Closure Review

Project Summary:

WEB009 Responsive MyEd and EdWeb Integration project was initiated to take the opportunity to create a consistent user experience between the UWS and MyEd, as the

  •  University now has Global Experience Language (GEL) including
    • Recommended approaches to a range of common UI patterns
    • A reference implementation in Twitter Bootstrap
  • The theme of the new UWS applies the GEL implementation of Bootstrap
  • The latest version of uPortal, the platform MyEd is based-on, has a responsive theme based on Bootstrap

The project also sought to better integrate MyEd and the UWS by:

  • Designing and implementing a shared information architecture
  • Showing key information in MyEd to authenticated users of the UWS
  • Providing an unauthenticated view of MyEd, using uPortal “guest” layout

The project successfully completed delivery in two Phases -

  • new supported infrastructure and migration of database instances to new virtual environments was completed July 2016
  • upgrade MyEd to uPortal v4.3 was deployed in August 2017

In addition to this the following was achieved

  • Responsive theme (in Bootstrap) based on EdGel
  • Channel content converted to new theme
  • Enabling rework, including dynamic configuration of user groups
  • Simplified email preview channel
  • Channel audit and rationalisation  (reducing from 215 to 173)
  • All major snags resolved in time for welcome week

This project provided a major step forward in making MyEd into “the part of University website you log-in to” and help us on the first part of the journey as part of Digital Transformation User Centred Portal. It is worthy to note, this encouraging feedback for the project team,from a current student following the upgrade : “ MyEd is all new and functioning??? It’s class now”



Objectives, Deliverables, Success Criteria



Work Steam



Success Criteria

O0 Allow MyEd to run on supported infrastructure        
D0 Create and configure virtual environments for DEV, TEST and LIVE Infrastructure Must  Yes Obsolete hardware is replaced
D0.1 Move current MyEd DEV, TEST and LIVE instances over to new virtual environments Infrastructure  Must  Yes MyEd runs on a supported infrastructure
O1  Create a consistent user experience through enhanced integration between MyEd and the University Website removing the mis-match between the two.        
D0 Upgrade to Java  and Tomcat to latest versions uPortal Must  Yes All environments are updated to the latest version of Java and Tomcat 
D1 Upgrade uPortal to version 4.2.x uPortal Must  Yes All environments are updated to latest uPortal version 4.3
D1.1 Update Simple Content Management Portlet   Must  Yes  
D1.1.1 Add options to disable CKEDITOR' content filtering  uPortal Must  Yes Java script code can be optionally included  in portlets
D1.2 Enable Marketplace and Favourites Portlets uPortal Must  Yes (enabled for investigation only) Marketplace and favourites are enabled
D1.3 Convert PAGS definitions from XML to new stored format uPortal Must  Yes Existing definitions are migrated and editable my portlet admin. 
D1.5 Load test upgraded version Back End Must  Yes Load testing passed successfully
D2 Deliver a responsive theme to MyEd, that is aligned to the University GEL  Theming Must  Yes Channels display 
D2.1 High priority channels (10) Channel/Theming Must  Yes The mobile channels display correctly on a range of devices
D2.1.1 Convert channels using jQuery Mobile to Respondr/Bootstrap Channel/Theming Must  Yes Highest priority channels are converted to respondr/bootstrap
D2.1.2 Convert channels using Fluid theme to Respondr/Bootstrap Channel/Theming Must  Yes Highest priority channels are converted to using the GEL
D2.2 Other channels Channel/Theming Should  Partial (not all channels) Remaining channels are converted in priority to use respondr theme
D2.2.1 Convert channels using jQuery Mobile to Respondr/Bootstrap Channel/Theming Should  Partial Remaining channels are converted in priority to respondr/bootstrap
D2.2.2 Convert channels using Fluid theme to Respondr/Bootstrap Channel/Theming Should  Partial Remaining channels are converted to using the GEL
D3 Updated log-in solution (one of the following)        

Guest Layout 

Back End Should  Yes Non authenticated users can view guest layout



Back End Should  Not Applicable If 3.1 is not possible then implement 3.2 Existing log in page has been updated to new look and feel



Back End Must  ?  
D6.1 Investigate analytics options in uPortal 4.3 and either: Back End Must  Yes Investigation into capability of built in analytics
D6.1.1 Rework existing analytics code for Respondr theme Back End Should  Yes  
D6.2 Remove user attribute meta tags Back End Should  Yes Meta tags are removed from UI layer
D8 Closer alignment between MyEd and University Website IA and UI Theming Should  Yes More consistent user journey between the two environments/systems
D8.2  Tidy up tasks Back End Should  Yes (some tidy-up of styling was possible)  



The project did not deliver the following deliverables ;

D1.4 uPortal Search Back End Could  No  

User Experience Improvements

D4.1 Review default layouts Theming Should No  
D4.2 Replace customise drawer with Marketplace and Favourites? Theming Could No (not suitable due to bugs + UI issues)  

Grouper Integration 

Back End Could No  
D5.1 Implementation of Moodle course groups Back End Could No  



Back End Must    
D6.1.2 Apply built-in analytics Back End Should No (not suitable)  
D7 Maintenance mode text, "errorportlet.maintenance.text" should be configurable at the portlet level Back End Should No (investigated but not feasible within timescales as requires changes in uPortal code)  
D8.1 Gather feedback from users on new platform Theming Could No  




The scope of the project was to replace the MyEd hardware on DEV, TEST and LIVE and to upgrade Portal to the latest version and make available the responsive features in the upgraded version. 

