MusicWeb as a Portal
With the advancement of technology and the internet in particular, MusicWeb more and more takes on the role of a music-educational portal, allowing institutions with different already existing e-learning environments to join the network with common access and user-management facilities. Future projects should enable us to further develop this idea and create the technological infrastructure to share information from different sources and systems.
The integration of MusicWeb in other eLearning systems
The central MusicWeb server holds a number of educational materials, as well as general help information and publicly viewable content. In order to protect this intellectual property with copyright or licensing issues and to prevent theft, a good access policy is needed with the possibility to identify all users. Materials without any copyright or licensing issues do not require user identification; this is as well the case for materials that are freely available via the Internet. Some materials are however authored in a particular manner in which they cannot reasonably be re-authored to exist in the MusicWeb system. There are as well compelling reasons why we should not duplicate effort by transferring materials onto a centralised server. Therefore the MusicWeb team agreed to seek a means of keeping some materials on individual institutionsí servers and allow authenticated access to users from other institutions.
To ascertain the readiness of the MusicWeb partner institutions for a MusicWeb-wide authentication structure, a questionnaire was circulated during the winter of 2003. The results of this questionnaire show different situations, going from institutions with no authentication whatsoever (where students do not have to log into lab computers, they simply sit down at a machine and start to use it), to institutions with their own eLearning system, fire walled to all outside addresses and institutions with advanced security systems often appearing in one country only. For these kinds of institutions the MusicWeb team hopes that the use of shared group accounts will be sufficient to satisfy both security concerns and any licensing issues on their educational materials that might otherwise require strong authentication. It remains an issue to be further investigated by the MusicWeb team.
More information on MusicWeb integration issues can be found in this Microsoft Word document: integration.doc