On Sept. 20, the students and faculty of Drake University officially stopped using blueView after over a decade, the University’s portal system has been heavily revamped to be more accessible and has been released under a new name: myDrake. If you attempt to access the blueView site, you will be redirected.
The move was a necessity as blueView’s technology was no longer supported by its vendor, Ellucian.
“BlueView was on very old software and had been around for over a dozen years, and as everyone knows, technology changes really quickly so something 12 years old in the tech world just doesn’t have the same capabilities as a modern system,” Communications Manager of Information Technology (IT) Services Carla Herling said.
At their cores, the two portals function the same: the purpose is to serve as a one-stop access point to any websites or tools students or faculty need to access. Upon logging in, the user is greeted by links to any resources they may need. However, when comparing the two portals, they do look strikingly different.
“I think the layout makes a lot more sense, and it just looks better,” senior Craig Nielsen said. “In terms of functionality, I feel like it is very similar to blueView.”
According to IT, the design has been made to look more modern and accessible. Not only has the technology received an update, but so has the overall appearance.
“I thought blueView looked really dated and kind of clunky,” said Sterling McTee, a first-year student and information systems major. “MyDrake is definitely an improvement over blueView. It’s a lot more fluid and it’s easier to find things.”
Although this portal’s time has come to an end, most students are not sad to see it phased out.
“BlueView was buggy and navigating through it was difficult,” said Christian Faber, a Drake senior. “There were a lot of flaws that had to be worked around and it took forever to find things if you didn’t know exactly where to look. Also, the home page was atrocious. I subconsciously avoided looking and ended up missing out on the announcements feed because, usually, the unimportant things were what you saw first.”
MyDrake launched in June and up until blueView’s recent shutdown, students had the freedom to decide which portal they wanted to use. This made for an easier transition as students knew well in advance they would have to get used to this new portal.
MyDrake is mobile friendly, automatically adjusting to the width of the device it is being accessed on. It also functions well on a Chrome browser, which blueView users had difficulty using the portal with. There is a search bar in the upper right hand corner so students can quickly find what they are looking for.
“I am glad the University is trying to make things easier for students,” Nielsen said.
IT plans to continue working on myDrake and students can expect to see further improvements being made. One change being worked on is the addition of single sign-on; at the moment, students wishing to access resources like Blackboard have to log into myDrake, select the Blackboard portal and log in again. With a single sign-on, they would already be signed into all systems connected to myDrake.
“We’re really excited we were able to bring myDrake on campus, we think it’s a much needed improvement and a really easy system for anyone to use,” Herling said. “It’ll make it much simpler for students and staff to connect.”