Phoenix, AZ–March 14, 2007 — Unicon, Inc., the leading independent provider of open source enterprise portals, applications, and professional services for the online campus in academic institutions, today announced that the uPortal development work done for San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) has been contributed by the college back to the uPortal community. Unicon´s recently-completed work began as a project in the fall of 2006 to develop and implement new features to the SJDC campus portal which included an Email Preview Portlet and a News and Alert Channels. The new features are designed to benefit students, faculty, and administrative staff members of the online campus by providing them with a highly-accessible, personalized view of updated and relevant information after they login to the Web site. The act of contributing newly-developed features and source code to a community is consistent with the philosophy of open source software.
"These latest feature enhancements developed and contributed on behalf of San Joaquin Delta College are great additions to the uPortal open source community and the college should be commended for its citizenship participation in higher education," said John C. Blakley, CEO of Unicon, Inc. "Academic institutions are increasingly choosing open source applications as alternatives to proprietary solutions when it becomes time to upgrade or migrate to a different platform. In most cases, open source software is significantly less costly than proprietary software and also benefits the higher ed community as a whole."
"SJDC has committed to the development and use of open source software such as Kuali Financials, Kuali Student and uPortal. We have been a user of open source products and welcome the opportunity to continue to contribute in return." said Ralph Olstad, the SJDC uPortal project manager. "Unicon got us off to a good start on the project by developing our first portlets, providing training and project management services."
About uPortal´s New Email Preview Portlet (EPP): The new EPP provides an interface where users can see a predetermined number of unread messages in their inbox in a small window within the portal. When the user clicks on the email in the preview window, a new browser window is launched and the user´s mail inbox is presented. Unicon built a new portlet to provide this functionality, leveraging the Spring MVC framework. The EPP is a JSR 168 compliant portlet and can be configured to work with any IMAP server.
About uPortal´s New News and Alerts Channels: The updated channels allow for two different types of announcements (Alerts vs News) to be authored. Unicon modified the previous USC channels to allow for different property files to split the Alerts functionality into one channel and the News functionality into another. The two instances of the channel also utilize different style sheets, which allows for custom styling appropriate for the announcement type.
Short Chronology of Channel Development & Evolution of Community Source Software
November 2004: Columbia University contributes its open source uPortal "Announcements Channel" software code to the JA-SIG open source repository.
March 2005: USC hires Unicon to make updates to the open source news channel to add more functionality, user interface refinements, and administration capabilities. USC then contributes the updated "Announcements Channel" back to JA-SIG open source repository and uPortal community.
March 2007: Unicon completes development work for SJDC to create an "Email Preview Portlet" and to make improvements to the open source "News and Alerts Channel". SJDC is now contributing the features and software source code back to the uPortal community.
From the Java Architectures Special Interest Group (JA-SIG), uPortal is an open source enterprise portal collaboratively developed by higher-education, for higher-education. Utilizing Java, Extensible Markup Language (XML), JavaServer Pages Technology (JSP) and Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technologies, the uPortal framework enables easy, standards-based integration with authentication and security applications, single sign on secure access, and end user customization. More information is available at www.ja-sig.org
Unicon, Inc. is the leading independent provider of open-source frameworks, applications and professional services for the online campus. Unicon delivers enterprise portal, collaboration, learning and integration technology for higher education institutions worldwide. The company is the leading commercial supporter of the uPortal open source Web portal initiative, and is a Sakai Commercial Affiliate for the community source Collaboration and Learning Environment. Unicon strives to base its solutions on open-source technology for increased productivity and reduced costs. Unicon also provides a full complement of professional consulting, training and support services. More information about Unicon, Inc. is available at www.unicon.net.