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1. Enterprise Bundle (Core) Tools

Tools that are integral to every Sakai release are called "Core" tools. Such tools are those that are deemed most tried, tested, and follow best practices for Sakai. They are visible out-of-the-box, and require no special configuration to begin using them. With each new release some tools are considered for promotion to "Core" status (see Provisional Tools below).

1.1 Worksite Tools

The following tools (with one exception, see below) are available in Worksite Setup and Site Info > Edit Tools by default.

  • Announcements (sakai.announcements)
  • Assignments (sakai.assignment.grades)
  • Calendar Summary (sakai.summary.calendar) - a synoptic tool for events created in the Schedule tool
  • Chat Room (sakai.chat)
  • Drop Box (sakai.dropbox)
  • Email Archive (sakai.mailbox)
  • Forums (sakai.forums) - discussion forums, formerly part of "Message Center"
  • Gradebook (sakai.gradebook.tool)
  • Messages (sakai.messages) - for sending private messages, formerly included in "Message Center"
  • News (sakai.news)
  • Post 'Em (sakai.postem) - for quick uploading of feedback with an Excel import
  • Presentation (sakai.presentation)
  • Resources (sakai.resources)
  • Schedule (sakai.schedule)
  • Section Info (sakai.sections)
  • Site Info (sakai.siteinfo)
  • Syllabus (sakai.syllabus)
  • Tests & Quizzes (sakai.samigo)
  • Web Content (sakai.iframe)
  • Wiki (sakai.rwiki)

The following tools are not available for direct selection from Worksite Setup, as they are designed to be components of the Home page of a worksite.

  • My Workspace Info Display (sakai.iframe.myworkspace)
  • Recent Announcements (sakai.synoptic.announcement)
  • Recent Chat Messages (sakai.synoptic.chat)
  • Recent Discussion Items (sakai.synoptic.discussion)

1.2 Admin Tools

These core tools are found within the Admin Workspace by default. Provisional admin tools are also visible by default (see below for details).

  • Admin: Archive Tool (sakai.archive)
  • Administrator's Preferences Tool (sakai.admin.prefs)
  • Admin: Alias Editor (sakai.aliases)
  • Admin: Memory / Cache Tool (sakai.memory)
  • Admin: On-Line (sakai.online)
  • Admin: Realms Editor (sakai.realms)
  • Admin: Sites Editor (sakai.sites)
  • Admin: User Editor (sakai.users)
  • Job Scheduler (sakai.scheduler) - based on Quartz

1.3 My Workspace and Special Tools

These tools all have some special, specific function in a particular region of Sakai, such as the My Workspace or Gateway sites.

  • Account (sakai.singleuser)
  • Help Documentation (sakai.help)
  • Membership (sakai.membership)
  • Message Of The Day (sakai.motd)
  • New Account (sakai.createuser)
  • Preferences Tool (sakai.preferences)
  • Presence Tool (sakai.presence)
  • Profile (sakai.profile)
  • Service Information Display (sakai.iframe.service)
  • Site Browser (sakai.sitebrowser)
  • Site Information Display (sakai.iframe.site)
  • Worksite Setup (sakai.sitesetup)

1.4 Portfolio Tools

The following tool suite supports portfolio-based learning and assessment activities.

  • Evaluation (osp.evaluation)
  • Exposed Matrix (osp.exposedmatrix)
  • Exposed Wizard (osp.exposedwizard)
  • Glossary (osp.glossary)
  • Guidance Sample (osp.guidance.sample)
  • Matrix (osp.matrix)
  • Presentation Template (osp.presTemplate)
  • Presentation (osp.presentation)
  • Synoptic (osp.synoptic)
  • Synoptic Editor (osp.synoptic.design.publish)
  • Wizard (osp.wizard)
  • Metaobj (sakai.metaobj)

1.5 Other Tools

Tools that defy categorization and are not for the end user are collected here.

