Blackboard: Request 3rd Party Integration

Who can use it?

Faculty and Staff

What is it?

Blackboard provides a platform for 3rd party companies to develop integrations which bridge to services outside of Blackboard. Instructors can leverage these services by adding the integration to their course, linking from inside Blackboard out to the 3rd party services. These integrations require Blackboard administrators to setup configurations or install a building block in order to make the integration available in Blackboard. Once setup, the integrations may require instructors and students to create 3rd party accounts and link their Blackboard user account with the 3rd party user account allowing for seamless access. 

The services provided by 3rd party companies may consist of e-books, course materials and modules, communication tools, assignments and test question banks, learning videos, gradebooks or even a scaled down Learning Management System. 

The following definitions are associated with 3rd party integrations in Blackboard. 

LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) - a specification that enables the integration of internet-based learning applications with online platforms offered by learning management systems.

REST API - An application programming interface (API or web API) that conforms to the constraints of REST architectural style and allows for interaction with RESTful web services. REST stands for representational state transfer. 

Partner Cloud - The Blackboard Partner Cloud streamlines the inventory of content integrations into a single registration and activation process. While eliminating the challenges of managing old and new building block versions, the Blackboard Partner Cloud also accelerates the delivery of new partner features and product updates.

Building Block - A Java web app that is deployed as a plug-in to the Blackboard Learn application. It runs as a privileged part of the Blackboard Learn process.

Where to get it?

3rd party companies offer Blackboard integrations in a variety of ways. Generally, it is best to work with a representative from the 3rd party company to coordinate the intended usage. In order to use many of these integrations, it requires the purchase of some type of service by the instructor, department or student.

Blackboard offers an App Catalog which lists 3rd party integrations at the following webpage The information in this site is maintained by the 3rd party companies so there are cases that an integration exists but is not listed. Generally, companies that list and maintain up-to-date product information through this catalog have more robust and detailed integration options. 

How to use it?

Click the button for Request Service and fill out the associated form. The following is a general workflow from start to finish for a standard integration. A standard integration has a minimum turn around time of 10 business days. While 10 business days represents the expected average, it may be possible to setup the integration in less time. More time may be required depending on the complexity and level of integration required. 

  1. Request Service form is filled out, then the ticket is created and assigned to IT Customer Services Engineers. 
  2. Ticket is reviewed and minimum system requirements for Blackboard integration are verified through communication with the Requester and 3rd party company. 
  3. Deadlines for integration testing and usage are established through communication with Requester and possibly 3rd party company. 
  4. Initial configurations are setup in either YSU Blackboard Test instance or YSU Blackboard Production instance depending on complexity of the integration. 
  5. User testing is performed by the Instructor and 3rd party company to verify the integration is working as intended. Any changes back and forth with 3rd party company and Instructor are worked out to complete a successful test of the integration. 
  6. Integration is configured and verified in YSU Blackboard production instance and then verified by the Instructor and 3rd party company for use. 

Any additional changes or issues after completion of the integration ticket should be entered through the YSU Service Desk as a Blackboard Issue. 

How much does it cost?

Cost varies depending on the pricing structure. The cost for use of an integration depends on the 3rd party company and their requirements for configuration and use, which could consist of initial cost to the instructor, department and possibly students. 
There is no additional cost from YSU ITS for installation and configuration of 3rd party integrations in YSU Blackboard. 

Request Service

Related Articles (1)

List of Third Party Integrations available in YSU Production Blackboard


Service ID: 49773
Tue 4/20/21 12:20 PM
Mon 1/30/23 11:46 AM