by: Brad Rippe
How time flies and it’s hard to imagine that it was way back in September 2011, North Orange County Community College District released our first set of mobile applications. The platform we chose to build applications in was a combination of server side services and a hybrid approach to build the application that resides on each device. Ellucian, our Banner vendor, provided an open source set of development tools, frameworks, and their own source code in a product called “Mobile Connection”. Institutions were encouraged to write features and share the source code with all that were using “Mobile Connection”. Thus, the path was set to have this product be a collaboration of vendor and institution source code to create applications that benefit everyone in the Mobile Connection community. North Orange County Community College District took advantage of this product by enhancing it with our own set of features, adding our own source code, contributing our code back to the whole community, and adding enhancements which became the mobile applications for our colleges and the School of Continuing Education. Using this development approach, we were able to release six versions of the application for each of the campuses for a total of 18 individual applications deployed to the App stores. As of today, there have been well over two million requests for data from the applications and almost 30,000 downloads of the applications. As the need for stability in our portal environment grew, the effort to improve and release more versions of our mobile applications got placed on the back burner as resources were allocated to the portal project. Regrettably, our last update to the mobile applications was in October 2012.
Additionally, in 2012, Ellucian announced the discontinuation of “Mobile Connection” platform and the community development for the product would cease to exist. As of late, development has picked up on our mobile applications with a new platform and we expect a release early 2015.