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cmi5

Today we’re excited to announce support for a new specification in SCORM Cloud- cmi5, which is something that doesn’t happen all that often in its history. Along with making cmi5 support readily available in SCORM Cloud, we’ve also added support for cmi5 to some of our other products including SCORM Engine and SCORM Driver.

Obviously, supporting a variety of specifications is a huge part of what we do well at Rustici Software. More than anything, though, I think it’s important for us to be conscious of, and to explain well to all of you, when and why we add support for a particular specification.

So, what is cmi5?

cmi5 is technically a profile of xAPI which means it piggy backs on top of things already well defined in xAPI, but adds specificity in others. For cmi5, this means that certain xAPI statements are required, and launch is handled in a very specific way.

For me, it’s the launch piece that’s so important. From xAPI’s advent years ago, there have been issues with launching content. In the earliest days, we at Rustici Software defined a very simple launch specification that several content vendors picked up on. It was good enough for the time being, but it wasn’t really good enough in practice.

So, over the last couple of years, many people including Bill McDonald (as Chair of the working group) and Art Werkenthin and others at RISC have put a lot of energy into considering how their AICC work could be applied to launch in the xAPI world. The result is that we have a good solution for launching content via xAPI.

Why it matters

Years ago, as we at Rustici Software and others around us started evangelizing xAPI, we made some mistakes. We talked about all of the things that could be enabled by xAPI, the things for which it was necessary but not sufficient. Over the last year or two, we’ve really started to fill in the gaps to make it sufficient as well. And while launch isn’t the dreamiest of capabilities for which xAPI is a solution, it is absolutely fundamental.

If content launch is ultimately going to transition from SCORM to xAPI, cmi5’s support for launch will be a requirement. And further, so many other activities actually benefit from having a well defined, implemented, and adopted specification for launch. So for now, we’re excited to share that Cloud now offers vendors and others a great place to test cmi5 based launchable activities. We hope this helps spur the development of many xAPI/cmi5 adopters.

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“When we were looking out for partners to validate content created with Adobe Captivate, Rustici Software was the automatic choice. With the SCORM Cloud now integrated within Adobe Captivate 9, our users can now validate their eLearning content easily”
-Akshay Bharadwaj
-Senior Product Manager – Adobe Captivate

A lot goes into building an elearning course. From subject matter expertise to instructional design and more, creating quality content is hard. And it gets more complicated when you consider how your content will behave in the LMS that ultimately delivers it to your learners. Testing how content will behave in an LMS before you hand it off to your client can help identify unexpected behaviors and allows you to correct them before those issues are out in the wild. We see about 70,000 courses uploaded to SCORM Cloud each month so authors can make sure that what they created actually behaves as they expect in the SCORM player.

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A few months ago, we sent out a survey to ask customers to tell us more about how they use SCORM Cloud and what other features they’d like to see. One request we heard from the survey and other conversations with Cloud customers is the ability to set an expiration date for an Invitation or a Dispatch. Well, the wait is over! We just updated SCORM Cloud so now you can set up expiration dates for any invites or dispatches.

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Just having a great product is not enough. Many people forget that exceptional customer support is one of the most important parts of an organization’s ongoing success.

Why? It’s most often the only contact a customer has with your company. Receiving the help they need (while interacting with awesome people) encourages customers to stick around. Further, it reinforces the lifetime value of your products and increases customer loyalty.

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Working in the Cloud is supposed to make things easier. Well, if you’re working with the SCORM Cloud API, we’ve made it even easier.

SCORM Cloud is built to be integrated into other applications. To let SCORM Cloud communicate with these applications, we use identifiers called “app IDs” for each of them.

THEN: Lots of applications = lots of manual work.

Previously, adding a new app ID required API users to log in and use the Cloud interface. Many of our API users segment their usage across their customers, so this manual step created some serious extra work for them.

NOW: NO MORE MANUAL WORK!

You can now use the API to create a new app ID for each new customer you bring on board. We’ve added this functionality into the API.

API users, take a moment to rejoice!

To ensure that managing your service is easy and safe, we’ve added a security precaution. API users will have a dedicated set of credentials (app ID and secret) for adding new app IDs. This “Master” App ID is reserved for managing your service while other app IDs are used for managing your customers.

You asked, we listened.

This is in response to a customer request we get quite often. And when enough people are asking for a feature, it’s important for us to deliver!

The new App Management feature for the SCORM Cloud API is available today. To read more about how it works and where to get it, go here.

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