Introducing Community Releases: Connecting Perception to Blackboard 9
Posted by Steve Lay
As readers of this blog will know, QMWISe is the name given to the set of web-services provided by Questionmark for integrating third-party applications with the Perception assessment management system. Used in conjunction with the Perception Integration Protocol (PIP), QMWISe is the starting point for developing connectors that integrate Perception with other applications like learning management systems.
The scope of QMWISe has grown over the years as John Kleeman reported in “Seven years of web services for easier integration”. With over 100 methods to choose from, knowing which methods are best for your integration project can be a challenge.
Developers often work best by copying real examples of an interface in action. It makes perfect sense for us to release the code for the connectors we develop ourselves in source code form to help supplement the simpler code examples available in the reference guide.
So I’m pleased to announce that we now have a new connector to integrate Perception with Blackboard Learn 9 and that this connector is available as a Community Edition under an open source license. The connector is a Blackboard building block and uses QMWISe and PIP to allow Perception tests to be scheduled within Blackboard courses.
The motto of the open source community is “release early, release often” and we’re capturing that spirit with the concept of a Community Edition. A Community Edition is an important milestone on the way to developing full support for an integration product, however, it doesn’t represent supported software itself! The Community Editions are aimed at a more technical audience who want to test out the latest version of the software before it is available as a supported release from the Questionmark website. We’ll be making updated versions of Community Edition software available on a regular basis as the development projects that underpin them progress.
The new Blackboard connector is not just available free of charge under an open source license. We’re also opening up the development process itself by hosting the project at OSCELOT, a community of developers dedicated to creating and maintaining open source software in the e-Learning community. You can see how the project is progressing and download the latest version yourself from the Blackboard Connector page on our new developer support site.
And we’re not going to stop at Blackboard! Look out for Community Editions of other integration connectors coming soon….