The greatest sporting event in the world, March Madness, wrapped up this week. Looking back, what a crazy tournament it was and an impressive run by the UConn Huskies. They showed a little bit of everything while dominating their way to a title. We like to think we bring that kind of team effort to our products, services, and how we support our wonderful clients.
Our motto is “ask me anything,” and recently we focused an AMA webinar on Rustici Engine and the Engine API. Our team consisted of me running the point guard position as your host, setting up the offense, and most importantly, finding the open man to score. The true stars of the show were our Engine Lead Developer, Ben Clark, and our Director of Client Integrations, Kyle Patmor. Their chemistry while fielding questions about Engine’s features, functionality, and best practices was like watching a perfectly executed pick and roll, capped off with an alley oop dunk. Along the way, we also revealed some new plays in your playbook, which you might more commonly hear referred to as the features in our latest release, Engine 22.
The AMA: Rustici Engine API webinar recording is available to see what we covered in full.
What Engine can do
“How can I get course progress status?”
Webhooks can help you get course progress status! We’ve improved webhooks in our Engine 22 release. In the webinar we shared ways to track registration results and get V2 API GetRegistrationProgress, and we shared our Webhooks Reference Guide.
“What is the architectural diagram of Rustici’s overall infrastructure and processes?”
We offer On-Premise, or Managed Hosted, versions of Engine. If you’re thinking about hosting Engine yourself, check out our infrastructure resources to help you see how data flows through both the infrastructure and application. If you’d like to host Engine 22 on your own servers, be sure to look at the system requirements for installing Engine.
What you can do beyond Engine
Supporting SCORM is layup. But going beyond that is like an And1. You got fouled, and we can help you convert the free throw for a three-point play!
“How well is Engine set-up to support user-generated content as well as platform-admin built content?”
If it is compatible with a learning standard (or PDF, video, even a URL), we can support it in Engine. We recommend that you keep hostile (user-generated) content on a separate domain from your application. Here’s how to preview launches.
“What are some other useful new features of Engine that I might not be aware of?”
Potentially lots of stuff! We discussed how to use a third-party content connector to add content from publishers like Go1 into your own learning application and where to find content connector documentation. We also reviewed how to use the offline Engine player, which allows for a native mobile app to play back and sync SCORM content from Rustici Engine with a specially designed player package.
The MVP question on buying vs. building your own content player
Can you explain what a typical learning / implementation time would be to support all equivalent standards if taking a “build your own” approach?
I love this question because it calls out the level of effort that comes with building out your own standards support: understanding the standards AND the development work required to actually build out that support. These take time, and there are long term considerations to think about.
The short answer? A long time, but it depends on your dedication. We roughly estimate it might take a year for a developer to implement one standard. When you factor in all of the different learning standards Engine supports, it can add up to several years. I think one of the more important points is, even if you could do it, should you do it?
We have a lot of customers who implemented SCORM support themselves. When they have another standard to add, they start thinking about the improvements, maintenance, and ongoing support that comes with it. With Engine, you’re outsourcing a set of knowledge and support burdens. Our team answers questions all the time about course behavior or why completions are not coming through. When you take on that support burden, those questions are coming to you without backup.
Should you do it really comes down to your current and future bandwidth. Do you have a team of dedicated developers who are able and willing to understand eLearning standards and take the time to build out all of the moving parts in your application? Is that the best use of their time? It’s important to also think about the longer term and the ongoing support and maintenance required to keep up with evolving standards and changing environments.
We also covered our Rustici Engine 22 updates, which you can find on our evolution of Engine page. The highlight reel includes the subscribing to more specific and filtered notification and exchange events from Engine using webhooks, controlling which background processes run on specific Engine instances, and saving and retrieving course data.
Ask any basketball junkie and they’ll tell you a championship team is built on fundamentals, and everyone knows their role. Then it comes down to hard work and execution. Rustici Engine’s API helps with the fundamentals of a championship learning application. Supporting eLearning standards is hard work, and even harder to execute well. That’s Engine’s role. And we think Engine and your learning application would give the 2023 UConn Huskies a run for their money.
If you have questions about supporting standards or Rustici Engine or just want to chat about where to put your best passer on the floor, we’re here to help – although we’re experts in two of those things, I ended up with only 43 points in my bracket this year.