We do the set up for you. If you don't have Ally installed, contact your Blackboard representative or submit a request on Behind the Blackboard.


Configure the Ally building block

The Ally Integration building block is already installed on your Blackboard Learn environment. From the Administrator panel, select Building Blocks and Installed Tools to find it. A Blackboard Technical Consultant configures this building block for you.

Configuration of the Ally building block includes these steps:

  1. Make the integration available in the Ally integration settings.
  2. Create a user. No one will sign in as this user. This user is created to run against the REST API integration and will have certain permissions for what it can do. Usernames will often be "allyuser" or "allyintegration".

    Don't delete the Ally user. If you delete the user, the integration won't work.

  3. Add tool provider information and custom parameters. Key, Secret, Client IDURL, and Custom script information is used to allow Ally's alternative formats, instructor feedback, and reports to launch in your Learn environment.

    Custom script parameters are added for Ally to work in the Original view.

    The Client ID is unique to each environment. It can't be shared between your staging and production environments.


What does the building block configuration add to your environment?

After the building block is configured, you'll see these account, role, and tools added to your environment:

  • Ally integration user
  • Ally integration system role, assigned to the Ally integration user
  • Ally Configuration
  • Ally Report

More on how to manage installed tools in Blackboard Learn


About the Ally user and system role

After the Ally integration building block is configured, an Ally Integration user and system role are added to your environment.

No one signs in with the user account. This user is created to run against the REST API integration.

The user is assigned an Ally Integration system role that is added to your environment. The system role has a set of privileges that define how the integration works with the environment.

Don't delete the Ally user or system role. If you delete either user or system role, the integration won't work.

Ally integration system role privileges

  • Add/Edit trusted content with scripts: Allows the Instructor Feedback to keep content the same as instructors originally created it. Without this privilege Ally could accidentally remove something from content that an instructor had added.
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Tools) > Date Management: Allows Ally to have access to the date management tool in the Original course view.
  • Blackboard Predict Advisor Tool: Allows Ally to have access to the Predict Advisor tool.
  • Administrator Panel (Users) > Users > Edit > View Organization Enrollments: Allows Ally to provide a student count for each organization.

    Ally refers to organizations as courses in the Institutional and Course reports.

  • Administrator Panel (Users) > Users > Edit > View Course Enrollments: Allows Ally to provide a student count for each course.
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Tools) > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Build Test, Tests, and View Test Design and Settings Allows Ally to scan and score files attached or images embedded in the Content Link Description WYSIWYG of tests and surveys. These privileges work together and must all be selected.
    • Course/Organization Control Panel (Tools) > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests > Build Test
    • Course/Organization Control Panel (Tools) > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests
    • Course/Organization Control Panel (Tools) > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests > View Test Design and Settings
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Materials: Allows Ally to update image attributes in content item descriptions.
  • Read, Write, Delete, Execute access to the Content System filesystem: Allows Ally to write files back to the environment when instructors upload them through the Instructor Feedback. This privilege also allows Ally to delete seizure inducing files from the Instructor Feedback.
  • Read-only access to the Content System filesystem: Allows Ally to read files for processing. For example, onboards and course-syncs.

More on system roles in Learn environments


Configure the REST API integration

Configure the REST API to allow Ally to retrieve content and course information from your environment. A Blackboard Technical Consultant configures the REST API integration for you.

Configuration of the Ally REST API integration includes these steps:

  1. Add the Application ID. The Application ID is always the same and can be reused. Application ID: 85d3b720-1a00-45e4-a3ee-c2be80de7295
  2. Add the Ally integration user. Usernames will often be "allyuser" or "allyintegration".
  3. Give the REST API End User Access. Select Yes to make the Ally integration act as the user instead of a single system wide user.
  4. Authorize the REST API to act as a user. Select Yes to allow Ally to update content in the original location.

More on how to configure a REST API integration on a Learn environment


Configure the course report

Configure the course report to add it to courses on your environment. A Blackboard Technical Consultant configures the course report for you.

More on the course report and how to configure it