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Oct
02
2012

Plateau/SuccessFactors LMS support for iPad/Mobile Devices

Now a days, it’s no surprise to see every product and service company trying their best to stay inline with the tablet revolution and success.

If you are using certain versions of SuccessFactors/Plateau LMS such as 6.3 you might notice that their learner home screen are completely made of Flash (of course that sucks!). So if you try to navigate to the SuccessFactors/Plateau based LMS from your iPad’s safari, the home screen will fail to load properly (because of flash content).

However as i write this post, SuccessFactors got rid of flash from the learner home screen in their newer LMS versions, which is great (i guess they must have burnt their fingers with Flash). So one iPad compatibility challenge is solved at least with the newer version.

 

Plateau/SuccessFactors new LMS view without Flash

Plateau/SuccessFactors new LMS view without Flash

What’s the next step? Of course, the mobile world needs more, we don’t want to use the LMS through our safari browser. The LMS designed for PCs not good to use with tablets as is.

So SuccessFactors recently came up with their own mobile apps as well to support Blackberry, iOS and Android, Nice!

However having an App doesn’t mean all your requirements for mobile learning is fulfilled. There are a lot of practical challenges.

 

Flash Again!


Most of your e-learning content would have been developed in Flash. The HTML/HTML5 based courses just started emerging and there will be a long road ahead before this transition matures. iPad doesn’t support flash content, as i hear the newer version of Android does not support flash player as well. Finally, Adobe themselves given up flash development for mobile devices (sounds like the whole world turned against flash suddenly) :)

 

SCORM

Whether it’s flash or HTML, most e-learning courses developed in the last decade built with SCORM 1.2 compliance. Ok, so what’s the catch? The SCORM interaction between a course and LMS could happen in 2 ways. Some LMS’s handles this communication through Java Applet (JVM plug-in required at the user end), some other LMS’s just uses plain javascript objects (no need for JVM plug-in).

Unfortunately SuccessFactors/Plateau LMS designed to use the Java Applet to manage the SCORM communication. iPad does not support any plug-ins simply, be it flash, java or silverlight. End of story!

 

What would i do then?

So what this SuccessFactors LMS iPad/Android app really do then? Remember the old AICC protocol? Well, that is supported on their app. So, you can develop courses in HTML/HTML5 and make them communicate through AICC protocol and your course will pretty much work everywhere (browser or tablet).

May be SuccessFactors is working to change this Java plug-in dependency from their LMS engine and go with the pure javascript protocol. Not sure when that will become a reality. Until then, you will have to live with the old wine AICC.

 

Plateau/SuccessFactors iPad App

Plateau/SuccessFactors iPad App

 

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2 comments

  1. shr says:

    In the current release of the SuccessFactors LMS, all the SCORM APIs are implemented using javascript rather than a java appet.

    1. electron says:

      You are correct. The latest version (SaaS) does that. It’s a great relief for e-learning developers.

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