The interface from LORA to Blackboard executes in a Windows environment, currently Windows 7. It relies on a number of components to function:
CURL is not a Windows product, but is widely used. In the long run, it might be possible to eliminate CURL by replacing the HTTP Post steps with web requests issued by PowerShell.
Executing the sequence of scripts in Windows is automated using the Windows Task Scheduler, a frankly finicky and opaque tool. Two tasks are set up, one for a morning run of the interface and one for an evening run, so each can be turned on or off independently of each other. Experimentation has resulted in two tasks in the scheduler, with settings that are identical except for the excution time. To execute unattended, the PC must be up and running, and the user who created the scheduled tasks must be logged in. The computer can be in use, locked, or sleeping, but not hybernating or powered down. Scheduling may be interrupted if the system reboots itself, since the user may not be logged on.
Key settings in the scheduler are:
General: Run only when user is logged on.
Triggers: daily at a specified time.
Actions: Action: Start a Program
Actions: ProgramScript: Powershell
Actions: Arguments: "-file "C:\Users\Jim Dugan\Documents\SISIntegration1.0\SISIntegration.ps1" (with quotes included).
Actions: Start in: C:\Users\Jim Dugan\Documents\SISIntegration1.0\
Conditions: Start the task only if the computer is on AC power
Conditions: Wake the computer to run this task
Settings: Allow task to be run on dmeand
Settings: Stop the task if it runs longer than 2 hours
Setings: If the running task does not end when requested, force it to stop.