[Deploying Sakai] Temporarily disabling tools

John Leasia jleasia at umich.edu
Wed Dec 9 06:13:55 PST 2009

I thought some might be interested in knowing that we are using a tool 
disabler capability added locally to shut down certain tools during high 
load periods. The tool disabler was developed by Noah, Matt and Savitha 
here. It can turn off a particular tool or tools on the fly, and then 
turn them back on. The user sees a default page, or any tool turned off 
can have a custom page presented.

During our heaviest usage period at end of term, when end of term course 
evaluations are open, we have turned off the Users present display (by 
turning off sakai.presence). Attached is a screenshot of the custom page 
sakai.presence now shows. We also have sakai.sitebrowser turned off as 
that tool has caused performance problems in the past, and we haven't 
yet had a chance to load test some improvements.

Disabling a tool doesn't require a restart. The UI is pretty basic, but 
we don't expect to use it much. Here at UM, part of planning for 
increased load due to flu induced high usage was to be able to turn off 
a tool if it was causing problems in order to keep the system up. If the 
campus had to shut down but continue course delivery, we might have to 
reduce the tool set in order to keep the system up was the thinking.

A tool is disabled by going to a particular page and entering something 
like the following into a text entry field
    - id: sakai.sitebrowser
    - id: sakai.presence

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