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NSW Education Dept's portal well under way

The New South Wales Department of Education and Training (DET) has revealed its extensive Web-based service delivery portal for students and staff is up and running at more than half of its 2,500 sites state-wide. The Oracle-based portal first conceived five years ago is used to deliver intranet services, as well as legacy and new corporate applications, through a Web browser to the department's 1.
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Written by Renai LeMay on

The New South Wales Department of Education and Training (DET) has revealed its extensive Web-based service delivery portal for students and staff is up and running at more than half of its 2,500 sites state-wide.

The Oracle-based portal first conceived five years ago is used to deliver intranet services, as well as legacy and new corporate applications, through a Web browser to the department's 1.3 million public school and TAFE students, as well as its 130,000 staff, and is seen as a key platform for future applications.

"We've got over 1,400 sites up and running and delivering the services," the department's application architect Phillip Sherwin told a conference run by Oracle and local Oracle consulting firm Red Rock last week.

Sherwin said the portal currently averaged 200 logons per minute for a school day, with a total of between 90,000 to 110,000 people using the portal each day. That number was steadily growing as the solution reached more sites, he said.

These levels of activity are made possible by DET's use of F5's BIG-IP load balancing and Firepass SSL VPN hardware solutions.

DET's portal is currently being run from one data centre site, but the department is currently implementing a completely redundant design in a second site.

"We haven't finished implementing the twin site, but we're nearly there ... probably 60 percent," said Sherwin.

Although DET has done a substantial amount of work to get the portal to this point since its conception back in 2001/2002, Sherwin said due to the asset's nature as a service delivery model, there was no real end in sight to the project.

"There's no real finish," Sherwin told the conference. "With something like this, every single project that comes from the business, we tend to look at it and say, yes it's just another service [to be run through the portal]."

"Just an example that we're implementing at the moment is the new schools reporting system, that's another system that actually is accessible via the portal. So we do really use it as our service delivery model."

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