LIS refers to the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Learning Information Services specification. This specification, finalized in Q2 of 2012, has been a joint operation between numerous educational institutions, LMS, and SIS vendors (D2L included), and has been in the making since the original IMS Enterprise specification was released in 1999.
The LIS v2.0 Adapter is the D2L implementation of the IMS LIS Specification Core, Combined Sections, and Full Course Hierarchy profiles for a Learning Management System. The solution provides support for both Bulk and Real-time integration between the Student Information System and Brightspace.
For most operations D2L is considered the Synch Agent, and therefore D2L implements the web service operations which are called by the Ref Agent, which is typically a Student Information System. For a few services and operations, such as Outcomes and Bulk, D2L may also call some services and operations in the Student Information System, reversing the Synch and Ref Agent roles.
The adapter consists of a collection of LIS Services, each of which has one or more operations that an SIS can call. When the SIS calls the operation, it uses LIS translators to convert the LIS request into a more generic IPSIS Platform request. The translated requests are passed on to IPSIS handlers (components of the IPSIS Platform) to be further processed and to act against the LMS. The results of this processing are returned to the calling SIS. In the case where D2L is initiating the call, LIS handlers provide the implementation that communicates with the service operation on the SIS side.
Note: This version of the LIS v2.0 Adapter has been built to utilize the released final version of the IMS LIS 2.0 Bindings (XSD, Vocabularies, WSDL) as of April 16, 2012.
Process flow: Real-time processing (synchronous)
- The SIS makes a web service request to Brightspace to affect a specific object in a specific way. Generally, there are LIS Services for Users (Person), Org Units (Group, Course Template, Course Offering, Course Section, Section Association) and Enrollments (Membership).
- On Brightspace side, each service implements a set of operations including replace (used for create/update) and delete.
- The Brightspace responds synchronously to the request with predefined response codes to indicate success or failure of the operation.
Note: Multithreading of LIS event messages is supported. Brightspace recommends up to four concurrent threads at a time.
Process flow: Successful bulk processing (synchronous and asynchronous)
Bulk processing for LIS consists of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous components. All LIS Service operations respond synchronously, however there are asynchronous processes that occur between steps of the workflow.
- Synchronous LIS Message: (Optional, only used when Brightspace initiates bulk integration).
- Brightspace sends a requestBulkDataExchange request to the SIS BulkDataExchange Service.
- The SIS acknowledges the request, which puts both systems into Bulk Mode. Real-time requests are rejected.
- Asynchronous SIS Proprietary:
- The SIS begins generating the Bulk Files. (Specifics left to the SIS).
- The SIS uploads the files to the location that the D2L implementation can now access. Note: The D2L Download handler has been tested with HTTPS and FTP, but additional custom handlers can be written to accommodate most file transfer scenarios.
- Synchronous LIS Message:
- The SIS sends an announceBulkDataExchange request to Brightspace containing the URLs of the bulk data files.
- A Bulk Job is registered in the IPSIS Platform.
- Brightspace acknowledges the request, and the systems enter (or remain) in Bulk Mode.
- Asynchronous D2L Proprietary:
- The IPSIS Bulk Job Service begins processing the Bulk Files.
- The Bulk Job is run through a series of steps: Download the files, parse and process each file in order, generate and prepare a report on processing results and prepare to respond.
- Synchronous LIS Message:
- Brightspace sends a reportBulkDataExchange request to the SIS BulkDataExchange Service.
- The SIS acknowledges the report and both systems are taken out of Bulk Mode.
Initiate a LIS batch
Batches are initiated and managed from the Dashboard of the IPSIS administration interface. The process of initiating and managing LIS batches is done in a manner consistent with all other IPSIS adapters. However, during initiation, the LIS Adapter offers unique parameters and settings to administrators.
A savepoint is a marker that references the state of the source system at a certain time for a particular type of data. The batch transfers all of the changes from the specified savepoint to the current time. Entering no savepoint will transfer the current state of all data for the selected data type. If you manually override the default savepoint, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is valid for your SIS.
An entity type represents a commonly understood type of data as defined by the LIS v2.0 specification. Consult with your SIS vendor for specifics on how the entity types map to data types within your SIS
- From the Admin Tools menu, click IPSIS Administration.
- On the Dashboard tab, click Initiate Batch.
- On the Batch Transfer window, select the entity types and savepoints that you want to include in your transfer.
- Click Start Batch.