MISLine Exposing Student Records Paul Walk January 2004

MISLine Exposing Student Records Paul Walk January 2004

MISLine Exposing Student Records Paul Walk January 2004 Contents MISLine version 1 MISLine version 2 current development

future development Context University of North London, 1999 SITS Student Record System (SRS) locally installed thick client required steadily increasing number of users The Problem

limit of <100 concurrent client connections maintaining locally installed client (upgrades) complexity of client (training, support) Proposal form cross-team project MIS Team

knowledge of SITS database SQL/Oracle development skills understanding of user-requirements Intranet Services Team web application development skills and infrastructure expertise with web-database solutions SQL skills

develop read-only web-interface for SRS call the new web application MISLine Solution Oracle custom tables and views added to SITS Database database connection-pooling

ColdFusion server side scripting HTML 3.2 Javascript (mainly for input validation) MISLine Screenshot Outcome responsive, intuitive web application

large user-base requiring no support very positive feedback increased information transparency - exposed lack of accuracy in data even users who needed to use the thick client adopted MISLine for some tasks Context London Metropolitan University, 2002

merger of University of North London with London Guildhall University to form London Metropolitan University two campuses: North and City SITS used by both legacy institutions MISLine for North Campus records only New Problems

SITS databases merged, but not completely no equivalent of MISLine for City Campus issues with existing MISLine: hundreds of unidentified users using generic departmental accounts - no auditing unsecured browser connections not designed to be redeployed

becoming dated (HTML 3.2) Proposal form cross-team, cross-campus project develop new MISLine for City Campus reuse tables/views/SQL from existing MISLine develop new business logic components in Java to expose student records as XML

develop new presentation layer to transform XML into XHTML Introduce user and role-based authentication and authorisation. call the new web application MISLine 2 Solution Oracle existing custom tables and views added to SITS Database

Clustered J2EE web application: Javabeans components producing XML JSP + Jakarta tag libraries Stylesheets (XSL and CSS) Java Authentication & Authorisation Services (JAAS) LDAP based authentication and authorisation Clustered & load-balanced Tomcat servers Apache & SSL

Software Server Products: Development tools and libraries:

Redhat Linux 9 Apache web server v2.0 Tomcat application server v4.1 JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL) v1.1 Open SSL v0.9 Openldap v2.1 Java JDK 1.4 Eclipse IDE v2.1 JEdit v4.2 Mozilla v1.4 JDOM v0.9 Extensive use of open-source software. Everything listed here is free! MISLine2 Screenshot

XML Record

Outcome

launched Dec 2003 after extensive beta-testing feedback so far very positive has proven the viability of: JAAS & LDAP for user/role-based authentication & authorisation

clustering & load-balancing Tomcat servers XML & XSLT in web-applications - performance some spinoffs: java/xml components reused to propogate new student useraccounts from SRS to various systems (e.g. library system, WebCT, email system). Current Developments reusing Javabean components to form JSR168 portlets to allow students to see their own records in a student portal. redeploying Javabean components with a Web Services layer, providing:

Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) portlets components in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Flexible components Future Developments re-use Javabeans for IMS Enterprise transactions to form core components for an MLE. Some preliminary development work done with linking SRS to WebCT using IMS API. re-use MISLine 2 framework with other

datasources. Plans to use this approach to provide student/staff access to timetables & room booking information in CMIS system. Ideal Future Vendors provide Web Services for their products, so we dont have to. MIS Vendors adopt standards, especially IMS.

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