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Building a Portal Using Google Apps

Julian Lintell-Smith
Sharif Salah

Information Services
University of Portsmouth, UK

In 2011 the University of Portsmouth made the decision to redesign our student portal service around Google Apps and Google App Engine. This session will explore the strategic reasoning behind the decision as well as the objectives and outcomes of the project. The content will be of particular relevance to stakeholders with an interest in large-scale integration at an enterprise-wide scale and across multiple technology platforms. Google services offer a number of advantages including strong support for standards based technologies such as OpenID, OAuth and iCalendar, all of great potential utility in integration work.

Building a Portal Using Google Apps

We have implemented a student portal that relies heavily on a number of core Google Apps services including Google Sites, Google Calendar and Google Docs. In particular we shall review the use of Google Sites to deliver interactive functionality via the gadgets.* API, as well as our seamless integration with Google App Engine to deliver a highly resilient, available and scalable solution. We shall conclude with a brief look at some of the lessons learnt and a look to the future of our plans to further develop the new service.