Sakai LMS: real Open Source, configurable, reliable, and here for the long run
Updated November 13, 2019

Sakai LMS: real Open Source, configurable, reliable, and here for the long run

Jason Smith, DPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Sakai

Sakai is being used as an LMS at Pomona College as well as the Claremont University Consortium which includes four other undergraduate colleges and one graduate institution. The business problem that it addresses is that of providing learning materials to students, creating interactive and collaborative environments for students, faculty, and staff, as well a number of additional instructional activities.
  • The Sakai product is "REAL" open source project that is part of the Apereo Foundation. It is the only LMS on the market where students, faculty, and staff can have a say on how Sakai evolves. It is a responsive and vibrant community based product.
  • Sakai is technically rock solid, scalable, and robust.
  • The possibilities of Sakai are endless with LTI (Learning Tools Integration).
  • Sakai is highly customizable, configurable, and can be automated easily where other LMS's can not, especially those hosted in the cloud.
  • Sakai has a bit of improvement to do in standardizing some of its tools.
  • There is the perception that Sakai is hard to install and administer, this needs to be worked on.
  • Built in video conference functionality would be excellent for Sakai.
  • Sakai needs to handle rich media types better.
  • The ability to self host and customize Sakai has led to greater efficiencies and reliability.
  • In all Sakai's cost of ownership is much less than dealing with an ASP and/or cloud solution.
  • Sakai is continuing to improve over the years. Innovation is always happening.
Every few years we evaluate LMSs. Each time Sakai comes out ahead due to cost, customizations, and the Sakai community. We like to keep things in house because it allows us an extra amount of reliability and control that you will have to give up when running most other solutions. Sakai is an LMS that is here for the long run. They can not be purchased by anyone and it does not look like it will go away any time in the intermediate future. There is much stability in Sakai.
Sakai is a "real" OpenSource software and with that comes a wonderful community of developers and users that offer fantastic support across all levels. Additionally if paid commercial support is a requirement for your organization there are options such as Longsite and others. The documentation and open nature of the Sakai community is like no other, laziness and lack of initiative are the only things that would hold one back from solving a problem.

Do you think Sakai delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Sakai's feature set?


Did Sakai live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Sakai go as expected?


Would you buy Sakai again?


The Sakai LMS is very well suited for any organization that requires a rock solid LMS that can be customized to meet specific needs of an organization. Sakai is a "TRUE" open source project with a genuine roadmap for the future. It is not constrained by profit motives or a vendors bottom line. Rather it is a community LMS where users actually have input; it is an innovative governance modal for enterprise software.

Sakai Feature Ratings

Course authoring
Course catalog or library
Learning content
Mobile friendly
Progress tracking & certifications
Compliance management
Learning administration
Learning reporting & analytics
Social learning

Using Sakai

6500 - Sakai is used in the context of higher education. We host courses across 5 undergraduate institutions and about 2600 courses each semester. Over the decade of use we have hosted over 65,000 course and project sites. Sakai has been very economical and the development community is the best. It is one of the few LMS projects out there that continues to evolve.
1 - We have one full time person who supports Sakai at the system administration level. Also, there are about six other people who use about 5-15% of their time offering support to Sakai users. These support people are instructional technologists who must be familiar with Sakai from an advanced user perspective.
  • Provide a digital / online course management system.
  • Provide a project based platform that can be used beyond that of the semester frame time.
  • Sakai provides and works as an academic repository of sorts.
  • Because we keep instructors courses available for about 7 years, hot online, it is like an academic repository.
  • Sakai has project sites. These are fantastic collaborative workspaces.
  • We share our installation across 6 institutions and use a single logon and it works!
  • I think that it will be used to server more media type content.
  • Social networking and co-curricular things are likely to increase.
  • Hey, its an LMS, and it is the best of them.
In terms of LMS software Sakai has been around since the beginning and it plays a huge roll in where LMSs are going it to the future. When considering Sakai, don't look at the number of institutions, rather look at the quality of them and how long they have been using Sakai. When you do this you will understand just how good of a piece of Software Sakai is. Long live Sakai!