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.NET: Blackboard Collaborations with Microsoft. Presented By Jan Poston Day Director, Standards and Interoperability Ramsey Chambers Manager, Business Development. April 12, 2005. Now a word from our lawyers….

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.NET: Blackboard Collaborations with Microsoft

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.NET: Blackboard Collaborations with Microsoft

Presented By Jan Poston Day

Director, Standards and Interoperability

Ramsey Chambers

Manager, Business Development

April 12, 2005

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Now a word from our lawyers…

Any statements in this presentation about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our most recent 10-K filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of April 11, 2005. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to April 11, 2005. Blackboard, in its sole discretion, may delay or cancel the release of any product or functionality described in this presentation.

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  • History of the Microsoft – Blackboard Relationship

  • Collaboration Initiatives

  • Introduction to .NET

  • Blackboard Building Blocks™ SDK for the Microsoft .NET Framework

  • Looking ahead

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Relationship Timeline

  • 2001: Alliance established

    • Strategic partner and equity owner

  • 2002: Reseller of SQL Server 2000

  • 2003: Launched .NET initiatives at Blackboard

  • 2004: February the Blackboard Building Blocks .NET APIs are released

  • 2004: Blackboard Learning System™.NET released in September

  • Today more than 50% of Blackboard® clients run on Microsoft

  • Working towards Gold Certified Partner in 2005

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Collaboration Initiatives

  • Certified on SQL 2000 Clustering

  • Developing high performance, scalable load-balanced solution

  • Early release testing on Microsoft updates

  • Blackboard Learning System .NET initiative

  • Blackboard Building Blocks SDK for the Microsoft .NET Framework

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Leverage Windows technologies

Leverage Blackboard’s strong relationship with Microsoft

Leverage market development expertise and potential

.NET and Blackboard

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What is .NET?

  • A set of software technologies for connecting information, people, systems, and devices.

  • Enterprise technology designed to allow for rapid development of web applications.

  • Based on Web services—small building-block applications that can connect to each other as well as to other, larger applications over the Internet.

  • Supports 30+ development languages.

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.NET and Blackboard

  • Blackboard Learning System .NET

  • Blackboard Building Blocks APIs for the Microsoft .NET Framework

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Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework

  • Functional

    • Create a stable, scalable learning system platform

      • Leverage the Blackboard Learning System’s ease of use

      • Enrich the user-experience through integration with Microsoft applications

  • Technical

    • Enhanced stability and simplified administration

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Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework

  • COMPLETE rewrite of current Blackboard Learning System

  • Released October 2004

  • MS Windows 2003 and MS SQL Server 2000 w/SP3a

  • Fully internationalized database and user interface

  • Available to new Blackboard clients

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Blackboard Learning System for the Microsoft .NET Framework

  • Integration with Active Directory

  • SIS integration via BizTalk server

  • Scalable

    • Built to be load balanced (true server farm deployment)

    • Built for SQL Server 2000 (only) and Windows 2003 Server (only)

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Blackboard Learning System for .NET: Custom Integration Capabilities


  • SQL Server Reporting Tools

  • BizTalk Integration

    Integration Ready:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2002 or greater

  • Microsoft Windows Media Player

  • Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server / Microsoft Content Server

    • Microsoft Class Server

  • Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services

  • Microsoft Active Directory

  • Microsoft Live Communication Server

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Building Blocks APIs for the Microsoft .NET Framework

  • Extend/customize Blackboard through .NET

  • Easier integration with Microsoft applications

  • More flexibility for clients & 3rd party vendors

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Blackboard Building Blocks

  • Blackboard Building Blocks is Blackboard’s open architecture

    • Designed to give developers access to Blackboard’s core in a documented and supportable way

    • Leverages of a robust baseline application, standards-based framework of functionality and programming interfaces

    • Enables the use of Open Source components to drive application development and customizations

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What is an API?

Publicly Documented


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Microsoft Office Suite




in XML

Microsoft BizTalk

Microsoft SharePoint

Building Blocks


Microsoft Active Directory

External Applications, tools or services (e.g., SIS, Library, Collaboration Tools, Assessments, Content Repositories, streaming media, etc.)

Publicly Documented Interface

Building Blocks developed using .NET

Blackboard Academic Suite™

APIs in the Context of Blackboard and Microsoft .NET

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Blackboard Building Blocks Technology

  • Launched in February 2004

  • Freely available Microsoft .NET Framework Software Development Kits (SDKs)

  • SDK contains:

    • API documentation

    • Getting Started Guide

    • Application Framework documentation

    • Blackboard Building Blocks architecture information

    • Sample Building Block code

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What the APIs allow…

  • Programmatically interact with Blackboard applications using .NET to create or extend:

    • Content Types,

    • Communication & Collaboration Tools,

    • Portal Modules and Channels, and

    • Bridges to External Systems

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What the APIs allow…

  • NET APIs for Blackboard allow developers to easily extend the platform with:

    • .NET Content APIs

    • .NET Gradebook APIs

    • .NET Portal APIs

    • .NET System APIs

    • .NET System Extensions

    • .NET Web Controls

    • .NET Admin APIs

    • Web Service implementation

    • Full ability for .NET Office integration

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What You’ll Need

  • Software Developer’s Kit

    • XML Doc

    • Developer’s Guide

  • Blackboard Developer Edition Software

  • Development Tools

    • Visual Studio.NET or Microsoft .NET SDK

  • Imagination…

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Example Blackboard Building Block for .NET – Excel/Gradebook integration

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Blackboard Portal Module via .NET APIs and MS Exchange Integration

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  • Microsoft and Blackboard – a relationship evolving from strength to strength

  • Blackboard Building Blocks – a new way to leverage both Blackboard and Windows technologies at the same time

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  • Ramsey [email protected]

  • Jan Poston [email protected]

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