Integrating Client’s Edu Platform with Third-Party Services ObjectStyle integrates onCourse by ish with 7 popular accounting, marketing and teaching automation tools

  • ish
  • company name ish
  • industry Education
  • year founded 2002
  • location Australia
  • website http://ish.com.au

ish is the company behind onCourse™, a widely-used software platform that allows colleges and short course providers to manage enrolments, curricula, student grades, and other aspects of the learning/teaching process.

The platform serves dozens of educational entities in Australia (including such heavyweights as The University of Sydney, Sydney Community College, NIDA, Coffee School, Power Training Services WA...), and is one of the most popular solutions in the market.

Challenge

The onCourse user base has colleges, short course providers and other types of edu organizations. As the world of tech has been getting increasingly interoperable, many onCourse clients began to ask for specific accounting, teaching and marketing tools to be incorporated into ish’s student enrolment platform.

The most asked-for services were Moodle (teaching automation), Cloud Assess (online assessments), Myob (accounting), Xero (online bookkeeping), MailChimp (email marketing), MageMonkey (a surveying tool), and Survey Gizmo (surveying software).

The idea was to integrate these services with onCourse without compromising its core architecture or front-end performance.

Solution

For years, ObjectStyle has worked with ish to support its onCourse platform, among other things. Hence, it was decided that ObjectStyle would carry out the integrations as well.

The first service to be integrated was MailChimp, a popular email-marketing platform that allows people to send follow-up emails, create email marketing campaigns, maintain customer lists, and more.

The development process consisted of (1) discussing the requirements with ish, (2) researching the technical nitty-gritties of the service, (3) creating an API for the integration, (4) designing the UI, (5) programming the integration itself, (6) testing the integration, (7) deploying it to production.

For the very first integration, ObjectStyle created a common API connector that was used for porting all subsequent services into onCourse.

The API connector is a lightweight, standalone microservice that does not interfere with the onCourse core and can be easily plugged in/out of the system, modified or replaced with something else without causing damage to the platform.

Results

The seven integrations were performed one by one, starting with the most frequently-requested ones (MailChimp, Moodle, MageMonkey, and Survey Gizmo).

Each integration has a scope of events that trigger data exchange between onCourse and a particular third-party system. For example, when a student signs up for a course, an automatic email confirmation is sent to their inbox via MailChimp.

Course providers have an integrations interface where they can change settings for each particular integration and enter their keys.

Right now, ish and ObjectStyle have a few more integrations in the pipeline based on customers’ feedback and ish marketing intelligence.

Technology stack

  • Groovy
  • Apache Cayenne framework
  • Apache ROP
  • MySQL database
  • Swing GUI toolkit

Time Span and Resources

Duration:

5 months on average / integration

Effort:

5250 man-hours for 7 integrations

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