- Initial use cases posted - November 17, 2009
- Wiki, distribution list, and Subversion repository available - November 10, 2009
EdUnify is a set of core services enabling the universal registration, lookup, and invocation of web services allowing clients to find, access, and secure data exchange calls. EdUnify will address deployed, implemented, and abstract services. Deployed services are those that are operational and can be accessed on the web. Implemented services have been defined and implemented, but are not deployed and operational. Abstract services are typically either specifications or designs. Abstract services may or may not have implementations at any point in time. The high-level goals of EdUnify are to:
- open and secure access of structured information managed across distributed databases.
- compatibility with existing technologies, tools and applications.
- enable development of new technologies, tools and applications.
- connect disparate systems, applications and technologies.
- leverage internet connectivity.
- abstract services to buffer physical properties underlying data sources.
- utilize a common framework, protocols and semantics accepted by industry stakeholders.
- communicate data and processes securely, reinforced by reuse.
The specific technical goals of the task force are to:
- document use cases that articulate our goals
- design a registry with metadata about web services
- define the metadata about web services that is essential to maintain to achieve our goals
- design any integration services required to achieve our goals (for example, an ontology service)
- develop web service registration and registration maintenance processes that make sense for higher education
- prove the concept with reference implementations among participating organizations
- formalize specifications through PESC
- drive adoption within our organizations
Statement of the Problem
Across education, the utilization and effectiveness of data and information technologies is severely inhibited by access methods, differing protocols, non-standard payloads, varying data definitions, and inability to trust disparate applications stove piped by proprietary design. Billions of dollars are spent annually trying to move data across components employed by stakeholder computer systems. The current state of automation, with all its redundancy, unnecessary aggregation and inaccuracy render a tremendous burden on the educational investment society as a whole is making.
Policy, governance, research, teaching, administration, funding, and learning are all impacted. The unintended consequence of metered design without considering the external interchanges which contribute to additional obstacles and costs is avoidable. The accurate, authoritative and secure transmission of data spanning components and stakeholders would respect and reinforce autonomy and roles, by connection, rather than push the work around mentality that has been fostered by the industry fearful of data access, use and security.
The education industry spends approximately 4% of operating expenses on IT which approximates $50 Billion annually. Of that, approximately 50% or $25 Billion is spent supporting connections and movement of data across disparate applications inside and outside the institution poorly. Even with that much money spent to keep things band-aided together where funding has been applied, the ineffective use of technology is wasting away the capacity of tools and the investment in automation. Without addressing the challenge to bridge systems and components, we will be continually haunted by what could be, rather than what is. Automation can empower and serve the industry with innovation and unity in purpose. Thus, the call for EdUnify, to create a registry, lookup, and supporting services to enable applications and computer systems to seek and connect through a common abstract pipe following community developed methods, protocols, payloads and services promoted on a voluntary basis.
The following use cases demonstrate how EdUnify will help constituents achieve their objectives. Dave Moldoff to provide initial use cases...Ed Hauser and Steve Wheat will review and edit them as well.
- Access to Student and Faculty Data Services
- Electronic Publishing and Access to Institutional and Academic Data Services
- Course and Program Transferability Disclosure Services
- 21st Century Learners Spanning Multiple Institution Services
- Enabling New Student Application Services
- Enabling New and Innovative Technologies to Support Teaching and Learning Services
- EdUnify Subversion Repository
- Technical Design Documentation
- December 17/18, 2009