Am hoping that someone may have travelled along the same route.
We are working with a Collegee of Further Education. What they want to do is to use Moodle as their VLE (possibly in parallel with something like OSPI http://www.theospi.org/ to run students' portfolios)
They want to run the above within a suitable overarching CMS - they've been having a look at uPortal http://uportal.org/, for example.
The main thing is that there should be a common log in and that the CMS application should sit nicely around Moodle and anything else.
Their intention is that all the Colege documentation, course details, student details, calendars and so on should be handled by the SMS with Moodle doing the learning delivery.
Has anyone found a good way of doing this? Or perhaps a pointer to a suitable Ed. Portal/CMS?
Some folks are doing this with PostNuke.
Hope this helps.
Yes, a postnuke-moodle combination is a powerful one.
Postnuke is a CMS with things like advertising, paypal integration, a plethora of flexible content management modules, a helpdesk, e-commerce, and lots more.
MOODLE takes care of the education/classroom bit.
By way of analogy postnuke is the administrative building, campus center, sports complex, bars, pubs, bookstore, information center, student support center and so on while MOODLE is the classroom, teachers' office and staff room.
The problem with (possibly) integrating UPortal with Moodle is that UPortal is Java based and Moodle is PHP based. I'm not saying this doesn't work at all, but usually components of the same platform play well together and when using different platforms you could run into major compatibility problems.
I don't know at the moment of any educational based portals in PHP, but at the very least you'll want to take a look at http://www.opensourcecms.com where you can try out all kinds of portals and other open source content systems, including moodle. For practical reasons all systems there are PHP based.
If you're set on UPortal, you might want to take a look at the SAKAI project, which is planning on using Uportal as a component for their LMS system and is Java based. But of course Moodle is much better
UPortal doesn't come ready to install, it takes a pretty high level of systems integration, jsp coding, and perhaps some java, to get it set up & cohabiting with your other systems. With that level of technical expertise, setting up Moodle to work withing the system should be a snap.
Meanwhile, SAKAI 1.0 seems more of a toolkit than a ready to use LMS (it is reported to install to a blank screen, you then get to start building templates for display, woohoo). You'll probably get going faster integrating Moodle into UPortal than trying to use SAKAI 1.0 for anything, IMO.
I think that because it's a java product some people suddenly take it seriously and see all kinds of potential where nothing has actually realised yet. I think it's wrong of them not to consider PHP based projects such as moodle to be competition to the propriety systems, even though there are universities that switched from WebCT and Blackboard to Moodle.
The subject of Moodle via a portal is beyond me, but I am interested in which universities you were talking about that "switched from WebCT and Blackboard to Moodle." (I'm finishing up a Bb to Moodle migration NA project at SFSU. That kind of info would be helpful to me in my background section.)
For the best cross-portal, language-independent implementation, Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) is the OASIS spec answer. Apache, uPortal, BEA, Oracle, Microsoft, and others are members. The idea is plug-and-play blocks (or portlets) to drop into a portal.
> "there should be a common log in"
For common logins, or single-sign-on (SSO), most institutions I have dealt with tend to gravitate towards an open-source system developed by Yale called CAS (Central Authentication Service).
Many of the Java-based, open-source projects like uPortal and OSPI already comfortably integrate with CAS for single sign-on. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was also a Moodle module for CAS, but I don't have a pointer available. There are other options available (like Pubcookie), but this seems to be the open-source project with the most leverage and buy-in (module development).
> "Sakai... didn't seem finished"
Well, it is definitely not finished and only just beginning. Under the release-early, release-often credo of open-source projects, it would be unfair to judge a project on its first release. I would wait a bit and try to evaluate again summer 2005.
I dunno, I found Moodle 1.0 alot more impressive than Sakai 1.0.
IMO it does give one cause to judge when a team can release a 1.0 product that doesn't seem to work out of box; the license type should be a benefit, not an excuse, and a version 1 moniker should signify basic initial functionality, whether the project is OSS or CSS.
