The Apereo Open Academic Environment (OAE) project team is extremely pleased to announce the eleventh major release of the Apereo Open Academic Environment; OAE Jack Snipe or OAE 11.
OAE Jack Snipe brings a wide range of new features and capabilities, including group profile pages, the ability to delete and archive groups, an editor role for collaborative documents and increased configuration support for landing pages and the footer. Next to that, OAE Jack Snipe also includes an extraordinary number of usability gains, accessibility improvements and bug fixes.
OAE Jack Snipe brings group profile pages, allowing for groups to be better contextualised and presented to non-members. A group profile page contains a description of the group, ensuring that the subject and goal of the group is clear to the visitor, a public activity feed, showcasing the recent activity that has taken place in the group, and a list of featured members, providing an idea of the people involved in the group.
Group profiles are anticipated to be especially useful when browsing and discovering public or joinable groups, but will also provide convenient additional context when visiting groups you're already a member of.
OAE Jack Snipe makes it possible for group managers to delete groups, allowing for inactive or unused groups to be removed from membership libraries. Deleted groups are not removed from the system entirely though, but are archived instead. Therefore, deleted groups can be re-activated by an administrator at any point in time.
Recent usage feedback has indicated a need for allowing people to edit a collaborative document without being able to perform other administrative tasks such as deleting the document. Examples include a collaborative writing course where students needed to be able to contribute to a collaborative document without being able to delete it.
Therefore, OAE Jack Snipe introduces an editor role for collaborative documents. Users and groups with the editor role will be able to edit the collaborative document without being able to manage it (delete, manage access, etc.)
Up until Apereo OAE 10, the display of list item titles was limited to a single line of text. As space was limited, this often meant that the title was cut off too quickly, making it difficult to identify an item.
OAE Jack Snipe ensures that all list items (libraries, search, etc.) will display a much larger part of the item's title (up to 2 full lines), making it a lot easier to identify the item you're looking for. We are convinced that this relatively small usability improvement will make a world of difference when using the system.
On mobile devices, there will no longer be a need to sign in every time a user visits their tenant. A session will now be remembered for up to 30 days, ensuring that OAE and its activity feed can be accessed quickly and easily.
REST API improvements
As easy-to-use and well documented REST APIs have always been a critical part of the OAE architecture, OAE Jack Snipe introduces a range of REST API enhancements.
Next to various REST API usability improvements, OAE Jack Snipe introduces a cross-origin resource sharing (CORS), making it easier for external applications to integrate with the OAE REST APIs.
The Swagger REST API documentation framework has also been upgraded to the latest version, adding some nifty additional features to the REST API documentation pages.
The Google Authentication integration that ships with Apereo OAE has been upgraded to work with the latest version of the Google Authentication API. Next to that, it is now also possible to configure multiple Google Apps authentication domains per tenant.
Landing page configuration
Apereo OAE tenant landing pages can be fully customised, allowing for an institution to present and contextualise their tenancy with great flexibility. OAE Jack Snipe introduces a number of additional tenant landing page configuration and customisation options, providing even greater control over their look and feel.
The page footer can now be fully configured and customised on a per installation basis. Amongst other things, this will allow Apereo OAE hosting providers to name the installation, link to a website for the installation and link back to the website for the hosting provider.
Try it out
OAE Jack Snipe can be tried out on the project's QA server at http://oae.oae-qa0.oaeproject.org. It is worth noting that this server is actively used for testing and will be wiped and redeployed every night.
The source code has been tagged with version number 11.0.0 and can be downloaded from the following repositories:
Documentation on how to install the system can be found at https://github.com/oaeproject/Hilary/blob/11.0.0/README.md.
Instruction on how to upgrade an OAE installation from version 10 to version 11 can be found at https://github.com/oaeproject/Hilary/wiki/OAE-Upgrade-Guide.
The repository containing all deployment scripts can be found at https://github.com/oaeproject/puppet-hilary.
Get in touch
The mailing list used for Apereo OAE is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe to the mailing list at https://groups.google.com/a/apereo.org/d/forum/oae.
Bugs and other issues can be reported in our issue tracker at https://github.com/oaeproject/3akai-ux/issues.