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OpenSyllabus and SakaiAdminX have both had releases last week. OpenSyllabus released an alpha version of their course outline editor, which is simply intended as a technology preview release. It is based on the Goolge Web Toolkit. You can learn more about it from the OpenSyllabus Confluence space, though here are some excerpts from Remi Saias's announcement email:

  • OpenSyllabus source code and its components are now available in a zip archive.
  • Another bundle consisting of an Apache Tomcat instance pre-configured with OpenSyllabus is also available.

WARNING: This release is an alpha version! We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download this alpha release, as it is intended for demo and testing purposes only. A couple of bugs are not fixed yet and some are rather nasty (especially under IE). So Firefox is the preferred browser for now.

SakaiAdminX is a web application that seeks to simplify and ease Sakai administrative tasks. You can learn more about it from the SakaiAdminX Confluence space, though here's a quick overview taken from Steve Swinsburg's email announcement:

  • create and delete sites (either blank or based on templates)
  • edit sites (title, skin, site icon, type, contact details etc)
  • add and remove users with different degrees of permissions
  • search for users
  • manage people that have 'admin' or 'helpdesk' access to all sites.

SakaiAdminX introduces more levels of administrative permissions to Sakai which allows a single Sakai environment to be used for multiple institutions or clients. This is achieved through the concept of 'clients', where each client has a set of sites attached to it - with their own branding/look and feel. Each client also has its own admin/helpdesk users who have access to all sites attached to that client.

You also get a helpdesk user, which has access to all sites like an admin user and you assign users to be helpdesk users giving them access to all sites, much like the admin user works in Sakai at present.

The main function of SakaiAdminX revolves around the 'Site Profile'. This is a place where all editing of the site takes place, ie title, skin, icon, contact details, as well as adding and removing users. All done with far less clicks than the existing Sakai interfaces, and all done on the one screen. The Site Profile is easily extensible, so if you need additional functionality, just plug it in!

SakaiAdminX can also be deployed separate to Sakai itself, or sitting alongside the rest of the Sakai webapps as it makes use of a vastly extended set of webservices written for Sakai.

SakaiAdminX includes a single sign on from SakaiAdminX to your existing Sakai installation, and can be CASified easily (instructions included).

Comprehensive information, including screenshots, are available. This includes the step-by-step Installation Guide, as well as guides on Using SakaiAdminX, Skinning SakaiAdminX, an Administrators guide and another guide on simple enhancements you can perform on your Sakai environment to make it completely integrated with SakaiAdminX.

You can use SakaiAdminX on existing Sakai installations via the migration utility included, or on fresh installations of Sakai.

SakaiAdminX is currently in production at Lancaster University, UK, as well as a local UK company using it to manage their Sakai installation.

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