Daily Archives: December 18, 2009

Importing content from Sakai 2 into Sakai 3 (take 1)

Development was starting to slow down for me on the Sakai2+3 Hybrid Mode, so I needed to turn my primary focus elsewhere. Michael Korcuska and I had decided previously that the next focus point would be to develop a working prototype that would allow someone to take a zip file exported from Sakai 2’s Site Archive tool and import the content into Sakai 3. Initially the scope would be limited to just the content contained within the Resources tool (a.k.a. ContentHostingService) since Sakai 3 currently has enough functionality to support the files and folders model.

When I started down this path, I did not expect to reach a stopping point by the end of the week. Frankly I thought it would take longer. But after a couple of days, I had the logic around parsing the content.xml file and extracting the content into my local file system working pretty well. The next couple of days were spent porting this working code into Kernel2 as a SlingServlet and creating a RESTful web service. After a couple of bumps in the road and someone moving my cheese, I am pleased to say that the first iteration of this work is complete.

As an example, you can take the sample archive.zip file which came from a Sakai 2 test instance, and upload it to Sakai 3:

curl -F"path=/site/import/folder" -F"Filedata=@archive.zip" http://username:password@localhost:8080/foo.sitearchive.json

The web service expects two parameters:

  1. path: The path to a folder where you want the content imported.
  2. Filedata: one or more zip files to import.

The result will be a folder that looks like the following screen shot:

While there is still much to be done (e.g. mapping file meta-data, support for more resource types, etc.), this is an important first step. For one, it demonstrates technical feasibility. Secondly, it creates the beginnings of a framework that can be extended to support importing other Sakai 2 tools, and eventually other import formats entirely like IMS Common Cartridge. If you are interested in looking at the code, it can be found at my github repository.

Looking forward, I will likely begin investigating IMS Basic LTI as a mechanism to enhance the Sakai 2+3 Hybrid capabilities. Currently, the hybrid mode supports entire sites (i.e. the user chooses to enter either a Sakai 3 site or a Sakai 2 site via the Sakai 3 portal). Ideally, one should be able to mix and match tools from either Sakai 2 or 3 in a Sakai 3 site. Dr. Chuck has done some good work in this area – Sakai 2.7.0 will have both a BasicLTI consumer and producer. So theoretically, if Sakai 3 had a BasicLTI consumer, it could present a Sakai 2 tool to a user as a Sakai 3 widget. My hopes are that among Dr. Chuck, Noah Botimer, and myself that we could turn out a Sakai 3 LTI consumer relatively quickly. More to come in the new year. Best regards, L

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