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January 4, 2010 / dlitgroup

Blackboard Team Meeting – January 7

Attendees: Szymon Machajewski, Garry Brand, Eric Kunnen, Peggy Gorno


1. Project Updates
2. Current Issues
3. Planning for Upgrades
4. Development and Customizations


Web Camera – can we turn off the links in Blackboard that point to this.  An open question as to whether or not the webcam will be fixed.

1. Project Updates:

A.  Course Creation – Combined courses business rules.  We need to figure out how to name combined sections.  It is confusing when courses are combined when they have multiple department codes.  Course IDs are now semester based.  It seems we need a way to inform instructors of what sections are in the combined section.  What about students?  Will they be confused? Dave Anderson was going to set up a meeting with Szymon, Jody, and Peggy.

B. Course Archives – The desire is to maintain a number of semester exports.  Szymon will make a request to for storage to maintain a file system for course exports.  Space for this is in the works.

C.  NBC Video Content Pilot –  We have the access to be able to use NBC until the end of Winter semester.

D. Xythos WebDAV Client Pilot – Still awaiting reply.  Haven’t heard from Novell on Netdrive.

E. Load Balancer – A request has been made with Ed Walker on some IP setting needs.  The target will be to put in place this Friday.  We need to document our configuration and share it with the community.

F. Blackboard 9 Upgrade – Need a fresh set of Oracle database for a current copy of production. will be updated to reflect an identified target date of Fall 2010 for Bb 9 and also indicate rationale.

1. Refresh test and pilot databases on the bbdb1 (test) system.
2. Upgrade the test-pilot system and keep the regular test system version 8.
3. Upgrade the production-pilot system

This should not require new hardware for databases.
The issue is with application servers.  We have total of two test application servers.  We could use on for the test v.8 system and test-pilot v.9.  This means that we will be missing the production-pilot application server.  I expect that this need would arise sometime in March.  This application server for the production-pilot system should have at least 5GB memory.

We have also gathered 37 faculty that are willing to test and evaluate Bb 9.

Several upgrade strategies were also discussed.

F. Bb Snapshot Automation Enhancements –In progress.

G. Starfish Deployment – In progress.  A deployment meeting will be set up.
H. Software download site – Linux, Firefox, OpenOffice site.  We could benefit from this.  Example would be placing a download on the Content System?
I. GRCC from – Another external site that we can use to communicate with students that our internet connection is lost from campus.

2. Current Issues

A. Security Update/Patch Required for Campus Pack LX Building Block

Szymon completed the patch update before the winter break shutdown.

3. Planning for Upgrades

See above for the Bb 9 upgrade plans.

4. Development and Customizations

A. iPhone App – Szymon an early version which includes location services, access to Bb, faculty absences, and youtube access.

B. Faculty Absences – A direct request from the Provost Office has been made to target the Faculty Absence process, both on the faculty reporting end, as well as a Student Congress request for text messaging as an opt-in method to receive notifications.  Szymon has created a proposal and the next step is to move it forward.  This involves a Building Block being created.

C. Discussion Forums & Announcements to public RSS/HTML – is now live and being used by Student Employment Services.

D. Additional Projects – Defined in:


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