In celebration of the centenary of its foundation in 2018, Chungang University revealed the ‘Chungang University Portal (CAU Portal) in May 2011.’ As the new systems were increasing after the 2000s, Chungang University found that the access to the systems for students and faculty wasn’t easy. The university decided that, for the active use of the expensive systems, both accessibility and convenience should be improved, and to do this, it started to review the portal implementation. On the portal, they tried to implement the functions of main systems in the university as the web parts to use them like their own portal services while supporting menu configuration by user identification and personalization by user’s preferences. In addition, they tried to move the students and graduates’ mail service base to the Live@edu to build cloud services into their portal. Situation
In celebration of the centenary of its foundation in 2018, under the goal of making the leap to the 100 prestigious private schools in the world, Chungang University set up the 4 strategy parts of education, research, facility and information and drew the 26 innovation challenges. Among them, the important challenge of the information-related strategy part was completed to reveal its result in September 2011 now. Under the general strategy called ‘Chungang Frame’, the university is working its way into the innovation initiative of the HR system and complex IT environment including data center, email, groupware, homepage, comprehensive information system and infrastructure for increasing the efficiency of the university-wide administration. Among them, CAU Portal, the first result of the school’s IT environment innovation, was revealed in May, 2011.
It was since the mid-2000s that the university began to consider portal development in the working group level. As the web was becoming the center of computing within the school, various administration and education-related sites were increasing, which made the user convenience and security the main issue.
Heeseok Park, Manager of IT Center in Chungang University said, “When the various systems were increasing, the absence of SSO (Single Sign On) came to the big issue”. He added, “Teaching staffs and students had SSO which allows them to login to the system by their own staff number or student ID number, but it was not the environment allowing login to the portal to view the email and process the administrative work.” Even if it was a single ID, it necessitated them login again to each system to use
Security as well as user convenience is the problem. Like universities, in environment where there are hundreds of thousands of users including enrolled students and graduates and several IDs were granted to each user, the idle ID can be a security hole. Mr. Park said, “In the university, one person often has several IDs.” “For example, ID can be different each time when they were enrolled students, graduate students or teaching staff, and if they need to use the system differently authorized by ID, they have to log out and then login again to the system with another ID.”
The IT Center decided that the university portal allowing users to use all services in a single environment based on SSO (Single Sign On) is needed to satisfy both user convenience and security, given the university’s special circumstances. And after the first review of its development in the mid-2000s, the university had driven the CAU Portal development initiative in 2010 at a time when it was establishing its IT-related vision and roadmap in celebration of the centenary of its foundation.Solution
In late 2010, Chungang University’s IT Center began to develop the portal on the two principles. The first is to configure the portal architecture under the general strategy of ‘Chungang Frame’ to continue to improve the efficiency of administrative and educational support service. And the second is to implement the portal which allows users to access to and use a variety of systems on the pages optimized for user groups and the personal preferences, not providing just links.
The university’s IT Center selected the system with the consideration of a large portal to accommodate 400 thousand of users and its future plan to consolidate almost all systems into the portal in the mid- and long-term. Mr. Park said, “We reviewed the solutions from Microsoft, Oracle and BNET, and among them, Microsoft achieved the best grade in its commitment to support and maintenance cost.” Besides these, Microsoft was rated high in that they could provide all the core components of architecture that the IT Center wanted.
Finishing the selection of the solution, the IT Center started to build SSO infrastructure, platform, searching engine and system management tools with Microsoft’s partners like LimeOrange.com, Dongseo Information System and NETS. The most difficult part in this project was SSO. Because there were lots of considerations including about 30 thousand of users only counting enrolled students and teaching staff, 14 systems targeted to integrate such as groupware, comprehensive information system and tele-education system, and connecting to accounts on the cloud in switching email service to the Live@edu.
The other tasks went without a hitch. The various functions and the flexibility of SharePoint Server 2010 helped it build smoothly the basic frame of the portal platform which enables providing information service specialized by faculty, staff and students. And Microsoft FAST Search Server and Microsoft System Center satisfied the level the IT Center wanted in terms of searching and integrated management and control.
