uWaterloo Connect IT blog

Welcome to uWaterloo Connect IT! This blog will provide a collaborative environment for university community members to help shape the future of IT at Waterloo.

Rethinking IT projects: Information modeling

Work-Integrated Learning Community Support and Research Portal

Following part one of this three-part series, this post will define the types of information models that exist and the role they play in directing and managing a project.

Rethinking IT projects: Assessing user needs

Work-Integrated Learning Community Support and Research Portal

Since April 2015, I have been leading the creation of the Work-Integrated Learning Community Support and Research Portal (WIL Research Portal), a project brought to IST by the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education (WatCACE). In line with their mandate to increase understanding of co-operative education through innovative research design, this website is intended as a resource for researchers the world over who study work-integrated learning, making all core scholarship available through a single search interface, and providing a forum for people to connect and share ideas.

On the go with Quest Mobile

In early May 2014, Information Systems & Technology (IST) partnered with the Registrar’s Office (RO), Centre for Extended Learning (CEL), and Graduate Studies Office (GSO) to implement a mobile interface to the Quest student system.

A closer look at the new Waterloo campus map

Then and now

There were three main reasons the venerable old campus map needed to be replaced. First, it was based on Adobe’s Flash, which meant it didn’t work on mobile browsers and left smartphone users reliant on outside alternatives, such as Google Maps. The University needed a solution tailored to the campus that was based on trusted and familiar data sources.

Drupal North

On June 26 and 27, many members of the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) team attended the Drupal North conference. This was the first year for the conference, though many of the groups making up the organizing committee have held (and continue to hold) DrupalCamps of their own.

Finding value with Information Management

In late 2013, I became the director of a new group in IST called Enterprise Architecture (EA). I have written previous blog posts about Enterprise Architecture (the practice), but the EA Group does more than just Enterprise Architecture. One of our other key responsibilities is Information Management.

Information Management

"What's the plan?"

It seems hard to believe, but it has been almost 3 years since the development and approval of the Information Technology (IT) Strategic Plan.  A lot has happened over that time, including the launch of the University's Strategic Plan, some incredible initiatives and service improvements throughout the IT community, the IST reorganization, updated IT governance and the move to EC2.  Wow!

Enterprise Systems – “The Invisibles”

My workday at the University usually starts by parking my car in a parking lot and a quick stop at the Davis Centre Tim’s for a cup of coffee. I use a fob to enter my building, adjust the office temperature, and start an application on my computer to begin my routine work. I may check my HR information and/or training enrolment on myHRinfo, and if I’m feeling a little under the weather, pop over to Health Services for a quick health appointment.

Authentication Service Renewal

Where are we now?

The processes and techniques that provide authentication and authorization for the campus community have not changed in many years. These processes are reliant on batch consumption of identity data using WatIAM’s Extract file, direct LDAP authentication against the campus active directory, and the use of CAS for web application single sign-on. While this infrastructure has served the University well for many years, some changes will be required to ensure future needs are met.

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