well it’s almost time, I’ve been putting of the work to intergrate blackboard 6 into the universities data exchange system (DES – we thought of the accronmy before the meaning, i wanted to call it Brittney but i was blocked), the DES system is pritty much up and running now, and intergrating a database system into it is usally a 30 minute task, except blackboard is diffrent.
for blackboard 5 we bought the cheepo version basicaly because their was a huge political battle, and the attempts where made to sink the project, so we had no API to intergrate the product with, so Mr Walsh decided to screenscrape the web front end an manufacture his own API, which to be fair he did, except it was very slow, and has huge problems with account renames (it deletes and adds, and looses loads of work). just before christmas I re-wrote the BB5 interface basicaliy by hacking the thing to bits and then writing directly into the database. however all things Oracle overcame us just before christmas so we never moved over to this system.
now blackboard 6 has become the ‘offical’ VLE of the university (because of the politics blackboard 5 was never refered to as a VLE), so we have an API for this version, except it’s in Java, and DES is prinicply a COM and .NET system. Using Microsoft Message Queues, so intergration is a bit of a mere, oh and the API documentation is poo. I am sorley tempted to go through the backdoor again!!.