uMobile

Constituents want constant access to their academic, work, and social environments, while embracing mobile computing as part of their lifestyle. Pushing essential information and services to mobile devices has gone from optional to mandatory. Students and employees expect instant access to maps, directories, academics, and other vital IT services to help them navigate their campus or work experience when they are mobile. Campus communities and organizations can require a variety of custom services, propelling CIOs and IT administrators to deliver personalized mobile content to each group. Now institutions and organizations have a reliable, open source solution that meets the demand of constituents who are using mobile technology, while allowing the institution or organization to stay in control of the platform.

What is uMobile?
uMobile is the next generation framework for the mobile campus or business experience.  uMobile provides an enterprise framework for an institution to target its applications, content, and data in a mobile environment. It allows adopters to implement uMobile components as either web-based or native apps, as preferred. The framework enables an institution to present role-based, personalized content to its constituents. uMobile is 100% free and open source software managed by Apereo.

Click here to see uMobile's features, modules, and platform details.

Whatever the goal of the uMobile deployment, Unicon provides the expertise required to give the confidence that comes with a professional implementation. Please read about Unicon’s services for uMobile, in the tabs below.

 

Associated Services for uMobile

Consulting Services for uMobile

Unicon's consulting services help in advising institutions and organizations on how to take full advantage of uMobile to meet their business objectives. Unicon assigns an experienced Project Manager to oversee expert project teams as they work to deploy and support custom enterprise uMobile instances that solve business challenges. Unicon’s experienced mobile computing development experts can meet aggressive deadlines, even when integrating uMobile with several different systems. 

Evaluation
Whether an institution or organization is in the process of implementing, updating, or maintaining uMobile, assessing and evaluating options can impact the success of uMobile. Unicon understands the importance of documenting goals, needs, and wants, and offers an evaluation service to institutions and organizations.

This first-step service provides a snap-shot of where the institution or organization is or to help clarify a need for uMobile. An evaluation session can determine and prioritize the conditions and needs required for a new implementation, update, or customization to an existing uMobile instance. Unicon’s evaluation service includes surveys, reporting, and analysis, all helping institutions and organizations decide their business needs for the mobile portal. Unicon also provides best practices for evaluation based on functionality, finances, support/maintenance, performance, usability, and security.

Mentoring
General uMobile mentorship affords institutions and organizations access to a Unicon developer/ consultant experienced in working with uMobile. Consultants are made available to assist and mentor staff. 

Types of mentoring activities include: answering questions, helping staff execute on mobile development, providing guidance on mobile configuration tasks, and performing research and producing documentation as requested up to the agreed amount of hours. Mentorship assists in knowledge transfer to grow an institution’s or organization’s staff expertise in the development of the uMobile framework and for maintaining the uMobile instance.

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Customization Services for uMobile

uMobile allows for customization of the elements within the enterprise, including content, applications, and services, to meet the growing and diverse needs of each institution and organization. Clients can enlist Unicon to create customized implementations with uMobile’s pluggable framework to meet specific business needs. Unicon can design and develop custom modules for uMobile, and extend uMobile’s functionality through system integration.

Unicon offers software engineering expertise, to customize the flexible and extensible uMobile framework. Unicon's software engineering teams ensure timely delivery of projects using agile and scrum development methodologies. 

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Systems Integration Services for uMobile

uMobile is built on flexible, open standards-based technologies, with enterprise-grade APIs that allow for simple integration with other systems and customization for specific local needs. uMobile enables easy integration with authentication and security infrastructures, single sign-on secure access, campus or organizational applications, web-based content, and end user customization.

Unicon provides systems integration services to integrate many applications with uMobile. Among the most common systems integration is authentication technology. Ready support for popular authentication sources include: CAS, Shibboleth, PubCookie, Active Directory, OpenLDAP, Novell eDirectory, and JDBC.

Unicon can also integrate uMobile with group management technology. uMobile uses a highly extensible Group API allowing the portal to consume and combine group data from multiple sources, including LDAP, Active Directory, Grouper, and custom databases. 

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Solution Delivery Services for uMobile

It takes skill and expertise to install the uMobile components in a well-defined, usable manner. Unicon has extensive experience deploying uMobile. Unicon has developed best practices to help facilitate a successful, stable implementation for clients. Unicon’s expert Project Managers guide clients through each phase of implementation, from brainstorming and planning to maintenance and support. While each of these services may be purchased separately, investing in the full package is ideal to avoid common pitfalls and ensure a seamless execution.

A successful deployment depends on taking advantage of the complete set of services listed below.

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Module Development Services for uMobile

In accommodating the aggregation and display of diverse content, applications, and services, an enterprise mobile portal provides a framework that integrates several template component types. One of the more complex component types is the module, which functions as a pluggable user interface component providing a presentation layer in the mobile portal for information systems. Unicon offers full life-cycle module development services.

Unicon’s provides its full suite of services for the development of modules, including custom and standards-based development.

Modules available with uMobile out-of-the-box include:

  • Announcements
  • Calendar
  • Map
  • News
  • Directory
  • Search
  • Videos
  • Custom Static Content

The Apereo community has developed optional modules for uMobile. These include:

  • Courses
  • Dining Menu
  • Athletics
  • Laundry Alert
  • Computer Lab Alert

Unicon can also develop enhancements to modules and provide upgrades when necessary. Once created, Unicon can assist institutions and organizations in contributing the module code back to the open source community. Contributing to the open source community requires a modest effort and is a rewarding endeavor.

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Support for Open Source uMobile

Protect the investment in uMobile and gain all of the advantages of this open source software designed specifically for institutions and organizations plus top-quality, professional support from a commercial vendor. Unicon’s Open Source Support program is SLA-driven and backed by an accountable team of open source experts. Take advantage of a flexible, customizable open source support service with direct access to dedicated developers, consultants, and system administrators each possessing deep experience within the select open source projects. Get the backing of technical expertise and professional service all at an affordable price.

Support for uMobile can also be found through the Apereo community resources, which include:

  • Free access to all maintenance releases and bug fixes
  • Free access to all security notifications
  • Free access to mobile user and development email lists
  • Free access to community calls, demonstrations, and roadmaps
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Other Services for uMobile

Hosting
Unicon can host an institution’s or organization's instance of uMobile. Unicon’s hosting service is designed to maximize productivity, performance, and security, with a state-of-the-art data center and a team of experienced service delivery veterans.

Performance Testing
Enlist Unicon to optimize the performance of applications through on-going (iterative) application performance testing. Unicon’s proven methodology ensures applications will perform as expected to meet business needs.

Upgrades
As the open source community continues to make enhancements and adjustments to uMobile, new versions are released. These upgrades can be difficult for institutions or organizations to complete without a strong commercial vendor. Unicon’s services offer an ease of migration to the newest release of uMobile.

Prior to upgrade, Unicon recommends a thorough review of the client's environment, to determine the scope of the upgrade based on the extent of customization. Services can include integration of existing configuration and/or customizations in one or more client environments.

User Experience
Unicon offers a user experience service to help institutions and organizations deliver a polished, visually appealing application that follows the key principles of user experience design: useful, useable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable. 

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History of uMobile
uMobile uses the same code base as uPortal 4.0, the latest version of the only portal built by and for higher education. It is one of the most widely deployed open source EIP platforms, having been adopted by hundreds of institutions and research communities worldwide. uMobile provides the same secure, powerful horizontal integration portal platform designed to integrate and aggregate information from multiple applications and render a mobile experience. uMobile uses the same mature enterprise framework and development tools to deliver apps to the device.