This document outlines usage of the Blackboard REST and LTI Developer AMI made available via the Amazon AWS Marketplace.
What is the Blackboard REST and LTI Developer AMI?
The Blackboard REST and LTI Developer Amazon Machine Image ("Developer AMI") is an image of a Blackboard Learn server available in the Amazon Marketplace. The AMI allows a Developer to spin up a copy of Blackboard Learn for building applications that use the REST APIs and/or Learning Tool Interoperability ("LTI") to integrate with Learn. This image is a standalone copy of the SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn and allows development and testing against the Ultra user experience. Once the developer spins up the copy of Learn, it lives in his or her AWS account and the developer has full control over the instance of Learn. All instances are pre-licensed with a Developer license that expires two years from the date of creation. New Developer AMIs will be made available in the same cadence as SaaS releases.
This program allows a Developer to build an integration against Blackboard Learn without the barrier of a formal paid partnership. The point is to lower the barrier to innovation and increase the ability for improvements to teaching and learning. It's not just for developers, however, as anyone that wants to test the Ultra experience can spin up a copy, as well!
Where do I find the Blackboard REST and LTI Developer AMI?
The easiest way to find the Developer AMI is by accessing the search feature on the Amazon Marketplace. Just look for Blackboard Learn. It's as simple as that. The results will show you all of the currently available AMIs. Given the cadence or releases, it is recommended that you always locate the Learn instance you want in this manner.
How do I use the Blackboard REST and LTI Developer AMI?
Using the Developer AMI is the same as using any other AMI in the Amazon Marketplace. There are typically three steps:
- Subscribe to the AMI
- Configure the specific instance
- Spin it up and code!
An Amazon AWS account is required, if you do not have an AWS account you will need to create one.
When configuring the instance, it is completely up to you how you set up the server. We do have a few recommendations, however.
- We recommend using the Medium Tier instance type. This gives you enough storage and power to run Blackboard Learn effectively and build your cool widget.
- We recommend you adjust the security settings to allow:
- SSH from your IP only
- Enable HTTPS access
What does the Blackboard REST and LTI Developer AMI cost?
The Open Innovation Initiative was created to lower the cost of entry for developing software solutions on the Blackboard Learn platform. This is accomplished by removing the previous Partner program costs and replacing those partner program costs with low hourly AMI usage costs. This enables you the developer to control your costs for prototyping your applications and entering the education software market.
Use of the Developer AMI will result in two charges being made to your account:
- An AWS Infrastructure charge
This charge is based on the EC2 instance type selected to run the AMI and varies based on the instance type size and region. An example is $0.0464/hr for a t2.medium instance served from
- Software charge
A Software charge of $0.05/hr (US dollars) is added to the AWS infrastructure charge.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this space or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I log in to the Blackboard Learn™ application on the AMI?
The username is administrator. The password is the instance ID (e.g.: i-234234234234). If you look at the log created when you spin it up (you can get to it from the ec2 console) it is also printed there.