TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF MIDDLEWARE ARCHITECTURE, INTEROPERABILITY OF UNIVERSITY’S INFORMATION SYSTEMS INTEGRATING ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORMS

A. Lalaoui Hassani1, K. Mansouri2

1ISGA (MOROCCO)
2ENSET (MOROCCO)
Today, software and applications proposed for companies know a considerable evolution in terms of performance, flexibility and security. Yet, these tools fail to meet the overall needs expressed by companies, Information Systems (IS) are constructed by several independent applications, each one is designed to meet specific requirements of the company (customer relationship management CRM, EnterpriseResource Planning Software ERP, Electronic Management Solution EDM…).

This problematic arises also in the higher education sector. According to a study carried out on Moroccan institutions organized on several campuses, it is found that most institutions bring together several heterogeneous software solutions to set up their University Information System in order to meet their specific learning management needs.

This configuration of UIS causes a desynchronization of all the data between applications. In fact, users are obliged to re-enter the same information several times in different applications what could generate several errors.

In order, to overcome the problematic of re-entering the same data obligation, data unavailability while manipulating an application, the inconsistency of data due to non-replication caused by changes made on one application and not on the others and to give learners, teachers and administrative users a better use of the UIS, it is necessary to integrate and flexibly exchange information between all UIS applications.

Our contribution aims to propose middleware architecture, as a platform for integrating applications in a UIS. It allows heterogeneous applications to manage their exchanges while ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, speed of transfer and authenticity of data. For example, it allows an application to consult and / or update data from another application.

To achieve this objective, we have performed:
- A study of technologies in the field of application integration,
- A comparative analysis between the different application integration platforms from the point-to-point architecture to the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) architecture by passing the Enterprise Integration Application (EIA)
- An in-depth study on the use of data exchanges between heterogeneous applications in terms of confidentiality, integrity, speed of transfer and authenticity.

The proposed middleware solution allows improving the governance of academic institutions by adopting an ESB integration architecture at the various campuses of the institution.

This change of the IS architecture ensures that:
- The exchange of information between the various campuses and the headquarters is instant and safe,
- The data is secured across the bus,
- The transfer of data is fast across the bus
- The information is presented in standardized form, and can be understood with any application of the establishment,
- The information is entered once by UIS users.