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iTunes University

iTunes University is now live and ready for your content. The website is http://itunes.vcu.edu. You may request space for content at http://itunes.vcu.edu/addcontent.shtml. Once your space has been allotted, you can login directly using the Full Access link on the itunes.vcu.edu homepage to begin uploading your content. There is also an iTunes U weblog to discuss how to best use iTunes U.
The way iTunes is set up currently, there are private areas and public areas – private areas are accessible only with a VCU eID and password; public areas can be accessed by anyone with iTunes. At this point, there is no way to restrict the private area further, i.e. anyone with a VCU eID and password can access the private areas of iTunes. We are hoping to add course-level restriction by spring 2008 so that only courses for which a student is registered show up under their Course area.

Web Content Management System

RedDot, the CMS we purchased in the spring, has finally (after a number of issues) been installed. It is ready for people to begin using, and the first official training will be October 8-12 on campus for those departments that have already chipped in for the funding of the RedDot system. Those departments include:

  • School of the Arts
  • Creative Services
  • School of Humanities and Sciences
  • School of Medicine
  • Student Affairs
  • VCU Libraries
  • Technology Services

We are planning to set up a second week-long training later in the fall for the next group of subscribers.

New People Search

There will be a new people search engine implemented this fall. It will be moved from CCSO to an openLDAP implementation accessible at phonebook.vcu.edu. Users of IMAP email clients such as Thunderbird will be able to set up LDAP Directory Access to automatically find email address by typing names (or partial names) into the To: field of the email composition window.
Some of the advantages of the new people search include:

  • Automatic wild cards – searching for “ro sm” would return Robert Smith, Roger Smithson, etc.
  • Reverse searching by eID for name retrieval
  • One less server/system to maintain

Some disadvantages of the new system will be:

  • No searching by nickname
  • Loss of some extra fields such as personal homepage, mail server, department webpage
  • Differences in the new search may be confusing at first for some users
  • Searching for “pending pat” won’t find Pat Pending (however, searching for “pending, pat” will, because of the comma delimiter)

To begin testing the new people search engine, use the following URL:

Please take some time to test the new search engine and send us feedback.

Upcoming projects

Upcoming projects include (with projected release time):

  • Video Server (October 2007)
  • Calendar XML Feed support for ongoing events(October 2007)
  • PHP support (October/November 2007) – this is for PHP development, database queries will have to be set up through MS SQL for PHP database uses
  • MediaWiki (Fall 2007) – We are trying to nail down group/organization support so that different groups can have edit access for their portion of the wiki only.
  • Apache FrontPage Extensions Elimination (Summer 2008) – we will be disabling FrontPage extensions on all Apache servers by next summer, this includes the people, www3, CVCO servers
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