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Learn from the perspectives of our industry experts in our series of blog posts.
Check back for new posts on the latest in select open source projects.

Latest Blog Postings

uPortal Tech Keeps Up with the Times

A few years ago, I sat in on a presentation where a portal vendor pitched their product as a modern replacement over a stagnant uPortal. Unfortunately, the vendor had not kept up on the uPortal project. uPortal had undergone a major release with lots of UI and front-end enhancements since they looked at it. The institution stayed with uPortal.

Confidence in Cloud Providers

In just a few years, we have seen acceptance of public cloud shift fairly dramatically from concern and skepticism to eagerly embracing the opportunities afforded. Five years ago, many of our hosted clients wanted to know that Unicon (and indirectly, they) had physical control of the data, servers, and other infrastructure. Today, confidence in cloud providers to deliver the highest levels of security and reliability led us to migrate all of our remaining colo (colocation) customers into Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Sakai 11 Features

(Source: https://www.sakaiproject.org)

A big community effort has resulted in the creation of Sakai 11. This release has more innovation and changes than any other release in the history of Sakai. To match the actual requirements of institutions all around the world, Sakai 11 includes a complete redesign of the interface, a new Gradebook tool, and thousands of other new features and improvements.

Let’s explore some of the most interesting updates:

Apereo CAS 5 Release Announcement

The Apereo Foundation has announced the official GA release of CAS 5. This is a major release which is packed with a lot of new features and enhancements, some of which are described here:

Spring Boot/Cloud

Configuration management and setup has been simplified extensively, thanks to the Spring Boot and Spring Cloud projects.The auto-configuration strategy of CAS features is as follows: 

Adding RESTful APIs to Portlets

RESTful APIs, while not new, have only recently seen adoption in portlets. Why? They are often used to expose a service. In the case of portlets, there is often a more complete service that the portlet fronts. Another common use is to provide the back end of single page applications. It is this later use that is likely to drive more RESTful APIs in portlets.

Luckily, most portlets use Springframework with it's vast array of complimentary libraries. Springframework Web Services is one such library that directly supports implementing RESTful APIs.

AngularJS Portlet Testing with Jasmine

Recently, I had the opportunity to add a new testing suite to a portlet. That suite is Jasmine, a JavaScript testing framework. The Survey Portlet is a modern portlet which leverages AngularJS. The Angular controllers needed to be tested as part of the project. In most Maven-driven Java applications that I have seen there is no testing performed on JavaScript. Jasmine integration is a step to correct this common shortcoming.

LDAP TLS/SSL Config for the Shibboleth IdP Explained

Many Shibboleth IdP adopters use LDAP as provide both an authentication provider and an attribute source. There is always the question of "do we need to configure TLS/SSL for the IdP's connection to the LDAP server(s)?". My response is "always" because we need to protect the user's credentials even in the most trusted network. My question back to the client, "Why do wouldn't you?". Often the response is somewhere between "we've tried and we got it to work once, but then it broke sometime" and "we could never get it to work".

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