Learning Information Services Phil Nicholls Learning Impact 2012
Part One• Introduction to Learning Information Services (LIS)• Conformance• Links / Q & A
Introduction: Me• “LIS Guy” / Tech Facilitator• Software Developer since ’95• Interoperability Standards for most of that time• Broke into IMS via Telcert Project in 2004• Based in Sheffield, UK• www.linkedin.com/in/philnicholls• @psydevuk
Introduction: LIS• Final (2.0): April 2012.• APMG open to members / affiliates.• LIS is a set of services that allows software systems to exchange information about people, courses, groups, memberships and outcomes.• LIS specifies how to transfer “live” data as well as bulk data.
Introduction: LIS• A provider of information is termed a “reference agent”.• A consumer of information is termed a “synchronisation agent”.• Information moves from a reference agent to synchronisation agent(s).• Specifications are WSDL / SOAP based.
Conformance• The need to make sure that messages from one vendor system can be consumed by a different vendor system.• Challenge: Services vs Data / Packages.• Challenge: Need to test RAs and SAs.• Challenge: Data model very “optional”.
Conformance• Vendor community beginning to undergo conformance testing.• Help with conformance is free via the LIS Alliance.• Issues being tracked via APMG.• Goal to extract “common” data model.• Bulk Data conformance testing planned.
Part Two• What LIS Provides• Thoughts on LIS Deployment• Links / Q & A
What LIS Provides• Automated, reliable movement of learning data between different systems.• Automate use provisioning, enrolment, grade reporting…• An end to manual work around scripts.• Frees IT departments from integrations; lets them concentrate on adding value.• Reduces single vendor lock in.
Thoughts on LIS Deployment• LIS is enterprise software.• To reap the full benefits, and reduce migration risk, you need to engage with your vendor.• Do not simply ask “do you support LIS” on an RFP.
Vendor EngagementEngage vendor on five key questions:• Will it work with my other systems?• What extra work must I do?• What happens if it goes wrong?• What if it is too expensive?• Is it future proof?
Does it work with my other systems?• Beware of “Yes – next question!”• Check versions.• Check conformance.• Beware of pairwise integration statements.• Psydev can help to LIS enable systems (legacy or otherwise).
What extra work must I do?• LIS provides 80% of what you need; the other 20% is in local factors.• Data semantics.• Security.• Hosting environment.• Psydev can assist with working out what might be missing.
What happens if it goes wrong?• RISK: Supplier 1 blames Supplier 2 who blames Supplier 1.• Diagnosis tools.• SLAs.• Psydev have worked with the major vendors, and we have a range of tools available to support ‘debugging’.
What if it is too expensive?• LIS is still quite new in its current form.• Do you need all of LIS, or just the profile?• Do you need both Reference and Synchronisation agents?• Lots of help available from IMS.• Psydev offer software and consulting to provide vendors with a head start.
Is it future proof?• Standards do evolve.• APMG.• Use common version of LIS if possible.• Check upgrade path of all systems.• Backwards compatibility.• Psydev software handles changes to the standard.
Conclusions• LIS presents an opportunity to save many hours of staff effort• Proprietary-only integrations eliminated• No more scripts / spreadsheets / workarounds• Deployment for your organisation requires some careful thought• Plenty of help exists
Further Info:• Psydev: www.psydev.com• IMS: www.imsglobal.org/lis• Alliance: www.imsglobal.org/developers/ lisalliance• Our LIS White Paper: www.psydev.com/free-resourcestwitter: @psydevukmailto: firstname.lastname@example.org