  • Admin: Site Management (sakai.sitemanage) (stealthed) - unfinished tool
  • Gradebook Service Test (sakai.gradebook.testservice)
  • Sakai OSID Unit Test Servlet (sakai.test.tools.OSIDUnitTest)
  • Sample use of RepositoryManager Component (sakai.sample.tools.OSIDRepository)
  • Simple Sample Servlet Tool (sakai.sample.tool.servlet)
  • Simple Sample Servlet Tool 2 (sakai.sample.tool.servlet2)

2. Provisional Tools

A provisional tool is one which is considered to be mature enough to be included in the release distribution, but is not (yet) considered to be an official part of the enterprise bundle, and which does not come enabled by default. Additional steps are required to enable these extra tools. However, a provisional tool may meet a need that the standard tools do not. Since one of the criteria for provisional status is that the tool must already have seen successful production use at more than one member institution, and since provisional tools are included in the code QA'ed for a release, you should be able to deploy a provisional tool in production with some confidence.

The basic idea of provisional tools is to allow implementors to have ready access to blossoming tools for testing and evaluation. If they meet needs and broad success is reported in production, they may be included as a standard part of the bundle in future releases. Your feedback on the suitability of these tools for inclusion in an upcoming Sakai release is therefore an important part of this process. You'll find a more complete description of the criteria for provisional status among the "community practices" posted on Confluence: Criteria for Provisional Status

2.1 Making Provisional Tools Visible

Provisional tools are, as a general rule, "stealthed" by default. This means they do not appear as options in either the Worksite Setup or Edit Tools lists - they effectively require the intervention of an admin in order to be added to a site.

Tools Unstealthed in the "Demo" Release

The release is distributed in a few forms, and the "Demo" release is designed to showcase Sakai's functionality as much as possible. As a result, provisional tools are often unstealthed in the demo, but stealthed in the source distro and in the default settings in subversion.

Stealthing can be overridden in sakai.properties through a combination of two settings: one for revealing stealthed tools, and the other for hiding tools (whether they are stealthed or not). To add tools to these settings, simply include the particular tool ID in a comma-separated list, e.g.:

visibleTools@org.sakaiproject.tool.api.ActiveToolManager=sakai.mailtool,sakai.poll
hiddenTools@org.sakaiproject.tool.api.ActiveToolManager=sakai.announcements

2.2 Provisional Worksite Tools

A brief overview of each provisional tool is provided below. For more detailed information visit the Confluence links provided, or send your questions to the listed contact.

2.2.1 Blog

Tool ID

blogger

Confluence Space

Blog

Contact

Adrian Fish (Lancaster University)

Overview: The Blog is a tool that allows the creation of journals that are available on the web. The information written in the Blog is instantly published in the Web site, so it is available virtually wherever the potential readers are and whenever they want. The Blog is not just a personal blog. It is a team-oriented blog. That means that all the information you publish to the team blog can be revised, modified and appended to by any member of your team. All your team members can also add comments to any blog entry.

Configuration: Change your JVM startup configuration by adding this option:

java.awt.headless=true

This is necessary for the JPEG convertor.

2.2.2 LinkTool

Tool ID

sakai.rutgers.linktool

Confluence Space

Linktool

Contact

Charles Hedrick (Rutgers University)

Overview: Linktool is intended for calling external applications, e.g. written in PHP. It requires the application to be able to do web services calls back to sakai. Other than that, it is very light-weight.

2.2.3 Mailtool

Tool ID

sakai.mailtool

Confluence Space

Mailtool

Contact

SOO IL KIM (Boston University)

Overview: The mailtool is a group-and-role-aware mail composition client, allowing site participants to send email to targeted subsets of site participants. See the functional specification.

Configuration: There are a couple optional mailtool settings for sakai.properties:

mailtool.max.num.attachment=  # the default is unlimited
mailtool.upload.directory=  # for handling uploaded attachments.  The default is /tmp/

2.2.4 Page Order Helper

Tool ID

NA

Confluence Space

Page Order Helper

Contact

Joshua Ryan (Arizona State University)

Overview: The Page Order Helper is actually designed to be a portion of the "Site Info" tool, and allows a drag-and-drop interface for site maintainers to reorder the lefthand tool menu for their worksites.

