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An overview of the SWEET project

christina smart
15 Jun, 2005
A summary of the SWEET (Enterprise Web Services with Timetable Extensions for .NET) project.

This project was addressing two problems that Information Services Departments in institutions commonly deal with. Firstly, what is the best way to exchange data about staff and students between institutional Student Record Systems (SRSs) and Virtual Learning Environments? Secondly, how to exchange data on people’s timetables between Calendaring systems and institutional VLEs.

The project has developed an easy to use Web Services toolkit for developers working in institutions who need to exchange data about learners, staff, courses and timetables, using well defined interoperability standards and specifications (The IMS Enterprise Services specification). This includes “adapter code” which will help developers who are making legacy applications Enterprise Web Service enabled.

Jon Rowett and Robin Gadd from the project suggest that developers could use the toolkit in the following situations:

  • In integrating a VLE with a Student Records System, to ensure that class lists and information on students registered to a course are always up to date. Enterprise Web Services describes information about people (e.g. students, staff and administrators), groups (departments, classes, study groups) and the memberships and roles between the two. For instance; Person X is an instructor in AS Level English Literature, and Persons Y and Z are students taking that course.
  • To enable students to update their personal timetables without giving them direct access to the SRS. The project has added iCalendar support to the ES specification so that Enterprise Web Services message can include data which describes the timetables or schedule for institutions and groups. Developers could use these extensions to allow students and staff access to their institutional timetables and personal schedules which receive data from multiple sources, for example, institutional dates: such as college holidays, departmental information: such as module timetables, personal dates: annual leave. The project team are using the toolkit at their own Brokenhurst College to collate and co ordinate the class timetables from the schools that they work with in their local area.- check
  • To add Enterprise Web Service functionality to an existing legacy VLE.

The toolkit has also clearly demonstrated how Java and .NET can easily interoperate using XML web services.

The SWEET.Net project refers to the following areas of the e-Learning Framework; Person, Group, Role, Membership and Calendaring.

 

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