28 October 2003

Callista on Macintosh Computers

A recent presentation to Executive from the Callista implementation team revealed that it will not be possible, at least initially, to access the student management system from Macintosh computers.

Following the presentation from the Phoenix team at Executive on 17 October 2003, the Manager, TSU, contacted Apple Computer Australia in relation to the lack of Macintosh support for the Callista client application.

Callista Software Services (CSS: developers of the Callista Student Management System) is working towards a release in the first half of 2004 of a Callista client that will work on Macintosh. It is unclear whether the Phoenix team intend to take advantage of this version of the Callista software: from the comments at Executive they may be intending to roll out this update in July 2004.

The Callista client is a Java application that if developed in accordance with the Java standard should be able to run on either Macintosh or Windows. Java is a platform-independent programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java programs, or applets, can be launched from a Web browser, or run on a Web server, or may operate independently from the Web. Java is also increasingly being used for application programs like word processors, spreadsheets, and database front-ends.

While the current version of the Callista client should work on the Macintosh, there may be problems with the display of some of the reports that make the reports difficult to use.

At the University of Western Australia, a web browser will provide access to the Callista software to deliver services. It will run on Macintosh computers, although there will be some slight differences between the way it operates on Macintoshes and PCs. Web access to the system at the University of Canberra is being provided for students through Callista Web Connect (software developed by Callista): the Phoenix team sought clarification on whether an OPUS-like interface to Callista was to be included in the project, but it appears the web-access functionality for staff will not be available, at least not in the first release.