Haiku Update

We now have over three hundred users who have tried or are partially using Haiku in parallel with our Moodle 1.9 system.  We still have some issues to work out (such as allowing the Veracross API sync not affect our Google Docs users names), but otherwise the system is running well.

After Spring Break, we plan to discuss the pros and cons of the two systems further.  One issue of concern is that the transfer of data from Moodle 1.9 to Haiku could be a challenge.  Some of our hundreds of Moodle courses have over a gig of data in them, and early attempts at importing a Moodle 1.9 backup into Moodle 2.1, and then exporting as a Moodle 2.1 backup for import into Haiku were fairly rough.  At first, only small classes seemed to work, but recently a 120 meg class went over fine (but not quizzes and assignments).

It may be that Haiku has improved their import feature, so maybe we will be about to use the backup import process more.  Our fall back solution is to hire an alumni for the summer to manually move data over, which would likely work but be very tedious.

One other Haiku point– we like the integration with Google Docs, but in order for that to work the authentication for Haiku needs to be done via Google Docs.  We started this school year with an SSO from Finalsite being our entry into Google Docs (which created some “stacking issues” in that some other applications like Picasa would work from the Google Docs (SSO) authentication, and others (like Noodletools) would not (unless we had a real, non-SSO authentication in Google Docs).

So, we plan to split off Google Docs from the SSO this summer and make it an independent authentication agent, and have Haiku hang off of it as a service.  This is a little weird, given that our current Moodle system is independent but authenticates off of AD, but we think it’s the right course forward for the most consistency for additional services (like Noodletools) becoming part of an integrated web services platform for teachers and students.

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