Also, I suppose they could have used a .1 label as it is their very first public release but note that this 1.0 release is the live system at University of Michigan (I think around ~27k students; load-balanced among 27 servers). I imagine as the project evolves (like other internally-developed projects that find a larger audience), desktop install will become a lot easier.
1.0 release is the live system at University of Michigan (I think around ~27k students; load-balanced among 27 servers)
Seems to me that fact is evidence to the contrary: one server per 1000 users is not what I'd call scalable. Blackboard is alot more efficient than that, faint praise. Which is probably due to this a Java app of that complexity, using many third-party libraries, and targeted at databases like Oracle (for both of them).
Which goes to my original impression, it's using the wrong codebase, the wrong database, it's been cobbled together rather than well planned, and the design is over-complicated by the inherant limitations of these choices.
...For common logins, or single-sign-on (SSO)... an open-source system developed by Yale called CAS (Central Authentication Service).
...I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was also a Moodle module for CAS, but I don't have a pointer available.
Is anyone using their Moodle with this: http://esup-phpcas.sourceforge.net/ for single sign-on with CAS?
Does anyone have any other single sign-on solutions for their Moodle?
Other enterprise systems like PeopleSoft can communicate via XML, their the challenge is to translate their XML export into users and courses. This generally isn't "out of box" on commercial CMS's, either. To make PS work with Blackboard Enterprise, BB wanted $60k for one site I know of (they hired a CIS prof instead and got it done for $10K).
This is despite the fact that BB has integrated a number of other sites with PS Portal, no discount for re-used code there, I guess.
Also, to the original question about single sign-on and portals, CAS 2.0 introduced the idea of proxy-granting tickets. So, your portal application could be given special privileges and when logged in, the portal could receive proxy tickets on behalf of all the apps being consumed.
That is understandable and I am certainly not dismissing it, however I am only doing a single research project for my thesis and as with any evaluation you need to draw a line at how long you're going to wait for features before evaluating. Unfortunately I am not in any position to wait. I am going to include in my report a recommendation to keep an eye on Sakai and evaluate it again in the near future. However I am still of the opinion that the PHP implementations of LMSs such as Moodle, Ilias and ATutor are being dismissed simply because they are PHP, and that is not taken seriously, which is a mistake, according to Infoworlds Top 20 IT mistakes to avoid where number 18 is: Underestimating PHP
And when Yahoo's Michael Radwin searched for the most efficient/effective language for Yahoo's revamp, they settled on PHP.
They compared ASP/Perl/JSP/ASP/CFM, etc. and PHP came out as the best all around solution for a little site with "more than 1.5 billion pageviews a day" (in 2002).
I saw his talk on this at OSCON 2003, it was quite reaffirming that after struggling to get things done for years with java/perl/oracle, we switched all our development to php/mysql, and productivity here has skyrocketed since.
I'm interested more in Karin's question of why some of these apps are being "dismissed." Questions surrounding PHP's scalability are decreasing in frequency and losing basis.
I hope my thesis might have some influence, small as it may be, on this viewpoint, somewhere.
as we see now with Sakai, which is incomplete and already viewed as a big threat to BB and WebCT
I'm not sure that's an accurate description of Sakai. The project is much bigger than a VLE/LMS and is, I believe, designed so that WebCT and BB can be plugged into it as the LMS-module.
It is given due respect because it has a lot of big names, and lots of money behind it. Unfortunately it is exactly this kind of project that chooses Java because it is seen as 'serious' and 'respectable' rather than because it is actually a wise engineering decision. I sincerely hope that Sakai doesn't fall into the same trap that many of these big Java announcements seem to fall into.
Java, and J2EE in particular, does not automatically mean over-designed failure, but it often does.
We've been looking very closely at this one and are committed to doing something over the next 3-4mths.
