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Luminis Platform 5.0 Sports New Architecture and Collaboration Tools

The months of waiting are over. SunGard Higher Education has released an upgrade of Luminis Platform, a portal product the company has been discussing with customers for more than a year. Version 5.0 comes with a new architecture and additional product features, including enhanced customization capabilities.

The Luminis application allows customers to create a Web portal that provides authenticated access to campus applications and other resources based on the user's role at the institution. The platform provides for integration with the company's Banner Digital Campus and other campus applications

The company said that the system includes enhanced user experience and navigation; inter-portlet communication; new community and collaboration tools (now known as "Communities"); social media content and applications; support for Google mail and calendar; ERP and courses integration; more extensive personalization capabilities; and simplified administration, configuration, and system maintenance.

A key design change has focused on isolating the components of the Luminis Platform through a services orientation. This decoupling approach will allow for greater extensibility that requires less development or testing effort as changes are made in unrelated aspects of the product.

Communities supports both academic and non-academic collaboration as in previous releases. Other features include community administration, content approval, pre-built and customizable community "rooms" and a set of collaboration tools. Other social media functionality includes friend mappings, general user presence throughout the system, and end user spaces that can be built out and customized. Users get creation tools to build content specific to them or to syndicate content from existing social Web sites.

According to a company FAQ published in September, the new release supports Oracle and MySQL databases and Linux and Solaris operating systems. Support for SQL Server is on tap for a future release, as is Windows support. The initial release of version 5.0 is intended for new clients or existing clients who don't require data migration. SunGard's development team is still working on migration scripts, the document states, and its services organization is still developing its functional and technical migration services.

"Institutions of higher education are working hard to meet the online access and service expectations of their diverse constituents while balancing staffing and budget constraints," said Darren Wesemann, chief technology and product officer. "Understanding the environment of multiple systems, applications, and tools that are often very complex and difficult to administer, we developed a standards-based portal platform to help ease and reduce the time required to manage systems, freeing time to instead focus on those tasks that strengthen relationships, improve the learning experience, and deliver more constituent value."

Luminis Platform 5 will require no additional software licensing for existing clients.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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