Release Date: 12/17/2014
Affected Products: LearningStudio
This week we've completed a year-long overhaul of the documentation and resources for LearningStudio APIs and Integrations, available here in the LearningStudio product area on the Pearson Developers Network (PDN).
Our goal is to ensure our partners and developers are working with best-in-class materials to make the most of Pearson's flagship learning management platform. We are continuing to refine, enhance, and add new content - so as you work with the material, please feel free to send along any feedback or suggestions. As always, you can send this feedback and ask any questions in the Developer Community.
Here's a review of what's been updated or created:
Quicker Developer Key Provisioning
Before this year, new developers and new client institutions starting with APIs had to wait weeks for their developer keys. Now, every campus is equipped with a set of campus keys at the ready, and new developers or developers with new apps can get an API key within minutes plus they are automatically provisioned courses and users on our Sandbox Campus.
New Hello World Application
For developers just starting to explore the APIs, we've created a Hello World and API Explorer application. Download and install it on your system to start playing with the APIs in minutes, without worrying about the learning curve of authentication and data models. The application is available in Java, C#, PHP, Python, and Ruby.
New Code Libraries
Once your project is underway, speed up your development time by working with the APIs in your preferred programming language rather than reinventing the Authentication, HTTP Client, and JSON-parsing wheels. The Course API Code Libraries handle the heavy lifting of making API calls, including the steep learning curve of Authentication, and work with the entire set of RESTful Course APIs. There are also three specialized libraries that streamline our most complex domains: Content & Threads, Exams, and Grades. The Libraries are available in Java, C#, PHP, Python, and Ruby.
Underlying the new resources is a nearly complete overhaul of the written documentation for LearningStudio's APIs and Integration tools. This includes:
- More intuitive navigation and URL structure for the entire suite
- Quick Start guides tailored to specific customer groups
- Get Started information that was revamped to better introduce LearningStudio to developers who've never worked with it before.
- SIS Interoperability documentation that better explains how to sync LearningStudio with a Student Information System, and deploy courses and users.
- Single Sign On documentation that is improved, reorganized, and/or created to detail how to seamlessly send users into LearningStudio or from LearningStudio to a third party application. This includes detail for new and legacy systems, the Courses mobile application, and the LTI standard.
- Eventing (Publish/Subscribe) documentation that explains how to get notifications when something changes in LearningStudio, instead of taxing your system with constantly polling the APIs. Event contracts now have their own home and also exist in the relevant Course APIs reference section.
- RESTful Course APIs documentation, the principal LearningStudio API set, that was drastically improved. This includes:
- Improved and reorganized domain-level information or "conventions" to better explain how things work and what to expect.
- Clarified, streamlined, and demonstrated Authentication, which has always been the steepest learning curve for our APIs.
- New contextual introductions for every API domain to better explain how the API fits with the core LearningStudio experience, what to expect from the API, important caveats to be aware of, best practices for specific APIs, and use case-driven how-to guides. These introductions exist at the API domain level and for every API contract page.
- Confidence in our documentation to date, as every API contract and behavior was vetted and confirmed.
- New format for API contract pages to more easily find the information you need for any given function.
New systems deployed this year include the Developer Community and a new ticketing system so that our support engineers are able to help customers faster and more efficiently, ensuring you can get started within minutes and keep moving when you get stuck.
Streamlined Third Party Integrations
We've worked with counterparts around Pearson to streamline the third party integration process, meaning client institutions will be able to work with our partners more easily and get started with integrations quickly. Third Parties getting started with Pearson can also work directly with our Developer Services team by completing a New Integration Request.
New API Management Platform
We completed a transition this year to a new API Management Platform (powered by Apigee) that ensures greater visibility and improves API manageability for us and our developer community. The platform is already integrated to the Pearson Developers Network (PDN) and, over time, will power new features providing even better self-service options for working with our APIs.
Behind The Scenes, and More to Come
More has happened behind the scenes that will improve our ability to serve our developer community, continue to improve and build the APIs themselves, and meet the promise made in winning the 2014 Best Developer Experience Digital Accelerator Award.
There is more to come in the new year, including an easier way to manage your support requests and a new suite of sample applications demonstrating real-world usage of the APIs. Stay tuned.
Remember, your feedback is important - please send along your thoughts or questions in the Developer Community