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What is Sakai?

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General information

The Sakai Project began as a $6.8 million community source software development project founded by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, the uPortal Consortium, and the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI). The purpose of the project, which received a $2.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was to produce open source Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) software. The Sakai Partners Program (SPP) extends this community source project to other academic institutions around the world, and is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and SPP member contributions.

In October 2005, the Sakai Project announced the creation of the Sakai Foundation, a non-profit membership corporation to provide a permanent home for the growing Sakai community. In December 2012, the Sakai Foundation merged with Jasig to create the Apereo Foundation, which continues to provide Sakai developers, adopters, and users a place to coordinate efforts.

"Sakai" is not an acronym; it is simply the name given to the project and the software, initially conceived as extending the CHEF technology architecture. CHEF, nearly an acronym for "CompreHensive collaborativE Framework", was an online system designed and implemented at the University of Michigan to enable online communities to maintain relationships and share information. Chef Sakai is a Japanese cooking artist.

For further information, including details about core and partner institutions, implementations, commercial affiliates, and details on Sakai installation and setup, visit the Sakai website.

Educational Community License

Sakai uses the Educational Community License, which is an approved Open Source Initiative license. This "open/open" license makes the source code available for unrestricted development by commercial or noncommercial entities, and it does not impose use of a particular license on derivative works.

Anyone can use the Educational Community License by changing the copyright line to list the institution name (or individual name, if appropriate) and the copyright year. The Sakai Project strongly encourages use of the Educational Community License to facilitate easy software code reuse and sharing.

The Sakai software

The Sakai software runs on a wide range of systems, from desktop computers through a small multiprocessor system through a clustered scalable environment. Sakai provides configuration options for small, medium, and large installations, and is targeted to meet the scaling, localization, and support demands of all such applications.


To try Sakai, visit the Try Sakai page, accessible to anyone.

Download Sakai

You can download the latest release of the Sakai software from the Sakai site.

Timeline for releases

Long-term plans for the future include releases in roughly November and May of each year.


This Knowledge Base contains help documentation for users of the Sakai software. Enter your search terms in the search box near the top of the page. The same content appears in the Help tool within the Sakai software.

The Sakai Community

Sakai activities are mostly organized within Discussion Groups and Working Groups on the Sakai Confluence wiki. Each group has individual facilitators, or in some cases, several people share such responsibility.

Development and bug tracking

Sakai employs the Confluence enterprise wiki for reviewing, reporting, and resolving Sakai development activities, and Jira to track and manage issues, including bug reports, tasks, and feature requests. Both Confluence and Jira allow users to add comments and, where permitted, to create and modify existing pages.

Last modified on June 02, 2015.