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Analytics for Learn Data Integration Building Block

  • Version: v.4.3.5
  • Dependencies: Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 13 or later and other items
  • Release Date: October 2017

The Release Notes provide System Administrators with information about the changes from the previous version to this most recent version of Analytics for Learn. These release notes cover version 4.3.5.

The current release focuses on bug fixes and introduces the new Rubrics and Tool Detail features. This release is recommended for all customers of Analytics for Learn.

The list below provides some highlights of changes that we believe will affect most usage scenarios. Always review the entire document and consider how the information listed below affects your specific usage patterns.

  • Rubrics – This new feature brings rubrics functionality into Analytics for Learn, covering the usage and structure analysis, interactions between students and instructors via rubrics, activity and evaluation analysis on goals aligned to rubrics, as well as score performance on rubrics and rubrics rows.
  • Tool Detail - This new feature extends course design and activity details focused on tools as known from Learn. The Tool Detail provides information about the tool activity in courses, tool availability in courses, user activity on tools and others.
  • Performance upgrade - New covering indexes improve cube processing performances. Course at Glance report data materialization provides faster report access.

Prerequisites

  • Analytics for Learn Version 4.3.4 - the upgrade will require version 4.3.4 of the A4L module to be installed and operational.
  • Learn 9.1 must have Service Pack 13 or higher installed.

New features and enhancements

  • Rubrics
  • Tool Details
  • HEA.RemoveIndex causes deadlock in HEA.PreWebExtract
  • Change label in SSRS report Instructor At a Glance
  • Increase Web Extract Load Timeout
  • COURSE_MAIN - missing fields in the extract

Fixed bugs

  • Potential duplicities in FactStudentAdvisor
  • SimGradeCenterColumn - Source count does not match transform logic
  • Stop loading activity data after reaching Historical Activity Cutoff
  • Hotfix 127 does not cover cases when allow_multiple_indicator is null
  • Create hotfix for mismatch values in FactGradeCenter
  • Fix Drill through action for Course Archetype in SSAS
  • Upgrade iBBLA 4.3.4. - Script InitialCourseToolLoad.sql insert error primary key violation
  • MDX calculation within LookupCube function is incorrect
  • DimCourseRole uses incorrect SourceKey
  • Stage.HelperSISCourseExtract is pulling incorrect instructor based on sequence order
  • Log file name collision in the activity web extract
  • Stage.HelperFactGradeCenterFinal Performance Issue
  • PS_STDNT_CAR_TERM and PS_STDNT_ENROL extract optimization

Known Issues

No known issues.

Supported technologies

The following table describes the server and system prerequisites and optional components to be installed and configured prior to beginning the Blackboard Analytics installation process.

Server and software prerequisites

The following table describes the server and system prerequisites and optional components to be installed and configured prior to beginning the Blackboard Analytics installation process.

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTED CONFIGURATION
Supported Operating Systems
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 32-bit*
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 64-bit*
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 32-bit*
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 64-bit*
  • Microsoft Windows 2012 64-bit*

* with latest service pack

Supported SQL Server Version
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (32 or 64-bit)*+
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 BI Edition (32 or 64-bit)*
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition (32 or 64-bit)*

* with latest service pack applied to all installed SQL Server components
+ Standard Edition is not supported

Additional SQL Server Components and Install Options
  • Analysis Services*
  • Integration Services
  • Reporting Services (optional)
  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio
  • SQL Server Default Collation: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS
  • Server Authentication: SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode

* In SQL Server 2012, Analysis Services must run in Multidimensional mode

Application Server Requirements
  • IIS 7.x or later
  • IIS Options: ASP.NET, Basic Authentication, Windows Authentication
  • .NET Framework 4.5
For Institutions with Oracle-based ERP Source databases
  • Oracle Provider for OLE DB 32-bit*+
  • Oracle Provider for OLE DB 64-bit*+
  • Connectivity back to the Oracle database with an account having SELECT-only access

* Provider addressing architecture (32 or 64-bit) must match that of SQL Server
+ Provider can be downloaded from Oracle as part of Oracle Data Access Components Pack (ODAC)

Optional Reporting Tools for Included Sample Reports to be installed on Application Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Server*
  • Pyramid Analytics bioXL & bioPoint

* Standard Edition is not supported
+ Requires IIS Options: ASP, Server-side Includes

Configuration notes

  • Operating System and Memory
    • When choosing between the Standard and Enterprise Edition and the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system, be sure to understand the maximum amount of memory available under each configuration. The 64-bit version of the operating system is highly recommended, as is the 64-bit version of SQL Server.
  • Server Virtualization
    • While it is possible to run Blackboard Analytics Intelligence modules in a virtual server environment, special consideration must be taken to effectively allocate server resources within the virtual environment to minimize contention with other servers in the shared environment.
    • Many institutions host the reporting server in a virtual environment, with a virtual machine configuration typical of any web or application server.
    • Institutions larger than 10,000+ FTE intending to virtualize the database server should plan on isolating server resources as described below for optimal performance:
      • CPU - The ETL process is resource intensive and optimized to load as much data as possible in as little time as possible. All available CPU resources will be used to load as much in parallel as possible, so dedicating physical cores to the database server virtual machine is recommended. It is not uncommon for all available CPUs to run above 90-95% utilization during Analysis Services cube reprocessing, so adding the overhead of managing virtual cores will result in performance degradation.
      • Disk - During the ETL process, large amounts of data will be written, read and re-written to disk throughout the various ETL stages (e.g. source copy schema to staging schema to final reporting schema), so dedicated disk groups within the virtual environment are recommended to minimize disk contention with other virtual machines sharing the same disk subsystem. Please see the BbAnalytics Disk Configuration Considerations guide for more information on this topic.

Release Notes for Earlier Versions

Release notes for earlier versions are available in English only.