Luminis: Unifying the Digital Campus

When it comes to campuswide software programs and applications, can’t they all just get along? Usually not, because the various systems in place aren’t integrated in such a way that they can “talk” to one another and share data. However, Campus Pipeline Inc. promises to unify systems with its new Luminis product family, which consists of a Web platform, a content management suite, and a systems integration suite.

Campus Pipeline is well-known for its Web Platform 3.1 product as well as its campus Web portal technology. Luminis is a major new venture for the company and greatly expands its services and the reach of its technology innovations. The new product, “an operating system for the campus,” is the culmination of efforts at Campus Pipeline and partnerships with industry leaders and top-tier academic institutions.
Campus Pipeline has worked with more than 100 campus users of its other products and three core consulting universities—the University of Miami, Drexel University, and Pepperdine University—to develop the new platform and integration tools. In addition, the company has partnered with Sun Microsystems Inc., whose Open Net Environment strategy now brings standards-based software architecture to bear on higher education.

The collaboration also includes building Sun’s iPlanet suite of communication and scheduling products into the Luminis family. Other collaborators are Documentum Inc., Dell Computer Corp., SCT, and the Java in Administration Special Interest Group.

The Luminis product line consists of three components: Luminis Platform II, a set of tools and applications for systems administration, communication, portals, and data and user management that enables institutions to access and manipulate data in a Web environment; Luminis Integration Suite 3.0, which integrates campus systems, applications, and databases into a working whole; and Luminis Content Management Suite 2.0, software for creating, managing, and delivering Web content. Together, the three tools constitute what Campus Pipeline is calling a unified digital campus.

Platform II d'es not replace Campus Pipeline’s existing Web Platform 3.1. That plug-and-play tool will remain in the company’s stable of products. However, Platform II’s more modular, complex system affords greater flexibility and freedom than 3.1, as well as a number of advancements such as single sign-on and advanced portal features.

Institutions able to commit more expertise and resources to their campus systems will find Platform II a more robust choice than 3.1. The new platform offers common software services that ensure security, scalability, stability, user management, and system administration.

The Luminis Integration Suite brings together disparate components systemwide, permitting the sharing of data and creating a flexible online environment. Also, Integration Suite 3.0 unifies new and legacy systems, minimizing the need to jettison older systems that don’t fit into the new plan. Luminis tools do the heavy lifting, easing the burden on harried information technology staff and conserving resources for other projects.

Designed to work with old, current, and future systems, the open-system technology enables institutions to build the system as needed. Campus Pipeline also sells integration adapters that integrate third-party systems into the Luminis system. Both prepackaged and customized adapters are available.

Certainly, one of the most persistent headaches for faculty and IT staffers is content management. In academic departments, staff groups, and student organizations, individuals develop materials that must somehow end up online in something akin to a consistent look and feel. Those who are generating the content are usually not technology experts, and the experts are too busy to help.

The Luminis Content Management Suite promises to simplify the process of creating, approving, and distributing Web content by permitting users with no technical expertise to develop and distribute original content. Creators rely on a set of templates and forms that ensure the final product will maintain the designated look and feel.

The Content Management Suite routes material into the content management system for approval and distribution. Role designation and automatic retirement functions ensure that content creators have control over how long the content stays up and who can receive it. The process is designed to minimize the involvement of technical staff.

The Integration Suite and the Content Management Suite are each available in different versions. A Starter Edition of the Content Management Suite provides an integrated server with content and workflow templates as well as search and cataloguing features for publishing on the campus intranet. The Master Edition adds features such as customization tools and automated auditing and reporting processes. A syndication tool speeds download time for users by synchronizing servers across disparate campuses and server farms. The Enterprise Edition extends full content management capabilities beyond the intranet to the campus’ external, public Web sites.
The Starter Edition of the Integration Suite provides just one adapter to integrate one third-party student information system into the digital campus. The Enterprise Edition supports unlimited connections.

Potential users should also be aware that Luminis is being sold both as individual components and prepackaged bundles, which are roughly equivalent to the Starter Editions and Enterprise Editions, respectively.

The Luminis Integration Suite is available now; the full line of Luminis products will be available this spring.
For more information, visit www.campuspipeline.com or call (888) 682-7473.

Content Management Life Cycle
Content Creation Input to Content Management Infrastructure Content Review Process
Administrator, faculty, or staff create a content document for
a campus
audience.
Once the document is created, it is sent into the content management system using customizable templates that feature predefined document structure, layout, design, and presentation for various kinds of Web-based information. Content is sent out to all involved constituents for review. Automated workflow allows content creators and approvers to monitor the movement of content from creation through delivery.
Approval Distribution/Notification Management
Ongoing
Upon receiving and implementing input from all involved constituents, the content owner is ready to send out fully approved content. The content owner assigns access to and delivery of content based on user attributes such as major, role, class, or status. The content owner can also send personally relevant messages about the new content to appropriate audiences on an as-needed basis. The content owner can ensure that content is always current by assigning retirement dates to each item. He or she can also use user-friendly forms to update or edit content.
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