Duke ITAC - March 4, 2004 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - March 4, 2004 Minutes


March 4, 2004

Members present: Ed Anapol, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Paul Conway, Angel Dronsfield, Brian Eder, David Ferriero, Nevin Fouts represented by Randy Haskin, Tracy Futhey, Michael Gettes, Paul Harrod represented by Alfred Trozzo, Billy Herndon, David Jamieson-Drake, Kyle Johnson, Roger Loyd represented by Andres Keck, Melissa Mills represented by Forrest Smith, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert, Steve Woody

Guests present: Bob Newlin; David Menzies, OIT; Suzanne Maupin, OIT; Bill Ignelzi, ASM; Todd Orr, ASM; Ginny Cake, OIT; Phil Lemmons, N&C; Dan McCarriar, OIT; Chris Cramer, IT Security; Paula Morrison, DHTS-ADG; Thomas Peng, OIT; Scott Seaman, OIT; Sue Jarrell, SISS; Jin Siedon, Research; Jim Roberts, Provost Office; Amy Oates, Provost Office

Start: 4:06 PM

I. Review of minutes and announcements

Robert Wolpert welcomes everyone and tells Molly that despite the beautiful weather we cannot meet outside today.

Mike Pickett reminds ITAC members to review the telecommuting policy and procedure document that was e-mailed today because it will be discussed during the March 18 ITAC meeting. (See http://www.duke.edu/~picke001/ITAC/DukeTelecommutingPolicy11-04-02.html.)

Dan McCarriar says the committee to investigate survey software has finished its work and has chosen ViewsFlash by Cogix. It will be available soon.

Mike P. also announces the Storage Area Network forum has been scheduled for March 23. Watch for a formal invitation via e-mail.

II. Portal Update by Ginny Cake

The undergraduate student portal pilot went live February 16. Ginny emphasizes this is a pilot. A few stats: 1,094 unique people visited the portal in the first week. The second week 391 additional unique visitors were counted, but interest in DevilTalk rose significantly that week. A the broadcast e-mail announcing the portal went out early this week and as of today 572 additional people have visited for a total of 2,057 unique visitors on the portal and 1,074 on DevilTalk.

Students seem pleased based on the discussions posted on DevilTalk.

A survey will go out shortly to people who logged on, and people who did not log on. It will ask them why they did or did not log on among other things.

Robert Wolpert reminds members that the portal project is restricted to undergraduates. Ginny says that anyone in ITAC who wants access to look around should send her an e-mail.

Molly says a student logged in for her so she could see the portal, but the student was not anticipating much. Once the student saw the portal he became very excited about it.

III. E-mail migration update by Michael Gettes

Last weekend another 12,000 users were moved to the new mail system, after which, the team ran into a scaling problem. The system was having a rough time. The load average was not especially high, but things were not working right. It was a difficult problem to detect. The system was rebooted after a kernel patch and things are running much better.

Tracy asks what the problem was.

Michael says f-sync and other kernel-related problems were the cause. The virus that hit was arguably a good thing because it forced the team to solve the kernel problem now rather than later.

John Board says students told him strange things happened in their mailboxes during the migration: dates went wrong, messages were being duplicated.

Michael says that happened to a limited group, mostly Mac Mail App users. Duplicated messages were mostly POP users who had certain clients. It did not affect the majority of users.

George Oberlander asks when is the ETA for wrapping up the project.

Micheal says it will not be rushed, but the good news is that those who have not been migrated are still up and running. Two old servers are offline now since so many accounts have been moved to the new system the old servers were no longer needed. Best estimate is a few more weeks.

Tracy asks what we would do different next time based on the growing pains we experienced.

Michael says that discussion has not yet happened, but it will.

IV. Ex Libris library system update by Paul Conway

(Paul hands out a paper. See attachment, Integrated Library System: Update on Ex Libris Implementation.)

The system we are using now was installed in 1993 and is overdue for a replacement. In May of 2002 a decision was made that Duke should have it’s own library system separate from the other research institutions in the area. As a result, three products from Ex Libris are being purchased and installed. They are not easy to install, but they are very feature rich compared to other systems that are easier to install.

The new system links to SAP, SISS, LDAP (NetID) and others. There is a capability to do more with the student portal and it supports RSS feeds. Much is automated from the previous library system. There are measurable efficiency improvements as a result.

John Board says the triangle university library issue seems to be a big issue. Is there still a way to get things from other nearby university libraries, UNC-CH for example?

Paul says they are working on it, but each system at each university needs to load the other universities’ data, and that is very time consuming.

Michael G asks if we did something like Shibboleth would the universities need to load the patron data to interconnect?

Paul says he and Michael need to talk.

Robert W thinks the portal integration should be a higher priority than integrating with Blackboard. If online reserves can be done outside of Blackboard that would be a good thing.

V. Identity management - framework and planning by Michael Gettes

Identity management is the integration of information about people from multiple sources. An ID Management system applies business rules to the integration. Its goals are to reduce the burden on end users to access online services; reduce burden on IT organization to operate multiple online services; enable online service for constituents earlier in their affiliation with us, wherever they are and forever; and participate in new, inter-organizational, collaboration architectures.

