are
very user friendly

File Management (Visual SourceSafe) from within
ColdFusion Studio

Easy server administration

Simple database connectivity

Job/template scheduling

Clustering capability

Why Macromedia Coldfusion?

Large developer community provided excellent

Coding methodologies (fusebox)

Custom tags and code snippets

Answers to the rare question

Most legacy developers find syntax and concepts
easy to understand

ECU Onestop Development

Developed initially by a team of dedicated,
talented software developers

Provides service to the entire campus (ie
students, faculty, staff)

First University “portal” within the N.C.
University system

Was a lot of fun!

Develop? Why not purchase?

Evaluated packaged and open
source solutions
(i.e. Uportal)

Others did not offer the “entire” package

Functionality was somewhat limited

Some processes were unnecessarily difficult (i.e.
channel development)

Had a talented staff… could do it ourselves…
and better.

Is the Onestop successful?

Used by over 98% of students

Used by over 94% of staff and faculty

Over 15,000,000 logins by 82,000 unique visitors
since 2000

Strong campus support

Recently selected over Sungard/SCT Luminis …
more later…

Nearly zero maintenance

Requires little funding

SCT Luminis vs ECU Onestop

ECU recently purchased Sungard/SCT Banner
Enterprise solution.

After analysis, Onestop chosen over SCT Luminis as
campus “portal”

ECU Onestop 100% compatible with SCT Banner
(including self
service applications)

ZERO functionality loss with selection of Onestop
over Luminis…

Onestop better financial decision (ie maintenace,
support, etc)

Onestop will work with ANY campus’ SCT Banner
implementation (or other ERP solution)


Servers use 128
bit SSL security for HTTP

ECU Onestop requires login by University
userid and passphrase

Servers located behind several firewalls

Hardware clustering solution offers better
performance and security

Datasources are located behind firewall

To date, no major hacks

ECU Onestop Login Process

Go to

Login using University email userid and

Login verified

Roles and permissions are established

Session created

Access granted! Have fun

Roles and Group Permissions

Roles and permissions are determined
dynamically according to University databases

Can be member of large groups (i.e. student,
employee, adviser, instructor, etc)

Can be member of small group (i.e. specific
department, job class, student class, etc)

Permissions can be given to an individual

Roles and Group Permissions

Content and applications based on roles or
combination of roles

Dynamic roles allow “instant” access to
applications and content

Dynamic roles require very little maintenance

Allows creation of traditional, maintained

ECU Onestop “Tabs”

Sections of the portal content are accessed through

Each tab contains user specific and customizable

Not all tabs are available to all users

ECU Onestop “Tabs”


first tab encountered, channelized content
with login area

My Page

traditional “portal” with channelized,
personal content


personalized applications available to users


“snapshot” of current user


threaded discussion, chat


one click access to University email system

Have it your way

Look and feel entirely customized by user

Themes change the look (graphics) of all
content including individual applications

My Page channels can be selected and arranged

Channels can be “forced”

Again, content and applications available are
based on “roles”

Applications Available

Course grades and schedules

Course catalogs

Course registration

Tuition payments

Parking Citations and Appeals (interacts with T2

Various surveys (i.e. DE Survey, Adviser Survey, etc)


A sample of typical “student” applications or “tools”….

Applications Available

Advisee listing

including contact information and schedules

Course rosters

including contact information and schedules

Service Request

View pay check information

Faculty and Staff training

Publications database

Academic difficulty reports


A sample of typical applications offered to advisers,
instructors, employees, etc.

Applications Available

Employment opportunities

Campus Directory / People Search

Register vehicle and purchase permit

Majors and degrees

Course catalog

Graduation and honors listing

A sample of typical applications offered to all (or
most) users…

Application Development

“Portal” and internal applications written in

APIs provided for formatting, data elements,
and business logic.

“Portal” and internal applications written using
Fusebox development methodology

Rapid Application Development

Questions to ask ourselves

What do others have that we want?

What do they not have that we want?

What technologies are available for doing what
we want?

Is it feasible to make this work within our

Is it worth the effort?

What’s missing? Changes?

Dynamic content formatting

Currently, each channel or app is responsible for

Theme settings passed to apps for formatting

Multiple display types established at the application


cell phones

Consistency is hard to maintain

What’s missing? Changes?

Reusable code

Currently, some reusable code is stored in CF
Custom Tags and UDFs

Not efficient

Duplicate code in various channels / apps is difficult to

Adaptability to other channel standards

Advanced Proxy capability

What’s missing? Changes?

Single Sign
On capability

Interaction with JMS (i.e. SCT LDI)

Greater use of web services to syndicate data for
external and internal sites.

Portal Standards

Investigating three

JSR 168 Portlet Spec

SIG channel archive (educational market)

Web Services for Remote Portals (WSRP)

As always, improved performance

Moving Forward…

“Version 2”

Single Sign


Expanded development API

Environment controlled content rather and
application controlled

Full support of SCT Banner solution

Macromedia “Blackstone” or CF version 7.0

Expanded Channel architecture support

Expectations with “Version 2”

Will be based on Macromedia MX 7.0 platform.

Will be “object” based

Better support for external applications (i.e.
Banner, Blackboard, T2, etc.) not based on

Better support of industry standards

Fall 2005 “beta” release

Possible package and licensing for marketing

So… how does it work?

Live Demo… Keep our fingers crossed!