The Framework Blackboard SIS Integration

Blackboard has a new and elegant feature. This feature simplifies what can become a complex problem - synchronizing data from your student information system into Blackboard?

Another feature, new to Blackboard 9.1.8, is the ability to group courses by terms. However, terms cannot automatically be associated with the snapshot client; hence, what got me interested in the Data SIS Integration using Snapshot Flat feed files.

Watch the video for my sexy voice. Read more for some of my discoveries.

{% youtube 9v9_eslc4SU %}

Immediately, I was impressed by the web framework, so I…

  1. Decided to try and automate it - which really only took minutes with curl
  2. Wrote a wrapper script around curl to auto-discover the feed types
  3. Wrote some examples on how to use this framework script.
  4. Created a video demonstrating how to setup SIS integration. The video was the longest part in this entire process.

Below is an example of how easy it is to add some users from a csv file into Blackboard. You can also see more examples in this zip file - look at the example script and feeds/ directory.

# setup some env variables
export SHARED_USERNAME="your-shared-username"
export SHARED_PASSWORD="your-shared-password"
export BB_URL=""

echo "adds the 55 users in the feeds/users.csv to EXAMPLES dsk"
./framework refresh feeds/users.csv

If you found this script useful, then be a chum and help me buy a pack of diapers for my little girl. Feedback is also welcome - comment or shoot me an email: kelt at dockins dot org.

post by Kelt Dockins on 06/18/2012