[Deploying Sakai] Sakai Course Management

Jason Shao (CampusEAI Consortium) jason_shao at campuseai.org
Fri Nov 20 06:31:10 PST 2009


You might want to look at the work in Sakora – while targeted at IMS’s LIS spec, the JMS based message approach might be a good fit for integration with a SIF zone server, similar to the way it was recently leveraged to allow flat-file uploads (in the short term, actually, you may want to look at that, though the file format is *really* close to Sakai’s internal model).

I for one thing SIF integration would be highly useful for Sakai in looking at K-12, possibly even Higher-Ed given the number of say teacher’s colleges that look to do work with various local schools. I wonder if this is something that Josh Baron (cc:d) might have thoughts on given his background and Marist’s involvement with K-12.


On 11/20/09 9:13 AM, "Paul Ross" <Paul.Ross at bexleyschools.org> wrote:

We are planning to write a small ColdFusion application to bridge the interface with Sakai and Powerschool.  Eventually it will bridge Sakai and a SIF integration server.  Are the course and user management components accessible via a webservice?  Do you know if there is a published data schema/data dictionary?

From: Steve Swinsburg [steve.swinsburg at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 5:57 PM
To: Paul Ross
Cc: production at collab.sakaiproject.org
Subject: Re: [Deploying Sakai] Sakai Course Management

Your best bet would be to write a Quartz job that will talk to your SIS, get the data and load it into Sakai. You can schedule these similar to a cron job.

It will be far easier to use the Sakai API's as there are many interconnected tables and things will get out of sync quickly if you do it manually. You can inject the dependencies via Spring, see here for a simple example:

You can actually checkout that whole package and build it (adjust the parent pom though). This isn't a SIS integration but you can see how it works. This is also a neat way to keep your quartz scripts separate from the actual Sakai quartz bundle (where you can also put them).

This is how I've done integrations with SIS's in the past, it's very straight forward.


On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:00 AM, Paul Ross <Paul.Ross at bexleyschools.org> wrote:
Two questions for the brains trust.

Q1. I have reviewed the course management documentation and everything points to using the API to provide for an enterprise integration with a SIS.  I do not have the staff to leverage the API, however we can compose scripts to integrate Sakai with our SIS.  Can someone please point us in the right direction to find documents detailing the database schema and the course, user import/update process?  We have done this previously with another system and are aware that changes will be needed for new DB releases, but this is something we can do. We have used the inbuilt interface so far however need to move to an automated process for efficiency and to minimize complexity for teachers.

Assistance with this issue will enable us to achieve a secondary objective, that is to create a community document detailing how Sakai can be installed and maintained in a K-12 environment.  So far we have documented our experience installing Sakai successfully in a Windows 2008 MySQL 64 bit environment.  Our next challenge is to integrate Sakai with PowerSchool and document a K-12 configuration.

Q2. We have used the internal interface provided to add a few courses and students however the name of the course displayed makes no sense if you are using institutional codes (course code, subject, section codes, term ID).  Is there an option or database field to use a common course name?

Any assistance would be appreciated.


Paul Ross
Paul Ross (Technology Director - Bexley City Schools)
Email: Paul.Ross at bexleyschools.org <mailto:Paul.Ross at bexleyschools.org>  Phone: 614-231-7611 ext 5313

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