Introduction to LIS and CPS
Introduction: Phil Nicholls
• Software Developer since ’95 (mostly
• “LIS Guy” / Tech Facilitator for IMS Global
• Psydev: consultants specialising in
interoperability standards; has products to
aid LIS adoption
What is LIS for?
• Different systems take different views of
the same data.
• LIS is a specification that allows systems
to exchange information about people,
courses, groups, memberships and
outcomes in a standard way
• Commonly it is used to integrate Student
Information Systems (SISs) with LMSs…
Where did LIS come from
• The specification has been built over
several years by IMS Global, a not for
profit member organisation.
• LIS contributors include Oracle, Ellucian,
Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Psydev
Why use a standard like LIS?
• Built by a wider community
• Removes need for people to code to many
individual APIs across lots of systems.
• Conformance Test support
• Avoids lots of “pairwise” integrations
• Easier migration path
• Opens opportunities with partners
What is CPS?
• Course Planning and Scheduling
• Timetabling is hard, so specialised
planning systems do it:
– Avoid rooms being too far away
– Common classes between different courses
– People change courses
– Timetabling also for rooms and equipment
What is CPS?
• CPS provides a standard for scheduling
systems to send and receive data about
people and the courses that they wish to
• Scheduling system works out the
• … informing the SIS of which classes to
• CPS uses LIS, with some extensions.
• Bulk Data Exchange for the big data loads
• Updates via the “live” services.
• Approach allows SIS and Scheduling
System to make changes and inform the
• LIS defines services in WSDL, and
implementations use SOAP for the
• Data Model is therefore bound in XML
• Good tool support for WSDL->Language
• Controlled, extensible vocabularies used
where possible to aid interoperability
• Application space is typically SIS->LMS-
>SIS, in reality much wider.
• IMS has software to check conformance
– Sending LIS Live Data (typically SIS)
– Receiving LIS Live Data (typically LMS)
– Sending / Receiving LIS Live Grades (SIS and
– Sending / Receiving Bulk Data (SIS and LMS)
– Sending / Receiving CPS Data (SIS and
• Membership of LIS APMG open to IMS
associates and CMs.
– Oversee spec development
– CMs get to vote
– Currently looking at Privacy (via the taskforce)
– Also considering a RESTful binding
SAIP Moodle Video: youtu.be/Mtr5OE4llBc
Psydev’s white paper on LIS: bit.ly/15092xa
Moodle Integration Factsheet:
IMS Global: www.imsglobal.org