The Apereo Open Academic Environment (OAE) project is proud to announce a milestone release of the Apereo Open Academic Environment; OAE Kingfisher or OAE 12.
OAE Kingfisher is one of the most significant releases of the Open Academic Environment software and includes many new features geared towards making OAE a truly global system that is capable of connecting the whole of academia. Next to these features, OAE Kingfisher also includes significant improvements to the search experience, the ability to delete and archive users and many usability improvements and bug fixes.
The most important new feature in the Kingfisher release is the ability for users to invite anyone in the world to a group, content item or discussion using an email address. While it used to be a requirement for a person to have an account before they could be invited into collaborations, the invitation feature now opens the door to including anyone you want to work with and truly pushed towards the OAE vision of creating a connected and global network for academic collaboration.
When invited users can be matched to an existing tenancy and institution, they will be invited into that tenancy and will be able to collaborate from their institutional account. When invited users can't be matched to an existing tenancy, they will be invited into a "Guest" tenancy.
Apereo OAE now offers support for 1,000s of tenancies and institutions on a single installation, allowing for collaboration between people at a large number of institutions all around the world. In order to support this, OAE Kingfisher includes a wide range of general performance improvements as well as various improvements to the administration interface.
Users signing up for a new account or users coming in through an authentication source that does not provide a verified email address are now required to verify their email address before they are able to use the system. This will ensure a much higher level of trust in OAE accounts and the people you collaborate with and reduces potential abuse.
Similarly, existing users changing their email address will also need to go through the email verification workflow before their changes take effect.
Up until OAE version 11, searching through the OAE would return results that encompass everything you're allowed to see, including results from the institution you're a member of and public results. While being able to search and discover across the entire network is one of the unique features of the OAE software, it sometimes caused results from the collaborations you're directly involved in to be buried.
Therefore, OAE Kingfisher offers a significantly enhanced search experience in which it is possible to toggle between results from only the groups, content items and discussions you're involved in, results from your institution or results from the entire network. This should make it much easier to find the specific items you're looking for, while still making it possible to cast a wider net and discover interesting groups, people, content items and discussions throughout the network.
OAE Kingfisher introduces a number of navigation improvements, which should significantly enhance the overall experience. For example, a better top navigation has been put in place for mobile devices and users now automatically land on their personal activity feed when going to the system, resulting in less clicks overall and more direct access to the information they're looking for.
OAE Kingfisher makes it possible for tenant administrators to delete users, allowing for inactive or unused user accounts to be removed from the system. Deleted users are not removed from the system entirely though, but are archived instead and all of their groups, content items and discussions are retained. Therefore, deleted user accounts can be re-activated by an administrator at any point in time.
Try it out
OAE Kingfisher can be experienced 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 12.0.0 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/12.0.0/README.md.
Instruction on how to upgrade an OAE installation from version 11 to version 12 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.