Implementing Academic Projects using Microsoft Technologies
Published Mar 21 2019 04:39 AM 340 Views
First published on MSDN on Mar 11, 2017

One of the projects, I have been working on over the last few months is the development of a infrastructure architecture for students projects within Universities who have implemented Office 365 and Azure Active Directory.

There are number of key requirements

1. Enablement of Authentication for students, academics and TAs  – with institutions who have implemented office 365 the ability of SSO Single Sign On is key for students participation and adoption of services

2. Source control as we know is key aspects and skills of any software engineering project

3. Sharing of content and collaboration between the team individuals and groups is also key to success and learning

4. Azure Services such as VM, Machine Learning, Power BI or simply web sites, storage and DevOps are key within any project. Students will require all these services and be able to deploy their solution under a single resource group.

5. Stakeholder/Mentors – These are key to ensure the project has some learning outcomes, stakeholders and mentors could be RA, Academic supervisors or industrial partners a key aspect of the learning journey is  how the team works together and how they shares data and outcomes with stakeholders

Architecture Model

The following model below is a implementation based on the following Microsoft Technologies which Universities have access to as part of Microsoft or open source licensing

Key Technologies

Azure Active Directory – Organisational Office 365 accounts

MSA Microsoft Services Account i.e,

Skype for Business

VSTS – Visual Studio Team Services – University Private Repo

Github – students individual Github account which allows them to show potential employer or build/develop a portfolio.

Office Teams – Group based collaboration and resources to allow the project teams or students to effectively share and collaborate.

Office Groups/Sharepoint – storage of documentation and resources associated to the project

Azure Portal – for the deployment of Azure resources and services

Infrastructure model

Benefits of this Architecture model

So by implementing this infrastructure academic’s and TAs can easily provision services and groups based on internal groups and authentication services

Students have single sign on access to all the resources necessary

Students projects are managed and shareable as best practice

Students can develop online portfolios referencing projects and outcomes.

Students only need to utilise their academic accounts so do not need to remember multiple username and passwords

All academic work is tied to the student and can follow the students educational path as its tied to them as students

If students leave accounts are automatically locked and services no longer available as the student can no longer log in.

What’s next

If your interesting in implementing this or have implemented this model I would be interested in hearing your experiences.

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