All the Connecting Dots

We’re planning an upgrade of our LMS. Consider these “dots” and their connections: The old gradebook is out. No further development. When do we take it away from our instructors? How many times do we notify them first? We’re in the middle of changing video on demand (VOD) providers. The old one was to have been available ’til Jan. 2019, but the old one does not provide a standard LTI integration and therefore isn’t ready for the upgraded LMS version. Also, there is no straight migration of content between the old VOD and the new one. Our instructors want to … Continue reading All the Connecting Dots

Bringing Blackboard Vista 8 into the Oracle 11g world..

Just a few notes, probably only of significance to myself, of the work involved when the technology around a software changes even as that software is being brought to an end of life… Blackboard’s CE and Vista product is scheduled to be de-supported in January of 2013. Notre Dame will continue to run it as we come along side it with another system and move our Faculty and Students to it. Meanwhile Oracle has de-supported (as of June 2010) its database software version Oracle 10g, on which many institutions have been running their Bb Vista databases. Meanwhile Oracle has acquired … Continue reading Bringing Blackboard Vista 8 into the Oracle 11g world..

Pithy Truisms on Blackboard Vista and Chat and Wimba under SSL

Those who’ve followed, referenced or read this blog for any length of time know that my posts follow my thoughts – one day pondering the ineffable, another day contemplating market changes in the LMS space, and the very next mired in the nuts and bolts of maintaining one of those systems. Today is one of those days. Maybe these observations will help someone else, at least they’ll be breadcrumbs for me. So far, in the last week on Bb Vista 8.0.5 I have confirmed these things: Blackboard Collaborate/former Wimba changed out the cert at our site, on April 14th … Continue reading Pithy Truisms on Blackboard Vista and Chat and Wimba under SSL

Bb Vista Health Checks 101

1. The load balancer health checks are configured on the load balancer. You see them in your webserver.log file as Date/Time IP Address 200 GET /webct/checkStatusForLb   guest The interval is usually 10 seconds. They’re used by the load balancer to determine whether a user requesting a session should be sent to that node or not. If the node doesn’t respond, end user sessions aren’t sent there. Weblogic also does health checks. A couple of different kinds it turns out. Here’s where you find them in your Weblogic Console: 2. Peer Connectivity. How are my sister nodes? Are they available to … Continue reading Bb Vista Health Checks 101

Your Bb Vista cluster config.xml file

Tip: Keep a ‘last known good’ config.xml file on your admin node. With even a small cluster, anytime a change to a setting in the Weblogic console causes a bad write-out to this file (like almost every other time!), all you have to do to recover is copy your last known good config.xml file over the faulty one, create an empty file named REFRESH on each node (including admin) and rename all of the ../WebCTDomain/server/ directories  (all nodes, including admin) so that a new /server directory gets created. It shouldn’t happen. It sounds goofy. But it’s a lifesaver when you … Continue reading Your Bb Vista cluster config.xml file

Weblogic 9.2 and Bb Vista cluster node migration 101

There’ve been a couple recent incidents at Notre Dame requiring our Bb Vista cluster to be restarted. In follow-up root cause analysis, the culprit has been dropped multicast healthcheck packets. The admin, for reasons I haven’t discovered yet, has not received the communication, and believing the node to be unavailable, has begun a migration process which failed. But what exactly is it attempting to migrate? Where is the failure? I do know WHEN the failure happens, with catastrophic consequence. It happens when a configured number of JMS health checks are not received by the admin. The setting is configurable in … Continue reading Weblogic 9.2 and Bb Vista cluster node migration 101

Banner ICGORLDI extract causes stuck thread

Since registration for spring opens Nov. 16th and we’re integrated through the Luminis Message Broker with the Registrar’s system, it is vital that spring courses and sections exist in Bb Vista prior to the flood of events open registration causes. So, Notre Dame’s standard procedure is:         1. Registrar: Add the term to ACTIVE_TERM on GORICCR (event generation begins) Don Steinke. 2. Registrar (Don again): Run GURIROL for the STUDENT and FACULTY roles (these are the only ones that depend on the active term for assignment) Don Steinke –doesn’t have a term param, so does whatever persons … Continue reading Banner ICGORLDI extract causes stuck thread