I had an interesting talk with Marco Antonio Villegas Vega the morning of 19th April 2008 about a possible link between Drupal and Dokeos in the medium-term future (a few months).
The idea is that Dokeos lacks one thing that Moodle has (but that we don’t want in Dokeos itself): the possibility to build a widget-based website with your content.
Dokeos has a strong structure, which Moodle lacks of, making it simpler for new users to get around and learn. And learning is about the major thing users do in Dokeos, so if they can’t understand how the platform works, they’re in a bad position to start learning the real stuff.
So, Dokeos wants to remain like that, but at the same time a considerable amount of clients are asking us to better integrate Dokeos into their website or web portal. The idea is thus to start small, by first providing a Drupal module that will allow user to:
- log directly and automatically (if using openID at first) into Dokeos from their Drupal site
- get a list of events from their personal agenda in Dokeos (and possibly display it in the Events module in Drupal)
- get a list of direct links to courses they’re subscribed to (will open in a new window though, to let them continue using Drupal)
- get a list of certificates (more a Business Network feature)
- get a list of documents from inside the courses, to which they have access (will also open in a new window)
Dokeos would then become almost invisible for the most frequent interactions (open documents, check agenda and announcements), and would remain as a separate window/tab for the most thorough interactions.
This would most certainly imply starting to use web services as a largely-implemented feature. To do this, I’ve been thinking for quite a long time about integrating PECL’s package SCA_SDO which provides a nice way to re-use existing functions to provide web-services. This would hugely reduce implementation costs for Dokeos while providing the web services we need quickly and efficiently.
What do you think about it? Don’t hesitate to leave your comments, it’s still in discussion…