Can I install my own building blocks in Learn with a SaaS deployment?

A building block is a Java web app that is deployed as a plug-in to Blackboard Learn and runs as a privileged part of the Blackboard Learn process. These in-process integrations have the potential to interact with resources such as the database or the file system in a way that could result in abnormal consumption of resources.

To prevent these sorts of problems, Blackboard provides a pre-defined set of building blocks for all SaaS deployment customers. Customers can use these pre-installed building blocks, and customers with Plus or Advantage SaaS deployments have full building block support. 

With the 3900.4 release, SaaS administrators can install and uninstall building blocks on their SaaS instance without depending on Blackboard Support. You can install and uninstall building blocks in Admin Panel > Building Blocks > Installed Tools

A combination of REST API/LTI is preferred to ensure integration support in the Ultra experience.

Blackboard's approach is to include as many commercial building blocks as possible. We continue to expand our REST APIs as well as deepening our LTI support. REST APIs/LTI are the modern standard that SaaS companies use when interfacing with their systems. 

When Blackboard Support installs custom and third-party building blocks, they are set as Inactive by default. Administrators must manually accept the compliance boundary and grant permission to activate the building block in the Admin panel. Updates to previously installed building blocks will maintain their availability. Learn how to install and manage building blocks.

More about Blackboard Learn in the SaaS Deployment

More about compliance boundaries

What happened to the tabs and modules?

The tabs and modules in the Original experience framework is not included in Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience. Instead, a new Tools page appears in the base navigation.

If your institution uses the Ultra experience, users can't access any building block that has its only access point in a tab, system module, or course module.

Looking to customize your institution's Ultra experience? Learn more about institution branding and the Institution Page.

What about customizations I made to my courses using building blocks?

You can still access courses in the Original Course View and choose to use them for an undetermined period of time. For these Original courses, customizations based on building blocks will work. If a customization has an access point in a course that is not a course module, it will continue to function.

Can I use building blocks to add content in the Ultra Course View?

No. Use REST API and LTI tools to add external content to Content Market in the Ultra Course View. Some tools in the Ultra Course View are controlled by building blocks, but content can't be added in this way.