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Hello All,

Below are notes from the Wednesday, Nov. 7 meeting at Educause. Many thanks to Sarah Bearbower for taking and compiling these notes. I have also posted them on the conference session web page at

Thank you to all who attended for making this meeting a success!


- Scott

Web Portals Constituent Group Meeting Notes – 11/7/2012


Products using or considering: Luminus, Sharepoint, Peoplesoft,

LifeRay, Uportal,


Do you have a team that customizes your portal? A couple of users have

"written" their own portals so that they can control all of it. Portal

team of 2-3 people have been working on it.


What are you using to integrate your portal with the erp system?

Uportal with Peoplesoft integration with webservices and customized

UI. Using WebService in front of the service then put a Mobile face

and a portal interface on the webservices. Some places are using CASS.


decide what are the "high value" items you want to "pull out off the erp"


Make your portal team the same as the erp team. That might help with



What items are in the Portal? Moodle course module, grades, mail, pay

the bill, registration, calendar of events, announcement areas based

on groups


People want data in the portal to be "real time".


Others have created a "central hub" to allow for integration or access to data.


What policies do you have in place for "hooking" other items to your

portal? No formal policies but people are using API to "Hook" in.


How do people feel about mobile? Mobile needs to be task oriented

design of your portal. It is important to not having to create

complete separate sites for the same information.


mobile webview of Uportal is being used for mobile option. Umobile is

the native app for this.


How many people have "customizable" content on their portal? The

concensus is that no body is using that feature even though people say

they want it.


Goal of the portal is to provide "ease of access" to the information

that the university is providing to the users. However, sometimes

there's so much information that they have a hard time communicating

what is available. How do you organize the portal so that users can

"find it".


Use focus groups for your end-users to determine what they like or

what they don't like or want in a portal. As the question of the users

stating "what do you need to see". What do you need the portal to do?

What devices you need to make it run on?


Reporting on activity logs is helpful to determine what tools are

used. What is important to people, what the design flow should be for

the system. However, it can be a challenge to get an item that is

either embedded in the page or an external resource. Some of that

information can be gotten from usability tests and "heat maps" this

can be done on the cheap it doesn't need to be expensive.

Scott Finkelstein
Manager of Web Technologies
Office of Information Technology
Adelphi University
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