The Apereo Open Academic Environment (OAE) project team is pleased to announce the fifth major release of the Apereo Open Academic Environment; OAE Desert Sparrow or OAE 5.

OAE Desert Sparrow is a mostly technical release, upgrading OAE from CQL2 to CQL3. Next to that, OAE Desert Sparrow also adds full-text search of content comments and discussion posts.


CQL3 Upgrade

Apereo OAE has been upgraded from CQL2 to CQL3. CQL2 has been deprecated in Cassandra 1.2 and will be removed in the next major Cassandra release. While CQL2 provides an SQL-like abstraction to Thrift in Cassandra, CQL3 goes a step further to provide a more natural row-column model. A detailed overview of the differences between CQL2 and CQL3 can be found on the Datastax website.

Whilst this upgrade is not a user-facing improvement, it still warrants a new major release because of the amount of underlying changes involved and the need to migrate any existing data. However, the migration can happen without requiring any downtime. 

Message searching

When searching for content items, the full text of all comments on those content items will now be included for searches. Similarly, the full text of all discussion posts will be considered when searching for discussions. This includes both global searches and searches within content and discussion libraries and should make it even more likely that relevant results will be returned.

Try it out

OAE Desert Sparrow can be experienced on the project's QA server at 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 numbers 5.0.0 and can be downloaded from the following repositories:


Documentation on how to install the system can be found at

Instruction on how to upgrade an OAE installation from version 4.4 to version 5.0 can be found at

The repository containing all deployment scripts can be found at

Get in touch

The project website can be found at The project blog will be updated with the latest project news from time to time, and can be found at

The mailing list used for Apereo OAE is You can subscribe to the mailing list at

Bugs and other issues can be reported in our issue tracker at