Portals in Higher Education: Beyond a mere integration of services: a drastic (r)evolution in IT organisation / WS4
Portals are a single entry point, web based, giving access to a full set of integrated services and information. Until now, the focus has been put, heavily, on the technology. Each and every software provider was offering a portal (proprietary) with no interoperability with known technology, and no clear idea on what is really a portal. The number of portal solutions was rapidly increasing, until saturation. Then the JSR 168 portlet and WSRP standards emerged whereas we witnessed the consolidation, and reduction, of industrial and open-source portal solutions. Therefore, the technology was no more the issue, or not so acutely.
The challenge is now the organization and management of services and information to be published via the portal. Since no media really replace another media, portals have to deal with a legacy problem: the coexistence of the web sites already developed and integrated in the organisation.
The presentation will focus on the management of information in higher education: information entered in the information system only once, kept in an open format, associated to classes of users, flagged to be published on several types of media: web site, portal channel, mailing list, etc. This includes the organisation of people, the architecture and the deployment of underlying technology, among teams with different cultural background and competences (e.g. what becomes of the webmasters?). We will end with a prospective view of information management: the virtual library.