Posts Tagged ‘Web service’

Update + Save the date for our dissemination

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Hello all,

Although we have been a bit quiet on both the twitter and  blog front, we are still working hard behind the scenes. I thought I would do a quick update just to let you know how we’re currently getting on. Firstly, we are currently organising our dissemination event! We have it planned out for Monday 29th October. We will be releasing some more information about the content of the event very soon but for now please pop this in your diaries.

Furthermore, we are also working on writing the training strategy for the project. We have a lot of training in the pipeline and we need to organise how we’re going present this, whilst also planning for the upkeep of training after the project has finished. Once we have implemented the workflow into iPaMS there will need to be brand new training for the users so we are looking into this whilst we write the strategy. Currently all the users in iPaMS have had module training; this has included a range of documentation, video and training sessions to teach them how to add and edit modules in iPaMS. We are currently also working towards designing and producing programme training as users will soon be able to start entering programme data into iPaMS. This leads nicely into my next point.

As project support officers, Cat and myself  have started to enter some of the 12/13 programme data into iPaMS already and so far we have around 111 programmes in there. The majority of these programmes are from Humanities, however, we are also working on CLES programmes too. We have found this to be a little stressful at times, as the programme template in iPaMS is arranged differently to those on word documents that we have received. Therefore, it can sometimes take a while to find the right information to put into the correct field in iPaMS, but after entering a couple of programmes we got a good sense of where to find everything. Entering the data ourselves has helped us to think about the training we need to provide users when they come to enter this data.

Lastly, we have been focusing on the iPaMS web service. We have written up a functional specification and this has been distributed to the internal stakeholders. We are now currently waiting for this to be signed off and then we can crack on with setting this up.

We hope everyone’s projects are going well, please keep us up to date with any new blogs or twitter accounts regarding #coursedata projects. We love to know how you’re all doing.

Lauren (Project Support Officer)


Humanities Update #2

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In previous posts we have talked about the dates that were set for Humanities.

• Basic functionality of iPaMS (view/edit/copy) revise 11/12 data into 12/13 data: 14th Feb
• Data for 12/13 then feed to their intranet pages: 1st March (For online module choice)

These target dates were all met and  this blog post will focus on our experience of Humanities moving from dwai to iPaMS.

Lauren Welland – Project Support Officer
“Initially the first week Humanities moved over to iPaMS, all was quiet, I didn’t hear from anyone for a few days. It wasn’t until a week later people started using iPaMS and this is where the questions came rolling in. The majority of the questions were about how to use iPaMS, I instructed users to firstly follow the training material, whilst also giving them help via the phone. It started to become obvious that people didn’t have time to read/watch the training material and felt it easier to ring up with their questions. After a few weeks of questions regarding how to use iPaMS, new emails and calls were now coming through regarding issues with their data. I began logging all the calls and emails I received into a spreadsheet. My job was to co-ordinate between the users and the developers, working on these issues to resolve them as quickly as possible. By investigating the issue log we were able to see specific issues were spread throughout a number of users, whereas some issues were specific to particular users. This allowed us to investigate why some of these problems were coming to light for some and not others. A few of the main issues which I would be contacted about daily were regarding the names of the convenors and problems with logging in. Since the last two upgrades we have had on iPaMS, the majority of the issues have all been sorted now. The only main problems we have left is convenors/lecturers’ titles not showing when feeding to the web but this is currently being worked on.”

Helen Connole – iPaMS Lead Developer
“On 1st March the Hums intranet switched over to using the iPaMS web service. There were a few teething troubles as the web service displayed items in the order and formatting of the module template which was used as the basis of the iPaMS template design. Humanities however wanted to customise this to look more like their current intranet, and with a bit of tweaking at the front end, such as not showing blank data fields, they were able to achieve the result they wanted. Ben is planning to produce some documentation around this so that web developers in the colleges can best utilise the web service for their needs.”

Ben Norcombe – iPaMS Developer

“Over the past few months I have been helping with switching Humanities intranet over to the iPaMS web service whilst also helping resolve users’ issues. One of the main issues we have had, that I have been working on, was users being logged off/ unable to log into iPaMS, using SSO. To solve this problem, last Wednesday we released the Zend_Auth OpenSSO adapter to iPaMS allowing the application to authenticate against the university’s installation of OpenSSO within the application. This decoupling from the university’s SSO gives us the flexibility to assign the user with a Zend_Auth identity and then utilse Zend Framework’s Acl authorisation classes while using the secure authentication methods available in OpenSSO. As the adapter was written with portability in mind we have made it available to our colleagues within the university and there could be an opportunity to contribute the code to the Zend Framework library code base.”

The next stage for Humanities, which we will blog about soon, is to move both their programme data and archived data over to iPaMS. We are currently working on making the old module descriptor templates in iPaMS ready to import the data over from dwai. We are also working on the new 12/13 programme descriptor, investigating how we can link modules to the programmes and best use the data that will be held in iPaMS. Keep an eye out on the twitter page @JISC_CRIATE for more regular updates on these tasks.