A cloud computing service architecture which is based on the service oriented architecture (SOA), was proposed by using the benefits of cloud computing. The architecture was based upon the existing architecture of university examination management system, service access mode, data storage systems and service life cycle. The present study provides an in depth insight into the development and implementation of a cloud-based SaaS for large institutions. This multi-tiered SaaS offering, built on a self-service model and using a comprehensive cataloging and analysis tool, allowed us to test it in real world scenarios and analyze its scalability, reliability and flexibility. The main benefits of this service are discussed in this article.
Reaping most of the benefits of SaaS is possible only if it is developed, hosted and operated by a company which specializes in it. In most cases, SaaS offering for university admission is developed and hosted by vendors providing SaaS development services. The vendors build a robust and scalable infrastructure, which includes highly efficient enterprise software applications (EPS, ERP) and database management systems. University examination management system hosted by these vendors offers several key benefits of SaaS offering for large institutions:
Cost efficiency: Most of the EPR systems for colleges involve heavy IT costs. The hosting of the SaaS for universities examination system also involves heavy IT costs. The vendors manage to bring down the overall cost of hosting the University Examination Management System (UE) by handling the system development and hosting as a Service, from a centralized point in the cloud to multiple locations on the internet. The process involves creation of the initial catalogs, which are used to create and store the course examinations, mark sheets, questions and answers, exam reports and study materials. The catalogs are then accessed from a user’s web browser, via a password mechanism or a downloaded PDF document.
Flexibility: The flexibility of the SaaS for University Examination Management System enables educational institutions and colleges to control and modify the University examination process. The management system includes the ability to create new question papers and grading rubrics, and change the associated URLs, which are part of the URL hierarchy. It allows colleges to update information about faculty, student enrollment and student records at any time. This SaaS is also scalable to multiple locations. Users can access the management system from any internet connected computer.
Security: The security aspects of the cloud based university management system are robust. Since the system is hosted in the cloud and is protected by enterprise firewall, no unauthorized user can access the system and hence cannot carry out any kind of attack on the system. The SaaS is certified by the Department of Education to ensure quality of service. Security features include application and database isolation, data deduplication, policy enforcement, and virtualization among others.
Performance: It is expected that the performance of the SaaS for University Examination Management will meet or exceed the expectations of the users. Performance characteristics will be comparable with other web-based ERP systems. Integration and deployment of the SaaS is quick and smooth with most universities adopting the technology quickly. Some universities have already started using the system for their examination management.
There are numerous software systems available in the market today, which claim to be ideal for colleges and universities. However, it is important to evaluate all these options and choose the best one. A number of software systems claim to provide excellent user experience. Many of them also claim to increase the speed of deployment, while some are said to provide premium security. It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive analysis before choosing a particular SaaS.
It has been noticed that many colleges and universities have already switched to online examination management. Most of these systems have an interface, which can easily be navigated by students. The SaaS provides the complete online features and hence it is easy for students to complete course requirements at their convenience. There are numerous software systems available in the market today, which claim to be ideal for colleges and universities. However, it is important to evaluate all these options and choose the best one.