September 20, 2006

New online files project

After working on Single Sign On and BlogBuilder and various other smaller projects on and off over the last couple of years, I have a big new project to get my teeth into.

Basically we (me and Sarah) are reworking how members of the University can get at their files over the web and send and receive large files given the restrictions and problems with emailing large files.

The full scope of the project is not yet known so I couldn’t just list all of the features that the system will have. However, our basic goals are:

  • Upload files to a web based file store (and of course then download them so that you can get at them at home easily)
  • Set permisisons on those files (based around our SSO and WebGroups system)
  • Be able to send other users files that you’ve uploaded so that they get a link to the file to download over the web
  • Allow non-Warwick users to send you large files that you won’t be able to get over email

There is a lot more possible detail in these features that we’ve had a think about already, but a lot of the finer decisions are yet to be taken.

We like to do things in a fairly agile way so that we get out working software quite quickly and then rapidly improve it based on testing and user feedback. This means hopefully there’ll be something to see relatively quickly (but don’t expect miracles) and it’ll improve with new versions all the time.

I’ll be writing about our progress here and giving some insights into how projects like this get built here at E-Lab.


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Intriegued. It sounds to me like a university-based system in the vein of yousendit or rapidshare – except more permanent and more secure.

    I’ll be watching, like I seem to do with every entry that somebody writes here. :)

    21 Sep 2006, 00:06

  2. Kelvin Gan

    Wow, that sounds almost exactly like what I’ve spent the last 16 months doing at the University of Bath.

    We call it the Learning Materials Filestore – originally a project commissioned by our e-Learning.

    Of the list you’ve provided, we’ve achieved:

    • Upload a file over the web (via browser only at present) and download from anywhere.
    • Set permissions based on individuals, module/programme-based groups from student records and ad-hoc groups.
    • Send users a link (cut and paste) – not a feature in the app to ‘send’ a link (yet)
    • We’ve setup “Web Application Access Accounts” that provide LDAP entries for external users (who have given us their email address). So with these, external users can be given access to the LMF.

    Things we wished we had:

    • SSO
    • Web-Groups
    • Better account management for external users, eg. Shibboleth

    We built it in JSTL + Servlets + Hibernate + Oracle 9.

    I’d be more than happy to talk about what our experiences were.

    02 Nov 2006, 09:51

  3. Kelvin Gan

    Ooops. URL should be http://www.bath.ac.uk/lmf

    02 Nov 2006, 09:56


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