What is EdUnify?
EdUnify is a web service registry for higher education. More specifically, EdUnify is:
- A web service registry or index with a suite of applications built on top of it.
- Web service search implemented as a web application interface for human interaction with the registry or index and a web service interface for programmatic searches of the registry or index. The search service may be free, a chargeable service, or some combination thereof based on the requirements of the business model. For example, a simple search may be free, but semantic query tools and functionality might require a fee.
- Web service search management and notification, which provides users with a means to specify and manage their searches of the registry or index over time.
- EdUnify interoperability services are web applications that help users annotate web services definitions with common ontologies, so that EdUnify can apply reasoning to infer equivalencies between web services and perhaps mediate in federated queries of multiple web services.
- EdUnify feedback and rating services are web applications that allow users of web services to provide feedback on the quality of the design and performance of web services. This provides valuable feedback to the developers and administrators of web services and most importantly generates more metadata for the EdUnify web service registry or index. As web services are rated, user may search for web services by quality of design and service level ratings in addition to searching by publisher and function.
- EdUnify monitoring services are web applications and web service that monitor web services that have been included in the registry or index and that are designed to be monitored for availability by independent third parties. For example, if the publisher of a web service provides target service level information and details of how to monitor their web service in their service publication feed, EdUnify can monitor that service for availability, present that data to users, and measure the availability of the service against the target service level. These operations provide a valuable service to the web service provider (independent verification of service level) and this process generates more metadata about the service for the registry or index. Users may search for web service by service level and performance in addition to publisher, function, data, user feedback and ratings.
Why are we doing this?
There is an increasing disparity between the number of jobs requiring postsecondary degrees and certificates and the number of United States workers receiving them. In light of these projected shortfalls, increasing efficiency of higher education and access to postsecondary programs are critically important. One of the major factors limiting the efficiency of higher education in the United States is the tremendous effort and cost required to integrate information systems across higher education institutions, service providers, and government agencies which provide instruction and services to students. Gartner Group estimates that higher education spends 50% of its IT budget, or a total of $25 billion annually, on system integration. This high cost is largely the result of duplication of analysis and implementation work and a lack of sharing and re-use. Much like Google saves countless time and effort locating information and resources on the web, a web service index and registry helps integrators find web services that already exist, use them, and focus effort only on what remains to be done.
EdUnify, a web service registry for higher education, will enable collaboration and reuse of integration analysis and implementation. Web service registries have been employed successfully in other endeavors such as cancer research and life sciences to accelerate data interchange and reuse of costly analytical resources. With EdUnify institutions of higher education, system vendors, and service providers will be able to integrate their systems more quickly and completely to offer new and improved services for course catalogues, course transfer, course articulation, degree audit, financial aid, career placement, reporting, and much more.
Over sixty people from colleges, universities, system vendors, online service providers, and government agencies are involved with the PESC EdUnify Task Force. For a list of Task Force members and contact information, see the PESC EdUnify Task Force Participants page. To enroll other participants contact Michael Sessa, PESC Executive Director, at michael dot sessa at pesc dot org.
Future Killer Applications for EdUnify
This is a summary of some killer apps that anyone (application vendors, academic institutions, people in their garage, Facebook, Google, Microsoft) could develop when EdUnify exists. EdUnify is the infrastructure that enables these composite applications. It is not the intention for EdUnify to build killer applications, but rather lay the groundwork and provide the infrastructure to promote the development of these new applications that reach across higher education. Building these killer applications without infrastructure like EdUnify is cost prohibitive and, in fact, many applications won't even be conceived until we can see the landscape of web service across higher education and other sectors.
These are the top ten. If you have more or better apps you can think of, please add them to the Killer Apps page. The applications we can envision help provide motivation for building the EdUnify infrastructure. Like the Web itself, the real killer apps will likely follow the infrastructure.
- Faculty Search for Expertise, Schedule, etc.
- Student Search for Enrollment Status
- Student Progress Traceback Search
- Teacher Traceback Search
- Lookup Program and Course Learning Outcomes and Comparability
- Government Agency Data and Information Collection
- Student Guidance and Advising Services
- Applications to Accelerate Learning, Research, and Knowledge Gathering
- Applications for Mobile, Portable, or Wearable Computer Devices
- New Media Applications
- Read more...
How to Help
- Join the Wednesday business working group conference calls
- Join the Thursday technical working group conference calls
- PESC, Emory, and the OpenEAI Software Foundation apply for FIPSE grants to work on EdUnify and web service for higher education (July 29)
- Brace Yourself for EdUnify iPhone Apps (July 2)
- An Introduction to EdUnify flash demo is available here
- Register for the EdUnify Demo Registry Webinar (June 1 & 3)
- EdUnify Briefing and Work Session at PESC (April 1 & 2)
- EdUnify Development and Demo Environments Available (March 30)
- EdUnify Use Cases
- EdUnify Directory Services Bibliography
- EdUnify Organization Efforts
- Technical Design Documentation
- Glossary and Acronyms
- EdUnify Service Publication and Discovery Architecture Discussion
Meetings/Events - Agendas
- Business Plan Work Group meets Tuesdays from 2-3 PM EST See Details
- Technical Work Group meets Mondays 1-2 pm eastern time. See details