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Just when I thought I was out...

Submitted by a_calder on Fri, 03/31/2017 - 13:59

Luminis has been running at different levels of efficiency and effectiveness for about 12 years now, and it's still kicking around on the original Sun V880s we bought for the purpose. We've seen ups and downs and a diminishing role of the portal (called MyBCIT) as time has rolled on. Due to resource constraints, MyBCIT has seen limited discussion at the IT Services meetings, less focus from students and faculty and an overall march to retirement.

Until two months ago.

All of a sudden, Luminis received new life in the form of Office 365, Sharefile, and snow. Without anyone committed to the project (I was only looking at MyBCIT occasionally, make sure it was still breathing), it rarely came up in conversation/planning due to lack of awareness, despite fairly decent usage by students. Our two new offerings for students, Office 365 and Sharefile, were finally approved after going through lengthy Privacy Impact Assessments (a requirement here in BC). When someone finally asked the question: How are we going to get students into these apps, my quiet voice peeped out: "MyBCIT?" from the back of the room. All heads turned toward me, then toward one another, then back at me. "My what?!"

The idea was then floated that we should aggregate these services once again in MyBCIT, and we should commit some resources to the project of bringing us up to date with Luminis 5.3 (we are on 4.something). That was not popular, as we are struggling for resources everywhere. So, for a brief moment, MyBCIT was on the minds of leadership and then *poof* winked out.

Then, a simple twist of fate: Mother Nature.

Not 1 day later, the weather turns dark, and white flakes fall from the sky. Not a few, but enough to coat the ground in a snowy blanket that us west-coasters only ever see up on the mountains. When it settles on our roads and sidewalks, it's pandemonium! So, how do we let students, faculty and staff know what the status of the institute is? I know my audience, you all guessed MyBCIT. You're right! Suddenly, MyBCIT becomes the critical channel for comms for weather-related closures. Of course, this leads to a greater awareness of the portal, a better understanding of its reach and a recognition of its criticality in IT deployments.

So, I'm back. MyBCIT is back. A project got started, it says "Luminis 5.3" somewhere on it, we have hardware being provisioned and someone even said "dedicated java coder" at one point.


Luminis Version:

It's funny how things like that work out. We had similar moments throughout our portal's history.

Good luck! v5 is cleaner/nicer/more modern. Read the Liferay docs, there is a whole lot there you can do that isn't mentioned in the Ellucian docs.