Building Block Integration
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Building Block Integration

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This powerpoint goes over building blocks at a high-level and highlights some of the more common integration points.

This powerpoint goes over building blocks at a high-level and highlights some of the more common integration points.

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  • And here are tangible examples of where they show up at in the GUI
  • Large, stable developer community over 300 members of which contribute to open source educational tool development, most of which is specifically for Blackboard’s platforms. Join us later this week to get a more hands-on feel for what is possible.

Building Block Integration Building Block Integration Presentation Transcript

  • Blackboard Extensibility and Integration
  • Extensibility and Integration
    Extend the functionality of the user-facing application
    Institution-specific needs (administrative or pedagogical)
    Discipline-specific needs
    Integrate features of tools developed by third parties (commercial and institutional)
    Collaboration and Communication
    Content offerings (publisher tools)
    Integrate enterprise systems
    SIS data, inbound
    Reporting data, outbound
  • Building Blocks
    Extension framework using a “drop-in” model – packages of application code can be deployed dynamically
    Well-defined integration points in the UI
    Custom Content Types
    Course-level tools
    Administration Panel Tools
    Community System Modules
    … and more
    Standard, commodity programming model (Java Web Applications)
  • Web Services
    Framework and infrastructure for consistent Web Service development
    Management console
    Common authentication, logging
    Standard, shipped Web Services (SOAP/HTTP)
    Content
    Calendaring
    Administrative data (Users, Courses, Enrollment)
    Gradebook data
    …more
    Framework for extending set of supported Web Services
  • Proxy Tools
    Extension framework using a “link to and launch” model
    Preferred framework for “distributed” tools
    Basis for the IMS LTI specification
    Integrates/Builds on Web Services
    Well-defined UI extension points, similar to Building Blocks
    Technology and framework agnostic – tools can be written in PHP, Ruby/Rails, .NET, etc.
    Only requirement is support for HTTP, SOAP, and basic cryptography
  • Standards Initiatives
    IMS Enterprise
    Support for XML imports for student, course, enrollment data
    Web Services implementation in 9.1
    IMS Common Cartridge
    Working on 1.1 support (incorporates Basic LTI)
    Actively engaged in defining 1.1 and 1.2
    IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)
    Contributed technical specs for Proxy Tools as input to the specification process
    Specification is progressing to final draft
    Accessibility
    Section 508
  • Developer Community
    First commercial VLE with APIs & plugin framework (2001)
    Large community of ~2000 developers
    300+ member Open Source Community for Educational Learning Objects & Tools
    Almost 70 open source projects that plug into Blackboard VLEs
    Organizes “Open Source Day” – a community driven supplement to Blackboard DevCon
  • Developer Community – Examples
    iTunes U Building Block, Vanderbilt University
    Self and Peer Assessment Tool, Dundee University
    Acquired by Blackboard for inclusion in the product
    Sign Up Tool, Durham University
    See http://extensions.blackboard.com/ for a more complete list of contributed solutions (community and vendor sourced)