API department services of interest to faculty

May 24, 2019

We made a list of some of the services that are available to faculty from the API Department, including Github and some of the features available via bConnected (our campus GSuite), and thought it would be worth sharing here:

Software Central -- Campus Licensed Software:  Software licensed for campus is listed at:  https://software.berkeley.edu/ - titles include operating systems (Redhat Linux, Microsoft and academic use of VMWare), and packages from Adobe, AutoCAD, ChemDraw, JMP, LabVIEW, Mathematica, Matlab, SAS, SPSS, and STATA. 

UC Berkeley's Github:  Berkeley has an enterprise license which allows anyone in our community to set-up private Github repositories for free.  https://github.berkeley.edu/  For information about Github see the service's start page: https://guides.github.com/activities/hello-world/ or the Github entry in the IT service catalog: https://technology.berkeley.edu/services/web-development-and-hosting-enterprise-applications/github-berkeley

Atlassian Suite: Due to its limited funding the Jira and Confluence services have been branded as the "IT Developer Toolkit" and are not actively made available to the academic community. We may change this, in conjunction with an in-progress project that is exploring migrating from an on-premises Jira & Confluence to a hosted (cloud) version.

Google Calendar Appointment slots: Although faculty generally don't let people add meetings to their calendars, office hours are an exception. Google has a calendar "appointment slots" feature to setup specific windows in which people can book appointments:


Video Conferencing:  Campus has Google Hangouts/Meet integrated into our GSuite service (the limit of attendees for Meet has been raised to 100 people).  In addition to Hangouts, campus offers a free and a premium tier of the Zoom conferencing service.  

Google chat:  Berkeley Google accounts can be used to set-up chatrooms or 1:1 messaging with people.  Chat is available on the web https://chat.google.com/ and there are also apps for iOS and Android.

Slack:  Slack is a free team collaboration service (a paid option allows unlimited user history). https://slack.com/  It is used to share documents and discussions among a group of people. We do not have a Berkeley site license, but we are working with the vendor to help them improve the accessibility of their product. Central IT has a paid account, and if any department wants their IT staff person to have access to the channel used to "discuss active issues" they can contact Bill Allison or Dave Browne to get access.

Enable people to share an account via a Calnet special purpose account:  After setting-up a special purpose Calnet account (SPA), use it to create shared Google, Box or other accounts securely or share a group email or file-share with others.  https://calnetweb.berkeley.edu/calnet-departments/special-purpose-accounts-spa (Calnet services are not provided by API, but once the SPA is set up, you can create shared bConnected accounts, so we included this on our list.)

Google for online event registration or surveys: Use Google Forms to create easy-to-use registration forms for events, or to collect information from people for applications. https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/tips/#!/show-tip/easy-online-registration

Surveying with Qualtrics:  The campus Qualtrics service (licensing was originally set-up by the API department) is available to everyone on campus. Qualtrics is the industry standard survey tool. Accounts are available for faculty and staff.  https://dlab.berkeley.edu/data-resources/qualtrics

Campus Mobile Platform:  If people have a use-case for a mobile application, they may be able to save a significant amount of investment by using the campus's Modo Labs platform. (For example, citizen science apps, crowdsourcing data applications, etc.) https://cto.berkeley.edu/mobile  

Web publishing:  If people want to publish a departmental or lab website, the campus standard is Open Berkeley. https://open.berkeley.edu/  This service helps ensure that with almost no effort that your website is secure and in compliance with federal ADA rules for accessibility. The team has automated a lot of administration so that your IT staff doesn't need to. We have about 180 campus units using the services. We have introduced many sponsored features over the past couple of years and will continue to fund popular add-ons.

Publishing or subscribing to datasets with the campus API service:  If people need to publish or consume data in the form of APIs to campus and external audiences, manage security and access levels, and track analytics, the campus API service can meet their needs. (We are also beginning to explore the feasibility of offering simpler data exchange options for campus such Zapier.)  https://technology.berkeley.edu/services/enterprise-applications/api-central

Lynda.com online training: While University courses deeply educate about technology, data science, and other things, Lynda is a great complement to gain hands-on training in many of the tools used along the way. For example there are courses on  Github, Trello, R, Python, as well as HR topics, job skills, etc. Lynda is made available for undergraduate and graduate students via the library through funding from the Student Technology Fee and for faculty and staff under a contract managed by central HR, and the bConnected team is listed as the IT contact for the Lynda.com entry in the IT service catalog.

O'Reilly Safari Tech Books Online:  The library has excellent access to come great reference books including the classic O'Reilly "Nutshell" series.  They require an on-campus IP address (see the library's information on proxy/VPN access if you need this off-campus). https://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/ 

The bConnected team is listed as the IT contact for the Lynda.com entry in the IT service catalog.

System Status:  Is something not working right? Check http://systemstatus.berkeley.edu/ first to see if there are known issues and to get updates. The University's system status page functional owner is IT Client Services, and the technical owner is the IST-API Imagine team.

For more, visit the IT Service Catalog:  The Office of the CIO maintains the official, comprehensive catalog of tools and technologies offered at Berkeley. It has good search capability and is worth checking it out:  https://technology.berkeley.edu/services/