For Technical Managers

Secure. Scaleable. Flexible.

  • Designed from the ground up to accommodate local customization
  • Flexible system allows for the addition of new features and functionality
  • Based on a LAMP stack running on Linux servers using MySQL and PHP
  • Open source tools are industry-standard, allowing for high productivity, low cost-of-entry and ease of maintenance
  • Integration with various authentication systems
  • Modular system design allows for easy scaleability
  • Can be hosted offsite or within your own server farm
  • Minimal technical administrative requirements

 

Have more questions? Check out what other Technical Managers have asked us:

What framework is LCMS+ built on?

LCMS+ is a LAMP stack application (Linux, Apache, mySQL, and PHP plus javascript). This means that the basic architecture is fairly straightforward:

  • PHP and mySQL for server-side processing
  • javascript for client-side processing

The system can be run from one server or the components can be broken up and distributed among many servers – it depends on the load.

LCMS+ makes heavy use of AJAX processing for several reasons:

  • It provides a more interactive, desktop-like experience
  • It pushes processing out to the client side, increasing system speed
  • It preserves bandwidth
  • It allows for more immediate application of business rules to user interactions

Do you host the software/ systems or do we import the system to one of our servers? What are the system requirements? If located on our server, what setup and/or maintenance support is available?

We can host your system on virtual servers, or you can host them within your own server farm or cloud. In order for us to react quickly to any problems you may have, we will need access to any internal system.

If you wish to house the system on-site but have us maintain the software and/or OS, that is also an option.

LCMS+ runs on RedHat Linux; if your institution wishes to host internally, a Linux machine (virtual or otherwise) is required to host LCMS+.

What are the typical hosting costs if we want you to host LCMS+, and would it be on a VM that we would have shell access to?

Yes, it would be on a virtual machine. Shell access with sudo on the server is no problem.

Hosting costs depend on the amount of capacity and performance that your institution requires. We are glad to make recommendations but the choice is up to you.

There is an annual maintenance fee for administration and oversight of your servers, whether in-house or in the cloud.

You're not an open-source system. Does that mean we can't customize the code ourselves?

LCMS+ makes the full source code of the system available to our client schools. We also include documentation in the code and in our wiki explaining the functions and nuances of the code.

Furthermore, our main bodies of code in PHP and Javascript have been designed so that each module includes an empty customization class. This class allows you to extend the functionality of LCMS+ without changing the core code. In addition, we are happy to work with you to integrate your changes into the main code base, which means that we would also take over responsibility for maintaining the code.

In this way, LCMS+ offers you the access and agility of an open system, combined with the support and stability of a commercial system. We believe it’s the best of both worlds.

What is the product cycle on your software? Do you regularly update for bug fixes and new feature additions? How often are new full versions released? How much support do you provide to previous versions still running?

We follow an Agile programming model, so we release new functions in a steady manner. Our normal model is to push these updates to your system on a quarterly basis, with bug fixes being pushed out as needed. You will have the opportunity to test new functionality on our demo site to make sure you are satisfied with updates before they go live on your system.

This means every registered user always has the most current version of the full system. We don’t see any reason to hold back on improvements or try to manage multiple versions of the software. As a client of LCMS+, you are entitled to every improvement in the system as soon as it’s available.

How reliable is your system? Do you have a lot of downtime?

Our system reliability is excellent. Aside from scheduled maintenance, which we always coordinate with school and exam schedules, we pride ourselves on a 99.9% uptime.

What kind of help/tech support do you provide? Is there 24/7 emergency support? What is the process for reporting bugs?

Our help desk is available 24/7. However, we request that your school designate one or two system experts who will handle these calls before they reach us. This is because a great many of these calls are related to the curriculum itself and are not actually technical in nature. Should the problem be determined to be a technical issue, your designated experts have unlimited access to us.

The system also has built-in functions to track any errors that occur; these are emailed to our help desk automatically and will include the name and email address of the user who encountered the errors. We will respond to these errors within 4 hours (usually sooner).

We also have a trouble ticket system that is housed on a publicly available site for all users of the system. Bug reports can be entered there.

Any serious bug fixes will be released as soon as they have been tested and affected users will be notified of these releases.

What are your plans for new features?

We have a roadmap of new features, all of which become available to your licensed institution as soon as they are tested and released. Any features outside the roadmap must be negotiated as separate custom programming assignments. We also encourage our client schools to collaborate on custom development. That way, if a number of schools share a common desire for a new feature outside the roadmap, you can collaborate on the specifications and spread the cost around.

How easy is it to integrate with other tools/ widgets? Could we plug-in a third-party app or reproduce the functionality with already accessible features in the software?

We do not have a formal plug-in option at this time. However, the system has been designed so that each programming module includes an empty customization class. You can add custom functionality into these modules while keeping the standard system untouched. This allows us to continue updating your system with patches and new functions, while giving you space to create your own solutions within the system.

Any custom code that you create would have full access to the features in the standard code, and your developers will have full access to the code. Additionally, we provide detailed documentation on our 4GL modules and tools.

Can we use LCMS+ on Mac or Linux machines? Which browsers do you support?

LCMS+ works on any current desktop operating system such as Windows, Mac or Linux running a current version of any major browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE, Opera). We recommend a minimum of 1GB Ram. LCMS+ is delivered entirely by browser; no desktop client other than a current major browser is required (see below for options). LCMS+ does not require flash, java, or any other browser add-ons.

All supported browsers must be a current version of the browser, meaning a version that is no more than 12 months old. The only exception is a browser that is no longer supported by the browser vendor but is still on our list (Example: IE7).

As of January 2015, the following browsers are supported (current versions unless otherwise specified below):

  • Firefox on Windows, Mac, Linux – this is our preferred browser, and the one we recommend
  • Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android
  • IE11 on Windows (older versions of IE for basic student functionality ONLY)
  • Opera on Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Safari on Mac, PC, and iPad/iPhone*

It is possible to use other browsers but we cannot guarantee that all functions will work on non-supported browsers. A message to this effect will be displayed to users of non-supported browsers. LCMS+ reserves the right to discontinue support for browsers that are obsolete by generally accepted business standards.

Note: we recommend that administrators use Firefox, as some of the administrative functions have not been optimized for other browsers.

*A basic mobile/tablet version of LCMS+ is currently undergoing enhancements. It will be appropriate for student and faculty use. Staff and course directors/coordinators will need to use the standard version in order to access the full functionality required by their more sophisticated tasks.

 

 

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