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JS Hack and alternatives in SaaS

Question asked by wt0069224 on Oct 19, 2017
Latest reply on Oct 23, 2017 by jkelley_blackboard

We are moving from managed hosting to SaaS at the end of this year, and looking to gradually migrate courses to Ultra.


There are numerous issues with Ultra at the moment, and we're looking for workarounds until Blackboard can implement the functionality that we need. For a simple example, at the moment the color scheme is purple and white, which is sufficiently different from our institutional colors (and our 9.1 Blackboard theming) that it's actually an unacceptable issue for our users. Some level of color theming is expected mid-2018 at the earliest. There are a dozen or more similar issues, most of which could be trivially fixed with a dash of javascript.


In the meantime, is it possible to use JS Hacks to configure such things? It's eminently doable in 9.1, of course, but although I've had the building block installed in our SaaS staging server, the option to configure the hacks is not available from the admin->building blocks menu. This is possibly because the "Administrator Panel (Building Blocks) > Building Blocks > Create and Modify Javascript Hacks" privilege has no roles assigned - which may indicate that the Building Block didn't activate correctly, or that BB have locked it down (much as they don't allow us to install Building Blocks ourselves - although with JS Hacks being client-side, I don't see any security or performance reason for that). A note on the JSHack oscelot page says that it has been tested to work on SaaS.


Are there any SaaS compliant injection frameworks like this? I understand that the rendering hook that JS Hacks relies on isn't available in BB Mobile or Ultra.


Alternatively, we could develop building blocks dedicated to fixing these sorts of issues. However, there is no SaaS development VM that I'm aware of. It's certainly not practical to try to develop a building block that has to be uploaded by BB every time we want to test it, and (as JS Hack shows) not all Building Blocks that work in the 9.1 VM will work in SaaS.