Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Access to Multiple Systems

For the term starting Jan 7, we have students who need to be directed to the new Vista system (v8). By standard practice, students also have access to the previous term a few weeks into the new term, let’s say Feb 23. So we’ll need to ensure some access to the old Vista system (v3).

There are multiple ways we can handle this access:

  1. School VIPs – We highly encourage users bookmark, publish links, and access school VIPs instead of the actual address. The idea being these addresses will always go to the right place. Other addresses could change and not work. We even have a v8 version for pre-cutover access and a v3 version for post-cutover access. The problem seems to be some campuses and users continue to use the addesses other than the school VIPs (v8 will only show them the school VIP).
  2. Custom login page – We would place an HTML file on the v3 system explaining general access has moved. Some people would need to get past this page and into the v3 system. The questions here are:
    1. Can we just give the admins the link to bypass the custom login page? They could then manage who has access to the site. They might have to provide this “secret” to thousands of students.
    2. Do we dare publish the link on the page? Something like “To check Fall 2008 grades: click here.”
  3. Deny access – We would deny access to all users except those who hold the Institution Administrator role in v3. The holders of that role would then be responsible to granting access one-by-one to other users who need to access to this old system.
  4. f5 iRule to 302 Redirect – We do host a school who uses autosignon. It is conceivable we could intercept attempts to login and redirect them to the correct host. It would be much better for them just to use the School VIPs solution.

Anyone have a better solution?





5 responses to “Access to Multiple Systems”

  1. MKline Avatar

    That sounds like what we did except that we did not deny all users but admins b/c the instructors needed to go back and tell us what template or section they needed moved to the old system or students needed to finish incompletes… heres the link to our old vista system… http://vista.marshall.edu/webct/entryPageIns.dowebct

  2. Jeff Avatar

    Thinking off the top of my head… How about forcing everyone to Vista 8 and then having a proxy tool in the ‘External Courses’ channel that does auto-signon to the Vista 3 environment. Keep it there for as long as it’s needed (Feb 23 etc) and then remove the tool? There are probably complexities that I’m overlooking – my brain just doesn’t work on the scale of a USG system!

  3. Ezra F Avatar
    Ezra F

    Some Twitter responses…

    toddjw – I would go with option 1 and simply tell folks unless they stop using the addresses, it simply won’t work.

    tameraclark – We did this last year! Basically we cut over and offered to migrate sections and enrollement. We did keep our V3 up and “hidden”. We never had to let people in but did migrate a few late sections using our super awesome back end process.

  4. Matt! Avatar

    You host BBV for customers? Interesting.

  5. Ezra F Avatar
    Ezra F

    Matt – We host the Blackboard Learning System Vista Enterprise License for the University System of Georgia. So our customers are 32 colleges and universities, 7 inter-collegiate programs, and 5 outreach programs such as the Southern Region Education Board and Alternative Media Access Center.

    So ~180,000 students, ~ 25,000 faculty and staff, and ~30,000 sections.

    We also currently have 4 clusters in production for Vista 3. For Vista 8, we have 10 clusters.

Leave a Reply