The Architecture Review Board (ARB) guides both central, IT and faculty projects, in some cases from the project initiation, towards their respective implementations. Working with stakeholders from faculties, the Communications Directorate, External Relations, and Finance, the ARB has provided additional visibility into the initiatives underway and their proposed technology solutions. This fosters a well-rounded perspective of both the University and technology.
This article highlights a key principle of Enterprise Architecture: reuse. Simply put, the principle of reuse urges us to leverage existing technology components before acquiring new ones. A more complete explanation of reuse, the rationale, and implications, is presented in the enterprise architecture principles article, Reuse existing components before acquiring new ones.
To that end, the following summarizes the Architecture Review Board’s (ARB) monthly meetings since our last update with a focus on the reuse aspects of each case.
Protection Services – uoAlert
- Description: uoAlert is uOttawa’s Emergency Notification System (ENS) activated only in a major emergency such as a critical violent event, a serious fire, or severe weather.
- ARB involvement: The ARB reviewed the uoAlert roadmap which aims to extend the alerting methods, over time, to include mobile device app, digital signage, and outdoor speakers while ensuring the efficient and reliability of the system. In keeping with the reuse theme, the ARB’s inventory of components helped identify enterprise-class components already deployed that could be reused, while at the same time, identifying aging components that could be decommissioned to facilitate operational simplicity and deliver cost savings.
- Description: Document management and workflows solution for the Faculty of Medicine.
- ARB involvement: The ARB guided the Faculty of Medicine to examine the potential for reuse of the Academic Promotion solution, based on Xerox DocuShare developed by the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Faculty of Social Sciences demonstrated the capabilities of their solution to colleagues in the faculties of Medicine, Education, and Common Law. This is a concrete example of working with our peers and partners towards the adoption of institutional solutions and standards while promoting reuse.
UNIWeb - Application Programming Interface
- Description: Re-using UniWeb and underlying data in other applications.
- ARB involvement: The ARB will host a discussion to explore opportunities for reuse of the Academic CV solution, UNIWeb, and its underlying data. Using industry-standard Web Services, other applications would be able to consume the data managed in UNIWeb via its Application Programming Interface (API) thereby allowing these other applications to display dynamic information pulled directly from UNIWeb. Web Service APIs are an important enabler of reuse in support of Enterprise Architecture. This pattern is already used to support the Faculty of Medicine with their Thesis Supervisor Search (TSS), and is also being assessed to simplify information exchanges between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Use cases like these build upon the existing integration capabilities that allow UNIWeb profile information to be embedded into other uOttawa web presences.