Part of choosing the right Learning Management System for your organization is understanding the LMS technical integration requirements. It’s not just about the features and customer support, it’s also about rolling it out, which can be a challenge. Technology integrations are just as important as the learning content itself when it comes to a successful launch of a new LMS. In order to ensure this process goes smoothly, there are a few things that need to be understood.
Here are 4 basic technical concepts you need to know:
1. Signing In
Single Sign In or SSO means users can login using their credentials from another application. This other application is the “identity provider” and the LMS itself is the “service provider”. It’s a convenient way to do things, as users have one less password to remember. But both systems need to be set up as the correct provider and with the same “protocol”.
Application Programming Interface or API is the generic term for connection between different systems. Basically, two systems can share data using an API. There are generally two kinds of API; REST or SOAP. REST is the newer standard and generally easier to integrate with and SOAP is the older version. You’ll need to know your requirements before checking your LMS to be sure your needs are going to be covered.
Webhooks are the push to and API’s pull of data connection. Basically, there are two ways to move data, either by “push” or by “pull”. An API acts to pull records from the systems data, which will only sync periodically. A webhook will queue updates as they occur, allowing for greater flexibility.
Remember, a successful LMS isn’t only about the content and the features, the integration is crucial for reaching learning objectives too. Understanding your functional and technical needs first, to prepare yourself to evaluate LMS options appropriately is important. Unanticipated requirements can stall your project or cause budget issues. Be sure to perform basic due diligence before speaking to different vendors and be sure that you or whoever you work with firmly grasps the above technical concepts. Understanding the technical side of your integration is important for the overall success of launching your new LMS.