Jeremy Smith's blog

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Don't Limit Access of Your IT Information/Service

Dear Fellow IT Persons on Campus,

When you are developing your new service/system/what-have-you, try to refrain from limiting the ways in which users can access the service/system/information/what-have-you.

The more open you are with your data (small pieces, loosely joined), the better. Also, the downtime/lack-of-accessibility of your system won't be affected by the downtime of the system used to access it.

Don't get it, yet? If you find yourself writing phrases like "available only through" or "available exclusively through" or "you'll have to use x to access the data," you've tripped up on this concept.

Still not relating to what I am suggesting? Go read this thread on the getting replaced?. Read this quote from the Student Accounts Receivable Weblog in their entry Billing Upgrade:

Students will access QuikPAY exclusively through the portal.

It's great that it will be available via the Portal. It's bad that that is the "only" way it will be available. Portals exist to aggregate information and services together. Portals are not for providing exclusivity for services.


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    These are the very issues libraries are constantly facing. As Web 2.0 technologies push user customization and involvement in processes, the strictly defined resources will be less relevant to future generations. Users are searching for resources and tools that allow for self customization and/or support user created content.