In the middle of building portal and searching platform, the IT Center tried to make sure that the functionality as a true portal, which is the second principle, can be provided. Mr. Park said, “After establishing structural base with the SharePoint Server, we initiated the web part development to implement the functions of groupware, comprehensive information system and tele-education system.” And he added, “First, 60 web parts were developed for 14 business systems, and our all systems will be available in CAU Portal in the future.”
On the other hand, the IT Center worried about the possibility of performance issue caused by the characteristics of the portal. But such concerns were completely cleared in the enrollment time of the second semester of 2011. Mr. Park said, “Unlike the past site, regarding the portal which has a wide range of service and many users, we were concerned about the speed and performance.” He added, “However, our proactive workload tests showed 2,500 cessions per SharePoint Server in which total 4 servers were allocated were processed smoothly, based on the L7 switch processing. And we performed the enrollment of the second semester with no speed and performance issues.”Benefits
One-stop school administrative service
CAU portal is now a symbol of ‘one-stop service’ for 400 thousands of members of the university. Students no longer login to several sites for checking emails, checking library, issuing certificates, taking tele-education and registering for courses. They just login to the CAU portal with the newly issued mail account-based integrated ID. Such convenience has led to the increase of visitors. Mr. Park said, “The school homepage averaged around 50 visitors a day in the past. Since CAU Portal opened and it became known that they can do whatever they want there, more than 10,000 users a day visited the homepage, as of September 2011.”
Increase the usability of business system through the customized service
Once users access to the CAU Portal to input their ID and password, they can see the customized screen specialized by faculty, staff and students. It means that menus and functions are optimized for user groups, and future more, CAU Portal supports the personalized screen at user’s disposal. About 60 custom web parts enable users to configure the site with the information and service they want. For instance, users can configure their own page with their today’s menu or the dealing state of requests that they submitted.
Mr. Park said, “CAU Portal removed the need of memorizing each site’s URL for information users need to get.” And he added, “Administrators also think it is positive that contacts were unified to increase the usability of systems.”
Deal with requests within 24 hours and issue the real-time certificates
CAU Portal also raised the quality of requests processing service. Once a complaint is received through the ‘Help’ menu of CAU Portal, it is directly transferred to the staff in charge. And the staff will process the complaint and whole procedure from receiving to the processing can be seen in the CAU Portal.
Mr. Park recalled, “In the past, if we want to submit suggestions, it is difficult to find the appropriate staff or contact that it took at least several days. In CAU Portal, however, it can be processed within 24 hours.” He also said, “Staff can also respond to the issue minutely by checking the characteristics of the issue by his or her ID.” And he added, “Increased service level has come a higher inquiry volume. From May to August 2011, the number of complaints processed reaches 2500.”
One more thing was changed to the immediate service 24X7. It’s the certificate issuing. Unlike the past, 10 kinds of certificate including certificate of registration, diploma and transcript can be directly issued by accessing the CAU Portal. Issuing process was very streamlined compared to the past way of becoming a member of certificates issuing organization to receive high praise from both enrolled students and graduates.
Improved security level
After CAU Portal opened, the IT Center is free from the concern of the idle ID. With no introduction of any additional security solution, the IT Center could establish the SSO system through the Active Directory infrastructure, which made it possible to provide custom service depending on the user identification, enabling ID management as well as a high level of access control to important information and resources. And for graduates, even providing life-time mail account, the concern of idle ID management can be mitigated by virtue of Live@edu. And at the same time, certificates part is also reinforced. Mr. Park explained, “We let the students SSL access based on EPKI, the authorized certificate applying the standard security API of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.”
Gateway of the Smart Campus
CAU Portal is high accessible on both of web and mobile. The IT Center verified the compatibility with various browsers proactively in building the portal based on the web standard while at the same time developing to deploy the mobile app to help users access with many smart devices. Mr. Park said, “There are many students using smart phones and tablets, so we distributed CAU Portal App for mobile devices in June, 2011.” And he added, “We will also distribute an app for faculty and staff in the second semester of 2011.”
Microsoft SharePoint 2010
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