Sakai Tools – Inside/Outside the Box

Some interesting sakai-ux discussion tied in with thoughts I’ve been having recently related to native vs. integrated services and content in portal-type environments… where do the lines get drawn, and how do you handle horizontal services?

From a functionality/architecture point of view, the idea of loosly coupled integrations with external services like wikis, or Google Apps, or other tools seems very attractive.


There are significant horizontal capability components that while not impossible to resolve may complicate that scenario. Initial thoughts:

* TOS – ensuring users understand external, but integrated tools may have separate terms of service, SLAs, data ownership/retention policies, etc.
* import/export I think the ability to “package” and port a course/site/project or archive it is something that lots of people want. Again possible (treat external resources as links? Embed their content? Cry?) but I think it has some strong implications in user experience and architecture
* Search – this one might actually be a bit more straightforward

I will make the observation/parallel from the portal world – CampusEAI is currently heavily involved in building out a social portal, that combines the integration of enterprise services & applications with natively managed content like blogs, wikis, discussions, profile, etc. As we continue to get further down this road, some interesting intersections between user expectations and boundaries between external and internal content continue to present themselves up.

So far the balance we’ve come up with is largely – some stuff is in, some stuff is out, but there’s continual tension on the boarders of that distinction, and I’m not confident that that particular firewall will hold or be appropriate in the long run.

Not sure I have good answers for you 🙂 Just a brain-dump of my internal thought processes these days.