On September 13th, the underlying source code behind "myBinghamton" (my.binghamton.edu) was released to the Open Source community. This unprecedented action by Binghamton's Information Technology Services organization was taken in an effort to promote collaborative development between Universities, while helping to cement Binghamton as a leader in University targeted Enterprise Application Development.
What is myBinghamton?
Originally conceived as a campus portal, myBinghamton was first developed in 2015 by the ITS "Innovations Team" as an "easy-to-use" tool for sharing targeted content in a "Single-Sign-On" environment. Having evolved over the past two years, it is now a fully fledged User eXperience Platform (UXP) on top of which hundreds of Micro Applications and Widgets have been built. Serving as the primary engine behind Pre-Orientation, Commencement, Faculty Reporting, and dozens of deep campus integrations including live bus tracking and real-time laundry status, myBinghamton has become the place students, faculty, and staff turn to for information about their life on campus. myBinghamton has also merged with bMobi, where it is now the primary engine behind Binghamton University's mobile app.
Why Open Source?
The primary driver for developing myBinghamton "in-house", was that there simply wasn't a 3rd party solution which met Binghamton University's needs. While there are several vendors providing Portal, CMS, and CRM type products, none of these three product categories focuses on superior User eXperience (UX) and ease of development as their primary focus -- something that Binghamton and numerous other universities have indicated as absolutely critical. Open Sourcing the myBinghamton software allows other universities the opportunity of utilizing the myBinghamton code base on their own campus, as well as the ability to contribute back in ways that will make myBinghamton even better. Additionally, this move cements Binghamton University not as a follower, but a leader in the development of University driven Enterprise Class software, specifically around superior student User eXperiences (UX).
What Comes Next?
The myBinghamton underlying source code has been rebranded "Graphene", and is available on Github.com under the MIT Open Source License. While it is available for download today, lead developers Adam Smallcomb and Tim Cortesi are working with Escher Labs outside of their university roles to "de-binghamtonize" the code so it can be easily utilized by other universities. With the expectation that this effort will be completed by the first quarter of 2018, Binghamton is actively engaged in conversations with Cornell, Buffalo State, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY Broome regarding the use of Graphene on their own campuses as the driver for their web and mobile based student User eXperience Platforms (UXP).