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Draft Minutes, ITANA call 27-Sept-2012


James Phelps, U-W Madison (Chair)
Jim Leous, Pennsylvania State University
Rich Stevenson, University of Maryland University College
Vincent Aumont, University of British Columbia
Paul Hobson, University of British Columbia
Leo Fernig, University of British Columbia
Chris Eagle, University of Michigan
Vinay Varguhese, Weill Cornel Medical College
Karen Hanson, UW Madison
Emily Eisbruch, Internet2, scribe

Action Items

[AI] (Leo) email Jim with the respondents so far to the short survey.
[AI] (Jim) send another push of the survey to the CIO list, if needed


Welcome to the new year - Jim Phelps, Chair

SOA Working Group  
Report from Leo (UBC)

Long survey 13 respondents (as of August)
Short survey 17 respondents (as of this morning) 

Total of 30 respondents
Just starting to transcribe details of short survey
Plan to put an executive summary (PDF) on the website
Should have info on the wiki prior to the F2F at EDUCAUSE
Survey closes Oct 15

Findings to date: 
- people are still interested in SOA and in services
- SOA is still a fundamental part of the IT landscape
- for enterprise SOA suites, Oracle is the leader of the pack in the HE space

- interesting how long SOA has been on the radar
- first talked about SOA in higher ed 8 or more years ago

- question around "how much of an impossible dream is SOA?"
- interesting discussion on "does SOA have to be a grand strategy?" 
- grand strategy is expensive
- what about chipping away at parts of it in a productive way?
- SOA  can be 200 pound gorilla (full suite) or smaller gorilla (more subtle approach)

- Examples from the survey include smaller projects
- If you see SOA as an architectural style, it is not as huge
- One of the issues is the big infrastructure investment
- People want it to be something cool you can click on at the end if you spend a lot on it
- But it is an "under the covers" thing, so it's not glossy
- UW - Madison uses an ESB, and is in process of demonstrating value 
     - still need an enterprise service to support what they are doing
     - need 3 FTE and training and maintenance to run a SOA infrastructure enterprise service

- There are many ways to pass student data around
- Costs $ to do properly
- Issue: there is no accounting for the current vehicles for moving data around
- Possibly we are spending one million dollars per year, but we can't prove that

- At last major upgrade to Student Info System at UW- Madison, there was a survey of all the triggers and SQR's
- Migration of all those custom integration points was a major effort
- Hope next migration will be easier, with less worry about all the downstream consumers

Q: At UW-Madison, is the schema for the operational data store different from the operational database?
A: At first it was very different (with a lot of flattening), 
    - then it became less different so the overhead of extract, transfer and load is reduced. 

- UW-Madison tried a data warehouse approach
- Doing a proof of concept for using web services to pull data from source into operational data store
- Easier to do if table structure is the same

Q: If 2 clients access the same service but they should not have same access, how fine grained is the system?
A: Very fine grained at UW-Madison. Two levels of security:
     1. are you allowed access?
     2. what level of data are you allowed to see?

- the customer fills out an online authorization form
- a person must approve the request, to be sure it is in line with policy.
- The approval gives the access in the database.

Q: Are there business rules you must enforce?
A: Yes, at UW-Madison, there are rules for when data can be accessed. For example, we tell consumers they cannot get class rosters until enrollment is done. 

- At UBC, there are many software as a service products in use.
- There are issues of integration and providing correct fine-grained access to data

- At UW-Madison, 3rd party service providers only get access to public curricular data.

[AI] (Leo) will email Jim with the respondents so far to the short survey.
[AI] (Jim) will send another push of the survey to the CIO list, if needed


New to EA Peer Group  

Chris Eagle reported:
- There was good participation at the Sept 12, 2012 Google Hangout
- See minutes:

Talked about moving traditional architecture into EA
In future will try to have some guest panelists with experience in EA

How to handle the fact that Google Hangout has 10 person limit?
Perhaps set this up as a WebEx in the future


 Leading as EA Peer Group 

Jim Phelps will lead this.  Jim is out of town in 2 weeks, so it will start up in about a month.


Future State - the year ahead
- EDUCAUSE Face2Face, Learning Theater, Discussion Session, (un)Conference
Nov 6-9, 2012 in Denver

- F2F planning page:

- ITANA F2F at EDUCAUSE site: 

- Sign up soon, last year it was "sold out"

Laura Patterson and Shel Waggener will be at the  EDUCAUSE F2F

Future Screen2Screen Sessions

Jim would like to plan more screen2screen sessions, following the success of the Laura Patterson presentation on Sept. 13, 2012.

Tell Jim if you have ideas for additional screen2screen presentations

- UBC: idea for a presentation on shared services, later in the year
- Jim: possibly ask Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at UW-Madison

- Jim may set up a group to plan and manage Screen2Screen sessions.

- Jim would like to create video sessions to be made available on youtube
- might ask Laura to be the first

Q: Is it OK to repurpose the Laura Patterson University of Michigan slides?
A: Probably yes, but give proper attribution

 Next Working Group(s) Activities

- As we wind down the SOA working group,
- Possibly establish  a WG on Reference Architecture for HE
- Collection of artifacts we have built up over time within ITANA
     - Conceptual Models
    - Life Cycle Diagrams
    - Systems on a Page / Strategy on a Page / Anchor Diagrams for HE

- Idea of getting companies that provide tools for architects to treat higher ed as a vertical
- so they will repopulate their tools with HE examples
- as they do for banks, etc.

- are there product suites in the HE space, student systems and LMS 
- to give a concrete picture of what an architected solution in HE might look like?
- will discuss more at the F2F or UnConference

- Possibly consider an Enterprise Data Management WG
- ties into the disruptive change theme

Architectural Purchasing Requirements 

JimL: At PSU, there are planned discussions with Purchasing Dept.
- more important than ever that all systems work together
- to find out if boiler plate language from the architects help in purchasing and procurement?
- as services move to the cloud

JimP: Steve Devoti at UW-Madison developed a set of  procurement requirements / guidelines

UBC: yes it would be helpful if ITANA worked on such a template
- Sometimes cloud offerings, and open-source are missed by the way RFPs RFIs are written

- Open Source Policies & Procurement are an issue.
- RFPs and RFIs can close out the open source world, since there is no person to fill out the RFP/RFI in the open source project

- One solution is to get a company to provide professional services, and that company can present the case for the open source solution.

- University of Maryland University College had this issue when procuring an LMS.
There are license terms in an open source agreement, but no one to negotiate with, if an exception needs to be made.  This is a problem for the legal dept.  How do other institutions handle that?

- Also an issue that the legal dept says that open source procurement precludes other firms from bidding on future work.  They do not want open source used even in a proof of concept

- How do other schools handle that concern?

JimL: yes it's an issue when no one speaks for open source
- PSU legal dept has same concern
- However, PSU has approved a few of the open source licenses, which has eased the situation somewhat
- PSU did a proof of concept with Moodle (open source)
- UMUC thinks of having a policy around preferring open source, in order to address the lawyers' concerns about use of open source being anti competitive

Potential reasons to prefer open source: 
  - cost
   - freedom
   - functionality
  - expediency (time to acquire)

Would be good to discuss these procurement issues on the list.

Next ITANA Call: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 2pm ET 
(Jim traveling, so this date is not 100% certain)

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