Moving Integrations to SaaS and Ultra

Scott Hurley, Mark O’Neil and Lynn Zingraf – Blackboard

What is your Migration Strategy

  • Define long term goals
  • Prioritize integrations
  • Know your platform options
  • Know your API options
  • Seize the Opportunity
  • Define your Longterm Goals
  • What are your long terms goals? Defining your goals in context of what you know today and where you think you are headed has substantial impact on your migration path in both the short and long term.
    • Transition to SaaS
      Move to Ultra
      Adopt REST for ease of development/delivery?

    Prioritize Your Integrations

    • One reason you may be sitting here is that you already have an investment in using integrations to customize your faculty’s and student’s teaching & learning experience.
    • A key consideration for your migration path is the importance of each of your integrations and the feasibility of delivering them on the currently available architecture.
    • Knowing the importance of each integration, your options for delivery of that integration, and available APIs each help you to prioritize and schedule migration of your integrations as a project
  • 1 Learn, 2 Experiences (Original, Ultra), 3 Deployments (Self-hosted, Managed Hosted, SaaS)
  • Know your API Options
  • Bb offers a range of options for integrations – what you use depends on what your trying to accomplish.
  • Building Blocks => LTI / LTI+REST
  • Rest APIs <- ->
  • Partner Cloud
  • Seize the Opportunity
    • Redesign the user experience
      – no longer bound by Blackboard JSP constraints
      – Meet change in goals
      Use your untapped resources
      – REST and API language agnostic!
      – You no longer need Java Expertise
      Expand availability to non-Blackboard resources
      – REST and API integrations run external to your LEARN server
      – Make them available to additional portals and services

    Seize the opportunity to NOT migrate and integration.


    B.B. adopted REST as our forward architecture for providing APIs to integrate with Blackboard products

    Rest API Progress

    IMS Standards Support


    LTI provides a secure connection between a learning tool and a platform like Blackboard learn. It is http-based and provides a context on launch.

    LTI Differences

    How does Blackboard Support this in Original?

    LTI 1.3 (not supported yet)

    • Based on 1.1
    • Improved Security model
    • Separates the security model from the rest of the spec, allowing IMS to more easily keep the security model up to date
    • Designed specifically to align with the services of LTI Advantage
    • Includes improved documentation and around implementing and migration
  • LTI Advantage
    • Package of extensions that work with LTI
      All bout the usability of the standard
      Creates a dream work for new features
      Enables deeper integration with any tool

    Deep linking – Names and Roles – Assignments and Grades

    Q4 2017 Deep linking Q2 2018 Names and roles – assignments and grades are in development

    IMS Caliper

    Global standard that provides for learning data collection

    • Gather data from across systems
    • Define a common language for labeling learning data
    • Standard way of measure data
    • Leverage data
    • Make it useful
  • Support of Developer Community
    • – look for Bb development community – documentation on REST APIs etc..
      Open innovation initiative
      Hands on and onsite training