More than features: Criteria for software selection
This report suggests that institutions should pay attention to more than just the features of a given platform. OpenSource (Sakai) and closed-source (Blackboard) systems alike relying on the Java enterprise approach are often too heavyweight for relatively small institutions. Even a basic install requires enterprise-level support. Moreover, more lightweight equivalents Moodle, Elgg and Drupal can be up and running on a single left-over machine and scale up when uptake increases.
A major concern for the FE and Community Education sectors is the weight of the technical infrastructure required for SAKAI. Far from being a thin layer, a SAKAI installation means implementing the full environment and then disabling tools that aren’t required. Issues discovered once the systems had begun initial roll-out included load and locking problems on the database (MySQL) and what could be considered show stopping issues concerning fragments of data being left in the system after a user requested a delete. For the UI and user experience the scale of work to be done on Sakai and OSP is significant.