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uMobile 1.1 RC1 Gets Performance Improvements, Shibboleth Authentication

Jasig, a global consortium of educational institutions and commercial affiliates that sponsors open source software projects for higher education, has posted the first release candidate of uMobile 1.1. uMobile is an open source initiative to help educational institutions provide access to applications, media, and other data on mobile devices.

Jasig describes uMobile as "an enterprise framework for distributing personalized, role-based content in a mobile environment." It consists of two main components: a server application and client applications. The server application provides Web-based access to content. Optional client apps are available for iOS and Android devices. uMobile modules include a calendar and an RSS or Atom-based news feed, as well as video, directory, search, and map capabilities.

The uMobile platform enables students, faculty, staff, and alumni to access personalized information through their mobile device. It provides persistent authentication and single-sign-on (SSO) capabilities and remembers user preferences across sessions. uMobile also includes an unauthenticated guest mode for prospective students and campus visitors. uMobile presents users with customized content based on user identity and group information.

Administrative tools enable IT staff to delegate administrative tasks, create content, monitor resources, and troubleshoot problems. According to Jasig, "uMobile ships with well-test libraries capable of consuming user attribute and group information from popular campus data stores, including LDAP, Active Directory, Grouper, and custom databases."

New features in uMobile 1.1 include:

  • Performance improvements;
  • Map categories and browsing;
  • Shibboleth authentication, a standards-based, open-source software package for Web single sign-on across or within organizational boundaries;
  • Alternate list-based home screen view;
  • Intra-module links that display map and directory information; and
  • New content modules, including dining hall menus, sports scores and news, computer lab availability, and laundry machine availability.

Contributing institutions to the uMobile project include Cornell University, Oakland University, Southwestern University, Ohio University, Unicon, University of Hull, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, and Yale University.

The uMobile 1.1 Release Candidate 1 is available for download now. Further information is available on the Jasig site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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