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Questionmark Web Services


John Kleeman of Questionmark discusses the use of web services for importing questions.

John Kleeman of Questionmark discusses the use of web services for importing questions.

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  • 1. JISC CETIS Assessment SIG (27 Jan 2009) John Kleeman, Questionmark product manager
  • 2.
    • Questionmark and integration
    • Web services and Questionmark’s QMWISe
    • Some examples
    • A new method for importing content
    • Recommendations for others considering using web services
  • 3.
    • Founded in 1988
    • Premier Standard of Assessment Management Systems
      • To create, deliver and report on assessments
      • For exams, tests, quizzes, and surveys
    • More than 2,500 customers have purchased Perception
      • For Corporate, Government, and Education markets
    • More than 14,000 authoring systems installed
    • Integration is critical to our customers and our business
      • Questionmark aims to be best of breed, and needs to integrate with others
  • 4.
    • AICC Certified -- 4 consecutive times
    • QTI compliant
      • Helped author IMS Learning Consortium’s Question and Test Interoperability standard
    • Early adopter and promoter of PENS
    • HR-XML certified
    • ADL SCORM compliant (SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004)
    • .NET certified
  • 5.
    • Questionmark specific integration points offer flexibility and ease of access including
      • Open database
      • HTTP APIs
      • JavaScript entry points
    • Our main recommended integration point is web services
      • QMWISe (Questionmark Web Integration Services environment)
      • Introduced in June 2002 and still our main integration point
  • 6.
    • A series of web service methods for example
      • CreateParticipant
      • ScheduleParticipant
      • GetAsessmentResultListByAssessment
    • 37 methods in 2002
    • 109 methods in 2009
    • Once a method is defined, Questionmark sticks by it. Integration code that worked in 2002 will still largely work today
  • 7.
    • XML is sent over HTTP via a protocol called SOAP
  • 8. Slide
  • 9.
    • Stable and long lasting, safe to commit to
    • Insulates from changes
    • Uses technology that will last
    • Can be called from any environment
    • Easy to log and debug problems
    • Secure
    • Efficient enough
  • 10.
    • Around 25% of Questionmark customers have access to QMWISe for their own integration
    • Common uses
      • Populating people from management systems
      • Pushing results into management systems
      • Getting URLs to allow single sign on
      • Calling assessments from other systems
      • Getting a list of available assessments
    • Includes several UK universities
  • 11.
    • Questionmark use QMWISe for our own products
      • Blackboard Connector uses QMWISe to interface to Perception
        • Continue working as Questionmark software changes
        • Clean interface which allows independent development
        • Clear logs to identify where problems are
      • Other Questionmark products which use QMWISe
        • SAP Connector
        • Moodle Connector
        • Questionmark to Go
        • Content Packager
  • 12.
    • Questionmark Consulting use QMWISe to interface to Perception
      • Create specialist reports
      • Single sign on
      • Link to student management systems or enterprise HR databases
      • Registration systems and e-commerce front ends to Perception
  • 13.
    • Web services allow interfaces for academic communities into Questionmark Perception
      • Shibboleth single sign-on
      • uPortal
  • 14.
    • QMWISe has a simple security model
      • An encoded key is used to allow/disallow access
      • Access once granted gives full capabilities in the system
    • Installations often use Windows security to prevent unauthorized access by IP address
    • SSL is useful
  • 15. Slide Area # Details Administrative URLs 3 Generate URLs to allow administrator or reporting login Participant URLs 4 Generate URLs to allow participant login Administrators 12 Create and manage administrator users Assessments / content 11 Create, view and manage assessments, topics and questions Assessment snapshots 6 Create and deliver a snapshot of an assessment and score results Group s 10 Create groups and assign participants to them HR-XML 1 Generates result in HR-XML format Participants 9 Create, view and manage participants Result data 22 View and manage results from assessments Scheduling 27 Schedule assessments System 4 About and configuration
  • 16.
    • Suppose
      • A student exists in Questionmark Perception
      • And is scheduled to some assessments
      • A portal has authenticated the student
      • And wants to pass through to Questionmark Perception
    • Then
      • Portal can call QMWISe to get a URL
      • And pass student through to it
  • 17.
    • SOAP request
    • <soap:Body>
    • <GetAccessAssessmentList xmlns=&quot;;>
    • <Participant_Name>kleeman33
    • </Participant_Name>
    • </GetAccessAssessmentList>
    • </soap:Body>
    • SOAP response
    • <soap:Body>
    • <GetAccessAssessmentListResponse xmlns=&quot; &quot;>
    •   <URL> http://LONL-JOHNK/q4/perception.dll?NAME=kleeman33&EXPIRES=25:01:2009:20:11&ACCESS=5639331035251589 </URL>
    •   </GetAccessAssessmentListResponse >
    •   </soap:Body>
  • 18.
    • Questionmark are currently introducing a new web service for question import
      • ImportQML
        • Takes a question in QML
        • Adds it into repository
        • Allows its use in questions
        • Can include questions with resources
    • QML is Questionmark’s XML languages for questions (
  • 19.
    • Combined with an existing method for creating assessments, this allows entirely non-Questionmark authoring systems to populate Questionmark repository
    • This method might be a route whereby external authoring systems could “publish” questions to Questionmark Perception for delivery
  • 20.
    • Questionmark web services provide a stable and safe way to integrate with Questionmark software
    • There are over 100 APIs, and a new method allows import of questions into the Questionmark repository
    • We recommend others who need to define interfaces into their software to use web services as they work in practice over the long term
  • 21.
    • Commit to continuity
      • People won’t integrate with you unless they believe the interface will be stable
    • Use them yourself
      • Eat your own dogfood
    • Log all traffic
      • This will allow problems to be diagnosed easily
    • Good documentation with examples
    • Error handling
    • Check scalability
  • 22.
    • Please feel free to send any follow-up questions to