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Guidance

LRS: web services for management information system developers

Learning Records Service (LRS) web services provide system-to-system communications over a network mainly takes place over the internet.

Documents

LRS developer registration form

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Details

Learning Records Service (LRS) web services provide system-to-system communications over a network, which mainly takes place over the Internet. Put simply, the system requests a specific task (or tasks) of another system and then receives a response to its request.

For example, your system can ask the Learner Register to ‘Find a learner’, or‘Update a learner’, to cite just two of the common tasks performed using the Learner Register.

In summary, web services replaces the user-to-system interface (known as ‘business to consumer’ or B2C) which is commonly used on the Internet, with a system-to-system interface (known as ’business to business’ or B2B).

Using the web services interface

Web services like the ones described above can give several benefits:

  • your management information system (MIS) can communicate directly with our learner register, rather than using you as an intermediary meaning you do not need to log onto the learner register as a user, or give every user of your MIS access to it
  • the web service interface also removes the effort and risk of error of re-keying information from your MIS into the learner register because data is transferred directly
  • each web service only does one thing. Because it has no memory, the services are scalable, meaning we can make several copies of the same service simultaneously. The result is that any client can talk to any of our web services and you do not need to wait for a particular server to become available.
  • a web service uses a standard extensible mark-up language (XML), which is referred to as its service description. This gives you all of the details you need to use the service, including message formats (that detail the operations), transport protocols and location. Web service descriptions are expressed in web service description language (WSDL, pronounced ‘Wizdel’). By providing these standards, web services have cut the burden in developing a connection between two systems.

Register for Developers Access

Developers need to register to gain access to the latest version of web services.

If your Organisation decides to develop an interface with the LRS, you will need to register as a developer in the first instance. This will give you access to all the documentation and guidance you will need in order to develop the interface.

To register as a developer you will need complete and return a copy of the “Developer’s Registration Form” (see form above) and register for a Microsoft Live Account (see instructions below on how create a Microsoft Live Account) before we can provide you with access to the developer’s team site.

First, you need to register for a Microsoft Live Account.

Next, you will need to complete the Developer’s Registration Form.

This gives the Application Support team details they require to process your application.

Registered Developer

Once an application is received, developers should receive a link, username and password within 48 hours to access the developers’ team site which contains the following information:

  • web services interface specification
  • schemas and WDSL
  • a developer’s guide web services development
  • a test period calendar for developers
  • web services test instructions and forms for each stage of development
  • business model questionnaire

The business model questionnaire asks for detail of your business solution. We recommend this questionnaire is completed and returned before development begins to ensure your system meets our requirements.

If you are not familiar with web services, we recommend you seek expert advice before starting any development of your MIS.