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Q1 2018 EQUELLA Open Source Support Briefing

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The quarterly EQUELLA Open Source Support (OSS) Briefing is an opportunity to share the contributions performed on behalf of the OSS program, highlight Unicon's perspective on contributions, and share happenings in the community along with opportunities to engage further with Unicon. 

Discussions for the EQUELLA Q1 2018 Support Briefing focused on Community News, Sustaining Engineering, EQUELLA 6.6, and a discussion around events and community engagement.

On Thursday April 26, 2018, the Unicon OSS team held the EQUELLA OSS Briefing summarizing OSS activities for Q1 of 2018.

EQUELLA 6.6

We began the briefing by discussing EQUELLA 6.6, which is the next stable release of EQUELLA in the pipeline. EQUELLA 6.6 is almost functionally complete and will soon enter the testing phase. Community testing is an important part of the success of EQUELLA releases, and we encourage anyone who uses or has an interest in EQUELLA to help test by focusing on their critical flows. The full list of Github issues that are included in 6.6 is listed in this Github milestone. The primary objectives of 6.6 are responsive design, sunsetting the Admin Console, and bug fixes. Both the responsive design and retiring the Admin Console are phased approaches. There is a new configuration in the Settings page to enable the new UI, and via the REST API, you can manage reports now. We demoed the primary functionality of 6.6 during the briefing, so please have a look at the recording!

Building EQUELLA

Since EQUELLA is still relatively new as an open source, build-it-yourself application, we reviewed how adopters can build EQUELLA. To do so, you will need GIT, SBT, Java 8, and tools for the frontend including Yarn, Purescript, and Bower. When building EQUELLA for demo / evaluation, folks can use a self-signed cert (SBT can auto generate one for you), but for Production use, it’s recommended to secure a Java signing certificate keyed to your group. Due to open source licensing, the optional components of Kaltura integration and Oracle database drivers had to be separated from the core EQUELLA code, but adopters are free to include the components in their specific builds. Alternatively, if you have a support agreement with a commercial services provider of EQUELLA (such as Unicon), we can build EQUELLA for you. Latest demo versions (self-signed Java certs, no optional components) are available here

Community News

We then moved into a discussion on EQUELLA’s progress in Apereo’s incubation process. At the time of the briefing, EQUELLA was still in the incubation process. Since then, however, EQUELLA has graduated the Apereo incubation process and has become a fully-endorsed Apereo project in the open source software community!

Sustaining Engineering

After the community news, we reviewed what Sustaining Engineering (SE) is at Unicon, and why it’s important to subscribers and adopters of EQUELLA. Since the Q4 2017 briefing, Unicon SE completed 2 issues: #287 to expose the ‘EXISTS’ operator in Manage Resources, and #436 to create a REST endpoint for Reports.  

#436 is part of the effort to completely remove the dependence on the Admin Console. All functionality will be ported to REST APIs (which is what #436 did for Reports), and then those REST APIs will be utilized to build out responsive design management web interfaces.   

We now have a good pool of efforts to prioritize for the SE queue, but we always welcome more ideas on how EQUELLA can be improved. Through the voices of Unicon’s OSS EQUELLA subscribers, Unicon’s SE efforts will continue to drive meaningful, timely contributions to the EQUELLA platform. If you have an idea for how to enhance EQUELLA and are an Unicon OSS Subscriber, please open a S5 Zendesk ticket to make your voice be heard!

Community Spotlight

For the Community Spotlight, we were joined by Jon Sweetin, the EQUELLA administrator for the North Carolina Learning Object Repository (NCLOR). Jon gave an intriguing presentation on NCLOR’s course syllabus generation tool in which he demoed the following:

  • Guiding a professor to input various syllabus details into an EQUELLA wizard
  • Using the EQUELLA save script to generate PDF and Word documents based on the metadata
  • Automatically attaching the PDF and Word attachments to the EQUELLA item

It’s a slick way to solve multiple business needs with one configurable flow.

Events

We closed the briefing by encouraging folks to attend Open Apereo 2018. The conference will be held at the Delta Marriott from June 3 - June 7. Attendees are encouraged to stay at the hotel to facilitate better networking. The event will include workshops, presentations, and keynote addresses. The following are specific EQUELLA events at Open Apereo - and there are a host of other educational topics and technology that will be covered as well. The full list can be found here:  

  • EQUELLA 101 (Workshop)
  • EQUELLA and uPortal integration (Presentation)
  • EQUELLA Customizations (Presentation)
  • Implementing EQUELLA Content Management at BYU Idaho (Presentation)

Conclusion

The briefing was well attended, and we appreciate folks taking time out of their schedules to join us. We encourage you to reach out to the community, get excited about EQUELLA, ask questions, and help shape the future of this open source Content Management System.

Click here for the video recording.
Click here for the briefing slides.

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