2.2.5 Podcasts

Tool ID

sakai.podcasts

Confluence Space

Podcast

Contact

Lance Speelmon (Indiana University)

Overview: a podcasting tool which takes advantage of the Resources tool for storage, but displays podcasts in a user friendly way and provides an RSS feed for access through one's favorite podcatcher.

2.2.6 Polls

Tool ID

sakai.poll

Confluence Space

Polls

Contact

David Horwitz (University of Cape Town)

Overview: The poll tool allows site maintainers to post simple multiple-choice polls for the voting of site participants.

2.2.7 Reports

Tool ID

sakai.reports

Confluence Space

Reports

Contact

 

Overview:
The Reports Tool is used to run pre-defined SQL-based reports. These reports can be exposed to any level of user for running the report (choosing the parameters) or viewing an already run report. Report and data security is the responsibility of the report designer. The report designer can designate what site types and what roles have access to certain reports. By using system-generated values such as "current user" or "current worksite id" in the SQL queries, the report designer can assure that only appropriate data is exposed.

Configuration:
Configuration of the Report Tool is largely a matter of defining reports. Details about report definitions can be found here.

2.2.8 Reset Password

Tool ID

sakai.retrievepass

Confluence Space

Reset Password

Contact

Stephen Marquard (University of Cape Town)

Overview: Reset Password is a simple tool which allows users to request that a new password be emailed to them by entering their email address. Its primary use case is to allow guest users to change their password if they have forgotten their current password.

Configuration: by default, Reset Password will only reset passwords for users of the guest type. This can be configured by a sakai.properties setting, e.g.

retrieveRoles.count=2
retrieveRoles.1=guest
retrieveRoles.2=staff

2.2.9 Roster

Tool ID

sakai.site.roster

Confluence Space

None

Contact

Oliver Heyer (University of California Berkeley)

Overview: Roster allows users to view the names, photos and profiles of site participants who have made their information accessible through the Profile tool in My Workspace. If an institution has institutional photos, the photos can be made accessible separately to site maintainers.

Configuration: Some extra work may need to be done to provide photos for it from campus systems.

2.2.10 Search

Tool ID

sakai.search

Confluence Space

Search

Contact

 

Overview: The search tool aims to provide a tool that allows a Google-like search of all content in a Sakai instance. It also provides a service component that can be used by other tools to provide search functionality. When search is turned on, an indexer runs in the background that treats content as it is added to the system,

Configuration: To turn on search indexing, add the following to sakai.properties:

search.enable=true

2.3 Provisional Admin Tools

Admin tools are designed to be available in the Admin Workspace only, where there is little point in obscuring them (apart from forcing an admin to click through a few screens to add them). The provisional tools below are thus available in the Admin Workspace by default.

2.3.1 Data Warehouse

Tool ID

NA

Confluence Space

None

Contact

 

Overview:
The Data Warehouse is designed to use in conjunction with Reports. It provides a way to extract reportable data from the Sakai database through the Sakai APIs, which avoids the need to know about the data model of the database. It also allows access to data in the database that are stored in xml (resource metadata, forms data, etc), by extracting that information through the APIs and putting it into tables in the data warehouse area. Reports, therefore, are as backwards compatible as the APIs are. The tables generated by the Data Warehouse do not necessarily need to be used with the reports tool. After the data is extracted, any third party SQL reporting tool can be used, such as BIRT, Pentaho or Crystal Reports. Not all Sakai data is currently extracted using the Data Warehouse process. There are utility classes that make it easy to create extracts for new areas of the system. Documentation on what is extracted and the data model are planned for future releases. Currently, all tables in the extract have the dw_ prefix.

