Blackboard Learn can be integrated with virtually any Student Information System. Options exist to batch process CSV and XML files. Blackboard Consulting can provide real-time adapters to many common SIS vendors. Please contact your Blackboard representative for more information. Integration APIs are exposed to build custom real-time adapters. As of Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 SP6, IMS Enterprise 2.0 and IMS LIS 2.0 are supported as integration methods. As of Release 9.1 SP8, Flat File and legacy Blackboard XML formats have been added as supported integration methods.
Types of Integrations
There are 5 types of Integrations available, and the XML format will be slightly different depending on the type selected. Although there are three types of Integrations, there is not a limit to the number of Integrations a system may have. It is unusual, though possible, to have a variety of Integration types on a single system.
IMS Enterprise 1.1
IMS Enterprise 1.1 - Vista
IMS Learning Information Services (Learning Information Services Specification Primer)
Snapshot Flat Files (text delimited, CSV)
Snapshot XML (A variant of IMS Enterprise 1.0 with Blackboard extensions)
Specify the Username and Password which is present on the (source) SIS system. The shared Username and Password are required to maintain a secure connection.
Upload the XML file which contains the data to be added to Blackboard Learn. Depending on the Integration type, the XML file will contain slight variations.
The available Status options are:
It is recommended that Integrations begin in the Testing status. Selecting this status will allow you to test the Integration, and fix any issues which may arise before committing to the Integration. Once the Testing is complete, the status may be set to Inactive or Active. Setting the status to Inactive will bring the data in, however, it will not be visible to users. Setting the status to Active will bring the data in, and it will be visible to users. The status can be changed at any time.
Setting the log verbosity will dictate the type and depth of logging kept on your system for the selected Integration. There are four log entry types or classes:
Errors - Any fatal issues, any issues preventing create, update, disable, or purge operations.
Warnings - Any non-fatal issues, any issue with an individual record, or any successful operation which required a change to the record.
Messages - Any successful activity, including record types and counts, timing, and data.
Debug Items - All individual records, and data transformation attempts.
Logs can be filtered using an advanced search method which includes the type of error, the Integration, and a date range. New log entries are easily visible, with a count attached to the type of log entry. The logs can be refreshed to retrieve the latest count, and details of each type of log. Clearing the log count will only clear the number associated to the log type, but will not purge the logs. Purging logs cannot be undone, and a verification prompt is presented before the logs will be permanently purged. Purging logs will only purge logs for the selected Integration, the counts can be cleared across all Integrations, purging cannot.
Determine the location of information being brought to the Blackboard Learn environment. Depending on your environment, select the Node in the hierarchy to add the data. If no Nodes are located, all data will be brought in under the top level of the hierarchy at your Institution.
The Learn Object Type, and the Object Type from your SIS system are mapped in a 1 to 1 list. Select how to handle inserts, updates, and deletes for each Object Type. Exercise caution when selecting options in this section.