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Higher Education Group to Launch SOA Governance Framework


The Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) announced the first major public demonstration and beta release of EdUnify to be held at the EDUCAUSE 2010 Conference this October 12-15, 2010, in Anaheim, California.

ebizQ received the following:

EdUnify is a Web services registry and suite of semantic web tools designed to reduce costs of integration and improve efficiency by providing a service-oriented architecture governance framework for education.

The higher education industry spends approximately $25 billion per year (based on PESC research from industry resources) supporting proprietary connections and movement of data across disparate applications and systems inside and outside the institution.

The utilization and effectiveness of data and information technologies is severely limited by differing access methods, protocols, data definitions and proprietary designs. Unintended consequences resulting from disproportionate spending to implement and maintain services impede investment in innovation and hinder development on new services for students. This creates a significant amount of unnecessary redundancy and places a tremendous burden on the educational investment society as a whole is making.

“The universal concerns of rising IT costs and funding are at the top of everyone’s lists. We must take action now and embrace common sense, cost-effective solutions like EdUnify,” stated Michael Sessa, President and CEO of PESC. “EdUnify provides a standards-based framework for web services, that when combined with other proven technologies like the InCommon Federation, creates a comprehensive solution for SOA governance as well.”

"Web service registries, indexes and interoperability services have transformed the way we collaborate in fields such as cancer research and life sciences," said Stephen Wheat, Chief IT Architect for Emory University. "The core grid services of caGrid and the BioCatalogue web service registry on which EdUnify is based are prime examples of this phenomenon. The members of the EdUnify Task Force believe that these same innovations can be brought to bear in education. These technologies will provide a catalyzing foundation for a new generation of online services and applications to improve student outcomes, increase student access to education, facilitate student mobility, and make more information resources available to students, faculty, and administrators."

Dave Moldoff, PESC Board Member and CEO and Founder of Academy One, said, "This is a great step toward our goal of interoperability while improving the effectiveness of our IT resources. The emergence and use of web services will accelerate as organizations wrestle the issues of SOA Governance to the ground with EdUnify. Leveraging and reusing web services has been restrained by most organizations. Many have just stayed on the sidelines waiting to see how things shake out. Now, with the leadership of PESC focused on the underlying resistance and concerns of SOA governance, I believe we will see a new wave of efforts to simplify the bridges across disparate data systems using web services and abstracted data methods."

EdUnify will include a lookup service that lists integration services, access locations for electronic services, protocols, payloads and authentication which are advertised by data exchange partners in various configurations. This lookup service enables institutions, states and others the ability to advertise their electronic services so others can find those services and automate their connections and their data trading needs.

Examples of Registered EdUnify Web Services:

  • Student and Faculty Data Services * Institutional and Academic Data Services * Course and Program Transferability Disclosure Services * 21st Century Learners Spanning Multiple Institution Services * Student Access to Their Data through Electronic Services * Enabling New and Innovative Technologies to Support Teaching and Learning Services

Subsequent phases of EdUnify will expand to include national and international functionality; an agent to link PK12 and workforce systems with higher education systems; functionality to enable timely disclosure to students through an academic transfer network regarding transferability of credits; as well as the option for a virtual private registry service for organizations that need their own private SOA governance tools.

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