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Blackboard Releases Building Block APIs Built on the Microsoft .NET Framework

  2/12/2004 , Washington, DC - Blackboard Inc. today announces the release of Building Blocks built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, which give clients an easy new way to customize their Blackboard Learning System™ installation and further enhance the e-Learning experience for students and faculty. Blackboard clients can use Building Blocks to build their own .NET applications or integrate the Blackboard Learning System with Microsoft’s powerful server and productivity applications.

“Blackboard has always been committed to improving education for everyone and Building Blocks built on the Microsoft .NET Framework is a natural next step in our ongoing commitment to excellence in education,” said Andrew Rosen, Chief Corporate Officer and President of Blackboard International. “It is exciting to once again collaborate with an industry leader like Microsoft.”

Microsoft .NET is a platform that powers the creation of applications that connect people and information. Building Blocks now harnesses that power by enabling .NET applications to easily integrate with the Blackboard Learning System. This benefits clients by enabling them to fit the Blackboard Learning System into their .NET infrastructure to create a unified academic computing environment, including Microsoft applications, custom applications, web services, and even mobile devices such as PocketPCs and Smartphones.

“At Microsoft, we are committed to helping customers realize their potential through an integrated IT platform that enhances their experience for work, leisure and learning using technology,” said Diana Oblinger, Executive Director for Higher Education. “Blackboard’s Building Blocks, by unlocking information using .NET for improved integration, will greatly improve Higher Education’s ability to quickly build solutions that impact teaching and learning.”

Building Blocks enables applications to:

• Access Blackboard Learning System database and file structures

• Share data among applications reducing errors and the need for manual entry

• Create user interface components with the Blackboard look and feel

• Integrate with system controls for importing, exporting, and managing Building Blocks and connections to the Blackboard Learning System

Building Blocks built on the Microsoft .NET Framework enable clients to integrate any number of Microsoft applications, including Microsoft Office Live Communication Server, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Tools, Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft Office and OneNote, Microsoft Exchange Server, and many others. For example, Blackboard clients can use Building Blocks to create code that allows for the seamless exchange of messages and events between the Blackboard Learning System and Microsoft Exchange.

"Now Building Blocks will offer more flexibility to developers and more innovation in education for our clients," said Christopher Etesse, Senior Director of Technology at Blackboard. "Blackboard's Platform can now be accessed via any one of the numerous Microsoft .NET Framework languages: C#, C++, Visual Basic.NET, COBOL.NET or PERL.NET. Blackboard is fully committed to providing an open platform that embraces existing and emerging industry standards. Building Blocks built on the Microsoft .NET Framework further emphasizes this policy.”

Building Blocks

To learn more about Building Blocks built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, go to

About Blackboard

Blackboard Inc. was founded with a vision to transform the Internet into a powerful environment for the education experience. Blackboard is a leading provider of e-Education solutions serving the global needs of primary and secondary schools, higher education, corporations and government agencies. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

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