IT Services



Guide to web-related OUCS services


Contents

This document lists Web-related OUCS services and gives a brief description of what each service offers. If you are unsure of which service may be appropriate for your needs, please see the use cases guidance document.



1. Hosting services



1.1. NSMS virtual web hosting

NSMS hosts a large number of virtual web servers for projects, units, and other official bodies within the collegiate University on a chargeable basis. The service supports a wide range of features and technologies on a variety of platforms. websites can be hosted under your domain name. For more details please see NSMS services: Comprehensive Web Hosting.



1.2. Web publishing

All members of the University are entitled to an allocation of Personal Web Space which can be used to host a personal website. You can design your site any way you like, and upload it to your website when you are ready to publish it.

The service includes the ability to provide dynamic content generated in response to CGI requests. The language available for this is `safe_perl`.



1.3. OUCS virtual web hosting

OUCS hosts a number of virtual web servers for projects, units, and other official bodies within the University. The service supports the same features as the personal web publishing service, but larger quotas are generally available, and websites can be hosted under your domain name.

For more information see Registration: Accounts and web sites.



1.4. WebLearn

WebLearn is the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Weblearn allows members of the University to create and store materials to support their teaching and learning activities, making it easy to create and upload materials, foster collaboration and to securely control access.

WebLearn is a free service offered to any member of the University - areas are available for all departments, faculties, colleges, schools and other administrative units to focus their electronic teaching and learning activity.



1.5. Nexus SharePoint service

The Nexus SharePoint Service is currently in development by the OUCS Nexus team. SharePoint's purpose is to enable end users to share and collaborate on their documents and other files within a safe and secure environment. Initially SharePoint site provisioning will only be available to carefully chosen early adopters who can use one of four site types. These are committee, research, clubs and societies and My Sites (personal sites). Any University member will be able to access these early adopter SharePoint sites providing the site owner gives them permission. As the service expands more site types will become available and more groups will be able to get their own SharePoint site for research and other purposes.

More details of the service will be posted on the Nexus SharePoint web pages in due course.



1.6. Podcasting

The Podcasting service provides two ways in which to make your audio and video content avaiable. The University has its own site in iTunes U. For more details, go to http://itunes.ox.ac.uk . The iTunes U service requires the listener/viewer to be using the iTunes software. If you don't have the iTunes software podcasts can also be accessed using a web browser at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/ .



2. Supporting services



2.1. Web Design Consultancy

The Web Design Consultancy (WDC) provides support for web design activities across the University. The WDC offers free advice on Web design best practice. The WDC can meet with clients to discuss their requirements, clarify the scope of a project and advise on strategies for meeting those requirements. The WDC undertakes small-scale web design projects on a charged basis, using in-house and external designers to meet the needs of clients. WDC can also undertake the project management of web design and development projects, also on a charged basis.



2.2. IT Learning Programme

The IT Learning Programme provides a schedule of taught courses, including an introduction to web publishing, a course on CSS and a course on database design.

You can find out more about what courses are on offer on the ITLP courses page.



2.3. Producing podcasts

The OUCS Podcasting service enables members of the University to make their audio and video content available to the world. The podcasting team has produced a guide on How to podcast at Oxford.



2.4. User identification

Websites that use the Webauth service require visitors to authenticate using their Oxford Single Sign-on credentials. By knowing the Oxford SSO username that the user provided, information can then be tailored to that individual. This can be useful to limit web resources to a small number of users, but is much more powerful when combined with Oak LDAP.



2.5. Oak LDAP

Oak LDAP contains information about people at Oxford, and can be used to support authorisation decisions based on the user's Oxford Username (also refered to as their Webauth credentials). Oak LDAP can be consulted directly by your web server, or subsequently in a web application, and can answer questions such as "is the authenticated user a member of department D", or "is the authenticated user a member of University staff"?

It is also possible to look up some often-used attributes for people such as their University Card barcode, email address, or Oracle Student Systems student number.



2.6. Shibboleth

Shibboleth is another means of controlling access to web resources. It can be used instead of Webauth / Oak LDAP for controlling access by local users to local web applications, but is particularly appropriate to "federated" systems where users from more than one organisation need access to a web resource.



2.7. Help Centre

As ever, if none of the services mentioned here obviously relate to your needs, the Help Centre is always there to help...