Check out the following for our assessment on suitable OSS portal/cms software
We still need to workshop the best way forward. Personally I'm keen to create a specific Moodle Portal module, perhaps using cut-down Tikiwiki code. If anyone wants to participate please let me know - most of our project discussion happens at https://eduforge.org/projects/nzvle/
Is there a particular reason for considering the five portals in your evaluation at https://eduforge.org/docman/view.php/7/108/PortalEvaluation.pdf? Do these five have particular features/advantages that other do not possess?
( I use Postnuke mainly...but have tried quite a few other portal systems)
How is your project going? (we are a group of lecturers from several universities, and secondary schools that have been using Tiki for educational scenarios and educational centers' sites, and we recently got some more funding to keep on our work...). And we are VERY interested in integration of TikiWiki and Moodle, or Portal based upon tiki code, and LMS features from moodle (at least, the ability to use moodle modules).
See more about us through: http://tikiwiki.org/UniWiki or http://uniwiki.ourproject.org
xavier DOT depedro (at) ub DOT edu
Look forward to receiving your news...
We are a French universities community. We regroup more than 80000 students and teachers. We use U-portal for our university. So we've done a CAS authentification Module for Moodle, based on LDAP one.
Fonctionalities we've done:
-Use CAS or not (if not -> LDAP authentification)
-Use or not anonymous login (bypass CAS authentification)
- Import or not informations from LDAP .If not, users have to be imported by an external script, that's what we have done, because the LDAP filter is too complex and we doesn't want to import everyone. If the user pass the CAS authentification (or LDAP one), he have to be in the Moodle database to be authenticate anyway.
- If the user is CAS authenticated but not in Moodle database and import from LDAP is off (see previous point), the user is automaticaly login as guest if anonymous login is active.
-CAS Disconnection when Moodle disconnection button is clicked.
Modifications in Moodle:
-new auth/CAS Module
This module is in test and will be in production mode next month. It can replace the LDAP module.
User page profile
We have also made a specific user edit page. We can now define which field user can see or edit in it's profile page. Because we want him to use his university adress mail for exemple. So we've made a configuration php file to define accessing and visibility of all fields of this page.
I don't know if the Moodle Team can be interested by this developpments. If yes we can submit it to validation.
Has anything happened on this front?
At Tampere Polytechic (Finland) we are looking into using a portal in conjunction with Moodle. Your work could be very useful for us.
Integrating a CMS and a LMS is being done. The challenge is getting those two pieces to smelt together design-wise. For example, I chose to let my language related community site www.italienskforbegyndere.dk (Italian for beginners) be powered by Mambo. For the LMS (or LCMS) part I will for sure use Moodle.
Some clever mind has even written a script to synchronize registered user from the Mambo database with users of the Moodle part. I don't think I'll need that though. Sorry if I am telling you something you already know.
Here is a summary of exactly what I did from a fresh database and webserver running on SuSE Linux 9.3 and with MySQL Ver 9.5 Distrib 4.1.10a.
feidhmeanna:/srv/www/htdocs # mkdir mambo
feidhmeanna:/srv/www/htdocs # mkdir moodle
Unzipped Mambo, Moodle and mambo_moodle
feidhmeanna:/srv/www/htdocs # mysql -uroot -ppassword
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 170 to server version: 4.1.10a
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.
mysql> create database mamboCMS;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> create database moodleLMS;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> grant all on mamboCMS.* to 'medic'@'localhost' identified by 'la30' with grant option;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> grant all on moodleLMS.* to 'medic'@'localhost' identified by 'la30' with grant option;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop/website/mambo/mambo # cp -R * /srv/www/htdocs/mambo/
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop/website/mambo/mambo # chown -R wwwrun:www /srv/www/htdocs/mambo
Browse to http://184.108.40.206/mambo
Follow onscrean instructions.
