Brightspace by D2L is one of the most popular learning management systems in the United States and Canada. Brightspace offers self-hosted and cloud-based solutions for K-12 and institutions in Higher Education. Brightspace supports integration through its APIs and through the LTI® standard (including LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage). In this article, we'll cover some of the quirks of Brightspace integration and how it can be surprisingly challenging.
Brightspace Supports Several Different API Versions
It's important to keep in mind that there are several versions of Brightspace API. Some of these versions overlap and some are only supported in certain versions of Brightspace. This can create issues if you are working with multiple clients who are all running different versions of Brightspace, as you have to make sure that your API calls are valid for each instance.
Brightspace Client Keys
Unlike most other learning management systems that support API integrations, Brightspace requires school administrators to generate client keys for each connected app. This can cause several problems.
For starters, not every admin is used to creating client keys. When working with a school to integrate their Brightspace environment with your platform, you may need to directly assist IT admins to create them.
Furthermore, client keys are very powerful and can be a security vulnerability if exposed to a malicious third-party. You'll need a way for IT admins to securely send you the client key ID and secret. This can be done through secure HTTPS web forms or through a key sharing tool, such as Keybase. Having a secure key-sharing solution built into your onboarding process for IT admins can go a long way into building trust and keeping the your clients' data safe.
Self-Hosted Brightspace Environments
Brightspace environments are self-hosted by the district or school. Thus, updates to Brightspace installations must be pushed by IT administrators of the school. If an administrator does not make regular updates, it can affect the compatibility of your application with the LMS.
These three challenges are just a subset of some of the issues you could run into while integrating with Brightspace. LMS integrations are usually not as straight-forward as they might seem at first. In fact, you should take into accounts the differences and quirks of each platform when you're building our your own integrations.
If you're looking for some help in getting your app integrated with Brightspace, we'd love to chat! Our team at Edlink has worked with several publishers and developers to get their platforms integrated with Schoology. In fact, the Edlink API can also get your app connected to other LMSs, including Schoology, Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, and others. To learn more about what we do and how we can help, please give us a shout at email@example.com or at our support page.
Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) is a trademark of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (www.imsglobal.org). Edlink LTI integrations are not certified by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.