Configuration:
The Data Warehouse is designed to run as a scheduled quartz job. To schedule the Data Warehouse to run at a certain time, use the Job Schedule Tool and create a job using the "Data Warehouse Update" job type. Create a trigger that will run on a pre-determined basis (usually once a day). The Data Warehouse can live in a separate database instance from live Sakai data. This is potentially helpful for security and performance concerns. By default, the Data Warehouse will be created in the Sakai database, to change this configuration, edit any of the following properties:

driverClassName@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver
url@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=jdbc:oracle:thin:@mercury.phx.rsmart.com:1521:VMWARE
username@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=jdetest
password@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=jdetest
maxActive@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=20
maxIdle@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=2
validationQuery@org.sakaiproject.warehouse.service.DataWarehouseManager.dataSource=select 1 from DUAL

2.3.2 SU

Tool ID

sakai.su

Confluence Space

None

Contact

Zach A. Thomas (Aeroplane Software)

Overview: SU is a tool for administrators to use to log in as another user. It is code developed at Texas State University for their local brand of Sakai called TRACS: Teaching Research and Collaboration System. It is meant to be used within the Admin Workspace, and so it does not need to be stealthed or unstealthed (it will never appear among the tool options in "Worksite Setup"). It features a simple form in which you type the user id of the user you wish to "become" in the system.

The name stands for Super User, and comes from a command-line tool in Unix that serves the same purpose. It is often pronounced "Sue."

Configuration: In order to use the tool, edit the !admin site (i.e. the Admin MyWorkspace) through the admin Sites tool, add a page or edit an existing page, and place the tool on that page. The SU tool will appear in the list with the title "Become User" and the id sakai.su.

The tool itself is very simple. There is a text field to type a user id, and there is a Submit button. Your session will continue as though you had logged in as the specified user. This will work even if that user is already logged in at another location. To change back to yourself, you must logout and log back in.

Security: The SU tool is hard-coded only to work for users with administrative privileges. Naturally you should take care to whom you give these privileges.

2.3.3 User Membership

Tool ID

sakai.usermembership

Confluence Space

User Membership

Contact

Nuno Fernandes (UFP)

Overview: The user membership tool offers user lookup features beyond that of the default Admin Users tool. It allows searches to be conducted for external users, by user type, and full lists of site membership for any given user. It also provides CSV exports of the results of any of these searches.

3. Contrib Tools

A great deal of useful functionality can be found amidst Contrib tools, which range from brand-new ideas to fully mature projects to old tools retired from the release. Many schools deploy one or more Contrib tools in production whose functionality they find particular valuable. The Contrib tools are not, however, included in releases for a variety of reasons, perhaps because of license compatibility issues, development and release timelines are our of sync, they are not fully integrated with key Sakai services, etc.

In general Contrib tools have not been formally QA'ed as part of the Sakai release process, and the level and effort of integration varies considerably, though many can be deployed in a Sakai instance with trivial effort. Contrib tools should be evaluated on a case-by-case by basis by organizations interested in deploying them.

Contrib tools are available in most cases from the Contrib area of Sakai's Subversion repository. In some cases they are hosted external to the Sakai project by the group leading their development.

As of the Sakai 2.5.0 release there are over 40 Contrib tools in various stages of development (see below). Links to more, up-to-date information on individual Contrib tools can be found in the Project Directory.

Tool

Description

Agora

Agora is an easy to use, open source online meeting tool. All members of a Sakai worksite can create a meeting in just a few mouse clicks, and joining is as simple as clicking a link in the Sakai tool. Apart from a Java virtual machine there is no need for any explicit software installation on the user's PC, all required software is transparently loaded at startup.

Assignments2

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BlogWow

An RSF-based blog tool.

Breeze Link

The Breeze Link allows a Sakai installation to seamlessly connect to a Breeze server and allows users to connect to Breeze meetings with a single click. No additional sign on is required and users will appear in the meeting with their display name from Sakai.

