First Integration workshop

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A Report of The 5 Day Integration Engineers Workshop at VLEAD

The five day Integration Engineers (IEs) Workshop at VLEAD kicked-off on an inspiring note with a short talk by Prof Kesav Nori , EVP and Executive Director at TCS Limited, and distinguished faculty at IIIT-Hyderabad. Prof. Nori exhorted the engineers to participate in the grand-challenge of rebuilding education. He proposed several ideas to strengthen the concept of Virtual Labs. “Whether it is e-labs (education labs), c-labs (content labs), or course labs, there is a huge opportunity to complement and supplement our current Virtual Labs project to promote quality education,” he said.

He was also of the opinion that Educational Technology platform needs to be extended beyond traditional delivery mechanisms to provide run-time support for integrated use of Design Patterns, Software Product Line Ideas, Ontology Modeling Tools, Model Driven Development, Data Driven Delivery, Instruction Process Modeling, Process Enactment Technologies, and Domain Specific Languages.

Prof. Venkatesh Choppella National Integration Coordinator (NIC) Virtual Labs, Associate Professor IIIT-Hyderabad, welcomed the participants (IEs) to the workshop. He introduced VLEAD team and gave an overview of the workshop to the participants.


Day 1 of the workshop commenced with Thirumal Ravula, project Engineer VLEAD, telling the IEs about the goals of the workshop, day-wise outline, activities, expectations, and the deliverable of the workshop.

The very first session was an introduction to Version Control Systems and git by VLEAD Engineers Prakash and Amulya. They showed the IEs the creation of repositories on GitHub and version controlling their projects (in their cases a Virtual Lab or simply a Lab) using git. Hands on sessions and exercises were provided to nail the concepts of versioning and git.

Engineers Jayanth and Yogesh introduced OpenVZ in the later half of the day which would then become the basis of all activities for the subsequent days. They helped IEs install OpenVZ on their Linux machines and create Virtual Containers. Next, IEs were shown how to Auto-Deploy a Lab (Virtual Lab) on such containers of their laptops and desktops.

Day 2 started with an introduction to Integration Levels (ILs) and OVPL Architecture with Project Manager Thirumal Ravula explaining their meanings to the participants. The IEs were then asked to identify the Integration Levels of their institute Labs and also to place their Lab sources on GitHub. Post this, the teams had to install OVPL on their machines and practice Auto-Deploying one of IIIT-Hyderabad’s Labs on them .

On Day 3, the IEs learnt to create Lab Deployment Specifications. The spec had to be created by specifying all the Lab requirements and dependencies of a Lab. They also learnt how to install a Lab and how to host a Lab on their Virtual Environment using OVPL. Participants observed that Specs could not be created for Labs which were using proprietary software.

Post tea, in the evening, the teams were introduced to UI Toolkit 1.0. The objective of this session was to ensure that all Labs adhere to the specifications of UI Toolkit 1.0. for a Structured Format. Or else convert the Unstructured Labs to Structured format. Engineers Soujanya, Ambika, Khushpreet and Madhavi helped participants identify the existing structures of their Labs. In most cases the Labs were not yet in the Structured Format as specified by UI 1.0. The engineers demonstrated the porting of such Labs to UI 1.0 spec.

IE workshop

Workshop: Integration Engineers (IEs) at work in VLEAD lab

On Day 4 the participants worked with more assignments on creating Lab Specs for various Labs, and practiced converting Unstructured Labs to UI 1.0 specs’ Structured format. Automated Scripts developed by VLEAD engineers and Research Scholars were used to convert Amrita Labs, and Labs which had Amrita Labs like structure to UI 1.0. The IEs experimented with all of these and the scripts, till they got a real hang of it all. VLEAD engineers helped them to sort out any issues they faced in the process.

As per the predefined schedule, Day 5 was supposed to have sessions on web performance tools and web security. However the participants wished to use the last day just to practice and test what they had already learnt, and also to further interact with VLEAD engineers to discuss and solve any of their problems related to Lab installation and hosting. VLEAD team honoured their request.


Workshop participants with Dr. Venkatesh, Thirumal, and other VLEAD members

VLEAD hosted a special lunch for the IEs on the 4rth day. Post lunch Prof. Venkatesh Choppella distributed Participation Certificates to all. Participants’ feedback too was collected for the record. The day ended with an optimistic note with all IEs saying that they were benefited by the workshop and would continue the work, and would carry it forward in their respective institutes.

(Note: VLEAD ensures to keep all communication channels including IRCs open for the benefit of all Integration Engineers, throughout Phase2.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2014 by Jayashree Prasad.