What's new in CLE 2.9?

The 2.9 release of the ANI Sakai CLE focuses primarily on improving performance and stability. More than 2,000 issues have been resolved in this release, and because it is based on community Sakai 2.9.1 and 2.9.2, it includes additional fixes for issues discovered after institutions began running version 2.9 in production.

This release also includes new tools, features, and functionality. Below you’ll find a summary of CLE 2.9 enhancements. For more information, see the CLE 2.9.0 Release Notes and our CLE 2.9 preview webinar follow-up.    

General Enhancements

Improved portal (neoportal)

  • Collapsible toolbar with descriptive icons for tools
  • Direct navigation to a specific tool in a site (each site link includes a dropdown menu of tools)
  • A user icon displayed next to logout provides access to Profile2 and Preferences tools, as well as to site creation capability in Site Setup (access to these tools is configurable)
  • In unpublished sites, a "Publish Now" button displays above the tools menu for easy single-click publishing

(For more information, see What is neoportal?)

System management

  • Infrastructure support and limited support for runtime management of certain configurations
  • Ability to host uploaded content on a separate domain
  • Improved caching for performance
  • Bulk csv user management support has been added

Rich text editor
With the 2.9 release, the CKEditor replaces the FCKEditor as the default rich text editor in the CLE. This editor provides an improved, more feature-rich content authoring experience. CKEditor includes fMath, an open source, image-based math editor.

Sign-Up Tool
In CLE 2.9, rSmart provides full support for the Sign-Up tool. First included for experimental use in CLE 2.8 as an unsupported “beta” tool, Sign-up lets instructors create, and students sign up for, virtual meetings. (For more information, see Office Hours Follow-up: Using the Sign-up Tool.)

Enhancements by Tool


  • Instructors can submit an assignment on behalf of a student
  • For Turnitin integration, expanded instructor settings

Basic LTI

  • Improved IMS CC 1.1 Support, full LTI
  • New admin tool allows CLE admins to configure and install Basic LTI tools for availability to all site owners


  • Integration with Profile2 (to display profile info for users)


  • Improved interface for settings/permissions
  • Integration with Profile2 (to display profile info for users)
  • "Require users to post before reading" setting for forums/topics
  • Ability to grade forums and topics
  • An expanded Statistics page is now "Statistics & Grading" for centralized management of grades/comments and quick access to user statistics and content while grading
  • Automatically create multiple topics for groups
  • Ability to duplicate forums/topics

(For more information, see Office Hours Recording: Forums Enhancements in CLE 2.9.)


  • For gradebooks set up with categories, option to drop highest/lowest score or keep highest score items
  • Ability to hide columns in "All Grades" view
  • Gradebook can be exported in pdf format for printing
  • Selectable export formats for matching an institution's data structure


  • New instructor setting to hide specified groups
  • New permissions to control access to "Groups"/"Roles"/"All Participants" options when composing messages


  • Facebook-style "wall" for posting messages
  • Ability to add gravatar as profile image
  • Searches can be limited to specific sites


  • "Drag and drop" capability for uploading files
  • Ability to expand uploaded zip files
  • Export of files in zip format
  • URL shortening for easier resource access


  • Tool is now based on elasticsearch solution
  • Fast (results returned quickly) and stable
  • Auto-complete (provides suggestions as you type)
  • Prefix searching (similar to Gmail)--add prefix to search entry to narrow search


  • Ability to select date when tool displays to students

Site Editor

  • For a specific site, language can be selected to override system default
  • Groups may be imported via csv file
  • Ability to randomly assign users to groups (by specifying group size or number of group members)

Tests & Quizzes

  • Improved user interface on home page
  • Integration with Calendar (assessment due date displayed)
  • New question type added--matrix survey
  • Ability to set score for students with no submission
  • Statistics displayed for random-draw assessments

Web Content

  • The "Options" button has been replaced with an "Edit" icon that displays to the right of the tool title, and the additional frame necessary for the “Options” button has been eliminated
  • Site owners can select a "launch maximum width" setting, so the tools menu will automatically collapse when the page displays within a site (note: requires neoportal configuration)

If your institution has not yet upgraded to the 2.9 release, we recommend signing up for mySakai, where you can explore what's new in CLE 2.9!

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  • Avatar
    Gregg Alpert

    Missed the webinar and was wondering if it was recorded?

  • Avatar
    Laura Gekeler (Wizard Ninja)
  • Avatar
    Jim Mezzanotte

    Hi Gregg, there's also the following, which collects several 2.9-related resources--including a Q&A from the webinar--in one place:


    This article is also currently displayed on the home page of RSN, for easy access.


  • Avatar
    Michael Nardell

    Good afternoon :: I have been looking for more information about the bulk csv user management. Is there a document that describes the new System Management support for this?

  • Avatar
    Laura Gekeler (Wizard Ninja)

    The University of Notre Dame's instance at AsahiNet was stood up 2 years ago with bulk csv course management after a premature effort to use Ellucian's (formerly Sungard) model of a real-time push of event changes (courses, enrollments and users) to the Banner database.

    In May of this year, a prof received a request for a recommendation of a student he couldn't remember, so he went back to an old, now unpublished, course site to see how this student had performed and half his class was missing. That's when we changed from an LDAP user provisioning method to bulk user management. Our institution's policy is to remove graduates from our LDAP directory and we weren't about to change that for the LMS. In that method, apparently LDAP was consulted when the prof accessed the course again and all students who could not be accounted for were summarily removed.

    We took the 2.9 release on August 11th but were not aware it includes any enhancements or changes to the bulk csv user management. Of course, it's quite possible ND has been receiving those all along and they were rolled up into the ANI general release, but I have no documentation of it either.

  • Avatar
    Jim Mezzanotte

    Hi Michael and Laura,

    I've asked our development team about this, and I'll let you know as soon I learn more.


    Jim Mezzanotte