CANS

Context-aware Activity Notification System (CANS) is a notification system for online communities that is designed around the importance of a user's social context and personal notification preferences.

Checklist

The Checklist Contrib Project will be responsible for addressing or promoting the needs of graduate students through Sakai.

Clicker Registration

The Clicker Registration is for students to register their Clicker ID's in courses that use them.

Conditional Release

A Conditional Release architecture and design, which involve a "ConditionService" which will work in concert with other services and store rules against a tool or domain object.

Configuration Viewer and Editor

The Sakai Config Viewer is a tool to help administrators make sense of the configuration options that can be set in sakai.properties. It displays a list of available properties along with a host of value added data.

Content Viewer

The Resources Viewer is a simple tool which displays the contents of selected folders from the Resources tool in a simpler, more user-friendly manner. In particular, it fulfills the requirements of displaying a list of resources together with their descriptions and creating links to Resources content in the left-hand navigation (tool) menu.

Course Homepage

Home Page tool offers a substitute for the current Home view of a site.

Email Template Service

A service providing localizable and internationalizable email templates for Sakai Applications.

Evaluation System

Give formative evaluations to students in their courses and review the results.

Form Builder

Form Builder (formerly known as XSD Weaver) is a graphical user interface for creating XSD files for use in ePortfolios.

Goal Management

Enables the definition of program, course, and/or personal goals, the ability to tag activities (such as assignments, datapoints, OSP wizard pages and/or OSP matrix cells) with applicable goals, and the ability to rate user performance towards goals based on work submitted for the activities.

I10n-Stats

Tool for analyzing the status of the Sakai translations in the source repository.

Image Gallery

The Gallery Tool will allow a user to select a collection of images (a gallery) and view the images in a specified order. The tool is focused on selecting, sequencing, and viewing - not creation or editing.

ImageQuiz

A responder- or clicker- type tool designed for synchronous, though not necessarily co-located, classroom settings. In addition to the typical responder functionality, an image can be displayed with an accompanying question or note, each student can click on the image at a particular location to indicate their response, and the aggregated results of all student clicks can be viewed.

IMS Enterprise Services

IMS Enterprise Services

JForum

JForum Discussion & Private Messages is an easy-to-use, yet robust tool that offers industry-standard functionality to users. Instructors can set up unlimited categories and forums, moderate topics (move, edit, delete, lock, or unlock), read recent topics and mark them as read, watch and bookmark topics, and much more. JForum comes with built-in private messaging that allows site members to communicate privately while discussing issues or collaborating on projects. JForum has a familiar (popular phpBB) graphical user interface, and is liked by faculty and students, alike.

Learning Log

A derivation of the Blog tool aimed at pedagogies where reflective learning takes center stage.

MailArchive Wow!

MailArchive Wow! builds upon the ideas in the existing MailArchive, and leverages a number of new libraries/specs such as JSR-170 and RSF.

Melete - Modules

Melete allows instructors to publish learning sequences that can be created by using a rich text editor, uploading learning objects, or pointing to existing URL resources. Instructors can design content that supports instructor facilitated learning or system managed self-study. Lessons can be released automatically based on start and stop dates. Melete supports IMS Content Packaging and SCORM 2004 export. Future features include conditional release of lesson sequences to students based on completion of tasks. Melete stores its content in a private area of content hosting.

Mneme - Test Center

Mneme is an assessment system for Sakai. Mneme has a delivery module that is high performance, able to handle large loads, has an Assessments module to manage the publication of assessments, has a module for grading assessments, optionally integrated with Sakai's Gradebook, and has a module for authoring questions and managing pools.

My Sakai

"My Sakai" makes it possible to get your files and announcements, and keep track of what's going on in your Sakai sites, straight from your desktop. For example, a student engrossed in writing an essay, who suddenly realises they need to check something in a document in their course site, can open it straight from their desktop widget, without having to break off and navigate through Sakai to find it.

