Duke ITAC - December 19, 2002 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - December 19, 2002 Minutes

Minutes: December 19, 2002

Attending: Ed Anapol, Mike Baptiste, Pakis Bessias, Brian Eder, David Ferriero, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Patrick Halpin, Billy Herndon, David Jamieson-Drake, Scott Lindroth, Roger Loyd, Greg McCarthy, Melissa Mills, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Molly Tamarkin, Fred Westbrook, Robert Wolpert, Steve Woody.

Guests: Jen Vizas, Dan McCarriar, Chris Cramer, Paul Conway, Rob Little, Ginny Cake

Call to order: Meeting called to order 4:12 pm.

I. Review of minutes and announcements

Robert Wolpert reminds members that the minutes from last week’s meeting were sent out yesterday. Please submit any corrections and/or omissions as soon as possible.

P2p letter update
Mike Pickett announced that Tracy sent him an update of the p2p letter that was discussed in the last meeting. He said he'd post it on the Web for everyone to review.

II. CMS subcommittee update and recommendations

Presented by Rob Little
Related url: www.oit.duke.edu/CMSsub

We announced at the last meeting that we were close to decision on making a final recommendation for the CMS vendor. We had narrowed down the original list down to four finalists with help from a consultant. After reviewing the finalistsl proposals, we put together a list of questions that still had not been addressed. We presented these questions to the vendor finalist and they were answered to our satisfaction.

The report you're reading is an executive summary that has a wealth of documentation behind it. Some of this documentation is on the CMS Web site. Contact me if you'd like to review more of the documentation or if there's other informaiton you need.

As we met and interviewed each vendor, the CMS subcommittee threw everything at the vendors, including "nice to have" features in addition to the "need to have" features.

In terms of the makeup of an implementation team, we recommend a team consisting of four core employees:

  • Technical project manager;
  • Functional project manager;
  • Lead developer/vendor liasion; and
  • Trainer/documentation expert/support consultant.

We're seeking feedback on the proposal presently, and next, approval of the recommendations or a discussion if it's warranted.


Melissa Mills: This report looks nicely thought out in terms of support and not just in terms of the application. Can people already using the vendor’s product start and get a leg up on it?

Rob Little: The committee has already envisioned an external user community for testing that we hope to take advantage of.

Robert Wolpert: Yes, we need to think about an outreach strategy.

David Jamieson-Drake: This is going to create opportunities to improve things across campus. How are you planning for that?

Ginny Cake: One thought is that there will be an office of Web Services that comes from the core employee group we spoke of earlier. But remember, when we're talking core employees we aren't including departmental needs that are specific to the departments.

Rob Little: At the end of the pilot project we'll know what level of support departments will need if they don't have an IT support group already.

Paul Conway: The CMS implementation group can deal with some of those issues with the support of the Web services group.

Rob Little: One of the roles of the Functional Project Manager is to review the roles and functionality of the Web services group.

Pat Halpin: Is there a formal evaluation process set up for the six early adopters (pilot project)?

Rob Little: Each participant will have a CMS solution.

Robert Wolpert: When is the proposed start date of the 90 pilot period? What has to happen before we pull the trigger?

Rob Little: Right now we need feedback and approval.

Ginny Cake: It goes to Tracy, then we begin negotiations, then we put an implementation team together that decides when we start. I think it would be too aggressive to start all six pilots at once.

Brian Eder: Is there a time and timeline for small organizations to come online?

Rob Little: There isn't a formal timeline. The goal is to see what we can learn from the pilot project.

Molly Tamarkin: Is there any kind of ongoing cost?

Paul Conway: No ongoing costs. They are counting on groups to come back and work with them.

Robert Wolpert: I haven’t heard any devastating criticisms. Is it the consensus that we approve this?

All: -mumble-

Robert Wolpert: I take that as a, “yes.” The CMS subcommittee is officially disbanded.

III. Technology disscussion

Presented by Ken Klingenstein

We talk about the golden age of middleware at this point. I won’t go into the definition of middleware. I worry a lot about unintended consequences. I think we do damage as we move forward. I am not in favor of a lot of the stuff we’re doing, but it seems like it's happening anyway. Of particular concern to me is in the library and the concept of closing the shelves. If we are going to go there, I would rather be the keeper of the gate than Michael Eisner being the keeper of the gate.

I was talking with federal authentication people and I was trying to get them to say you may use any service provider as long as that provider can deliver the minimum amount of information so that we can make an informed decision.

One area I know a lot about and want to pass over it immediately is grids. I have an award with NSF to build a national middleware infrastructure. I will talk later about that if you are interested.

Regarding security Issues: there has been a lot of conversation about tying research grants in with security measures. The question is how endemic is that going to become? Some argue it should not be implicit. You need to be aware that if that does come to be, as a research institution you are going to have to provide a service to secure all these researchers machines.

PKI’s glacial pace continues. It is so glacial that it is hard to determine if it is receding or moving forward.

Sound byte we use is that what Internet did for connectivity, Internet2 will do for collaboration.

We spent a lot of time in Shiboleth design because I was told the more design we do the less programming there is. That proved true. We are beginning to take Shiboleth into the DRM space. Architectures are being drafted.

We see 3 different ways besides DRM that we are looking to expand Shiboleth. One is a personal resource manager.

We’re starting to see breakthroughs in desktop video conferencing. We have been stuck for a while. If you open a port for video you have no control over what you see next. We are trying to come up with a control. We have a committee called FOO, Federating Organizations Organization, working on this.

There are business drivers emerging for secure e-mail. A project called Chandler combines calendaring with secure e-mail. It’s an interesting possibility. We are in the midst of creating a tremendous mess. We need to find a consistent vehicle for the enhancement and maintenance of open-source software.


Mike Baptiste: Do you see the need to replace everything with a new system? Do you think the idea of plug-ins has failed or is the demand just not there?

Ken Klingenstein: I don’t think the web of trust is scalable. It fits, but it doesn’t scale. I think in an enterprise fashion. There are some problems, Outlook in particular, that don’t differentiate between “sign-in key” and “encryption.” We need tools that are cognizant of the needs for higher education and I haven’t seen that. We have been looking at secure e-mail for a while, but there is just nothing there. It is frustrating.

Robert Wolpert: We’re going to postpone the update from the Academic Technology committee to allow more time to talk with Ken individually. Thank you all for a productive year. We will meet again in January. Suzy will send out a schedule soon.

IV. Academic Technology subcommittee update

Presented by Mike Pickett
Related url: ITAC Academic Technology subcommiittee home page

Recommendations from the ITAC-ATS subcommittee for technology in the classroom.


V. Other business

End of semester social.