Apereo Incubation Proposal Application - CCCTC IntegratED College Adapter

Apereo Incubation Proposal Application
CCCTC IntegratED College Adapter

a. A proposed name for the project, together with a brief explanation of why the project wishes to enter Apereo incubation, and how the project would benefit higher education.

IntegratED College Adapter

Currently, educational data is transmitted between post-secondary Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Student Information Systems (SIS), and third-party educational vendors in a piecemeal fashion using largely outmoded batch technologies, such as SFTP file exchanges and flat files. The batch nature of these data transfers inhibit common tasks that should be real-time, such as course registration followed by onboarding into a Learning Management System (LMS). Students may wait hours or days to access the LMS.

As the technological landscape has evolved significantly over the years, web services standards are now available that enable automated educational data delivery from multiple inputs and systems within a highly secure transmission environment.

The challenge when exchanging data with colleges is that each college has its own ERP/SIS system that is often heavily customized. Adding to this challenge is the variety of third-party educational vendor systems with different interfaces. These many-to-many relationships require college IT to write new interfaces for each vendor and cause vendors to write interfaces for each ERP/SIS.

To simplify and solve this problem, the California Community Colleges Technology Center (CCCTC), in collaboration with post-secondary institutions and educational non-profits, such as the California College Guidance Initiative, developed a specification for a generic, services-based college adapter (IntegratED College Adapter). The IntegratED College Adapter delivers data directly to, and pulls data from, college ERP/SIS systems, as needed for cross-platform workflows.  This resolves the many-to-many problem by providing one, common web-services-based interface between college ERP/SIS systems and third-party education products. By providing an open source interface for data exchange between institutions and vendors, we will enable rapid real-time integration, standardization, and security. We envision that the open source IntegratED College Adapter may be used to set up secure networks to transfer education data between institutions in private networks as well.

The IntegratED College Adapter benefits higher education by providing an open source common integration system that provides secure, fast, and ubiquitous access the college ERP/SIS systems.

Note: The IntegratED College Adapter uses a Master Data Management (MDM) system developed in partnership with YOUnite Inc. YOUnite's MDM, although free to the California Community College System, is not free to other market verticals. After discussions with the Apereo licensing group about creating dual licensing for YOUnite's MDM, it was decided that YOUnite cannot use a dual licensing agreement to limit its Apereo open source MDM offering to higher ed institutions. In lieu of providing an Apereo open source offering of its MDM system, YOUnite's MDM offering will likely have a special pricing structure for its core platform for higher education participants, which approximates an open source license.

b. A short preface for the mailing lists, for use if the Project or Community is accepted

The IntegratED College Adapter provides the open source common interface necessary for the real-time exchange of education data between colleges, third-party systems, and government agencies that facilitate student success.

c. A proposed Project Lead or Community Chair, with contact information

Tim Calhoon, Director
California Community Colleges Technology Center

d. Two or more organizational recommendations from representatives of members of the Apereo Foundation.

Unicon: John Blakely CEO

e. A list of the initial contributors for the Project or Community

  • California Department of Education
  • California College Guidance Initiative

f. An overview of the aims of the Project or Community

Using open source software, the IntegratED College Adapter project's goal is to establish a standalone REST service that facilitates exchange of educational data with the major SIS/ERP systems in the higher-ed market (PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, Ellucian Colleague, and Ellucian Banner).

g. A technology overview if known

Technologies to be employed: Java, Spring Boot, Groovy, SQL

Functionality Overview:

h. An overview of any current user base or user community

  • Electronic Transcript and Data Exchange Vendors
  • Higher Education Institutions
  • Learning Management System Vendors
  • CRM/Student Portal Systems
  • Student Information System Vendors
  • Reporting Systems

i. An overview of how the Project or Community relates to other parts of Apereo, if appropriate

Because the IntegratED College Adapter will be an open-source tool for data exchange with major ERP/SIS systems, any Apereo project that exchanges data between institutions or other organizations may benefit.

j. A pointer to any current information (for example, an existing Web page) for the project