Friday, September 19, 2008

Schools-On-I-Net and Yavneh Academy

Schools-On-I-Net offers a centralized web-based database solution for school management, communications, academics, educator collaboration and parent engagement. Schools-On-I-Net was built by RK Solutions, LLC., a privately held information technology consulting, outsourcing, and development firm founded in 2000.

Yavneh Academy of Paramus, New Jersey is a modern orthodox Jewish day school, providing its students with a superior Judaic and secular education for over 60 years. Yavneh’s educational foundation is built on torah sh’bichtav, torah sh’baal peh, mitzvoth, middot, ivrit and Eretz Yisrael.


Yavneh Academy required an upgrade to the school email system primarily for advanced spam control. The goal was to provide accounts for teachers, students and their parents that had industry leading spam filters as well as advanced email features such as group/contact management, auto-draft, POP/IMAP/Mobile Device support, and Hebrew text support. In addition, the email system needed to interface with the school management program so there would be one point of data entry for managing demographics and user accounts and one point of access to academic and communications systems for all users.


RK Solutions, LLC presented Google Apps for Education as a solution for Yavneh Academy and as a direction for the Schools-On-I-Net application as a whole. Key factors for the decision were a) the capability to integrate features (Single Sign On API, Contacts API, User API), b) the spam control offered by Gmail, c) the additional functionality of Gmail, and d) the ability to expand integration to other Google applications (Calendars, Docs, Sites, Chat...) RK Solutions acted as the integration specialist, integrating Google Apps for Education APIs with the Schools-On-I-Net product. User, Group and Single-Sign-On API's were utilized to provide a seamless integration of functionality and user experience. In addition, RK Solutions utilized Gmail API's to provide migration services, synching emails from two other accounts for faculty and staff users. RK Solutions managed and executed the deployment of Google Apps for Education for the Yavneh Academy user community.


Yavneh Academy was able to provide Google Apps for Education accounts for its 2,000 users. The Google Apps accounts for interface seamlessly with the Schools-On-I-Net product. When users login to their web account on Schools-On-I-Net, they see the number of unread messages in their Gmail account, and are able to click on that link for single sign on authentication to their Gmail account. When users send emails from the website on Schools-On-I-Net, the email gets inserted into their Gmail’s sent folder, showing recipients in the BCC field. Adding, editing and changing users is also seamless and instantaneous. A user added to the Schools-On-I-Net system is automatically added as a user account in Gmail. Duplicates are avoided by Schools-On-I-Net. Plans to implement additional applications, such as Calendar, Docs and Sites are in the works.

“RK Solutions implemented Google Apps for Education for Yavneh Academy as an answer to our needs, which included: a safe open email system, minus the spam, an email client that supported Hebrew text, mobile devices, POP/IMAP, ability to manage groups and contacts, and cross browser support,” says Chani Lichtiger, Director of Technology at Yavneh Academy. “RK Solutions delivered with professionalism and care. They planned the project, devised the migration strategy, implemented the integration of Schools-On-I-Net with Google Apps for Education and completed the migration services. We look forward to the continued integration projects they have planned using Google Apps for Education for our school.”