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cmi5 is ready to go in SCORM Cloud

Posted by

Categories:, Spec Effort, xAPI

Posted 14 February 2017


Today we’re excited to announce support for a new specification in SCORM Cloud- cmi5, which is something that doesn’t happen all that often in its history. Along with making cmi5 support readily available in SCORM Cloud, we’ve also added support for cmi5 to some of our other products including SCORM Engine and SCORM Driver.

Obviously, supporting a variety of specifications is a huge part of what we do well at Rustici Software. More than anything, though, I think it’s important for us to be conscious of, and to explain well to all of you, when and why we add support for a particular specification.

So, what is cmi5?

cmi5 is technically a profile of xAPI which means it piggy backs on top of things already well defined in xAPI, but adds specificity in others. For cmi5, this means that certain xAPI statements are required, and launch is handled in a very specific way.

For me, it’s the launch piece that’s so important. From xAPI’s advent years ago, there have been issues with launching content. In the earliest days, we at Rustici Software defined a very simple launch specification that several content vendors picked up on. It was good enough for the time being, but it wasn’t really good enough in practice.

So, over the last couple of years, many people including Bill McDonald (as Chair of the working group) and Art Werkenthin and others at RISC have put a lot of energy into considering how their AICC work could be applied to launch in the xAPI world. The result is that we have a good solution for launching content via xAPI.

Why it matters

Years ago, as we at Rustici Software and others around us started evangelizing xAPI, we made some mistakes. We talked about all of the things that could be enabled by xAPI, the things for which it was necessary but not sufficient. Over the last year or two, we’ve really started to fill in the gaps to make it sufficient as well. And while launch isn’t the dreamiest of capabilities for which xAPI is a solution, it is absolutely fundamental.

If content launch is ultimately going to transition from SCORM to xAPI, cmi5’s support for launch will be a requirement. And further, so many other activities actually benefit from having a well defined, implemented, and adopted specification for launch. So for now, we’re excited to share that Cloud now offers vendors and others a great place to test cmi5 based launchable activities. We hope this helps spur the development of many xAPI/cmi5 adopters.

  • Sam

    This is great news. What was SCORM Cloud using previously to launch xAPI content – Rustici’s “simple launch specification” that you mention? Is cmi-5 now becoming the industry standard when integrating xAPI content into an LMS?

  • Atria

    I already use SCORM Cloud to test the XAPI Statements sent by our LCMS authoring tool, and I currently use your launch spec to launch our CMS content from our LMS.
    I have read the cmi spec and it is quite a big piece.
    Could you summarize the benefits of cmi5 launch spec compared to yours? Are they compatible?
    Which LMS vendors implement your launch spec? Which LCMS vendors already support the cmi5 launch spec?

  • Hamdy Ebrahim Mohamed Eltaweel

    SCORM Cloud when taking about Scorm ,
    SCORM Cloud when taking about xAPI,
    SCORM Cloud when taking about xAPI,
    SCORM Cloud when taking about cmi5,
    SCORM Cloud when taking about all standers or specifications .
    it make a big misunderstanding when i try to explain to my team work.

  • Rustici Software

    Hi Hamdy – You make a great point about the name itself, SCORM Cloud, as it does so much more than just SCORM. We are considering renaming our product and would love to hear your suggestions!

  • Rustici Software

    Hi Atria – We always love to hear that people like yourself are using our Cloud product to test their content.

    To answer your questions, cmi5 is similar to our launch guidelines but it heavily specifies statement structure and patterns to ensure an LMS can make use of xAPI data. Additionally, it enables the LMS to tell the content where to return a learner at the end of the elearning course if the course was launched in the same window. While cmi5 is focused on elearning, the launch and session mechanisms it employs can be used for virtually any xAPI experience.

    The cmi5 group has created a great list of products that have currently implemented cmi5 that can be found here:

  • Rustici Software

    Hi Sam – We’re pretty excited about the release as well. SCORM Cloud followed the xAPI launch guidelines ( before cmi5 support was also added. It is difficult to say what will become the industry standard of the future, but cmi5 is a natural progression as the technology evolves. We sure hope it does!