Monday, March 28, 2011

Sungard Summit 2011 recap

So last week I spent four days in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Sungard Summit conference. I was attending primarily because of my role as portal administrator at my school, but as most Higher Ed IT staff, I tend to wear at least a dozen different hats on various projects that come and go through our department.

Some of the cool things I saw/learned/experienced at Summit 2011

Luminis 5
Our school relies pretty heavily on our existing portal running on Luminis 4 for communication with internal constituents -- students, staff and faculty. Last year (at Summit 2010) we saw the general announcement that Luminis 5 was out for beta-testing. But the official release wasn't out for months, and practically speaking it wouldn't be until the current calendar year before my school could even begin to look at the upgrade seriously. Now that we are a year later, and Luminis 5 has been out in production for a few months, the details are a bit more nailed down, and I had a chance to see some actual demos from schools who are already running Luminis 5.
Some notable features:
  • Liferay 5.2.3 replaces uPortal as the portal engine. This is a big transition for the Luminis product line, and will allow our portal development to take a more standards-based approach (see below)
  • Spring framework (java-based open-source standardization)
  • Integrated Jasig CAS (centralized authentication and single sign-on) *
  • Integrated support for Google Docs, Calendar and GMail
  • Supports virtualization of hardware resources *
* Note: a good number of schools were already doing this in Luminis 4, but this is now vendor-supported natively in Luminis 5.

Mobile Connection
Mobile Connection is a toolset for development of apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry and simultaneous deployment via a Groovy and Grails framework. Sungard provides a core set of applications out-of-the-box with integration to Banner, with the hopes that developers will share additional functionality via an open source community.

Banner Horizon
Think, the 1990's look-and-feel of Banner INB, Self-Service Banner, and other existing Sungard products gets a botox injection of AJAX, Flex and other Web 2.0 standards. My initial response: goodbye, Banner form codes!

New Orleans, Louisiana
This city knows how to party. Seriously.

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