Building Block Examples For Blackboard Learn 9.1

As part of learning how to develop Building Blocks (B2) for Blackboard Learn 9.1 I've put together several example projects. I've posted these examples on my GitHub repository. Hopefully other new Building Block developers will find them helpful.

Blackboard Building Blocks are Java web applications that run in the Blackboard Learn platform. Building Blocks allow schools to extend what Blackboard Learn can do or customize what it currently does. Blackboard provides an extensive API and also a JSP tag library. The downside is that as of October 2012 July 2013 (!) there is little documentation on how to develop Building Blocks for the Blackboard Learn 9.0 and 9.1 platforms. Much of the documentation available is too old.

I'm just learning how to develop Building Blocks so don't take my examples as "best practices." I'm using JSPs as my view, Java beans as the model, and Servlets as the controller. I really had to go back to my old J2EE 5 books as it has been quite awhile since I developed a Java web application with those technologies. I know you can use SpringMVC or Struts as the web application framework for a Building Block, but I wanted to start out with the basics.

A tremendous help in my learning has been the Building Block Open Source listserv. When I've run into a road block, I've either found the solution in their archives or posted a question to the listserv and gotten an answer very quickly. The coolest and smartest Building Block developers are hanging out there.

If you have any issues/changes with the examples please comment below. I'm also interested in finding other examples of how to do common tasks in Building Blocks for Blackboard Learn 9.1. So if you know of any good examples/tutorials/references online, please comment below.

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