Getting Started With Building Blocks

Version 2

    Getting Started with Building Block development is easy!


    Developing extensions for Learn requires a development environment. Your development environment refers to (1) the development workstation on which you will be doing your development work - the actual coding, compiling, and debugging - and (2) the development server on which you will deploy and test your extension.


    This set of tutorials will provide instruction around setting up your development workstation, development server, and how to enable debugging of your code so that you can step through it line-by-line when trying to isolate issues or bugs. It also covers more generally the overall life cycle of the typical Blackboard Building Block development project.


    Development Workstation


    Your development workstation will host the software and libraries necessary for writing and building java web applications. This may be any software of your choice that is up to the task though most development is done using one of the more prominent Integrated Development Environments - Eclipse, Netbeans, or IntelliJ. This tutorial will focus on using Eclipse (with some notes re the use of Netbeans).


    Development Server


    Your development server will host an instance of Blackboard Learn, Developer Edition - a version of the Blackboard learning platform that we make available for development purposes that has the Content System, Community System, and Learning System all enabled to support up to 150 test users, 100 test courses, and 1000 test enrollment records. In many cases, developers choose to run Blackboard Learn, Developer Edition on their development workstation rather than on separate server hardware. Others choose to share a dedicated development server among multiple developers, each connecting to it from their individual development workstations. Still others have created their own virtual machine images that allow unwanted changes to be "thrown away" and easily restore to a vanilla installation of their development server.


    Available Tutorials


    The following tutorials are available to help you get started with Building Block development: