Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What is PENS, and when should I use it?

Starting from version 4.5, EKP supports Package Exchange Notification Services (PENS). PENS enables one-click publishing of courses from a PENS-conformant authoring tool or LCMS to EKP. Note that PENS is not a format for learning content like SCORM or AICC CMI001. That is, by itself it does not define any formats or protocols for course catalog metadata, course structure, course/LMS communication, or sequencing. PENS simply defines a way for a publishing tool to notify a delivery system (LMS) that new content is available for collection. The relevant content is still transferred using an establish format such as SCORM or AICC packages (most commonly the former).

So PENS is not an alternative to, say, SCORM content packages. Rather, it simply eliminates the step of manually exporting a content package from the publishing system and then importing it into EKP. Note that if your workflow requires you to make use of the packages (e.g. you need to manually modify the packages, or wish to archive them outside of EKP) then it's probably not appropriate to use PENS.

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