  • Replace hardware on DEV, TEST and LIVE that is reaching end of life in July 2016
  • Upgrade BETA Operating System
  • Upgrade MyEd Portal to the latest version
  • Designing and implementing a shared information architecture
  • Showing key information in MyEd to authenticated users of the UWS
  • Providing an unauthenticated view of MyEd, using uPortal “guest” layout

Deemed out of scope :

The project team agreed not to deliver a Phase 3 EdWeb Integration element as requirements at that point in project were still to be collated, from discussions with Project Sponsor, WIT Programme Manager and Project Manager the option proposed would be to close project after delivery of Phase 2 and consider a small separate project to be initiated for Phase 3  when requirements made available by LTW WGI and UWS teams.



Analysis of Resource Usage:

Staff Usage Estimate: 325 days

Staff Usage Actual: 532 days

Staff Usage Variance: 164%

Other Resource Estimate: 0 days

Other Resource Actual: 0 days

Other Resource Variance: 0%

Explanation for variance:

  • The project team encountered a number of challenges during the lifetime of the project:
    • underestimation of the work required and involved for PAGS group development
    • development work associated with Meta Tags
    • key resource in LTW and IS Apps being aligned to the upgrade project were also expected to devote a large amount of time to Digital Transformation projects planning (e.g. DTI011) which resulted in conflicts on their time and focus away from the project
    • limited MyEd Service team availability - 2 key resource to cover on-going service activities, DT Transformation planning and project work resulted in the project manager covering activities which would normally sit with Business lead and resulted in higher resource costs to the project.
    • the project was severely impacted due to the technical issues affecting/impacting Bamboo deployments and resulted in delays of around 6 weeks . This issue was recorded under PICCL 10 for reference.

    • as the majority of deployments to MyEd were via Bamboo all deployments codes had to be checked and updated, this  resulted in the key developer resource being engaged on this activity and unable to work on UAT rework and resolution of outstanding JIRAs, impacting project budget
    • as there were only limited timeslots when MyEd could be upgraded the project team had to re-plan the deployments on a number of occasions during the duration of the project (original deployment November 2016 - actual deployment July 2017)
    • unexpected issues encountered with the June 2017 deployment whereby :
      • Users not seeing teaching fragment
      • Users not seeing local groups - e.g. Alumni
    • Redeployment to live in July 2017 and supplementary deployments in August 2017
    • Supporting start of term activities via the project in September 2017
  • Original Budget estimated at 325 days as part of WIT Programme
    • 15/16 - 175 days
    • 16/17 - 150 days
  • Actual Budget spend as part of WIT Programme - 351 days
    • 15/16 - 147 days
    • 16/17 - 204 days
  • Actual Budget as part of Digital Transformation UCP & Notifications Programme 150 days
    • 16/17 - 130 days
    • 17/18 - 20 days
  • Overall Spend 532 days


Key Learning Points:

  • Infrastructure was built using puppet for the first time. Generally this went well but some manual steps were still required. 
  • The configuration of the servers in Groups (A and B) across sites i.e. each group having servers in both KB and AT allows a cleaner and more secure way to deploy to live. Noting that all deployments to live were delivered without any downtime to the MyEd Service
  • Since the upgrade has been applied to all 8 servers, production management team no longer seeing any 24/7 false alerts, also Google Analytics for the page load performance for MyEd, has been 18% faster that the equivalent period last year in August 2016
  • Under a normal load testing showed the service could work with 1 server available (MyEd Infrastructure has 8 Servers)
  • During User Acceptance testing there was a more thorough testing of the IDM MyEd Connector this was due to the introduction of PAGS groups. The project team found this to be a beneficial and useful exercise and provides a more substantial test plan to be used for future projects / upgrades for MyEd, this also includes local groups
  • Working collaboration between Development Services and Application Management to create handover documentation and support for deployments


  • IS Helpline to be included in future MyEd projects to allow them to understand developments being proposed and highlight any potential impacts to service, the intention is to ensure that they have involvement in UAT
  • It would be useful to the MyEd Service team that they have a clear understanding of environments each portlet/channel is available in e.g. Dev, Test, Live as during project we encountered a few instances were environments were 'broken' and these had to be fixed before upgrading into dev, test & live environments
  • With MyEd Service being part of the Digital Transformation Programme, consideration of how portlets etc. are requested in future via MyEd should be reviewed and whether a 'gatekeeper' process should be introduced to ensure the MyEd Service Team have greater visibility of channels etc. being added
  • The MyEd Service roadmap of improvements / developments should include future infrastructure upgrades required (e.g. EOL dates)
  • It is suggested that the MyEd Service team review their engagement and communications with channel owners as some areas did not interact or communicate back to the project team particularly well during UAT and delayed resolution of issues
  • For this size of projects in the future, it may be of benefit to split into 2 separate projects to help with communications, budgeting and timescales
  • The project team agreed to keep the daily restarts in place to help manage CPU activity

Outstanding issues:

  • A small number of lower priority JIRAS remain open these are to be investigated and fixed via a small MyEd improvements project - funding has been agreed via DT
  • Email portlet deployed to live but agreed to disable during start of year, team agreement to complete some final load testing and re-enable and monitor in Live, Service Manager to advise IS helpline when it will be re-enabled.
  • Decommission old uPortal DB in all the environments

Project Info

Responsive MyEd and EdWeb Integration
Digital Transformation - User Centred Portal and Notifications
Management Office
Project Manager
Karen Stirling
Project Sponsor
Martin Morrey
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority