Just this week IMS made the official LTI certification test suite available and I am very pleased to announce that Sakai 3 has passed the certification tests with flying colors (i.e. 100%). Now we can display this cool “Basic LTI Enabled” image with our software. As of this writing, this distinction is shared only with Desire2Learn. You can keep up-to-date on the progress of LTI certifications by watching: Common Cartridge and Basic Learning Tools Interoperability Progress.
While the Sakai 3 LTI consumer has the potential to bring interesting 3rd party tools into the learning management system, our primary motivator for this work was to provide a way to surface Sakai 2 tools within Sakai 3. Using LTI to solve this problem has positioned us well and we are anxious to see other developers implement the LTI provider server-side interface. Thanks to Dr. Chuck, Sakai 2.7 will ship with both an LTI consumer and LTI provider!
For more information on Basic LTI, see: Basic Learning Tools Interoperability. If you are interested in the certification test suite, see: Sakai 3 Basic LTI Widget Passing Certification Tests.
I am very pleased to be able to share an important update with the Sakai community regarding the ongoing efforts to create a flexible migration path from Sakai 2 to Sakai 3. I have been blogging recently   about the development of a new Basic LTI widget for Sakai 3. This effort builds on the existing capabilities  of Sakai 3 which allows you to expose entire Sakai 2 sites within the Sakai 3 portal (i.e. with the addition of Sakai 3’s social networking features). The next step in this hybrid evolution was to add the capability to expose individual Sakai 2 tools within Sakai 3 sites. Furthermore, since we were developing this new capability as a Sakai 3 widget, this means that an end user could place multiple Sakai 2 tools onto a single Sakai 3 page (i.e. something not currently possible in Sakai 2). This may sound like a subtle distinction, but as you will see in the embedded video it is an important distinction as it helps to break Sakai 2 tools out of their silos. Instructors can now author pages with custom workflows that may include both Sakai 2 tools and Sakai 3 widgets!
Skip to 12:30 into the video if you want to skip the summary and background…
So now we are beginning to see a migration path for existing Sakai 2 implementations that looks like:
- Sakai 2 for course sites and Sakai 3 for project sites.
- Reduced risk deployment as there is no hard dependency on Sakai 3 being available. For example, if Sakai 3 were to go down, users could easily be directed back to the Sakai 2 portal.
- Sakai 3 portal may or may not be the default portal (i.e. implementers choice).
- Placement of Sakai 2 tools alongside Sakai 3 pages within a Sakai 3 site.
- Maintains more of a Sakai 2 user experience while allowing access to Sakai 3 capabilities within a single site.
- Provides a nice transition between #1 and #3 for those that find it valuable.
- Increases risk as now users are dependent on Sakai 3 remaining available.
- Mixing and matching Sakai 2 and Sakai 3 tools all on the same Sakai 3 page within a Sakai 3 site.
- Provides the greatest flexibility for course and project site design.
- Provides the most “native” Sakai 3 user experience while maintaining access to Sakai 2 functionality.
- Custom workflows may be created with both Sakai 2 tools and Sakai 3 widgets (i.e. even if you are just exposing Sakai 2 tools, this capability does not exist in Sakai 2).
- Maintains same risk profile as #2.
- Implementer’s selection…
- You do not need to think of the previous three deployment strategies as mutually exclusive or synchronous.
- You can make any or all of these solutions available to select user populations as you see fit at any time – all based on your local goals and comfort levels.
For example, one possible migration path may look like:
- Build confidence in Sakai 3 and keep risk at a minimal levels.
- Deploy Sakai 3 alongside Sakai 2 with hybrid mode enabled.
- Continue to use Sakai 2 for course sites.
- Begin to experiment with Sakai 3 portal and project sites.
- Make Sakai 3 portal available to select user populations to validate access to Sakai 3 social networking capabilities as well as access to Sakai 2 sites.
- Make Sakai 3 project sites available to select user populations.
- Make Sakai 3 portal the default portal for all users.
- Continue to use Sakai 2 for course sites.
- Expand use of Sakai 3 project sites.
- Develop fallback plan to mitigate dependency on Sakai 3 portal availability (i.e. you still have a fully functional Sakai 2 portal sitting there).
- Early adopters begin relying on Sakai 3 for course work.
- Full adoption of Sakai 3 for both course related and collaborative work.
There is a lot to consider here and to complicate matters further I predict not one migration will be identical to another. However, we hope that we have provided enough capabilities and flexibility to tailor each migration to fit the institution’s needs. Furthermore, there is a lot experience in our community in this area as almost all of us have made a similar migration in the past. This time things are a little different… This time we have direct control over both systems and can make the migration smoother.
Let’s continue the discussion in person at the annual conference. Christian Vuerings and I will be presenting on this topic in sessions titled “Integrating Sakai 2 and Sakai 3”. There will be two regular conference sessions and a technical demonstration. See you there! L