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CASE STUDY: Connexions

"Guidelight Business Solutions positively impacted our project. Their expertise and professionalism were just what we needed, and really helped us reach our goals. Their team was a pleasure to work with and I would gladly do so again."
Kathi Fletcher
Connexions Manager

Objectives

  • Enable massive scalability
  • Reduce internal hardware and support costs

Challenge

As an open source project Connexions must promote source code access to a large audience of users and developers. Further, it must maintain industry standard development practices such as bug tracking, project plans and build procedures. Balancing these conflicting requirements proved to be Guidelight’s biggest challenge in the project.

Response

Guidelight approached the problem by evaluating different methodologies for facilitating contributions from the open source community in a manageable way. Additionally, tools for performance monitoring of the production website were installed and configured.

The next step was to streamline and document the installation process of the system. With this breakthrough, outside entities were able to rapidly disseminate the structure of the system and contribute to the project.

Requirements were gathered for a bug tracking and project tracking system that would allow outside developers to submit, search and fix bugs on the system. Several bug tracking systems were evaluated with the team. Guidelight and Rice selected, installed and configured the trac system (trac.edgewall.org).

Nagios (nagios.org) was selected to monitor and diagnose performance problems. The information gleaned was critical in allowing Connexions to improve the performance of their production website.

Results

Guidelight bridged the gap between an idea developed in academia and a commercially viable system. To increase the challenge the system had to support the complexity of open source access. Guidelight delivered a system to Rice University that is in production today.


To learn more about Connexions, please visit http://cnx.org/.