For example, if you want to terminate someone you should be able to go to one place and do what you need to do. Better security is one result of this.

ID Management at Duke is part of the electronic branding of Duke. We need to understand the identity states we are dealing with.

The process involves sources of data, applying the business rules, assigning IDs and privileges, feeding the privileges to user applications, and then getting feedback from the user apps back to the source data.

Issues are: What data states are there? Who decides on privileges—who is the authority? What are the roles of people at Duke?

The operational center of ID Management tends to be a directory. The Duke Enterprise Directory is being developed right now. The ID Management scheme will be tested with this directory in the next few months.

John Board asks who gets an ID? Do patients get and ID for Internet access?

Michael G. says patients are a group we should probably not deal with right now due to the complex policy issues surrounding patients.

Raphael interjects that we can give patients things like Internet access without issuing an ID.

John B asks what is the advantage of using DirXML on top of an Oracle database? (This is the system archtecture for the ID Management scheme.) Why not just use an Oracle database?

Michael G.says that DirXML is a set of tools that solve specific problems. It is easier to use than straight SQL.

Mike P wants to know how to extend this to entities other than humans.

Michael G. says we are already issuing to non-human entities, parking passes for example. There is still discussion going on about how we want to manage this.

VI. Faculty access to SAP data - Web demo by Todd Orr

(Todd gives a demonstration of the new system using grant funding as sample data.)

The scope of this effort focused on faculty members and the restricted funds they use. Authentication for this system is through WebAuth. Authorization is by responsible person number tied to the user ID.

There are four reports that can be generated at this time:

  • One-Line Summary
  • Summary Award Statement
  • Summary Fund Balance Statement
  • Transaction Statement

We know the scope is limited and there are many other things we could do, but this is a pilot period and those things will bubble up as the system is further tested by the user community.

This system does not forecast.

VII. Other business

Michael G. adds a note about the e-mail that was not being delivered a few nights ago. A critical piece of code was locked when a network read was attempted. That is what caused the problem. It is fixed.

VIII. Attachments

Integrated Library System: Update on Ex Libris Implementation
Key Capabilities

  • Web browser interface to search tools and search results
  • Excellent multilingual and multi-script support (Unicode, UTF-8)
  • Sophisticated support for technical services processing
  • e-Reserves: authentication (NetID) for direct access
  • ISO 10160/10161 compliance for interlibrary loan system interfaces
  • Extensive use of EDI protocols
  • Based on industry standards such as OpenURL, XML, OAI, NCIP, and ODBC.
  • Very flexible data import and export in batch mode
  • Published and documented APIs


  • MetaLib will enable Duke to provide patrons with integrated access to information resources such as catalogs, reference databases, citation databases, subject gateways, and e-journals.
  • MetaLib offers MetaSearch™ capabilities across diverse resources— be they print or electronic, on-site or remote— and offers library patrons a variety of personalized services, including a current awareness service.


  • SFX provides context-sensitive linking services that typically assist users in obtaining the actual material or expand upon the data already discovered.
  • SFX services for an article might provide the article's full text or direct the user to the library's print holdings.
  • SFX might offer more information about the author (such as citation information or an e-mail address), the topic (such as relevant subject gateways on the Web), and the journal in which the article was published.

"History" in Reverse

  • Sept. 2004, Patron advanced training
  • July 24, 2004, Switch to production
  • June 2004, Stress testing
  • May 2004, Staff training
  • April 2004, Initial publicity on campus
  • March 2004, Phase II data loads and testing
  • Nov. 2003, SFX soft launch
  • June 2003, Decision for Ex Libris
  • May 2002, Decision for separate Duke system
  • 1993, DRA/Innovative systems installed
  • 1985, BIS system installed in TRLN libraries
  • ca. 1970, Technical services database for serials tracking created
  • ca. 1890, First library card catalog at Trinity College

Technology Integration - Now
SAP R/3: frequent, batch import and export of fund and expenditure data
SISS: import of student patron data and course enrollment
LDAP: authentication for access to restricted content
GFA: twice-daily data feeds to and from Library Service Center
LARS: full integration with library binding software

Technology Integration - Later
Blackboard: search and retrieve library resources from within Bb
Portals: XML export and web services standards compliance
OAI provider: Open Archives Initiative harvesting of Dublin Core possible
Development: APIs are published and well documented
Shibboleth: MetaLib could interface with Shib "origin"
TRLN: Z39.50 data exchanges, patron data exchanges
Duke content: metadata management for diverse content types

Further Information

Ed Gomes – systems issues, edward.gomes@duke.edu
Ken Berger – implementation, ken.berger@duke.edu
Ann Miller – functionality, ann.e.miller@duke.edu

Duke Libraries implementation: http://www.lib.duke.edu/its/diglib/ilstrans/index.htm

Ex Libris (USA): http://www.exlibris-usa.com/
Aleph 500 overview: http://www.exlibris-usa.com/aleph.htm
MetaLib FAQ: http://www.exlibris-usa.com/metalib_faq.htm
SFX FAQ: http://www.exlibris-usa.com/sfx_faq.htm

Paul Conway
Director, Information Technology Services
Duke University Libraries