Developing An Open Learning Solution.

SNAG_Program-0029

Over the last 15 years developing the Jzero Learning Management System (JLMS), I came to the realisation that for the system to evolve we needed to develop new functionality. The latter meant we could develop full functionality but this would take time and also found that there were other systems out there that had this functionality and these systems had a more mature version of this functionality. This lead me to question, why reinvent the wheel when someone else had developed functionality already?

This lead me to investigate open systems, which to me meant building our solution so that it was fully interoperable. Such interoperability meant that JLMS would have the ability to work and exchange data with other systems that were available in the marketplace. For example, a key requirement for an LMS is to manage user information which for most companies is already done within their HR systems (e.g. SAP HR, Oracle HR) or LDAP for network access for users (e.g. Microsoft Active Directory). Therefore, we developed the following functionality to allow for integration and interoperability

  • CSV file exchange: This allowed Customers to produce CSV data extracts of their user information and exchange it with our JLMS solution via a Secure FTP or other secure file transfer method to synchronise the user data within JLMS.
  • ADFS: This is an oAuth data exchange method already supported by Microsoft that allowed us to exchange user information with the Microsoft Active Directory where customers user information was already managed. This also allows us to extend the solution to offer a “single-sign-on” solution.

The above meant we had an interoperable solution that allowed our customers to manage user information in a single source system and just feed this into our LMS , saving them precious time on user management. This is one of the classic examples of how we evolved JLMS to be an open system to make it work with other systems and solutions out there to make is a truly “open system“!

Some other interoperability options that we support within JLMS are:

  • Integration to Talent Management Systems by sharing user learning content usage information.
  • Integration to third party Content Management Systems (CMS) via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) within JLMS.
  • Integration with Analytic/Reporting systems (Google Analytics or Webtrends)

So in conclusion, the ability to integrate with other platforms allows us to offer up a system that affords our clients the choice to get a flexible learning system that can integrate with “best of breed” external systems that they may already have or are planning to implement.

More information on JLMS Interoperability

 

 

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