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Steve Swinsburg -
Freelance Developer


Steve is a Freelance Developer with over 10 years experience working on Sakai. He holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology, majoring in Web and Internet Technologies and a Bachelor of Science Degree. He also has several years of tertiary teaching experience.

Steve worked in the academic e-learning space from 2004-2012 and has been the technical lead for several major learning management system rollouts around the world, based on the open source Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment. Whilst working in universities, he developed several successful integrations with student information systems, student portals, single sign on solutions and various other higher education based learning applications.

Steve's major projects include GradebookNG, Project Keitai, Profile2, the Simple RSS Portlet, the Shortened URL Service and the Sakai Wicket Maven Archetype. Steve has contributed over half a million lines of code to Sakai, and actively participates in the various mailing lists and assists other developers within the community.

In 2011, Steve was elected to the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors and in 2012 became a Founding Board member for the Apereo Foundation, a not for profit organisation supporting a global network of academic institutions with open source software for higher education. In 2009 Steve was awarded a Foundation Fellowship for his contributions to the Sakai open source community and in 2008 he had a paper on Sakai in distance education published in the Australian ascilite journal.

Steve has written over a dozen articles on Sakai best practices and how-to's, and regularly blogs about Sakai related developments. In 2008 he had a paper on Sakai in distance education published in the Australian ascilite journal (see below). Steve was heavily involved with the organisation of AuSakai 2011 at the Australian National University in Canberra, which to date, has been the most successful Sakai event in Australia.

Steve is also an active uPortal contributor and has developed several JSR-168 portlets, notably the Sakai Connector Portlet and the Basic LTI Portlet, both implementing the IMS LTI specification, as well as the Simple RSS portlet which has now been adapted for Sakai.

In his spare time, Steve is a volunteer bush firefighter and enjoys sports and skateboarding with his two young children.

Recent projects

  • GradebookNG The next generation gradebook for the Sakai CLE.
  • Project Keitai A project add a suite of RESTful APIs to Sakai.
  • Profile2 A Web 2.0 profile for Sakai. Search for people with common interests, view their profiles, add them as friends, share pictures, send messages and post status updates (also integrated with Twitter).
  • Simple RSS Portlet An RSS/Atom read feeder, now in portlet form.
  • ShortenedUrlService A service for Sakai that generates and parses short URLs to anything!
  • Sakai Wicket Maven Archetype Allows you to run a simple Maven command to generate a fully functional Sakai application which you can take and extend.
  • Sakai Connector Portlet A portlet that renders tools from your Sakai environment inside uPortal.
  • Basic LTI Portlet A portlet that renders any Basic LTI enabled application inside uPortal

Previous projects

  • Sakai App Builder An Eclipse plugin that allows you to quickly create Sakai webapps and services. Now includes K1 and Wicket support (no longer supported)
  • SakaiAdminX An open source external administration utility for Sakai that you can deploy to manage Sakai (and other applications) via webservices.(no longer supported)
  • UNE Migration Utility A utility for migrating courses from WebCT 4.1 to Sakai, complete with Content Modules, Quizzes and Resources.(no longer supported)


My articles:

My publications

My tool starters

The following are starters that one can download and extend into a full Sakai tool/bundle:

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