Welcome to the Blackboard Building Blocks
Open Source distribution site. This site contains open source and
freeware Building Blocks software tools built for use with the Blackboard 5.5 e-Education Suite of Software.
The primary purpose of this site is to provide a resource for Blackboard customers to find and use Open Source
Blackboard Building Blocks applications.
The open source software available on this site has been authored by
many generous individuals and organizations. It is through their
efforts that these useful and high quality software packages exist.
This site also provides a community home for developers who are
interested in creating Open Source Building Blocks applications.
Support for developers is available through the Bb-Open_Src listserv
(see sidebar). Within the community, we hope to:
Provide great examples of open-source, full-featured Building blocks applications.
Encourage the development of an abundance of new, high-quality Building blocks.
Provide a starting place for developers who desire some help in getting started with Building Blocks development.
Please note that the http://bbug.ca site has now merged with the Bb Open Source site and the discussion forums are now here
and accessible from the menu on the left.
WHAT IS A BUILDING BLOCK?
A Building Block is a .zip or .war file that has a certain
structure defined by Blackboard. This structure primarily
consists of a file-directory hierarchy containing customcode tied together by a Blackboard Learn manifest.
A Building Block is simply a set of files installed on the
Blackboard application server in a way that is structured so
the server has predefined entry points to call upon the
functionality of the Building Block. The entry points are URL
links that are tracked in the Blackboard Learn database
and associated with key entities such as content handlers
and navigation items.
Building blocks are simply blackboard speak for plug in applications that make use of the APIs in Blackboard.
It is probably quite difficult to create a buidling block for someone without a clear understanding about Blackboard, access to a developer license and developers kit. A lot of developers are detered from this by high initial cost of purchasing a developement license. You will also need to be clear about which version of blackboard you are developing for as there have been significant changes to APIs over some upgrades. If you go ahead with this then you may well want to consider agreeing what happens in the future as upgrades will sometimes break building blocks requiring minor or in some cases major rewrites.
There is quite an active open source developers group oscelot.org that you might like to explore. I am not a developer myself so I cant really give you much more help than this
New pages are Blackboard Info and Blackboard Links