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Keep in touch with free software

By   |  October 24, 2006

The University of the Western Cape (UWC), in collaboration with the African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources project (Avoir) has released kAlumni, a web-based information system for managing alumni relations and collaboration.

The software has been released as free software and can be downloaded from Avoir

The alumni system is built on the Kinky application framework, a PHP-based application framework for rapid application development created by Avoir.

kAlumni can run as a standalone system, or can operate as a module within another part of the Kinky-powered application suite, including the KEWL NextGen e-learning platform, the kGroups collaboration suite, the kPostGraduate system, or kCMS content management system.

“The modular architecture creates this kind of flexibility of implementation,” said Kevin Cyster, a software engineer with the Free Software Innovation Unit at UWC who developed most of the system.

“kAlumni, like all Kinky applications, can also integrate with existing identity management systems via its LDAP connector,” said James Scoble who wrote the LDAP connector for the Kinky framework.

The system was developed by UWC to manage its relationship with its alumni, which totals around 90 000 people.

“Most of our alumni have lost touch with each other and their alma mater. With the implementation of this system on our alumni portal that is about to change,” said Linda Budaza, manager of Alumni relations at UWC.

kAlumni features include managing the contact details of alumni chapters around the country, managing a catalogue of items that alumni can purchase from the university, managing a list of people within the university who can be contacted by alumni, online discussion forums, online chatrooms and email within the alumni portal

The portal also has a personal space, which provides for a photo gallery, profiles, buddies and a chat room.

In line with UWC’s strategy of developing and using free software, the portal was designed and developed by the Free Software Innovation Unit at UWC and released as free software.

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