‘Open Innovation Initiative’ By Blackboard To Lure Open Source Developers

Moodle News, Sept 07, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The gist of the announcement is this: "Blackboard has made a series of announcements and releases to make it easier to code functionality for the commercial LMS. They are wrapped into what Blackboard calls the 'Open Innovation Initiative' that gives developers access to REST and LTI integrations to expand Blackboard services without upfront costs." The unnamed Moodle News author suggests it has the "likely goal of enticing more learning developers to adopt its platform." Of course, it's institutions, not developers, that adopt platforms. What Blackboard wants to do is to extend its reach into other applications, and it need to help the developers of those applications write the interfaces that will make this possible. It's always a good strategy to create an open API, but I would never write an application that depends on a single company's API, because it's too easy for them to turn off the taps.

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