"My Sakai" widgets show you recent activity on all of the worksites you're a member of. This means that the widget will tell you when a new announcement or a new resource has been added. The widgets also provide synoptic views of Resources and Announcements.

We have created widgets for Mac DashBoard, Vista Sidebar, Facebook, iGoogle, Google Desktop, and RSS.

News Feeds

News Feeds is a feed aggregator tool developed for Sakai. The tool supports multiple feeds, user-provided feeds or selection from pre-configured institutional list, BASIC/DIGEST authentication and feed attachments (enclosures).

OCW

Support in Sakai for creating OpenCourseWare materials and sites. For information about the OpenCourseWare initiative, see http://www.ocwconsortium.org/about/index.shtml.

OODB

oodb is a Sakai Service for using the db4o oo-database for persistence.

OpenCast

A webcasting infrastructure application based on Apple's Podcast Producer with an administrative UI in Sakai.

OpenSyllabus

OpenSyllabus is an easy to use tool to create and publish model-based syllabi where faculty can finely control which resources (doc, ppt, xls, pdf, etc.) are accessible to registered students or to the general public. OpenSyllabus offers a unified interface with a standardized vocabulary for easy navigation. It also supports courses given to multiple sections.

QNA (Questions and Answers)

QNA (Questions and Answers) is a new tool being developed by UNISA and UCT. QNA enables students to ask questions anonymously, which can be answered by other students or lecturers or tutors (instructors/TAs). Questions are ranked by their popularity and can also be organized into categories. QNA builds on experiences from two existing tools: UNISA's FAQ tool and UCT's DFAQ tool.

Roleplay

Roleplay (aka "user alias") is a tool and service for Sakai 2.6.0 and later which allows users to be known as a name other than their default Sakai name within a site. It was originally developed at UCT for an international trade bargaining simulation game in which students were known by country names representing their teams (e.g. "Brazil 2A") rather than realm names.

Sakaibrary

Sakaibrary is a project to integrate licensed library resources with Sakai.

Sakai Groovy Shell

Sakai Groovy Shell

Sakai Maps

The SakaiMaps tool integrates Google Maps into Sakai and allows users to define and browse points of interest (POI) on the map. Each POI has a name, a short description, a type and optionally a url with more information.

SCORM Player

A Sakai tool able to launch and sequence a known conformant 'SCORM 2004 Conformant Sharable Content Object' (SCO), including data persistence of the full data model.

Sign-Up

A tool that allows users to organize office hours, review sessions, study groups and similar activities.

Simple Page Tool

The simple page tool allows users to create simple pages in worksites using the WYSIWYG editor, these pages can then link to things in resources if desired. It is defined as a multi tool so it can be added multiple times to the same site using the page order tool.

Sitestats

Site Stats is a tool for showing site statistics by user, event, or resource.

Skin Manager

The Skin manager tool allows site administrators to install and manage skins in a Sakai instance. Skins are uploaded in the portal as .zip archives that contain graphics and style sheets. The tool displays all the skins in use throughout the Sakai instance and indicates which sites use a particular skin. Skins may be revised by uploading a new archive and it is possible to revert to earlier versions of a skin. This strongly simplifies the skin installation process: no longer access to the file system of the sakai instance is needed.

Sparkline

Sparkline collects and displays continuous real-time feedback. It has an interface for users to continuously adjust a relative rating scale and a constantly updating sparkline of the average rating.

Taggable

Taggable API.

Textbook

A tool to facilitate the identification, buying and selling of textbooks.

TransformAble

TransformAble is useful for users who want to customize Sakai's appearance to improve the readability and accessibility.

Wicket

The goal of Wicket Contrib is to provide a component set to facilitate the development of Sakai tools using Apache Wicket (http://wicket.apache.org). If you're wondering what Wicket is all about, we've started compiling a list of hopefully useful links here. We are also compiling a list of projects that are using Wicket.

Wimba Integration

Integration of Wimba and Sakai.

Word-to-QTI Convertor

A Word-2-QTI Converter.
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