Hostname : localhost
MySQL User Name : medic
MySQL Password : la30
MySQL Database Name : mamboCMS
MySQL Table Prefix : mos_
Site name : feidhmeanna
URL : http://220.127.116.11/mambo
Path : /srv/www/htdocs/mambo
Your E-mail : diarmuid.obriain.com
Admin password : engineer
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop # rm -r /srv/www/htdocs/mambo/installation/
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop/website/moodle # cp -R moodle /srv/www/htdocs/
feidhmeanna:/srv/www # chown -R wwwrun:www /srv/www/htdocs
Browse to http://18.104.22.168/moodle
Web Address : http://22.214.171.124/moodle
Moodle Directory : /srv/www/htdocs/moodle
Data Directory : /srv/www/htdocs/moodledata
Type : mysql
Hostserver : localhost
Name : moodleLMS
User : medic
Password : la30
Tables Prefix : mdl_
Accept next few pages with : Continue
Site Name : 62 Res CIS Company
Short Site Name : 62CIS
Admin username : Admin
Admin password : engineer
E-mail address : email@example.com
City/town : Dublin
Country : Ireland
Select "Update Profile"
INSTALL MAMBO MOODLE MODULE
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop/website/module/mambo_moodle/Moodle # cp index_mambo.php /srv/www/htdocs/moodle
Within Moodle http://126.96.36.199/moodle/admin/
Select "Users", "Authentication" setup.
For Choose an authentication method : Use an external database
auth_dbhost : localhost
auth_dbtype : mysql
auth_dbname : mamboCMS
auth_dbuser : medic
auth_dbpass : la30
auth_dbtable : mos_users
auth_dbfielduser : name
auth_dbfieldpass : password
auth_dbpasstype : Plain text
feidhmeanna:/home/dobriain/Desktop/website/module # chown -R wwwrun:www mambo_moodle
Browse to http://188.8.131.52/mambo
Login as Admin/engineer
Select "Components" --> Install/Uninstall" --> "Package File"
Click "Upload File & Install"
Select "Components" --> "Moodle" --> "Edit Config"
Path to Moodle (AN URL!!): http://184.108.40.206/moodle
Mambo database prefix : mos_
"Site" --> "User Manager"
Add new user
Name : qwerty
Username : qwerty
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
New Password : keyboard
Verify Password: : keyboard
Group : Registered
Block User : No
Click "Save User"
Logout as "Admin" and login as user "qwerty" password "keyboard"
Select "Moodle" from "Main Menu".
Moodle appears but is NOT logged in with the user "qwerty" password "keyboard" as I would have expected.
Your colleagues at the Joint Information Systems Committee may be able to give you a more authoritative and current answer about the integration of uPortal, Moodle, and LAMS. There are a number of projects that are leading to complete integration to meet the requirements you stated.
uPortal and Moodle Integration
The ESUP-Portail project (www.esup-portail.org/) in France has implemented JA-SIGs CAS single signon in Moodle as well as uPortal (Common Authentication Service was developed by Yale University and has become a JA-SIG supported product). The ESUP Portail project developers are technically savvy and understand user requirements well. Their work is available and can be implemented immediately.
Toward WSRP-based Integration
The University of Wisconsin developed an Alti-Lab 2005 demonstration of Moodle and Web Services as part of the tool portability work. This is described by Learning Technology Standards Observatory saying: Demonstrations were available of Blackboard, Sakai, WebCT and Moodle Learning Management Systems (LMS), each inter-working with two assessment tools (Perception from Questionmark and SAMigo from Sakai) and ConceptTutor from University of Wisconsin - Madison. The TIF has been developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium as an efficient, reusable mechanism for integrating LMS platforms with third-party tools, thus allowing institutions to extend the functionality they can offer learners. alt-i-lab is organized by the IMS Global Learning Consortium in collaboration with a number of affiliate organizations. alt-i-lab 2005 (June 20th - 22nd) was hosted by digital South Yorkshire, attracting over 200 attendees from 14 countries to Sheffield, UK.
