The Course-Catalog is a web front-end for searching and browsing course information stored in Ellucian Banner.
Overview of operation
- (Nightly) Data from the Banner Oracle database is copied into tables in a MySQL database (via
- (Nightly) Derived tables and views to improve the ease of fetching are built from the data now in MySQL (via
- (Nightly) Search indices are built based on the data now in MySQL (via
- The PHP data model based on the OSID Course Catalog API provides an object-oriented API for accessing the course catalog data. This API ensures consistency in data fetching so that different user-interface screens always have the same information available.<
- The front-end application (using the Zend Framework's MVC system) provides search, browse and display interfaces to access the course information. It also provides XML web services for using the course information in remote systems. Additionally, the front-end application includes a schedule-planning tool to help students plan their semesters. All user-interfaces and web services get their data through the OSID Course Catalog API.
Examples of the the Course-Catalog in action at Middlebury College:
- Main Search UI (catalog app)
- Section Details Page (catalog app)
- Department "courses" RSS feed (catalog app)
- Departments listing to feed to the Drupal content type form (catalog app)
- Department Course Listing (Drupal "courses" content-type displaying a feed from the catalog app)
- Department Section Listing (Drupal "courses" content-type displaying a feed from the catalog app)
- Faculty Profile (Drupal "profile" content-type displaying a feed from the catalog app)
Schedule Planner - Screen-shots and more information about the schedule-planner.
These instructions assume that you have a POSIX machine running Apache with PHP 7.0 or later.
In a non-web-accessable directory, clone the course-catalog repository:
cd into the new
coursecatalog/directory and fetch the submodules (osid-phpkit, ZendFramework, etc):
cd coursecatalog git-submodule update --init --recursive
Make a symbolic link to the
coursecatalog/docroot/directory in a web-accessible directory or add a virtualhost rooted in the
Create a MySQL database for the catalogs data and a cache of Banner data.
Make copies of the example config files at
update_config.iniand edit values to match your environment.
Create the database tables defined in
Run the script at
bin/update-from-banner.phpto dump Banner data into the the MySQL database:
php bin/update-from-banner.php php bin/build_indices.php
Most of the Course Catalog OSID API is covered by PHPUnit tests. To run these tests:
- Install PHPUnit if you do not have it available.
- Create an empty MySQL database for running the tests.
application/test/banner/configuration.plistand enter your database configuration parameters.
- On the command-line, change directory to your course-catalog source directory.
- Run the command
The implementation of this system is layered such that the Web UI code is separated from the data model. The data model is an implementation of the Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.) Open Service Interface Definition (OSID) for Course information, the Course OSID (detailed doc). Because of this structure, it is possible for other institutions to modify the data model (the OSID implementation) so as to use the same UI code against different data sources, be they different Banner implementations or alternative systems. See also OSID Usage.