Yesterday the University of Wisconsins Dirk Herr-Hoyman said he would be preparing a brief report on uPortal and Moodle integration. This should be available shortly. If developed, this would implement Moodle as a WSRP portlet within uPortala project suggested last year by Moodle Partner Bryan Williams of remote-learner.net. uPortal developer Michael Ivanov confirms this is reasonable even though uPortal is written in Java and Moodle in PHP. I believe you will see Moodle as a WSRP portlet by February 2006 when the ITC MoodleMoot takes place in Savannah, Georgia.
Moodle and LAMS
Moodle-LAMS integration has been completed by the two organizations. Although Ken Udas claims only a tangential role, this work was initiated by Open Polytechnic New Zealand with leadership and support from the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the New Zealand National Library. Because the U.K. Department of Education and Skills has been a strong supporter of the pedagogy so well delivered by LAMS, you may find the Moodle-LAMS integration useful and some of your students will find it familiar.And the Libraries and Source Materials
JISC has supported the WSRP portlet development. Access to UK library resources has been demonstrated by the University of Hull and its partner institutions in the CREE project (http://www.hull.ac.uk/esig/cree/). These portlets, likely to be further refined with experience, will be especially important for students that do not have a major research library nearby. Expect to see JORUM develop WSRP portlet access as well.
Access to these resources can be facilitated by the Shibboleth federated authentication; there are several projects to accomplish this so students in the U.K. would have access to JISC-provided resources from a uPortal portlet without any additional signon. According to Steve Carmody at Brown University, expect Internet 2, the source of the Shibboleth specifications to address the portal user requirements soon (http://www.immagic.com/eLibrary/GENERAL/IMM/S050724F.pdf). However any of the JISC projects could become the basis for a production capability.
Open Source Portfolio, Sakai and uPortal
The portfolio software that you identifiedthe Open Source Portfoliois available as a Sakai tool and may be integrated with uPortal by the Sakai/uPortal work. r-smart published a report on OSPI The Open Source Portfolio Version 2.0: Based on the Sakai Framework still available at the old SP Website http://groups.theospi.org:9443/access/content/group/FF727977A011A8C2BC3E9CB5746B6ECA/Whitepapers/osp2-sakai-whitepaper.pdf . (I have not had the opportunity to ask r-smarts Chris Coppola about uPortal implementation, but r-smart has been very response about integration).
The Sakai Project and uPortal are integrating using WSRP. There are three approaches being tested. One of these will be available in Sakai 2.1 expected in November. This work is being done by Vishal Goenka of SunGard SCT and uPortals Michael Ivanov.
Because the University of Wisconsin has demonstrated effective integration of Moodle using Web Services (XML, SOAP messaging, and WS-Security) and because Groups and Permissions in uPortal is separate from the uPortal framework, Michael Ivanov has suggested that this makes Groups and Permissionsthe essence of contextavailable to any portlet or separate application. This means only one link or upload between the student system to populate the datacourse enrollments, etc.needed for both uPortal and the learning systems. This expands the benefits of integration (and reduces operating and maintenance costs).
It is unlikely you will find complete enterprise uPortal and Moodle integration as you asked. You can immediately implement the approach used by ESUP-Portail using the software they developed.
To assist in planning, note the links between what you need and the work that JISC and DfES has done. (JISC is moving key research projects into development and performing the high-level integrationfirst with authentication that is needed to share library resources and publicationsand then implementing what was called the e-Learning Framework. The e-Learning Framework services are being widely adopted in Europe and now in the U.S. Follow this closely).
I hope this provides some context for the complex task of integrating software at a specific college. In a few more months perhaps we can better answer the question you asked on 27 November 2004.
Thanks for this wonderful update. We are beginning to plan our integration of Moodle with our other systems and have been considering using uPortal, but I am going to checkout the ESUP-Portail as you suggest it is available now. I hope I can find an English version as it has been a long, long time since my college French course.